Computer giant IBM opened a massive online chatroom for three days to allow
staff from around the world to share ideas and best practice.
More than 52,000 IBM staff participated in what was called
"WorldJam" in May. They could enter 10 different forums through the
intranet-based chatroom, two of which concerned work-life balance issues.
A senior manager facilitated the session, suggesting ideas and encouraging
individuals to join in. There were also breakout rooms where mini-brainstorming
sessions took place. Employees submitted ideas on how to tackle the issues or
problems and "jammers" voted on them.
The most popular forum asked staff for ideas on how to retain employees. It
received 1,265 out of the 6,048 replies, the most popular of which was to start
a support network for new staff.
Louise Wadman, internal communications manager for IBM, EMEA, said, "It
was a fast, engaging and far-reaching way of surfacing best practices. WorldJam
was a way of putting our 325,000 imaginations to work. We shared views on the
customer and operational issues we face today."
Of the 1,500 jammers surveyed, 85 per cent said they would engage in a
similar event, 62 per cent said they had learned new things and 56 per cent
said it had given them specifics that they can use in their work.