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The Question of the Day is the ice-breaker from the monotony of the work day. You never know an employee until you throw out random questions! Team Building at it’s finest!

The Power of the Question | Episode 91

Announcer: Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast where your host, John Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

Josh Sweeney: Hello and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. This is season three, all about employee retention, keeping those people around. I am joined by my co-host, Crystal Sweeney-

Crystal Sweeney: Hello everybody!

Josh Sweeney: Hello! Before we get started, I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcasting room. The topic of this episode is “The Power of The Question.”

Building Relationships – No Matter The Location

So, everyday on our Slack channel, we like to make sure that we’re really driving the camaraderie of the team. We have local people, we have remote people, people across the world, and we want all of them to make sure that they’re building relationships. I’ve talked about this in the past, especially with remote employees where, if you’re not building relationships with a remote employee, it’s really easy for them to switch jobs, right?

They don’t have to leave their house. They don’t have to switch computers. There’s no switching costs. So, it’s crucially important to build that camaraderie, and you get to learn a lot about your people and have a lot of fun, so, in order to do that, we have a Slack channel called “Random”, and on that random channel, Crystal poses a question of the day.

So tell us a little bit about the question of the day.

Question of the Day

Crystal Sweeney: Yeah, so, I think it’s become my most favorite part of the day simply because it’s a challenge to think of a question every single day. I mean, I’ve been doing this for a couple of months now-

Josh Sweeney: I just thought you were looking them up and had a list-

Crystal Sweeney: Sometimes I do. Sometimes I do and sometimes it’s inspired by something that we’ve got going on. I think I asked one yesterday that was, I was brainstorming on some items about this podcast and I so I just like, “Hey! Everybody! What’s your answer?”

I think it’s, it gives us the opportunity to check out for a minute. A lot of the things that we’re doing, sometimes, is just a lot of heads down, looking at computers, doing documents, editing videos and things like that and so it gives people an opportunity to take a minute, take a break from their, the thought process, and to think about themselves for a minute.

Highlight of the Day

Also, to share. I even think, there as one point in time I had a training session I was in and I Slacked from my phone. I said, “Hey guys! I’m not going to be on our scrum meeting this morning. I’m going to be in training all day long.” And I think somebody was like, “Oh no! Who’s going to do the question of the day?! That’s like the highlight of my day.” So, you know, it really brought home that what we were doing was making an impact.

Connect with the Un-Connected

Josh Sweeney: Yeah, and I know when we look at personalities of people, there’s definitely the goal-oriented which is a lot more heads down kind of style and then there’s relationship-driven and it gives a way, it gives a good outlet for all the relationship-drive people to be able to get that communication that they really need in their office environment, especially, again, with remote employees or different departments which may not always connected as well as pull some of those other people that would overwork themselves, maybe, into the conversation and get them to share and get to build some rapport and some trust with them.

Bring Comfort

Crystal Sweeney: Well, it’s making them a little bit more comfortable. The more that they interact with the team, then that’s the more comfortable that they’re going to feel because you’re getting to know each other. I can say when I ask a question, I can almost tell you how each one of our employees are going to answer because their personality show in their answering.

We’ve got several on our team that are not even in the same country that we are but I can almost guarantee you that one of them is going to be super funny in the answer. The other one’s going to be, have a little bit more of a romantic flair in their answers and there are, obviously, the answers that are in between but their personalities absolutely show.

And this is not, we’re not talking to each other face-to-face, we’re not looking at each other on a camera. This is simply reading text and their personalities come out in those texts.

Get to Know Who They Are

I enjoy getting to know who they are besides what they do.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah, definitely, and I mean there’s all kinds of ways this comes out with the different questions that they’re asking so we’re understanding their favorite hobbies, we’re understanding different habits, their joys, their sorrows, what’s going on in their life. All through this random question of the day so it’s an amazing way to get to understand everybody.

Crystal Sweeney: And what it’s actually done, is it has created sort of a comfort zone with the employees so if somebody is struggling in, struggling with work or struggling outside of work … We have had where they’ve reached out and said, “Hey guys, I have this dilemma,” and they’ve been, they’re comfortable enough to reach out to the team and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for that bond and that trust that we’ve built.

So, and then absolutely, we’ve discovered the things that they like to do outside of the office. If they need a break, what is it that they do and I think one of them plays with Legos with some little, some little fight, what was it? What was … it was a fighting little Lego robotics thing?

Josh Sweeney: I don’t remember that conversation.

Crystal Sweeney: You don’t remember that? Anyway-

Josh Sweeney: I remember talking about playing with Legos, I don’t remember which, what it was.

What They Love

Crystal Sweeney: Yeah. So one of them loves doing, photographs food and so there are things that, you get to know somebody and I just, I enjoy that. I want to know the people. I want to know who they are and I want to dig deep and do that deep dive into who are you really? You’re not defined by your work. Who are you really?

I think it’s powerful.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah so with that what was your most memorable question of the day or your favorite question of the day that you had?

Most Memorable

Crystal Sweeney: There’s been so many that we have laughed about but I have to say that they … one that I actually shared it with you because I think you were out that day but, it was what was the weirdest thing that you’ve ever eaten? For us, it’s thinking back and it’s like, well, what is the weirdest? I mean, we east sushi and we eat eel. Surely, it can’t be that crazy.

Well, when you have people in the Philippines as part of your team-

Josh Sweeney: They’re more creative.

Crystal Sweeney: Yeah, well it was the question. Then they asked me a question, “well, define weird?” Like what is weird? Do you remember what the weirdest thing was?

Tarantula?

Josh Sweeney: I just remember saying, “Well, when we were in Thailand and Cambodia we were going to eat tarantula but we passed because they actually said the oil and stuff had certain bacteria that we weren’t used to and it would just ruin our day. It would ruin your stomach for the day so it was something we wanted to do just for the heck of it but we didn’t.

But I don’t remember what their answer was.

Crystal Sweeney: It was, this is probably really gross, but it was pig intestines or something.

Josh Sweeney: Oh, yeah, yeah.

It was Much Worse

Crystal Sweeney: Barbecued intestines on a stick. And-

Josh Sweeney: Is that chitlins here? Is that right?

Crystal Sweeney: It is, but then, to top it all off with it … There was another one. I’ll have to share but to top it all off, they had to send pictures.

Josh Sweeney: Right, right. Yeah.

Crystal Sweeney: And it was like “oh…that really? Okay, you win.”

Josh Sweeney: It was kind of going back to that day, those days where you didn’t waste anything. You kind of got that vibe like nothing was wasted.

Crystal Sweeney: You must have been starving. Or they would eat, it was like hatchling, like duck hatchling-

Josh Sweeney: Yeah with the-

Crystal Sweeney: … in the egg still.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah. The bird was still in there. Yeah.

Crystal Sweeney: Yeah. I don’t, anyway-

Josh Sweeney: I wonder what that was called.

The Result

Crystal Sweeney: A delicacy and they had, we all had some good laughs in there with our responses and everything and then that turned into oh, I can’t wait for you guys to come to the Philippines because we’re going to make you try all this stuff and then, then we started … That kind of went into a whole conversation about us traveling, or getting the team together and I think that weekend, two of our team members actually got together for coffee after that.

Josh Sweeney: Yeah.

Crystal Sweeney: It was, that’s what the whole point was is to bring everybody closer and to have some good laughs.

So, what was your, do you have a favorite question of the day?

Most Memorable Gift

Josh Sweeney: I miss Marivol. Yeah, it’s a little tougher for me just because I’m out and about all the time so I’m not, necessarily, sitting in front of Slack. Let’s see, today, I think it was today was … That was pretty memorable because I had a quick answer. Some of them I have to think a lot about and I’m engaged in a conversation or working but it was what was the best gift you ever received? The most memorable gift.

Many, many years ago my wife bought me, my lovely wife, bought me a motorcycle. I had wanted a motorcycle for a while. Had them as kids and this was before we had our kids and she bought me a street bike and so that was super exciting because I had that for a while and we got to go ride.

Crystal Sweeney: It was pretty cool.

Josh Sweeney: So, definitely, a memorable item and one of the, you know, it’s kind of a bigger item in that case but yeah, I don’t recall some of the other ones and what they were but the one today was pretty good, for sure.

Crystal Sweeney: Yeah. Absolutely.

Build Camaraderie

Josh Sweeney: Awesome. Well, what we would like you to think about is how are you building the camaraderie of the team? Do you have Slack? Can you throw in a random question of the day to departments? Can you have multiple departments on one random channel and get them chatting together? Look at ways that you can enhance the team, give them a little bit of a break to, and a way that they can build up that camaraderie by sharing a little bit about themselves on a daily basis.

Thank you.

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