Background Parmalat is one of the largest food companies in Canada with $2.2 billion annual revenues. The company is a marketer of such popular retail brands as Black Diamond cheese, Ficello Cheese Strings, Astro Yogurt, Lactancia Milk & Butter and Balderson cheese. The company has a large and diverse work force of 2,900 people, operating a large corporate office in Toronto, 2 major sales offices in Calgary and Montreal and 16 manufacturing plants across Canada. Challenge Given the scale and complexity of its work force, Parmalat Canada has been searching for effective ways of promoting company’s values and increasing employee engagement across many branches with their unique geography, organizational culture and regional dynamics. This challenge is especially magnified by the company’s work force composition – only about 30% of work force is full-time employees working in main offices or plants, whereas 70% of workers are part-time hourly workers at various plants. The HR Department has turned to Social Media to increase employees engagement. The idea was to encourage company’s employees to share new ideas on improve various aspects of company’s operations ranging from work processes, life balance, health & safety and even new product ideas. Social Media Solution The choice of social media tools that will allow for maximum participation in the initiative was difficult one. The company’s digital culture has been defined by work force average age (40+), and a long practice of using IBM Lotus Notes as a major source of all inter-company communication. As such, the HR department has opted for finding new ways of using existing technologies, expanding their ability to function as social media tool as opposed to creating new social spaces on Intranet or developing dedicated digital applications modeled after popular applications like Facebook, My Space etc. Towards that end, the corporate Lotus Notes was re-designed to give birth to a large digital project called “Parmalat’s New Ideas” that allowed employees to integrate social media functions with their regular activities on the Intranet. The new platform provided capabilities to share and discuss ideas on various topics and select the best ideas by employees voting (15 votes required to put the idea for the Senior Management consideration). Real Life Roll-out/Early Wins In 2015, the Communication Manager, Ambra Sultzbaugh , led the roll-out of this initiative to employees in a series of in-person meetings across different regions. Since then, the program has significantly exceeded initial expectations… Read more »
When you’re a global company with employees stationed around the world it’s easy to assume employees in one country know little to nothing about employees or happenings in other offices, but at Unitron, it’s quite the opposite. According to their global LinkedIn profile, it’s “a great thing to be a part of a culture that thrives on making the unexpected happen, and where team members’ work together to go the extra mile for customers.” The “company that designs and manufactures really great hearing instruments” has more than 20 offices around the world with their corporate headquarters located in Kitchener, Ontario.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most disruptive professional network with over 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. When I tell people I work at LinkedIn, one of the most popular questions I receive is whether our environment is like Google… then I get asked whether we’re hiring. (The answer to both questions, I would say, is yes.) We are a dynamic company that is fiercely proud of our culture. One of the easiest ways for us to show who we are – beyond the company that sends out connection requests – is by using our hashtag #linkedinlife. Created in early 2015, #linkedinlife has moved beyond LinkedIn into other social platforms, and is being used by employees all over the world to demonstrate the breadth of our culture and our humanity beyond the work we do.
According to Intercom, “The way businesses talk to people online is broken. Intercom is fixing it. Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for sales, marketing & customer service to one platform, helping businesses avoid the stiff, spammy status quo and have real conversations that build real connections.” Intercom describes its platform as “simple, personal, and fun for everyone”, and a growing number of customers obviously agree. According to Alex Konrad, staff writer for venture capital, startups and enterprise tech at Forbes, “Intercom is now adding 600 paid customers and $1 million in new revenue every 10 days.”
A new approach to employee involvement The L’Oréal Group developed a two prong social media strategy to engage existing employees and compete for top talent. L’Oréal is the world’s largest beauty and cosmetics firm with its head office in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France. Offerings include hair products, skin care, sun protection, make-up, and perfume. With increased employee engagement through social media, L’Oréal has been able to demonstrate the benefits of its corporate culture to a broader audience.
Schneider Electric SE or Schneider, is a multinational organization specialized in energy management and automation solutions. It is headquartered in France, Paris also known as Le Hive with more than 160K employees. Speaking of multinational organizations , Schneider Electric undoubtedly connects employee from different countries together through various programs and communication media, and this is the real definition of employee engagement in my opinion. Schneider Electric as one of the leaders promoting Internet of Things IOT and connected devices in the Electrical industry business (The EcoStruxure Platform) has also taken the idea to the next step by engaging employees to share and brainstorm their brilliant ideas through connected systems by different communication platforms. SE intranet SPICE portal for instance!
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) is a not-for-profit organization based in Leamington, Ontario. OGVG was formed in 1967, representing approximately 220 members who grow greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers on over 2,500 acres in Ontario, Canada. OGVG works hard to promote and connect its growers with government agencies, consumers, retailers and foodservice operators across North America through various government lobbing events, research, marketing initiatives, trade shows and community activities. As a whole, OGVG strives to support the Ontario greenhouse vegetable sector and its growers, however possible, to ensure success for today, sustainability for tomorrow, and fresh, nutritious, quality produce for all!
In our age of digital marketing where there are so many social media options to choose from, one community library is finding success through their development and use of videos. In addition to using Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, the Pickering Public Library is including short, in-house created videos in their Facebook Page, YouTube channel and website to communicate upcoming events, new programs and services, fun facts and promote client engagement. These videos have become quite popular in their community and beyond. Donna Moritz of Social Media Examiner attributes the rise in popularity of short video social media content to how “snackable” they are, as a quick visual method that grabs our attention, “Short videos suit our busy lives, brief attention spans and the need to consume content easily and quickly. Because fans are consuming content via their mobile devices while they’re on the go, the shorter the content is, the better.”
For small town non-profit, WES For Youth Online, social media plays a large role in volunteer involvement. As a small organization, WES For Youth Online currently has less than a hand full of staff members on pay role. To wear as many hats, and play as many roles as these individuals do on a regular basis takes real passion. Therefore, their issue doesn’t lie in keeping employees engaged and connected; the question is, how do they keep their volunteers involved? The answer… social media.
When it comes to social media, most of the time it is the IT and retail companies actively engage with their employees and customers through digital channel. Unlike many traditional manufacturing companies who struggle with effective social media communication, Cummins, a Fortune 500 tech giant, knows how to make the most of social media to engage with its employees.
Professor Justin Bruckmann walked into his martial arts academy on September 8th, 2016, expecting a normal day of teaching classes. What he was instead greeted by was the destruction of his life’s work. The club’s hot water tank had burst, flooding the entire building. Nothing could be salvaged, from the floor mats, to the washrooms and Justin was left waiting for insurance to pick up the pieces. With nothing to do but wait, Justin turned to his social media network to spread the terrible news, there were classes to teach and no academy to house the students. What happened next was a perfect example of employee involvement helping an organization recover and thrive.
As excitement continues to build for the Jays, I started thinking about how this week’s topic of Social Media and Employee Involvement draws several parallels to baseball. Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) is a solid team. It’s one of “Canada’s most shopped general merchandise retailers” (CTC, 2015) and is “strengthened and supported by a Financial Services sector (CTFS).” (CTC, 2015). Yes, its outfield is well positioned with a vast external Social Media presence; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Linkedin, but its infield is quite impressive and should be commended as well. The use of Social Media within this company has been a key contributor to involving their employees.
While the success of a company or business is dependent on the product or service offered, its long-term success is heavily dependent on engaged employees. Without dedication and a desire from staff to want to do their best work, the long-term success of a company is all too often going to falter. So what makes for a truly engaged workforce? There are many things that can contribute – recognition, remuneration, growth opportunities – but perhaps one of the most important aspects is staff involvement. There are many approaches companies can take to engage staff. Having been ranked as one of the top 5 employers in Hamilton in 2016, I turned to McMaster University to explore their approach to, in their words, create a work environment for staff that encompasses respect, recognition and engagement.
Employee engagement is a vital element of a successful and productive work environment. 1 Companies like Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (herein referred to as “O&B”) have been empowering their employees for years, which has helped them become one of Canada’s top fine dining restaurant companies. Their employees are passionate, energetic and have a sense of pride when speaking about their employers. O&B operates a portfolio of unique and innovative restaurants across Ontario3.
About Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic is a world renowned medical center that specializes in clinical practice, education and research. Based out of the U.S., the three main campuses are located in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and this year alone they have treated over 1.3 million people from around the world who came to the clinic for care. Being the large institution that they are, they have roughly 64,000 personnel which speaks for everyone from physicians and scientists to administration and support staff. The main point of their mission statement is that the needs of the patient always come first and this focus resonates strongly with all employees enabling them to provide an unparalleled patient experience.
It seems like not that long ago that my previous employer instated a company-wide ban on social media websites and blocked us from accessing any of them from our company computers. It also seems like it wasn’t that long after that they lifted the ban and rolled out the enterprise social network Yammer and encouraged its use. So why the about-face? How did social media go from being a workplace pariah to an invaluable business tool? For companies like my previous employer—and many others that deal in consumer products—one of the key benefits to an enterprise social network is collaboration. Collaboration breeds innovation and innovation is key to success when new ideas and products are your business.
As one of the largest engineering companies in the world, the German-headquartered Siemens Corporation boasts nearly 350,000 employees in over 200 countries. 1 As a company they possess the belief that “an engaged workforce drives innovation, growth and profitability”2 but how do you engage a workforce of that magnitude?
Faster than pulling a corto shot of premium espresso, illy is driving employee engagement, and training their North American sales force by leveraging a simple yet effective social approach – online games.
General Electric has more than longevity going for them. The perennial Fortune 500 Company is 124 years old in 2016, but from any angle, GE doesn’t look any older than the tech-savviest millennial. For more or less their entire existence, GE has been known for innovation and timeless quality of their products. They’re a name consumers trust and one competitors envy. These days however, a company is rarely able to get by on their historical reputation alone. In addition to needing great products and having a great legacy, in order to thrive they also need to have engaged employees and a comprehensive new media strategy.
Humankind has an obvious desire to connect with others. To share our lives with one another and feel like we are part of something. The search to find a place of connection and belonging is a common and relatable subject, just look to movies and television to see the reoccurring theme. That theme, that sense of connecting with others also carries into the workplace. Companies and organizations are pushing to create workplaces that engage employees and provide them an environment where they can feel connected. According to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends survey, the biggest challenge companies are facing around the world is employee engagement and culture issues (Brown, Chheng, Melian & Solow, 2015). Engagement corresponds closely with retention as employers fight to compare to the images of companies like Google and Facebook. A quick online search of ‘corporate culture’ results in an extraordinarily long list of articles, blogs and research pieces, one that I often research myself as an employee seeking improve the workplace culture within my own company. What makes a great corporate culture? How does it become an integrated part of the employee mentality, instead of simply a talking point?
Organization Name: Sammy’s Rec Room Industry: Food and Beverage Web references: Facebook, Twitter, SocialMediopolis, Fast Company. College Ranker, Sam and Merri-Lynn MacKinnon: Owners For the past 12 years, Sammy’s has been located in a working class neighborhood of Brantford, Ontario, at 10 Mount Pleasant Road. Sammy’s is a quiet small Bar/Restaurant that caters to families. You may visit with your… Read more »
Organization Name: tripcentral.ca Industry: Travel and Tourism Web references: tripcentral.ca, FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter Richard Vanderlubbe: President and Co-Founder Starting out in 1986 as a single travel agency located in Hamilton, Ontario, Tripcentral.ca has grown to one of the largest travel companies in the province. They launched a website in 1996 featuring last minute packages and reduced prices on travel. They… Read more »
Organisation name: Google Industry: Internet Information Provider. Employees and adaptive management techniques are what drives a business’s success, one concept Google understands. Google workers, dubbed Googlers, are graced with the ability to work on important projects, meet the company’s leaders, and collaborate with other employees. Take Google Employee Noah Levin; working in interaction design with the company, he was approached… Read more »
Organization Name: Molson Coors Industry: Leading Global Brewer In todays day and age it is becoming increasingly more difficult for companies to communicate messages to their consumers, due to all marketing ‘noise’, but they’re also struggling with communicating with their employees. Many organizations depend on email communications to their employees and assume that they are being read. This can be a… Read more »
Title of Post: Get On-Board and Take-Off on a Voyage with Marriott! Organization Name: Marriott International, Inc. Industry: Hospitality & Tourism Name of contact: Jayana Garvey, Jayana.Garvey@marriott.com Web reference: http://www.myvoyageprogram.com/vshow/VoyagePublic?l=en#exhibits/booth1, http://www.marriott.com/careers/paths/entry-level-jobs/hospitality-training-programs.mi, https://www.facebook.com/marriottjobsandcareers Description of how social media is used for business performance: While many blogs focus on how current employees use social media to interact with their employers and organizations, future… Read more »