At a Glance
- Team collaborations
- Training for puppeteers
- Review and project meetings
- Training and development
Camp Quality Creates ‘One Team’ Culture with Polycom Video, Working Towards a Better Life for Children Living with Cancer
Days at the Camp Quality office are not like any other—with a spirit of optimism and laughter permeating everything they do in delivering ‘fun therapy’ programmes for children living with cancer in Australia. Since the charitable organisation began using Polycom video collaboration solutions, teamwork has become a whole lot more enjoyable and meaningful. Video has provided a new visual channel for meeting and collaborating with multiple employees, volunteers, and partners regardless of where they are. It has impacted and improved everything from fundraising and reporting meetings, to the design and training of Camp Quality’s Performance and Education programme, that is delivered through puppet shows for children.
Since 2009, Polycom has partnered with Camp Quality, a charity which aims to create a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia. To achieve this, they deliver a variety of programmes which include play therapy, family fun days, and interactive education. In December 2011, Polycom took it to the next level by announcing a corporate partnership with Camp Quality, providing five units of Polycom HDX 6000 room telepresence solution to be deployed across Camp Quality offices, based in every state and territory across Australia.
Making a difference
Camp Quality operates across four programme streams:
- Engage—Connecting kids living with cancer, their parents
and their schools through interactive education, information
- Just for kids—Using the power of positive thinking, a resilient
attitude and fun to create a better life
- Family matters—Creating the opportunity for families to
embrace normality and celebrate life
- Together—Providing quality time and a supportive
environment for families during palliative care
To support these programme streams, over the next five years (2012-2017), Camp Quality is embarking on the most significant growth in its 29-year history, in line with its strategic plan to meet the changing needs of children living with cancer and their families through providing expanded support and building programmes which have even more relevance, equity and effectiveness. In addition, the charity is looking to work more closely with other non-profit organisations to reduce duplication and deliver specialised services within programmes. Video collaboration will be a vital tool in enabling and aiding this growth.
Camp Quality adopted a staged approach to incorporating video collaboration into its daily operations. Initially, reducing travel was targeted. With 27 fundraising roles, including three Partnerships Managers based in different states, and a network of over 2,500 volunteers, travelling for meetings, reviews, training, developing new programmes, fundraising, and establishing relationships had been frequent—and costly. Video makes it easy to communicate face-to-face without the travel cost. Now, employees are using the technology in more ways to manage teams better, hold bi-monthly webinars, and plan staff events, inductions and even recruitment.
Training and fun therapy through video
Every meeting at Camp Quality starts with a ‘Fun Therapy’ activity, such as sharing trivia and jokes, or participating in a quick game, and video collaboration helps bring these fun therapy activities to life, fostering greater engagement between staff and interstate sites.
This is also the case with the training of puppeteers whodeliver Camp Quality’s important Primary School Programme, which sees the McDonald’s Camp Quality puppets travel to schools across the country to educate primary school students about cancer. Using video, the puppeteers can rehearse together in real-time wherever they are and consult on new puppet designs. Polycom’s high-definition video enables detailed close-up views and relays vibrant colours, which are so essential for training in a programme such as this. “The new performance was rolled out at our staff conference in July 2012.What was incredible was that all rehearsals for the show had been conducted over video, and the results were astounding,” said Helen Merrick, General Manager, Marketing and Donor Relationships for Camp Quality.
Bronwyn Neeson, Camp Quality Partnerships Manager for New South Wales, Queensland, and ACT added: “We currently use video for a multitude of activities from multi-site calls for our monthly team meetings to our puppeteer training between states. This has allowed us to share our knowledge more freely, and has had a massively positive impact on team morale and skill levels, while keeping our costs down.” Camp Quality is also exploring the use of video to facilitate training for its over 2,500 volunteers and camp leaders. “Communicating over a phone is not enough for the nature of our work,” said Merrick. “We have a duty of care to make sure people are listening to us when training is conducted; a video meeting helps keep participants engaged through visual contact.”
Working together as ‘One Team’
Video collaboration enhances Camp Quality’s ‘One Team’ philosophy, according to Merrick. “Camp Quality teams used to work in silos. Around three years ago, we worked towards a One Team approach to break down barriers in networking and communication.” Over time, as Camp Quality’s reach grew further and wider, video has become a vital too to deliver more programmes for greater benefit to more children living with cancer. “We needed to talk nationally; we needed to share more, and with the aid of video we are on our way to delivering and extending our programmes which are currently reaching one out of three children living with cancer in Australia, to three out of three children by 2017.”
Merrick believes that video collaboration for Camp Quality has become so much more than a cost-saving way to conduct meetings. “Our partnership with Polycom came at an amazing time, when we were launching and focusing on the One Team concept. Being able to meet face-to-face, see our employees being really engaged in the meeting and in the conversations, in fact, just being able to have these ‘real life’ meeting experiences over video at any time without needing to travel—we saw the benefits of this technology right away.”
Creating a flexible work culture
Camp Quality’s meeting environment and culture has changed rapidly through the introduction of the video solutions. “We are able to share so much more—wins and losses, welcoming new employees, discussing issues or new concepts—this type of sharing is so much better when done face-to-face,” said Merrick. She added that using video has become very much a part of organisational culture, with employees being encouraged to migrate from travelling and sending emails to engaging in more visual conversations across any distance. “Every saving we can make through video has an instant impact on the children we help.”
Neeson is also experiencing the benefits through increased collaboration with her fellow Partnership Managers, pointing out that the most recent member of the team was interviewed and recruited over video. “Where schedules and costs would have been prohibitive in ensuring a seamless recruitment process, all interviews with our Perth and Melbourne Partnership Managers were conducted over video, ensuring that all required parties such as our CEO were able to participate without interrupting schedules or incurring cost.”
Looking to the future
Camp Quality continues to explore ways to use Polycom’s video collaboration solutions for business development, options for video programmes for schools, family fun days and establishing more personalised and frequent communication with donors.
“Polycom’s video solutions have opened up a whole new world for us,” said Merrick. “As part of our strategic plan, we will be investing more into schools, camps and territories across the whole of Australia. Video collaboration will be an ideal solution for taking our programmes wider to ensure as many people as possible can learn about our services. In line with our growth plans, communicating and reporting to larger groups of donors will be vital in helping them constantly be part of the Camp Quality journey.”
Polycom conducts several virtual education programmes for schools in Australia, with established academic partners through the Polycom Content Access Programme. As educators continue to enhance curriculums with live, interactive content, and more schools become video-enabled, these opportunities will provide additional support for Camp Quality to achieve their objectives.
For more on Polycom’s philanthropic programme, please visit Polycom Employee Giving
About Camp Quality
Camp Quality is a children’s family cancer charity. Believing laughter is the best medicine; Camp Quality is committed to creating a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia, through fun, optimism and resilience. To find out more, visit the Camp Quality website, www.campquality.org.au/
“Our partnership with Polycom came at an amazing time, when we were launching and focusing on the One Team concept. Being able to meet face-to-face, see our employees being really engaged in the meeting and in the conversations, in fact, just being able to have these ‘real life’ meeting experiences over video at any time without needing to travel—we saw the benefits of this technology right away.”
- Helen Merrick, General Manager, Marketing and Donor Relationships for Camp Quality