We Tried Out a New Team Building App, and Here’s What We Learned

Boosting Collaboration with Know Your Crew

 

“Teamwork makes the dream work” is a common phrase heard around the CultureIQ offices. Whether it’s bringing on a new customer, completing a complicated analysis, or launching a new survey feature, CultureIQ’s success, like most companies, depends on the ability for individual employees to work together as teams and teams to work together as a company. It’s why Collaboration is one of our 10 core culture qualities.

We’ve noticed that cross-departmental collaboration in particular is a challenge for many of our customers. In fact, our 2016 Top Company Cultures data revealed that even in some of the best cultures, only 78% of employees agreed or strongly agreed that “Different teams work well together here.” Fortunately, at an event a few months ago, our Head of Culture Strategy, David Shanklin, met the founders of Know Your Crew, a mobile software company trying to tackle this collaboration challenge in an innovative way. Know Your Crew’s mission is to “make teams happier and more productive” through a gamified get-to-know-each other app, which CultureIQ got on board with!

We decided to take part in what Know Your Crew has to offer this last spring and wanted to share our experience. According to CEO Alison Bloom-Feshbach, the Know Your Crew app “uses psychology and gamification to make it fast and fun for teams to connect and build trust.” The purpose is the same as most team-building initiatives: to raise awareness and empathy for colleagues in order to better work together.

 

How does it work?

Every employee at CultureIQ downloaded the Know Your Crew app on their smart phones, set up their profiles and answered questions about themselves and their coworkers each week for 5 weeks. With the help of in-app reminder pop-ups and the ability to “nudge” colleagues, we had a great participation rate, even for colleagues who work remotely or traveled during the 5 weeks. According to Alison, the average engagement rate with Know Your Crew is 87% which exemplifies how engaging the product is. At the end of every week, top scores were announced via email and at the end of 5 weeks, a hilarious summary based on the question responses was sent to the entire organization.

 

What was CultureIQ’s experience?

We set our Know Your Crew teams up in a way that ensured that weekly groups included individuals from different teams i.e. Sales, Client Services, Development. This meant that people were answering questions about others they may not know as well as their direct teammates. It’s like a virtual water cooler where different groups of people who might not normally interact run into each other randomly during the day (except this time on their phones!).

Our favorite part of the Know Your Crew experience was cheating – which we confirmed with the founders there are no rules against. “Cheating” included colleagues walking over to each other’s desks, shouting across the room to ask a question, private messaging through Slack and in general, taking the time to talk to individuals from other teams. I personally found it fun to have an excuse to approach the VP of Marketing to ask her what three words described her high school experience. For those 5 weeks, barriers across teams were broken down and communication increased.

 

Takeaways

As our world continues to become more technologically enabled, savvy applications such as Know Your Crew become more plausible to launch even in non-technology companies. At CultureIQ, we’re proponents of implementing a variety team building techniques such as using ice breakers during meetings, hosting team building events and using Know Your Crew. When it comes to building relationships at your organization, there isn’t one magic bullet. Know Your Crew provides a novel approach to team building that takes into account busy schedules, remote teams and the fact that sometimes the mention of building a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows exhibits more eye rolls than enthusiasm.

 

To learn more about Know Your Crew, check out their website at knowyourcrew.com.

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