In June this year, Sii Poland launched a new internal initiative allowing for greater knowledge sharing and integration of employees, regardless of their organizational units and geographical locations. Sii Communities stand for dedicated teams for groups of employees who work on the same technology or share a passion, e.g. for a specific sports discipline. During the last quarter, the number of communities, involved members and discussions increased several times. A few months after the start of the initiative, the company has 62 actively functioning groups.
The main goal of each Sii Community is to share knowledge and integrate with people, regardless of their organizational units and geographical locations, as well as mutual support and motivation in everyday work. In practice, community members get together in a dedicated team on MS Teams. To start Sii Poland introduced two types of communities to bring together people who have something in common: tech and sports/hobbies – each type can be run on a global (entire organization) or a local (single location) level. The activity in the groups relies on user-generated content. Members hold discussions, share knowledge and receive support from experts. Moreover, within the first few months after launching the project, several trainings, meetups and workshops were organized by the workers themselves. Currently, technological communities are very active in Sii Poland, including, to name a few, Java or Agile, as well as teams focused around a common passion, e.g. Sii Running Team, Climbing Team or Sailing Team.
A qualitative change is the introduction of a Community leader role, who is responsible for the attractiveness of the content and who constantly responds to ideas and suggestions from team members.
Angelika Sosnowska, Resource Manager at Digital Competence Center: As the leader of Sii Java Community, I look after its functioning, the organization of webinars, but also constant promotion, so that new Java experts and people who are interested in Java join us. Currently, over 80% of Sii Power People specialized in the technology belong to our community. The discussed issues are a precise answer to their needs, as is the dedicated Troubleshooting channel – a place where you can ask for help in specific problems and which is monitored on an ongoing basis by our Architects who are part of the Advisory Team. I see great potential for both individual and project support for our Java guys in Community development.
Łukasz Sikora, Software Engineer and the initiator of Sii Kraków climbing group: My passion is mountain hiking and climbing, and I thought it would be great to meet people with similar interests in the company, with whom you can arrange quick mountain trips over weekends. The group was founded in July – it’s fun to see people regularly inviting others to get-togethers, sharing photos and experiences. As the creation of our local team was also promoted in other Sii channels, the group was quickly noticed by enthusiasts from other departments, which allowed for a wider integration and exchange of knowledge about benefits for climbers.
One of the fastest-growing community in Sii today is a very unique community of women: Sii Power Women. The team, thanks to the involvement of the participants, quickly began to fulfil its role of a support platform for the female part of the team.
Joanna Kucharska, CHRO at Sii Poland: I work with women who are starting their careers, as well as with those who have an established position in high managerial positions. And for years I have seen how much we girls need each other. Mutual support and motivation bring out our potential. A strong women community will help both individuals and the company to develop, and our employees’ development is in the Sii’s mission. Sii Power Women Community acts on behalf of almost 1000 women in the organization. Its aim is integration, development through sharing knowledge during webinars, as well as inspiring discussions. As women go, there is no shortage of a channels for “secret”, informal talks on unusual challenges and special support.
Sii Communities provide many benefits to employees:
- knowledge sharing and exchanging best practices,
- integration between people from various organizational structures and locations,
- a way to strengthen team spirit and collaboration, which is key especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic,
- the possibility to meet people who share the same passion and inspire others,
- the possibility to organize or take part in trainings, meetups and workshops.
It is also a solid career opportunity for the most active members.
The advantages of well-managed communities in Microsoft Teams can be multiplied – most of them are now of great importance also due to Covid-19, which effectively blocks direct team integration. Therefore, it is worth taking advantage of the benefits offered by this form of knowledge sharing and integration.