Collaboration through Huts

Ever been lost while were trying to look for a report from one of your past meetings? What if there is a streamlined manner in which you could store all project related communication and documents in a single space? Wouldn’t this make your life much easier? Welcome to Cabaana Huts.

By Victor Ruiz

Bora Bora (French Polynesia) at night. Not a bad place to be at this time of the year, isn’t it?
Bora Bora (French Polynesia) at night. Not a bad place to be at this time of the year, isn’t it?

Let me begin by sharing an anecdote. After a year of internship at a major Spanish shipping company, a friend of mine was officially given an offer to become an employee. For the first few months, his work was not very different from what he did as an intern. It involved mechanical inventory tasks, some report creation tasks, and most importantly it entailed the all critical function of serving coffee to his superiors.

However, his patience and dedication for a few months ensured that his first real opportunity to ‘shine’ at work finally arrived. Delighted with his work till then, his boss entrusted him with the preparation of a document related to a Japanese group which was interested in investing in the company. Although the boss had assigned a few other people to help him out, my friend was the leader. It was not necessarily a task of the highest importance, but my friend rightfully realized that this was an opportunity that came his way as a sign of his boss’s confidence in him.

It took several weeks for him and his team to put together this document, but they actually got it done two full days ahead of the planned meeting with the Japanese investors. He received congratulations from his boss and from a few other important leaders in the company. His boss hadn’t planned on having my friend attend the actual meeting, but after reading the document, the boss decided that he was the best person to explain some of the document’s key points.

The big day had finally come and my friend had everything under control. In a kind of pre-business ritual, he put on his lucky suit. Well, his only suit to be honest, carried his lucky fountain pen, splashed on generous amount of his lucky perfume, and of course was getting ready to print the document to distribute to his audience, which was on… Wait…A…Moment…

Where was the document?

He was 100% sure that he had saved it on a specific folder that he created for this purpose, but as a result of a tragic and apparently impossible-to-explain computer failure, the document was not where he was expecting it to be. My friend panicked and called his colleagues & team mates asking for the document. They couldn’t find it either. They all believed that it was his responsibility to ensure the safety of the document.

In the eyes of everyone in the whole company, it was clear. This was his FAULT.

Don’t worry!! My friend could eventually locate the document and it all ended well. More importantly, he still has his job at the same company. But it was a very embarrassing moment for him. The only consequence of that slight mishap was that there was a considerable delay in the meeting, which inevitably resulted in he being taken to his boss’s room for a good sound-off.

What I really learnt from his story was that the lack of streamlining & organization of information and loose collaboration among the employees were the two main factors that caused the embarrassment, and that it is crucial for companies to have appropriate tools to guarantee the same.

That brings me to the next point. What about you and how is this in your company?

Have you ever been frustrated when you had to find a document buried under several layers and several folders when you need it urgently?

This is where Cabaana could make a huge difference in the life of everyday teams, trying to focus on overall efficiency.

Cabaana provides a single space for all your project related communication and collaboration. This space is called ‘Huts’.

Huts are nothing but the hub of all team collaborations. You can organize your team’s collaboration activities either through private or public huts, use “threads” to filter specific topics of discussion that are being worked on, and/or share files and other data within Huts. You can also search for information in those threads inside the huts (they can be deleted when obsolete). In addition, Huts can be used for activities in which not all the team is involved.

In short, Use Huts to get work done.

Huts is a tool designed for knowledge sharing and project management. A Hut is a well-organized and streamlined document storage space for documents that may have to be accessed several times or that are vital for both the team and the company.

Huts are similar to Forums that contain threads for their respective topics. Threads are the starting points for communication on specific topis and knowledge sharing. Hut members can comment, ask questions and answer others’ questions. In addition, members have the capability to upload files that they consider appropriate.

Cabaana provides both Public and Private huts, the latter being only accessible by those users who have been invited by the hut owner (that is, the creator of that hut). Public huts, on the other hand are visible to all users, who can join or leave whenever they want.

Huts don’t need to be for work purposes alone. Users can create huts to share jokes, hobbies, sports, memes, anecdotes, etc.

As a secondary level of categorization of threads, users can use tags. This enables the search mechanism to work even better.

As you can see from the above, through this feature called Huts, Cabaana provides a productive collaboration space with streamlined information, making “lost information” a poor excuse.

This series on Cabaana Features is almost at its end, but I am not done unveiling all the features as yet.

So, Stay Tuned!

Employee Interaction? Challenge Accepted.

Interaction among colleagues is the essence of workplace Happiness and Productivity.
Cabaana triggers interaction in fun and engaging ways.

By Victor Ruiz

Everyday interactions we have with others are contagious, in terms of happiness – Nicholas A. Christakis, American sociologist and physician
Everyday interactions we have with others are contagious, in terms of happiness – Nicholas A. Christakis, American sociologist and physician

Have you tried spending one day without talking to anyone? In one of my former jobs, you didn’t even have to try. It just happened on a regular basis. It’s not that the workers were extremely shy or hermit-like, but such were the characteristics of the tasks and they required certain isolation to concentrate on the work.

Strange things happen when you have little contact with the people around you. While working for that company, I didn’t feel that we were going anywhere. I mean, each employee performed his/her tasks individually, but there was nothing remotely similar to a team or any sense of belonging. We rarely had meetings or events in which we could put our knowledge together and try to solve problems.

It goes without saying that it wasn’t the best possible working environment. I had the feeling that the specific conditions of the work there had gradually flooded everything, consuming the spirit of the people working there, turning them into lonely souls who were trapped, like some kind of prisoners of their forced solitude.

In Cabaana, we believe that interaction between the members of the team is the foundation on which teams can bond and culture can grow. Through Cabaana’s well designed and easy-to-use communication features, interaction among colleagues is streamlined well for maximum efficiency.

Behind all these is Cabaana’s Engagement Engine – a powerful hub for triggering and monitoring engagement. One of the features of the Engagement Engine is to trigger interaction between peers on a regular basis using a set of configurable rules.

Happiness Challenges

Within Engagement Engine is “Happiness Challenges”, a feature designed to promote interaction between employees.

In all fairness, these Challenges are just the icebreakers of sorts when it comes to generating interaction.

Challenges help the employees get to know each other, find similarities and interests in common, which increases the level of confidence among them. Little by little, this confidence creates a positive background in which situations, anecdotes and jokes contribute to build a collective imagination, that strengthens happiness and the team spirit of the workforce, thus helping the growth and progress of the company to reach its goals.

This is how an invitation to a Challenge looks like on the platform
This is how an invitation to a Challenge looks like on the platform

Now some details.

You may ask, “How do you choose the challenged employee?”.
We select them from using these configurable criteria: ‘any member’, ‘any team leader’, ‘only non-team leaders’, ‘only hut (*1*) owners’, ‘member of a public hut’, and ‘member of a private hut’.

I can see you go, “Well that’s ok. But how do you select the targets?”.

We select them again using a set of criteria that in future releases will be made further configurable.
Criteria include, ‘no target’, ‘any other employee’, ‘any direct contact’, ‘any peers’, ‘one of its managers’, ‘someone followed’, ‘someone following them’, ‘someone on the same city’, ‘someone on one of your huts’, and ‘someone with the same interest/skill as you’. We will continue to develop this algorithm we have right now, so as to give more weightage to certain criteria such as employees/team members with whom there has been minimal interaction, etc.

Challenges can be configured and Rules can be set as below:

Weekday: What day of the week a specific challenge should be sent
Frequency: On what frequency a specific challenge should be sent to challenged
Max_number: Related to how many times the same challenge should be sent every day to the whole company/team
Priority: The priority of the challenge
Reward: Either for the challenged or for the target (Kudos)
Max_time: The maximum period of time a specific challenge stays relevant, so it is not sent after the expired time. For example, lunch challenges are configured to be relevant only before 13:00
Rewarded by: Who awards Kudos for a specific challenge? Usually the company/team (that is, Caba), but can be set to be awarded by the challenged or by the target as well

In addition, Cabaana can give more visibility to the challenges through these reports.

● Report challenges accepted (Newsfeed or Private)
● Report challenges completed (Newsfeed or Private)

Cabaana comes with the following out-of-the-box Challenges (Be ready, the list is huge!):

having a meal, sharing a coffee, sharing trivia involving movies, books, music, sport and work, having a walk, offering water, offering help, sharing jokes, portraits and handshakes, asking about superpowers, solving issues, wishing ‘niceday’, afterwork, sharing candies, Dilbert comic, selfies, decoration, articles, and compliments.

Now that you’re familiar with this feature, are you ready take up the Cabaana challenge?
Be brave and stay tuned for more…!

(*1*) ‘Huts’ are the centre of all collaboration. You can organize your team’s collaboration activities either through private or public huts, use threads to filter specific topics that are being worked on, or share files and other data within Huts. In short, Huts are used to get work done.