Switching the teams might be a great move!
When I went to the A4BEE’s Hackathon, I saw it primarily as an excellent opportunity to get to know my team mates better. For the most of the year, some of them I’ve only seen on a computer screen; we work in different cities and departments and rarely have the opportunity to be closer with each other. However, I quickly realized that integration was only one part of the meeting, and the outcomes would be much more exciting.
Few days before the event all of us could share project ideas or/and sign up for hackathon teams. We chose those projects that seemed interesting to us but not necessarily related to our daily tasks. The Hackathon proved to be a time when we could test ourselves in new situations, use our less obvious talents and skills, and focus on new topics. With a choice of projects ranging from social to purely technical, we could test ourselves in a friendly and safe way.
New group, new ideas
I was curious to leave the haven of my department and join a group where I didn’t know a single person. The group process was dynamic, without much tension, although with much ambition. It was interesting to see how some groups focused on the collaborative process, others on the results, and others on the need to win or surprise colleagues with creativity. No matter what strategies the groups took, everything was done in a pleasant atmosphere of mutual help and enjoyment of being with each other.
Among all the projects, there was not an unnecessary one. Some of the presentations started discussions on serious topics – future green solutions for the office, security of our networks, and a more inclusive recruitment system. Some showed the fantastic capabilities of our R&D lab and the people who work in it. Still, others developed the seeds of future applications we currently use. All projects have one thing in common – by mixing people from different departments, each team was able to look at a problem from multiple perspectives and find new, unique solutions.
Results are the best summary
The BeePloma team created an app to quickly generate diplomas for participants in our academies, which saves many hours of work for those involved in Tech_Academy.
Beelegations, the new delegate accounting app, is fully functional and intuitive, to everyone’s great relief, especially the operations department. While our constant inter-city travels are devoid of the excitement of messing about in excel tables, we can all be confident that we write our delegation documents correctly. It offers no room for error, and its simplicity means that even the most reluctant of us don’t hesitate to use it.
Personally, I am most excited about the Bee of the Month app, a new system for nominating employees of the month. And I’m not just talking about its simplicity and aesthetics – I’m enjoying the fact that I can easily read through the nominations multiple times before voting for the person of my choice. I can nominate my colleagues with space to justify my decision, and the whole process is transparent and straightforward. And most importantly for me, when thinking about the nominations, I have the company’s values in front of me all the time to refer to. Also, linking the awards to NFT is an interesting and valuable addition that makes a massive difference to many.
These applications improve our daily work, but they also demonstrate the creativity and commitment of many people. Knowing how they were created and how much work went into them, I feel very sentimental about them and am happy to have contributed to them indirectly.
Strengthen your skills
This total commitment with a true joy of teamwork is also visible in our solutions for the new website, discussions about further solutions, and the daily, less anonymous interactions in a growing team.
The Hackaton allowed me to look at what we do in the company from different perspectives. Show my skills that I do not always use daily and check which direction I would like to develop in the future. It has allowed me to gain a deeper insight into the company’s values and assumptions and understand how consistent they are with my own values. It was an occasion to meet people that I generally only see on the screen. And I am sure that I am not the only person already waiting for the next edition.
7 reasons to organize a hackathon in the company
⬢ Socializing tool
Let people meet colleagues from different groups, departments, offices or bubbles.
⬢ Let them shine
Give people opportunities to show their not-so-obvious talents.
⬢ Grassroots initiatives are the best
Instead of asking what to change in the company, let people do the change. All project initiatives are from employees who also want to work more effectively and safely.
⬢ Out of the (board’s) box
For employees on every level, it is an excellent opportunity to give their own solutions while looking at the problem from their unique perspective.
⬢ Insights and understanding
Working with people from different work areas makes it easier to understand their work and needs. That helps to streamline communication between departments.
⬢ Finding common goals
It is easy to find the common company and employees’ goals and values among all work-based activities.
⬢ Problem solved
Ugly company website? Non-efficient onboarding? Too long processes? – here you go! In the worst scenario, you get a broad overview of all problems after the hackathon. In the best – you receive customized products that make work easier, efficient, and (probably) cheaper.
The team is stronger, people are genuinely appreciated (not just by a handshake), problems are solved, and everyone has good memories. Quite good, isn’t it?