Employee Engagement

Marilyn    February 1, 2015

Title of Post:  Social Media as a Tool in Employee Engagement




Industry:  Banking; Consulting

Name of contact if available:  N/A

Web references:  

RBC Blue Water Project

Deloitte Olympic Team Sponsorship

Description of how social media is used for business performance:
There is no denying that personal use of Social Media has skyrocketed in the last decade. And it is no surprise that companies seek to harness the power of social media in their marketing and outreach efforts and are increasingly seeing its value as a tool in their employee engagement efforts.

Here are two examples of companies using social media in innovative ways to achieve employee engagement goals related to their corporate sponsorship activities.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has more than 80,000 employees in 20 countries. As part of their commitment to corporate social responsibility, they launched a global program in 2007 – the RBC Blue Water project – designed to help provide access to safe water now and for future generations.

The Corporate Responsibility Team at RBC sought to engage employees worldwide and encouraged the use of Facebook and Twitter to share stories as well as broadcast their support of the initiative. In 2014, in an effort to sustain interest and involvement in the Blue Water project, the RBC developed a program whereby employees could identify and lead renewal and education projects in their local neighbourhoods – the Community Makeover campaign. RBC hired an agency to develop a platform that would enable teams to register their projects, share stories, upload photos, and engage with other employees. iPad-bluewater_(1)“Makeover Central” was the result – an interactive program with Google Maps integrated to allow for participants to display the exact location of their project and get a sense of the global reach of the program. Each project had its own page for team leaders to post updates, photos, and to interact with the entire RBC community. The program involved more than 21,000 RBC employees and generated 751 projects in 20 countries around the world.

Also with the goal of increasing engagement and awareness, but using a different approach was Deloitte LLP.

As a professional services sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), Deloitte LLP contributes “in-kind” services – consulting, financial advisory, tax, audit, and enterprise risk –through its subsidiaries to the USOC. Deloitte wanted to spark employee interest and awareness of the program and designed a blogging contest to send 24 of its professional employees to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games to represent Deloitte and act as “ambassadors”. The 24 ambassadors were selected by a team of peers and a panel of senior leaders and went to the Games using social media tools to share the experience internally and externally. Ambassadors wrote blog entries, and posted photos and videos to Deloitte’s intranet, internal social network, externally facing Facebook page, (Deloitte’s Facebook page has been rebranded as Deloitte University) and public twitter feed. According to Cathy Benko, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and head of brand, communications, and corporate citizenship, having the winners blogging and tweeting from the Games “gives Deloitte professionals around the world not only a front row seat at the Olympics, but also a fresh insiders’ perspective through our ambassadors’ posts.”

Lessons for others:

Social media has repeatedly been demonstrated to be an effective tool for engaging employees.  Connecting people builds relationships across the organization, enables information-sharing, and helps to build a greater awareness of and pride in corporate sponsorship efforts among employees.

Submitted by:  Tom Matulis and Marilyn Hood

To contact the author of this entry, please email at:   gtmatulis@gmail.com; mhood2323@gmail.com


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