“Unisex studies show it helps men and women employees breed familiarity, so long as they don’t come in to just breed.”
Richard, on the unisex toilets, in Ally McBeal
Sometimes the best solutions are low-level, non-digital tools. For example, if you want to collect ideas on how to improve the department, a possibly useful tool, which is used by an institute in London I once visited, is a whiteboard for ideas with a simple matrix:
- The x-axis displays how easy the idea is to realize, e.g., how much money or effort is needed to realize it.
- The y-axis shows the impact of realizing this idea.
Ideas are put on the whiteboard either by writing them on it or by using small cards or post-its. You can even put some stickers next to the whiteboard. Every employee can give a fixed amount of stickers to the idea s/he thinks should be implemented. Alternatively, you can ask the employees to write their names on the idea cards they want to help to implement. Put the whiteboard in the break room and let employees work with it for a while. They can move the idea around, discuss them regarding difficulty and impact, and decide which ideas they want to realize.
This way — provided you have a climate that is conductible to creativity — you get a s