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Sawubona - Experience local life with a colleague

On your next business trip, experience your destination in a meaningful way by spending a day or night with a local colleague.

Photo of Victoria Tam

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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


Detailed personas and expanded user experience journey

Learn more about the stories behind each persona, and what Ricky and Emily's journey looks like.

PROTOTYPES AND REFINEMENTS

Prototype #1 - Company Reactions

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.


Prototype #2 - Reaching Out

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. 

Prototype #3 - The Match

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! 


Prototype #4: A Food Trail and Feedback

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. 


Stakeholder Interview - Travel Department

“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. 

LESSONS LEARNED

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


NEXT STEPS

  1. 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!
  2. We will brand the program internally in order to raise awareness and drive engagement.
  3. We will need some form of benchmark on employee levels of gratitude, compassion, etc. to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.
  4. 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.


INSPIRATION

  1. 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.   
  2. 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.

Idea Title

Sawubona

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

1. Gratitude can come from the opportunity to give. This idea allows employees to be hosts to fellow colleagues and welcome them into their homes, cook a meal, and show them around their cities. As Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough...It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” 2. Employees feel gratitude when their companies show commitment to their personal growth and development. Through this idea, employees would feel support for the cultural and emotional dimension of their growth.

Who are you innovating for?

Employees who travel for work will have a chance to enrich their cultural knowledge and share those learnings with their team. By virtue of the time the employee and host will spend together, opportunities will arise for knowledge sharing of their roles and experiences. Managers/Leadership - The teams they lead will work more cohesively and gratefully, as their members will develop meaningful relationships over time with colleagues who they may or may not see every day.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

This idea is for companies with multiple locations around the world. While initial pilots may be carried out domestically, we have the full intention of scaling this idea globally. However, at its core, the idea is to spend time with a colleague outside of working hours. Therefore, this idea can be scaled to accommodate a small team in one location, as long as people live in different places!

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

We would start by implementing the idea at a local scale, then ramping up to domestic and international exchanges. We would start with a static webpage to generate interest and participation. Ultimately, our Operations team would curate a directory of hosts, and integrate it into our internal system for booking. Our learning and development team would provide resources for participants in the form of reflection journals, gratitude workshops, and support throughout the experience. We would also work with our HR to ensure that the initiative aligns with their roadmap for company programs, so as not to overwhelm the employee.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

1. The idea’s success hinges on employee participation. We will explore ways to show appreciation for our hosts’ participation. 2. Some may think the purpose is to save company money. Being transparent about where the costs are going would help alleviate these feelings. Reflection surveys will tie the experience back to the theme of gratitude. 3. People who don’t travel may feel left out. Creating a role-swapping program offers an alternative way to participate in an experience.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

We will run a pilot where local employees spend a night (24 hrs.) with a coworker. For example, an employee living in San Francisco who has to commute every day could host a colleague who bikes to work. To break the ice, we would start with volunteers who know each other already. We would expand our pilot tests to employees traveling to our offices on the West Coast. We will also interview employees around the world to gather feedback on how our program would adapt to cultural nuances.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

1. Assess the current state of gratitude at Logitech. The GGSC would help to ensure we are measuring the right benchmarks. 2. Educate employees about gratitude by working with the GGSC to tailor gratitude workshops for Logitech. 3. Pilot the idea with target groups within the company. The award would help us test what support systems are necessary (what makes sense to reimburse, protocols to assure a meaningful experience, training programs, etc.) for the host and the employee.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

While developing our immersion program idea, I was inspired to think about how we could push the concept of “walking a mile in your shoes” one step further. Throughout college, I stayed with host families while doing work in South Africa, Italy, Singapore, and El Salvador. What I remember most from those trips are the relationships developed. I believe companies have the power to leverage their networks to cultivate these experiences for their employees.

Tell us about yourself

Victoria Tam - Systems Engineer (with a deep personal passion for positive psychology) Jessica Amortegui - Sr. Director, Learning & Development Eunice Chan - Sr. Compensation Manager Olivia Shen Green - Sr. Manager, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Ellie Harris - Sr. Consultant, Global Learning & Development

Where are you / your team located?

San Francisco Bay Area

Company / Organization Name

Logitech Inc.

Website

https://www.logitech.com/en-us

Tell us about your experience

Jessica teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world and was awarded the Positive Business Award for her groundbreaking work to cultivate more meaningful and connected workplaces. Ellie relies heavily on positive psychology principles to deliver workshops around the world. Olivia is a business operations manager who leads fast-paced, inclusive change for billion $ orgs in People and Culture, Engineering, Supply Chain and M&A.

Please describe, in detail, how you will test and get feedback on your concept.

We conducted a company wide survey to get feedback about the idea of staying with a colleague while on a business trip. After gathering 400+ responses, we filtered for people interested in participating in a trial, and those who would also be traveling in the next 30 days. We identified several pairs of participants to test out an experience. The process of reaching out to participants mimicked a concierge-like service, and gave us an opportunity to test the best way to interact and match participants.

Please describe specifically how you plan to scale your idea. What are the key next steps you will take, and how will those steps inform the evolution and growth of your concept?

We would start by picking one Logitech site--most likely the Silicon Valley location to keep it local. Any visitors who came to visit that site would have a chance to choose an experience and be matched with a local host. The concept could also be introduced at the beginning of our summer internship program to get interns excited about hosting, as they explore the Bay Area themselves. By keeping it local, we will have a chance to test different experience options and to follow up with hosts/shadowers for feedback. We will glean some best practices to be deployed in other locations around the world. As we open up more host sites, our idea will continue to evolve in order to be meaningful and authentic to the respective sites.

As we have seen in the Challenge, there is a tension between authentic expressions of gratitude and mandatory gratitude. How does your idea inspire truly authentic expressions of gratitude versus mandated ones?

Expressions of gratitude are authentic when they are about who you are. Spending a day with a colleague outside of work will create opportunities for connection, and for truly understanding who they are. For the host, the process of thinking about what to do with a guest is an exercise in gratitude. It gives the host an opportunity to recall positive experiences that they can then share with a colleague.

Gratitude often thrives when opportunities for connection are created. How will your concept create new opportunities for human connection?

Our concept creates opportunities for colleagues to engage with one another on a human level, outside of work. At its core, it’s about the host sharing a passion or their hometown with another colleague, whose curiosity brings meaning and purpose to the host. The concept encourages colleagues to bond and connect through shared experiences and memories that will stay with them long after they have returned home.

Who (specifically) will benefit from your concept, and how they will interact with it? What design considerations have you included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions? 

Employees who travel for work and employees at host sites would benefit from this concept. They will fill out their interests in a simple Google form and we would handle the matching process. We asked employees about reasons they may not want to host a colleague. 14% said it was not knowing what to do with their guest. To alleviate this pressure, we will create pre-set “tours by Logi” and Hosts would be provided with a “plug-and-play” itinerary.

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

1. Marketing and branding the program internally to drive participation. 2. A centralized pool of money to fund activities such as food trails, museums,ball games, etc. If someone wanted to stay with a host, it could cover cleaning or grocery costs. 3. Postage fees for sending Thank You notes back to colleagues around the world

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