One of my favorite parts about working for Hello is my co-workers. But unlike many places I’ve worked, these co-workers almost never come together to a common space for their workday. Instead we are scattered across 5 states, in home offices, The Hello Clinic, and districts of all shapes and sizes. Most of us are SLPs, but some are OTs or school psychologists. The place where we all come together most regularly is virtual – our online discussion-board and newsroom, powered by Jostle.
So what do 65 specialists building bridges for thousands of children talk about in their virtual chat-rooms? Our conversations in the last month have included all kinds of things . . .
- recommendations on how to spend money on materials
- continuing ed opportunities
- direction on working with an assistant with no experience
- teaching whole group social skills lessons to high schoolers
- serving preschoolers via telepractice
- brainstorming and problem solving on tough cases
- advice sharing on travel arrangements
- how to find the best health insurance coverage
- favorite places for weeknight dinners out!
As I scroll back through the conversation threads from the past months, I see a visual representation of the fabric of our company and how it is strengthened with each question, comment, and request. This is not so different from what happens in the staff room, at the mailboxes or around the proverbial water cooler in a clinic or school, but it may be more tempting to dismiss as wasted time or inefficiency because it happens online.
I challenge you this month to look for these kinds of connection-builders in your workplace, whether virtual or brick-and-mortar. Make the effort to have lunch with someone new, post a question to the email group, or recommend a good book. If you’re feeling really motivated (or isolated), reach out and join a virtual group on a social network like Facebook, or start your own for your co-workers or colleagues using something like google groups. Whether you are connecting to your next-door neighbors, the co-worker down the hall, or your global colleague, your efforts will pay off in job satisfaction and belonging. They certainly have for me.