When the COVID-19 crisis struck, teams working for Rhode Island community bank BankNewport – like so many people around the world – suddenly found themselves working from home.
To help find ways to maintain a strong working culture during this time, colleagues within the Employee and Community Engagement division came together for a one-day virtual sprint.
Allison Ingalsbe, a design thinking facilitator who had previously worked with this division and its EVP Wendy Kagan to help boost collaborative working, led the sprint using Sprintbase.
Wendy and Allison spoke several times about the goals for the day, to help make sure the sprint would support a strong team culture, both in the short and long term.
The sprint brought together 14 people, each working for either HR, marketing/communications, or community engagement functions. Some colleagues had been with the organization for some time, while others were recent hires who had spent little or no time in the office before lockdown.
Prior to the day itself, Allison set everybody up in Sprintbase and arranged a kick-off call with the BankNewport team. She used this time to make sure everybody had access to the platform, and to ask them to do empathy interviews with one another – both to inform the sprint, and to give them experience putting their findings into Sprintbase.
On the day, colleagues worked in three teams. They started off by looking at their findings from their empathy interviews, and creating and voting on insights. Allison then used these to produce How might we…? questions for each team to work from.
When the team came back, they voted through the following HMWs, and each took one to focus on:
Teams then came up with a range of ideas, including creating a standard lunch hour so everybody takes a break from their screens, sharing meals together over Zoom, employee coaching sessions, and finding ways for colleagues to share the activities they enjoy outside work with one another.
Four people who work in other parts of the bank visited breakout rooms as ‘testers’ to give feedback on ideas.
Teams then voted through nine of the ideas they’ve generated – three per team – to continue to develop beyond the workshop.
Colleagues have continued to work together on their ideas, and have had more check-ins with Allison regarding their progress.
Wendy shared really positive feedback about the experience and the outcomes it created – both in terms of the ideas teams generated, and also the opportunity it gave them to come together and have fun whilst working as a group.
Enable your people to solve important problems and embed new ways of working along the way.Find out more