What’s basecamp and why do you need one?

April 11, 2017    Andrew Peers     ,

Every people-centric business should have a basecamp. For decades we thought of the ‘office’ as our only place of work, the place where you had to go in order for work to be done. Thanks to mobile technology our shackles to a fixed place, for many knowledge-based businesses at least, have been removed. We can and we do work anywhere.

But with more and more employees working from numerous and an increasing number of ‘gig’ or freelance workers in the marketplace, it’s all too easy for our connection with the employers’ brand ethos and values to weaken.

Basecamp refers to a place where employees can get a shot of company culture, an injection of collaboration and a dose of belonging. It’s the place where they go to refuel before a new mission, to regroup after a project is finished, to share learnings and develop skills and importantly, to be reminded about their core purpose.

Basecamps can manifest themselves digitally through shared online resources, but more often than not it’s about creating environments or zones within larger environments that give a strong sense of belonging and purpose.

This is more than just a heavily branded environment, it is spaces that allow even the most remote or mobile of workers to still feel they belong, that gives easy access to every day technology and which engender communication, knowledge sharing and communication.

The phrase hotelling is often used to describe the short-term use of a well-equipped space for visitors to ‘check in’, use the facilities and leave. At its heart is the idea that even the most remote or mobile workers need to feel welcome and integrated in the company, so these spaces typically encourage communication, collaboration and bring the brand to life. Hotelling describes many of the components of basecamp.

Businesses have to work harder than ever to attract and retain the brightest and best and part of that challenge is in clearly and frequently emoting the brand and engaging employees. A recent Gallup poll said that a staggering 70% of employees felt disengaged and uninspired in their roles, but given that 75% of firms don’t have an employee engagement plan or strategy (despite 90% of businesses understanding it impacts profitability and success) this is perhaps not surprising. That’s the majority of a workforce potentially underperforming or on the cusp of leaving.

Consider what a basecamp could do for your business and how you can find new ways to communicate with, motivate and inspire your people. This might be about reinvigorating internal communications, introducing hotelling spaces, finding new ways to convey your shared vision and values, launching new wellbeing or flexible working policies, creating more informal spaces for staff to come together or holding a company event. Ask yourself whether staff are engaged, happy and productive – for there’s a highly competitive war for talent raging and your best assets might just defect to the other side.


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