Worked for Her: ‘Seat Shuffle’ helped our employees connect as a team

Imagine you had a network of women leaders all across the country that you could tap anytime you wanted to find out what’s working for them. With our exclusive feature, Worked for Her, you do. In our most recent installment, Kristen Kenny, Director of People Operations in Cambridge, MA, shares how she improved teamwork with a few rounds of “musical chairs.”

We knew it would help employee engagement and retention if our people were constantly building relationships with different co-workers.

But that’s not always easy when employees are busy.

So we instituted the “Seat Shuffle.” Every few months, we had employees switch seats, so they’d sit next to people they hadn’t gotten a chance to know.

In addition, we made sure employees from different departments like Sales and Marketing all sat together – rather than walling employees off by department.

A group shuffle

It started as a completely random seat shuffle, during which everyone in the office would move at once. But as we’ve grown, things have changed a little to avoid chaos.

Now we group people into areas based on customer personas.

Example: Sales and Marketing employees who work with customers in one particular industry – say education – all sit together.

That area will then conduct its own shuffle – rather than moving everyone in the office at once.

The strategy has:

  • helped employees make new friends
  • led to faster communication between departments, and
  • improved customer service, since departments can collaborate easier.

(Kristen Kenny, Director of People Operations, Cambridge, MA)