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Inside Comm’ #7
Helping People Build Human Relations Despite the Distance

Helene Renaud


Helene Renaud

Welcome to Inside Comm’, the podcast in which I explore the internal communication landscape!
I’m Hélène Renaud, the host of this podcast. You’ll get to know me throughout these episodes where I alternate between shorter episodes with some quick tips & tricks and slightly longer episodes where I discuss with internal communicators some best practices and some of their inspiring projects.

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Helping people build human relations despite the distance

To avoid repeating what everyone already knows, I’ll dive straight into what interests us, without dwelling on the fact that work today lacks that human connection.

It’s a fact, and everyone knows it. Work can’t continue properly without relationships being forged.

In the weeks and months ahead, it’s, therefore, necessary to put the teams and more specifically people back at the heart of discussions. We should make sure that relationships can be rekindled even though it’s not quite as organic as before, unfortunately.

So let’s get creative and experiment with new ways of getting to know each other in the company.

Speed dating

We could firstly bring speed dating into a company context. One person can meet another person randomly through either video or phone calls.

I have become interested in the French start-up Tribalee which prior to lockdown organised automated teambuilding in the company and managed to bounce back by digitising the teambuilding process.

So, using this SaaS (Software as a service) platform, you can now have a mystery lunch with a colleague you don’t know or enjoy breakfast with your managers. This looks like a great way to break our daily routine where we always talk to the same people, don’t you think?


Another idea is introducing mentoring within the company itself. We can learn a lot from each other. Discussing ideas, situations and projects is always a rewarding experience.

This way of connecting people is really beneficial for the company.

You could also set up intergenerational or reverse mentoring, i.e. when a business leader gets in touch with an employee from generation Y or Z to gain some of their specific skills.

Buddy programme

A final idea to end this episode is to create a buddy programme, similar to what we had at school.

At Buffer, an American start-up that develops management and community management tools, the teams are based all over the world. So in 2014, long before COVID, they had already set up a buddy system.

Initially, it was designed for remote onboarding, but soon became more widely used throughout the company.

Every person at Buffer has 3 buddies.

There’s the leader buddy. This is “a very experienced team member used to having tough conversations to introduce recruits to Buffer’s values.”

The role buddy is “someone who knows the role the employee will be playing in the team. They are there both to answer their questions and to teach them their role.”

And finally, the culture buddy is “an experienced member who has proven their ability to assess the match between employees (current and new) and the company’s culture. Their role is to help the person absorb the specific features of Buffer’s culture.”

This system appears to be bearing fruit because even on the buddies’ side, in-house surveys reveal that the system is increasing staff motivation and retention!

So, why not try it!

Thank you for listening to this episode. See you soon for the next one! 😀


By Hélène Renaud