It might not seem like the most important thing, but giving your meeting rooms names can signify that your company cares about its culture.
On the first day of work as a new employee, being told to meet in ‘Thunderstruck’ may leave some staff members scratching their head.
But that’s exactly what happens at the Sydney offices of global job site Indeed. “Whenever Indeed opens a new office around the world, the employees get to choose the names of the meeting rooms according to a theme,” says Chris McDonald, Managing Director for Indeed in Australia and New Zealand.
Meeting rooms in Sydney are named after famous Australian songs (think Flame Trees, Friday on my Mind, Locomotion and Great Southern Land), in Bangalore they are named after cricket stadiums (Lord’s, The Oval, Old Trafford and Chinnaswamy, which can be seen from the Bengaluru office windows) and in Ireland you may find yourself directed to a meeting in U2, The Corrs or The Cranberries.
While naming rooms after rock bands, cricket stadiums or birds (like Twitter does) may seem frivolous, there is a serious side to company rituals like these. Meetings can take up to 15 per cent of a company’s working time and seemingly small things like room names embed and transmit company culture.
“Meeting room names can communicate meaning and demonstrate who or what holds value in the eyes of organisational decision makers,” says Lorraine Smith, an organisational psychologist and director of careers and change at Lee Hect Harrison. “This becomes an important, intangible symbol of ‘what we care about’ – what we find funny, acceptable, interesting or inspiring.” For Indeed, where 90 per cent of its employees around the world are Millennials, work environments that are high energy, fun and engaging are paramount.
Organisational culture is a living and evolving system of shared values that guide action, and Smith says team activities focusing on selecting names of conference rooms can be a fun and creative thing to do. “Being involved in the naming builds a sense of familiarity, ownership and connectedness,” she says. “Letting employees choose increases the chance that the names resonate with your people.”
Names undoubtedly play an important role in company culture and rituals, as demonstrated earlier this year when Uber sought to give itself an image makeover by symbolically renaming its conference hall from the War Room to the Peace Room.
Beyond naming rooms, companies use all kinds of strategies to remind their employees about their purpose. At Talentegg, a website for student job seekers in Canada, employees regularly ‘over egg’ some of their words: egg-cellent, egg-ceptional, egg-stra.
At Indeed every meeting room has a video screen constantly running to remind employees of the company mission. “It has testimonials from job seekers who have found jobs through Indeed,” says McDonald. “We call it Wonka Vision.”
For Smith, employees joining together to name meeting rooms can create a sense of belonging and cohesion. “Although some names can also be harder to remember than others – and potentially harder to find!” she says. Pity the poor new employees still wandering around looking for A Pub with No Beer.
The best/worst meeting room names
What makes a good meeting room name? Well there’s a fine line between great, lame, and so lame it’s great. The problem is, everybody draws that line differently. What do you think of these (as compiled by Inc.com)?
Instagram has given their rooms a Game of Thrones theme, including: Dragonstone, Dothraki Sea, King’s Landing and Riverrun.
Buzzfeed, perhaps appropriately, has gone with internet speak: WTF, LOL, OMG, and WIN.
Groupon US went original with long names like: Unlimited Salad and Breadstick, Tiny House For Big Ideas, and This Used To Be A Forest
But what are the most popular meeting room names? Glad you asked, here are the top five most common:
- Meeting Room
- Meeting Room 1
- Meeting Room 2
- Meeting Room 3
- Meeting Room 4
Photo on VisualHunt