Communicating the value of Tandem internally

When teams understand the “why” behind trying out Tandem it helps mitigate any friction with communication pattern changes or learning a new tool.

A few "why’s" that resonate with teams that use Tandem:

  • Allows for more fluid communication and quick calls with the people you work closely with

  • Makes managers more easily available to their direct reports for synchronous communication and quick chats

  • Allows new hires to be able to chat with each other and with their teams in a more spontaneous fashion while they're ramping up

  • Co-working together remotely with audio and/or video helps reduce remote loneliness, even if you're just working alongside your core team and not necessarily talking, just to be able to ask each other a question from time to time is really nice

  • Provides lots of flexibility and awesome collaboration potential when used for internal team meetings

  • Some teams prefer using Tandem in an audio-only fashion to reduce video fatigue

Adoption pathways

Meetings

Moving some or all internal meetings to Tandem for a week is the best way to get your team to spend some time with Tandem, so they have a chance to discover how it can improve their workflow. It also helps them keep the app open more frequently, which activates presence in Tandem, allowing for moments of spontaneous engagement. Meetings are the best hook for that.

Scheduling syncs with people in Tandem (for instance, moving your 1<>1s to Tandem) is a good way to introduce people to the tool, answer any questions they have etc.

We have a Chrome extension and a Google marketplace app that make it easy to schedule meetings in Tandem and put a link into the meeting invite which folks can click to open to join the call in Tandem.

Team-specific rooms

If teams have a room where their core team is hanging out, it can give them a place to go thats theirs and can make it easier to be that first person on their team to join their room. Once there's one person in a room, it's easier for a second person to join, and even easier for things to snowball from there.

Manager buy-in

Simply inviting people to Tandem isn't enough to get them to adopt it, especially if they join and no one else is online. If managers and leaders have some buy-in, have a basic understanding of Tandem works (ie: have played around with Tandem with a few other folks prior) and how they'd like to use it with their team, that helps.

If a manager is willing to schedule 1<>1s or other internal meetings in Tandem, put some co-working or office hours blocks on their calendar, or coax their team to try reaching them via Tandem vs. other tools it will help people get some experience using it, and an opportunity to see the value it can bring them.

Caveats and known challenges with rolling out Tandem

  • Meeting size caps

    • Adding more than 20 people to a single call may cause CPU and bandwidth issues

  • Privacy and app sharing confusion

    • Some users are confused by this feature, which automatically shows your current work app to your teammates and allows them to ho

    • Let your teammates know that Tandem only shows work apps, not sites they visit personally throughout the day like Facebook etc.

    • The value of work app sharing is to convey your work mode with your teammates, which when combined with your calendar gives them a sense of how available you are for a quick call

    • App sharing is for individuals (not for their managers) and every user can turn it on/off in Tandem preferences

  • Planning a Tandem tour with small groups is best

    • It's best to walk people through Tandem individually, or in small groups

    • People usually have a lot of questions and if they are confused and can't easily ask questions because there are a lot of newbies in a call together, it can be disorienting and fatiguing

    • You also want to make sure people don't explore Tandem alone since it takes two to Tango!

  • Connecting calendar is essential

    • If teammates don't connect their calendar, then it's very difficult for them to be accessible in Tandem, since no one will know if they're free or busy

  • Meeting rooms are only available for Gsuite users

    • Since meeting rooms (ephemeral rooms that popup for scheduled meetings) are such a helpful hook for adoption, if you team uses Outlook it may be a bit tricker to coordinate when and where your team should use Tandem

  • How to schedule Outlook meetings in Tandem

    • For internal meetings, write Tandem in the description or in the title as well as the room to meet in (for small to medium groups)

    • For 1<>1s or meetings with a few people you can always call each other directly in Tandem and add anyone else to that call

Resources

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