This idea is targeted at employees who travel for work, are interested in learning more about life in another site, local culture, and/or want to develop deeper relationships with colleagues around the world. For some context into the population we are targeting within Logitech, here are some numbers:
Given these numbers, there are many opportunities to leverage this concept. The original idea was to stay with a colleague in lieu of a hotel while on a business trip. After conducting a company wide survey and gathering feedback, the idea has evolved to focus on experiences. While employees may still choose to stay with colleagues, we focused on testing a broader range of experiences in order to appeal to a larger population. Experiences could be anything from taking a colleague around the city to hosting them for dinner at your home.
PERSONAS/USER EXPERIENCE JOURNEYS
Learn more about the stories behind each persona, and what Ricky and Emily's journey looks like.
PROTOTYPES AND REFINEMENTS
We surveyed 400+ people in the company to get their initial reactions to the "internal airbnb" idea. The link above is a report of the results.
This map shows the geographical distribution of the survey respondents. From a research perspective, we are interested in leveraging our global workforce to further test how gratitude practices might differ in effectiveness across the world.
Of the 400+ responses, 20 people had travel plans within the next 30 days and were interested in participating in a pilot. We followed up with those 20 people to find out what they wanted to do on their trip. We tested a concierge-like service in order to create an intimate connection with each employee.
Through the follow up survey, we identified one employee who would be traveling from Asia to America. Read more about the experience in the link above!
We also tested a local experience where I took an employee, Alan, visiting from China to try different bakeries and restaurants in the bustling Mission district. I offered to show Alan around, and he said he didn't want to take up too much of my weekend. In fact though, I was very excited to get to know him better. In order to avoid the feelings of being a burden, it is important to acknowledge that people are participating because they truly want to.
The link above shows photos of each place we went to, and compiled feedback from Alan.
“By now, I think I’ve tried the whole menu at my hotel...I ended up just working all day and night because I didn’t know what to do or where to go.”
We interviewed a member of our travel department to get his insight about his own travel experiences, scaling this concept and how it aligns with Logitech's vision for travel.
- Previously, we asked ourselves, 'Could we inspire more authentic experiences of gratitude by blurring the line between personal and professional?' After conducting our company survey, we found that for some people, it is important to have that separation. For others, it's easier to blend the two. We have learned how important it is to honor the context that each individual brings with them.
- While our company policy is to book travel 21 days in advance, there are still trips that get booked last minute. While we will integrate our concept into the existing travel booking channels, we will also need to get the word out about the opportunities available via company newsletters, orientations, etc.
- One of the challenges we come across is how to make these seemingly "one-off" experiences habitual. The beauty in the infinite possibilities of experiences is that it shows the many different ways that gratitude can be cultivated. When you share a meaningful experience with someone, it creates a connection between you that will always be there--whether you are working together or just pass them in the hallway.
- Similar to Icelandair's buddy program, we plan to launch a pilot for one quarter, and test as many different forms of experiences as possible. At the end of the pilot, we will reflect and determine how we might improve the experience. One challenge will be maintaining interest throughout the quarter. One way to put it at the forefront of the mind is to have newsletters or ways to share the stories that come from these experiences!
- We will brand the program internally in order to raise awareness and drive engagement.
- We will need some form of benchmark on employee levels of gratitude, compassion, etc. to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.
- Eventually, the concierge model may not be sustainable. We would like to build up a culture of trust where guests can interact directly with a potential host through the website, or hosts might seize opportunities to invite guests independent of the platform. For us, the quality of the experience and connection is what we want to preserve long term.
- Initiatives such as Icelandair's Stopover Buddies and KLM's Layover with a Local, show the potential for companies to infuse a bit of the "collaborative economy" as a way to engage their workforce.
- Airbnb Experiences is a platform where community members share experiences that they are passionate about.
A SIDE NOTE
Although one-third (1500) of Logitech employees travel in a given year, we want to ensure that the other two-thirds of our company has access to an experience opportunity. Employees who do not travel can opt into our internal job shadowing program idea (The Chameleon Project). Depending on who they get matched with, they may very well end up having a chance to travel, and consequently participate in the Sawubona Experience.