Fostering a collaborative workplace

Priya de Langen 17 Dec 2012

Almost all organisations try to aim for and promote a collaborative working culture, but not all hit the right combination of factors that lead them to achieve it. US based organisation, Dyn (pronounced as ‘dine’) has managed to hit all the right notes when it comes to a collaborative working culture.

The Infrastructure-as-a-Service organisation’s core philosophy revolves around a collaborative working culture, something that is promoted on a daily basis from the top down. Chris Widner, Director of Culture and Talent Development, Dyn, says: “When you come into our office, one of the first things you’ll notice is the open concept design. Only five employees have offices, due to the nature of their jobs, and the rest of the rooms are conference rooms for groups to use”.

Widner adds that the CEO, Jeremy Hitchcock, gave up his office so that employees could have a company library and a team meeting room. “The rest of the employees have desks instead of cubicles, so our space lends itself to collaboration,” he says.

The organisation also adopts an open and transparent management style. A member of the management team takes six employees from various departments for lunch every Monday. Widner says that this “is an opportunity for employees to ask any question they’d like or to share their own ideas”.

The company also has monthly company meetings and town halls focused on various aspects of the business such as technology and its customers, and information is shared with employees. “When you allow all employees to have this much access to information they naturally ask questions and offer suggestions to projects and ideas outside their departments,” says Widner.

A collaborative working culture was also the way the company started out, as everyone in the organisation wore multiple hats, which required all employees to be involved in different projects, he adds.

The organisation’s culture has helped in retaining and engaging its employees with turnover rates below the industry average. “Employees understand they play a big role in the success of the company, which leads to a sense of shared ownership and pride. By truly being part of the happenings at Dyn, employees are less likely to leave.”



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