There has been recent hype, a whole lot of buzz, and it has surely got the professionals talking; however, the spectacular concept of Random Coffee is not new.
This initiative was first used at Nesta in 2013. They called it Randomized Coffee Trial (RCT), as it met the criteria of not being too intrusive to anyone’s day job (once a week for about 20-30 minutes), it was non-hierarchical and democratic. The idea behind RCT was to remove control and insert some serendipity.
Fast forward to today and companies across the globe are incorporating random coffee strategies into their everyday operations with the aim of eliminating communication gaps.
What can random coffees offer?
Random coffee, also synonymous with coffee chat, is a friendly, informal meeting between two or more people. This concept was initially introduced as an attempt to break down barriers between teams and departments by encouraging workers to engage in coffee chats with others within the organization.
The idea behind random coffee is to engage with other peers, supervisors, and/or mentors in a more relaxed and friendly manner. Workers are encouraged to get to know their colleagues more and develop better work relationships.
Coffee chats, however, are not for discussing matters related to work, in fact, random coffee meets are to be viewed as an opportunity to engage, relate, and better understand peers and colleagues.
Why is it important to implement random coffees in the workplace?
An ideal work environment would entail highly motivated, well-connected employees with no communication barriers, and positive employee engagement figures. Unfortunately, the real picture is far from perfect, with most companies trying to tackle problems arising due to modest means of communication.
Random Coffee or coffee chats have proved to be a beneficial means to successfully connect employees, enhance employee engagement, promote employee well-being, increase employee retention, and create a positive image of an organization’s company culture.
Listed below are the benefits of implementing random coffee strategies in the workplace:
Allows new employees to feel welcome and involved
Research indicates that turnover is high among new hires. A study by Gallup revealed that only 12% of employees felt that their company did a good job with the onboarding program. Thus, the feeling of not being involved enough can stir up resignations.
Random coffees or coffee chats are an exceptional way to make new employees feel welcome by encouraging friendly conversations with colleagues and supervisors. Coffee matching techniques are a great way for new workers to connect with peers and supervisors, without the hesitation of them reaching out directly.
Paves way for new work relationships
Effective random coffee strategies can serve as a foundation for building better work relationships. Informal coffee chats provide an outstanding opportunity to connect employees and allow workers to make new connections.
Better work relationships will lead to better performance and productivity. It is easier for like-minded people to work on common goals.
Keeps employees positively connected
As part of work requirements, employees may be rotated through different departments or might be transferred or seconded to another work location. In such situations, employees may become distanced or feel no longer involved with operations running in his/her Home Company.
Regular virtual coffee chats and random coffee strategies developed to ensure that transferred or seconded employees always feel connected and close to their Home Company is a positive approach toward attaining employee engagement and employee well-being.
Maintains open channels of communication in the organization
Open channels of communication can improve collaboration and productivity among people working in an organization. In a company culture that supports open communication, teams and departments can drive better results through improved cooperation and positive performance.
Through random coffee or coffee chats, workers can engage and communicate in a more friendly manner. Employees can benefit from sharing their experiences in an informal setting without the apprehension of colleagues or supervisors deriving any false perspectives.
Open channels of communication bring many benefits to the workplace such as:
- Improves employee engagement
- Promotes inclusion
- Enhances trust
- Helps increase employee retention
- Fosters creativity
- Enhances teambuilding
- Promotes productivity
Promotes creativity and Innovation
Some of the best ideas come when least expected! Random coffees are a brilliant way for workers to get together, casually brainstorm, listen to other people’s ideas, share opinions, and generate new concepts and initiatives.
Many a time, like-minded individuals and people with common interests find ways to connect and casually share their ideas and opinions. In an organization, the same group of people with shared interests can form social clubs that regularly meet and ponder over a new approach or determine better and improved work techniques.
Enables employees to connect at all levels
The organizational hierarchy may seem a bit daunting to new employees. Fortunately, the presence of random coffee and coffee-matching techniques has made it easier to connect employees from various levels.
New workers have a fair chance to acquaint themselves with supervisors and seniors who could eventually benefit them through mentoring opportunities.
Creates a positive culture in the company
“A company’s longevity and enduring success will depend on the people. Getting your company culture on the right track is a work in progress. It takes consistent, collaborative effort from leaders and team members working toward building a culture that is genuine, valued, and meaningful.” – Gil Allouche, Metadata.
Random coffees provide multiple positive opportunities for employees from all hierarchical levels to connect, bond, and understand each other at a personal level. Through these informal coffee chats, management can gauge employee satisfaction levels and subsequently work on those areas which need improvement.
Companies can reap the benefits of productivity, enhanced employee engagement, and better employee retention when their employees are given opportunities to share their opinions and feel valued. It is vital to provide a safe and trusted space to workers where they can voice their concerns and depict interest in opportunities for development and growth. Random coffee or coffee chats have been one of the best initiatives taken in employee interest. Coffee anyone?