„Who was that again…?“
A story about forgotten employees, donuts and where we got the idea for frolleagues from.
The day we realized we urgently needed an onboarding tool…
„Tell me, who on earth is that guy over there in the checkered bathrobe?”
„That’s Levent, the new coder. He’s been with us for about three months now…“
This wasn’t the first time this question had been asked – but it was the moment the penny finally dropped. Because although we remain to this day a compact team of only 45 people, it was suddenly clear to us how little time we had invested in onboarding and integrating our team up to that point.
Obviously Levent had been introduced to everybody in his own department, but the ripples made by his arrival had scarcely reached the next room. Being company executives, we went back to what we had been doing prior and everything carried on as normal. But there he was, the newbie. Full of drive and ideas for his new workplace and coworkers… and no one knew he was there. Being a quiet person by nature, he was soon “consumed” by his role and left to carry on working away quietly and diligently in the farthest reaches of our IT office. Some coworkers will certainly have looked him up on Google or LinkedIn at some point or other – I was assured that it’s not unusual to read up on “the new recruit” this way.
„But we have the technology for it – why don’t we just do it ourselves?!“
Here at mmpro film and media productions GmbH, we have two units: our global film production team on the one hand and our Digital Media Asset Management unit, AdmiralCloud, on the other. Our cloud-based software is designed to organize and share media such as films, images and documents, as well as, for example, to upload them to media libraries.
Why not create a simple matrix offering every employee the chance to upload a few photos and videos in the form of a digital profile and share it with their coworkers in a media center?
If there had been something like that before Levent’s arrival, he might have had the chance to cast an eye over his new coworkers ahead of time and get an exciting look at his new working environment. On the flip side, everyone would have been able to get to know Levent better from the start and have a few icebreakers ready for their first encounter.
Whenever we brought up the idea, it received universal agreement – both inhouse and from our clients. It seemed that other companies had the same issue with onboarding. We quickly realized we were preaching to the choir and promptly set about implementing our idea…
„Who actually are the people around me, the ones I work alongside day in day out?“
„Oh yeah, we need that too! Up to now we’ve always just put together a scrapbook with pics of new employees…”
frolleagues as an ingenious social intranet solution, and what makes it different to Facebook & co.
Most of us know LinkedIn and have a profile there, sharing our professional background and interests with others. Yet beyond a fleeting first impression, you don’t get a real picture of a person on this kind of portal. Facebook on the other hand is so full of information that it becomes almost impossible to tell whether an image of a box of donuts is self-generated or shared content, or perhaps an ad or even clickbait. And then, of course, there’s the constant pressure to generate likes…
The idea behind frolleagues isn’t new. frolleagues also works with job titles and donuts, but it repackages information and makes it available within a secure, inhouse digital space. At the same time, frolleagues is focused not on the career ladder but on the people moving up on it. It puts the personal and real-life stuff center-stage, not necessarily the job title. Another important point is that not many people are comfortable friending their coworkers on Facebook. It’s easy to understand why Monica, a senior buyer at an energy firm, doesn’t want her coworkers and her employer to know that she’s always in the front row at demonstrations against nuclear power – just like Daniel, who spends his free time dancing the night away in clubs. There are certain things your coworkers don’t necessarily need to know about you.
The private sphere vs. the workplace
One of the greatest challenges we face in our digital era is how to protect each and every person’s privacy. Our private sphere is constantly being analyzed, monetized and tracked in ever more underhand ways. Insurance companies want to glean health data from our wearable technology while dragnet investigations verify our faces and millions of Siris listen to us even while we take a shower. Nor is the world of work going to stop outside our front door. Thanks to all kinds of smartphone software, the whole executive board is practically sitting at our dinner table – and even going on vacation with us. We are constantly online and always available in the event of emergencies.
And yet we’re highly interested in raising awareness of ourselves digitally, generating new followers and sharing the special moments in our lives with as many people as possible. So it is that many of us today already possess a digital personality, a digital soul even.
So why not show the real you at your workplace, too? In the age of digitalization, it’s more important than ever for people to relate to you as a person rather than a nameless number that gets lost in the mix between AI and rationalization processes.
frolleagues creates a new space that exists in between the private sphere and the workplace. This space is neither all business nor all private – it’s neither Facebook nor Big Brother. Each user is free to decide for themselves the kind of image (including none at all) that they want to present to the rest of the company. It’s all pretty simple, involving only a few images or videos.
frolleagues – the intranet solution for you!
✓ employee profiles
✓ intelligent search function
✓ matching function
✓ HR newsfeed
✓ company branding