Involving employees more effectively in your organization can significantly increase their motivation and contribute directly to your organizational performance. By better informing employees about changes that are happening in the organization and enabling them to express their concerns and contribute their ideas, change can be better planned, proceed more smoothly and yield results more quickly.
Better organizational participation can improve processes and morale, and contribute to a more innovative and energized corporate culture. Social media is being applied in many organizations to do this now.
G Adventures is a tour operator providing small-group tours, safaris and expeditions all over the world. “G Nation” as employees proudly refer to themselves, is a global family of more than 2000 employees in 25 offices worldwide.
A business’ results are directly affected by its employees. Simplified, the more positive the experience of an employee within the organization in which they work, the greater the potential for the employee to positively perform their duties and contribute to a business’ key performance indicators. Higher levels of engagement are directly supported by the level of motivation and commitment of the employee. There are multiple factors that affect an employee’s motivation and commitment, including company culture, feeling connected, opportunity to share ideas and opinions, trusted environment, employee recognition program, sense of community, and more. L’Oréal, a global leader within the cosmetics industry, has embraced a number of unique, noteworthy social media tactics to develop employee engagement and in fact is extending their objective of employee engagement to include employee advocacy. A question L’Oreal has asked though, is when can advocacy and engagement begin to be developed within an organization? According to Rosie McCarthy, International Learning Manager for L’Oreal, “One of the best opportunities you have to engage with your employees is when they start.“ The onboarding process provides one of the first touchpoints with a new employee; it is a perfect opportunity to connect with, support and build engagement with an employee, during a very positive time that can be full of excitement and anticipation. L’Oreal has harnessed this opportunity; L’Oreal has developed the world’s first employee onboarding app: ‘Fit’.
Maxxam Analytics is Canada’s market leading provider of analytical and scientific testing services for the energy, environmental food and genetics industries. The company has over 2400 employees in 38 offices and labs across Canada. The challenge was to bring together this distributed team of experts and lab based roles to share knowledge and best practices and to deliver the best solution for the clients. This previously wasn’t easily accomplished at Maxxam, due to limitations of their intranet software. “We wanted an intranet that could bring teams together based on better search functionality, a complete people and skills directory, shared work spaces for teams and social tools such as discussion forums for knowledge sharing.”, says Corinna Bork, Maxxam’s Director of Communications.
Chili’s Grill & Bar is an American casual dining restaurant chain that features Tex-Mex-style cuisine. The company was founded by Larry Lavine in Texas in 1975 and is currently owned and operated by Brinker International. It wasn’t long ago that the words used to describe Chili’s was “It’s a place I remember my mom and dad taking me as a kid. There’s no growth and development around the company, and I never hear any buzz surrounding it.” Those were the words that Chili’s Director of Workplace Community Chris Ebbeler heard after surveying employees of other restaurants. They polled the audience to understand how Chili’s Grill & Bar brand was perceived by restaurant workers and whether they’d even consider working for the restaurant. In short, the responses left him and other members of the Chili’s brass disappointed. The company listened to those concerns as well as concerns from their own team members and made the crucial decision to turn their organization around and transform the old-school perception into something powerful, modern and attractive to the next generation workforce.
The Canadian Jewish News (CJN) is a not-for-profit media organization that serves the Jewish community by providing a platform for diverse points of view, on subjects of interest and relevance. The award-winning CJN is Canada’s largest, weekly Jewish newspaper with an audited circulation of nearly 32,000 and read by more than 100,000 people each week. Situation: A small Jewish newspaper establishment that runs a weekly newspaper The newspaper is available in cities across Canada There is a website: cjnews.com where all articles get published online There are about 25 employees, average age being 50-years-old The newspaper has an active Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page However, the youth are no longer paying attention to newspapers, and current events. Challenges Helping the newspaper cater to younger audiences Getting the youth excited about opening up the newspaper, checking the articles online and paying attention to their social media accounts Most of the staff is older and to get them on board with the moving times
Nestled on the shores of Lake Couchiching in Central Ontario, Fern Resort is a family-owned business that has welcomed visitors to its relaxing and laid-back atmosphere for 123 years. The all-inclusive resort caters primarily to families during the summer and welcomes large social groups and conferences during the winter and shoulder seasons. “The fun, fine food and hospitality you’ll experience at Fern have been developed into a solid tradition by four generations of our family (and there’s a fifth generation now growing up at the resort.) We, the Downings and Nelsons, have a genuine concern for the comfort and well-being of our guests. We hope you’ll truly enjoy your stay.” Fern Resort is located in the Lake Simcoe Tourism Area described as “Ontario’s Recreational Heartland, offering a myriad of outdoor experiences for residents, cottages and visitors.” Within a 90 minute drive of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Fern Resort takes full advantage of its almost 2km of prime waterfront on Lake Couchiching and 200 acres of rolling fields and bush to offer visitors the very best of Cottage Country. From summer sunset cruises and water skiing to a 1.5 km skating trail through the woods and a traditional outdoor hockey rink on the lake, guests at Fern can experience all the seasons in Ontario in all their glory.
AdHawk Microsystems Inc. is a startup company based in Kitchener, Ontario Canada. The company grew out of a research lab at the University of Waterloo in 2015. The 7 co-founders, all from different engineering specializations, came together to create eye and gesture tracking technology. The eye tracker is really an awe-inspiring masterpiece because it does not depend on a camera and it even captures involuntary eye movements, possibly revealing one’s intent. The features of this technology could create new opportunities in Medical diagnostics, Virtual and Augmented Reality and Analysing Wearable Data. Since its emergence after its ‘Series A funding’ in 2017, AdHawk has focused primarily on their eye tracking technology. The company has raised US $4.6 million in funding in less than two years. One could say they are well on track to have a great 2018! Watch their video below to see the technology!
A great way to generate successful employee involvement and motivation is to promote everything employees love. Most employees love their water cooler talk and that is why UPI Energy FS created an online platform for employees to communicate daily, from different cities, offices, cubicles and even their homes.
Established in 1991, the BrokerLink companies, constitutes one of the largest property and casualty insurance brokerage operations in Canada. With over 130 offices relying on more than 1,600 employees across Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada, social media is a key component in connecting not only the individual businesses but their employees as well.
When a drop falls into the ocean, it immediately becomes part and parcel of the Whole. The drop gets accepted and connects with all the other drops and together they become one powerful body of water. When a person joins a corporation with 12,000 employees in 120 offices across 40 countries, the part with becoming One, could be a little more challenging.
Camp-Out RV, Stratford, Ontario, is a recreational vehicle (RV) Business that was started over 55 years ago and has grown from a small mom and pop company to one of the largest RV dealerships in Ontario. The 6 acre property located on the outskirts of Stratford contains an expansive sales lot for both new and pre-owned RVs fondly named the ‘Field of Dreams’, offices for a sales a team of 8, service bays to repair and service RVs for 7 RV technicians, administrative offices, and the retail store. As co-owner Sam Parks explains, “Campers are now looking for a buying experience and our Field of Dreams is meeting their needs.” The popularity of families seeking luxurious camping experiences, others wanting sporty eco-friendly RVs and the evolution of park-model RVs being used as vacation homes, has resulted in an increased demand for a larger variety of RVs that are generally much bigger with more options and upgrades. Good news for the RV industry but challenging for Camp-Out RV. “We were outgrowing our property but we recognized the value of the long established location ” explained Sam. In order to meet the needs of their camping customers, attract new ones and give employees the space and resources they required, Camp-Out RV needed to expand. The solution was to leave the Field of Dreams and Sales Offices in the original location, permitting expansion to fill the entire space, and move the retail store,administrative operations and service bays to a new location that was ready for immediate occupancy and only a short distance away. While giving every department room to grow, co-owner and Human Resources Head, Debbi Parks recognized there was a risk of losing employee interaction and engagement, as face-to-face opportunities between departments would be lost. Camp-Out RV has also increased its’ employee roster by 20% in the past two months and sharing best practices and developing the culture is going to be critical as they invest in training their new employees. As a result, Debbi has initiated a Facebook secret work group page, aptly named InTheCamp, that allows all employees to freely converse, share ideas and update the entire organization in real time on activities at both locations and with employees on the road in service trucks, on factory runs and when delivering trailers.
In the first decade of the century, BlackBerry (then known as Research In Motion) was an unrivaled leader in the smartphone industry. The introduction of the Inter@ctive Pager brought emails to users wherever they went and with each subsequent device, they further refined their capabilities, bringing in phone features and internet connectivity—making them a household name with prestige across the world. That all changed with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the Android operating system in 2010. These competitors, along with the substandard device launches, left BlackBerry in an extremely vulnerable position in 2011. In July of 2011, they announced the first in what would be a substantial number of layoffs over the coming years, initially letting go 2,000 employees, but in the end letting to of nearly up to 10,000 employees — with 4,500 alone being announced in September 2013. Imploding Employee Morale This landscape led even the most passionate employees to question not only their decision to stay with the company, but the likelihood of their own careers within BlackBerry. The management team knew that they would never be able to perform their critical turn-around strategy if employee engagement stayed low, so they looked to the Internal Communications department to make sure employees were heard and valued during the upheaval. They knew that fear would not be a motivating factor in ensuring performance, so they needed to appeal to their own motivation and job satisfaction. Though the company was known for emails and was an extremely email-heavy culture, the team decided that they best way to foster that engagement was to have a single space where employees could go to hear from leaders, find out the latest news internally and externally, and communicate with each other. They decided to invest in their intranet.
Is it really necessary in 2018 to teach your staff and colleagues to be more socially engaged in social media? The quick answer is yes it is necessary, but it can also be risky at times. Social media is one of the strongest most powerful tools we have at our fingertips. It is the way that we now do business. 20 years ago it was mostly being used as an internal tool and many didn’t dream that it would become a part of everyday life for business in general.
Companies have long used social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter to reach more customers – but how are businesses using it internally? While business-to-consumer (B2C) companies are using social media to communicate with customers, less is said of the trend in businesses to use social media platforms to improve internal collaboration. In a technologically savvy company like Nokia, it’s no surprise that they’ve been successfully implementing social media into their internal communications. The company’s motto is connecting people and exploring ways to enhance communication. Nokia’s Social Media Communications team was established in early 2008 with the aim of improving inter-company communications and engaging employees. The objective of the Nokia Social Media Communications team is to: encourage the use of social media internally to bring out the company’s unique authentic voice and to engage in social media externally on behalf of Nokia, and contributing to product and service announcements by opening up a dialogue and driving online engagement. “What is the first thing that Nokia manufactured? Rubber boots.” “When did Nokia sell their billionth mobile phone? 2005 in Kenya.” These are just some of the facts that every Nokia employee knows – not just interesting trivia, but history, facts about where Nokia comes from and where it’s going as a brand. This is one of the things that unifies Nokia as a brand.
In last weeks post I talked about Client Engagement at LiveCA LLP, in this weeks post we’ll look at Employee Involvement. In case you missed last weeks post, LiveCA LLP is a virtual CPA firm. Founded in 2012 when Josh Zweig CPA, CA, LPA and Chad Davis CPA, CMA joined forces and created an online accounting firm out of a love of technology and desire to work from anywhere with an internet connection. As Canada’s first online only accounting firm they provide the same professional services as a traditional brick and mortar firm such as tax, accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and technology services however with an emphasis and focus on systems. With a team of over 40 employees, from across Canada, ALL working remotely, how do they stay connected?
In an increasingly digital world, the number of employees working remotely 100% of the time is rapidly rising, and these workers now collectively account for 20% of the American workforce. (Dvorak and Sasaki, 2017) Understandably, this means that employee interaction and information sharing between peers is becoming less and less frequent.
Welcoming employees into your digital content strategy isn’t always easy, especially if your company represents a niche product or service that might not lend itself to community-building on social channels. For Penguin | Random House Canada, however, demonstrating employee engagement appears easy enough. Like many successful shops, Penguin recognizes that the core of their business is a widely-celebrated object, for customers and staff alike: the book. Through its recent content strategy, followers have come to understand that Penguin employees are a fans as well.
How do you unite a rapidly growing company that has offices all over the world? How do you integrate the work of employees in disciplines that range from architecture to geomatics to wastewater engineering? How do you inspire people who’ve come to your organization through acquisition to buy into your vision? These were some of the challenges facing Stantec in 2011. In consultation with employees, Stantec built a new strategic framework around the concept of community and launched it in 2013. “We have evolved our brand to better reflect who we are and what our clients and employees believe about us,” says Stantec president and chief executive officer, Bob Gomes in a news release. “Our new positioning—focusing on community, creativity, and client relationships—differentiates us in our many market sectors. At Stantec, we design with community in mind: we help our clients meet the needs of the communities we collectively serve.” Four years later, that concept of community pervades all areas of the organization, on its website, in its employee publications and its marketing materials. And social media plays an important role in bringing the strategy to life. Here are three examples of how Stantec uses social networking and collaborative tools to build a sense of community across disciplines and time zones.
Born in 1981, I am an in-betweener, or a Xennial; I am able to identify with members of both Gen X and Gen Y. As a Xennial, I have the unique experience of living in both realities of the X’s and Y’s – the advantage is that I have lived, experienced and functioned in a world without internet and instant communication. I understand the need for the occasional digital detox, and often miss life without a smart phone. Additionally, I have the advantage that I belong to one of the first generations to be taught “computers” in school. As a result, I am comfortable working on a computer. In this blog post, I will examine the link between Slack, a social media and collaboration tool used in businesses, and higher levels of performance in the workplace.
TELUS Corporation, is one of world’s largest telecommunications companies that offer services to individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. As a leader in the telecommunications industry, the company employs around 39,000 people. In 2007, the company was realizing that they were suffering with employee engagement. The results of survey that participated 4,000 employees, only 58% were only engaged with the work environment (So, C., 2013, October). The lack of engagement was starting to show amongst all sectors of the company. Now today in 2017, TELUS was awarded as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Achiever’s 50 Most Engaged Workplaces . By modernizing their leadership philosophy, TELUS has increased engagement and remaining high level interest.
International Business Machines Corporation known world-wide as IBM is a multinational technology company and headquartered in New York. Originating in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) which was later renamed as “International Business Machines” in 1924 (Wikipedia). IBM manufactured and markets computers hardware, middleware, and software, and offers to host and consulting series to mainframe computers to nanotechnology. (Wikipedia) IBM has over 400,00 employees and their employees are referred to as IBMers. IBM won first place in the “Advocacy” category of Regan’s 2016 Employee Communication Awards
Health Sciences North (HSN), a Northern Ontario hospital, is shining a light on the human side of healthcare as it reaching patients, hospital visitors, and the community at large. Located in Sudbury, Ontario, HSN has garnered Northern Ontario’s attention after the launch of their blog, Humans of HSN. Humans of HSN is an online blog modelled after the infamous Humans of New York, where pictures, videos and stories of HSN staff, volunteers and patients are shared. Each week, the blog features new stories of the many faces at HSN which are then shared across HSN’s social media networks. Doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals alike are sharing details of their lives outside of their hospital life. Whether talking about their personal passions, such as curling, or a once-in-a-lifetime family trip, patients and visitors of the hospital are given the opportunity to see beyond the person treating them.
Math. Science. English. Facebook. Snapchat. Instagram. Welcome to the modern classroom, where the way in which a teacher is expected to engage with students, deliver the learning experience and manage discipline has forever changed thanks to the increasing prevalence of social media. With this new dynamic comes the expectation that teachers are appropriately managing their own social media actions, both in the classroom and in their personal lives. These new expectations recently led the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) – which governs and regulates the province’s teaching profession – to launch an employee-focused campaign called Social Media Tips for Teachers to proactively reinforce the proper use of social media both in and out of the classroom to its more than 200,000 accredited members. The OCT primarily used social media to successfully share the social media refresher.
Social media gives us the ability to stay connected like never before. From personal relationships to workplace inclusivity, the power and importance of social tools has never been more evident or necessary. For companies life LifeWorks, which works to help employees feel loved by providing businesses with a global employee wellbeing platform, this ideology around social media and connectivity is what the technology company is built on. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that using social tools to boost communications can raise productivity by 25%. Social media has the potential to empower employees by helping them collaborate and work effectively together. If used properly, social tools have the potential to completely transform workplace morale, attitudes and overall performance.
Like many multi-level marketing companies whose products are geared toward women, one of Younique’s main tenets is to build the personal confidence of their independent consultants. Younique is a cosmetics company founded in 2012 that uses social media as a main driver of sales from their independent consultants. They decided early on that instead of the traditional in-home parties, that are typical of many direct sales companies, they would hold live Facebook events where hosts and guests could virtually attend the sales party from the comfort of their own home. Younique consultants still do some in-person parties to sell their products but the virtual parties and consultants Facebook Live posts are popular ways that they have propelled their company forward in the multi-level marketing world.