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.
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.
Humana is an American health insurance company based in Louisville, Kentucky who recognizes the importance of brand advocacy from employees on social media. Humana incorporated employee social media advocacy as part of their social media strategy. Humana used employee advocacy as part of their content pillars content sharing not only for brand awareness and to drive campaigns, but to also optimize your organic reach. Forty percent of Humana’s content is branded and Sixty percent is health and well-being content, which allows employees to grow followers and become influencers in the space. So when employees share Humana’s content, they have a more qualified audience. (Heine, 2017) As of 2014 Humana has had over 13 million customers in the U.S., reported a 2013 revenue of US$41.3 billion, and has had 51,600 employees. In 2013, the company ranked 73 on the Fortune 500 list, which made it the highest ranked (by revenues) company based in Kentucky. It has been the third largest health insurance in the United States. (Wikipedia, 2017)
Social media has been helping many companies drive improved performance to their bottom line. Now, in a world where companies are in hyper-growth, employers are focusing on driving higher performance & engagement from their employees with the use of social media and it’s having positive effects such as giving employees purpose and a space for finding like-minded people, faster innovation sharing ideas, and improved communication to employees. At FlashStock, social media helps drive higher engagement and participation from employees which enable them to be more connected through virtual based channels, share information through virtual bulletin boards, and to quickly collaborate on ideas and obstacles. When asked about the benefits that social media has brought FlashStock Brett Mellon, COO, said that “the beauty of social media is the timeliness and efficiency that it brings teams. Traditionally lots of information was researched in order to uncover areas that needed improvement. Now the organization is connected and it is easier to see the response from employees and pivot because that is what happens in high growth companies.”
Connecting with others is one of the cornerstones of the Weight Watchers philosophy. It all started in founder Jean Nidetch’s living room in the early 1960’s. Since then the company’s program and philosophy around how people connect has evolved keeping them not only relevant but also making them a social media powerhouse. The company today has created a social media frenzy empowering it’s members to share their weight loss journey not only on traditional social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube but also on their own social media within their own app on a forum called Connect. The true genius behind this is that Weight Watchers employees are also plan members. What it creates is a level of excitement, accountability and transparency that you can’t bottle but most of their industry counterparts would love to recreate.
L’Oréal is a global leader in cosmetics, beauty and grooming with companies in more than 70 countries representing over 130 product lines. The company is highly revered as a desired place to work and has been awarded with several “top employer” awards globally from various respected entities including Forbes magazine , Glassdoor and Montréal’s Top Employers . There are several factors that have contributed to this top employer recognition, one of which is the strong, positive corporate culture they’ve manifested through employee engagement and empowerment via social media. Although counterintuitive for many companies, L’Oréal has embraced the use of social media by it employees. In fact, it encourages it. Social media for most companies is perceived as a distraction and a hindrance to productivity. As a result, social media policy is typically created with the objective of restricting its usage. Conversely, L’Oréal, views social media policy as an opportunity to enlighten employees on its benefits and an opportunity to shed light on the tools and tactics that can be applied to use it effectively to shape desired behaviours.
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.
When William Booth founded The Salvation Army back in 1882, he based much of its mission on the concept of “adapting to attract.” Employees of the Ontario Central East Division of The Salvation Army have recognized that utilizing the social media communication methods of today is in keeping with that concept, which is one of the reasons they are looking to Facebook Groups to help employees plan their 2016 Christmas Kettle Campaign.
Social media is often perceived in the business world only as a marketing tool that bolsters customer satisfaction and engagement. This client-centric approach limits the ways in which social media can be utilized as a positive tool in the workplace. Social media has many business applications that are not related to marketing, including strengthening employee engagement by improving internal communications.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to stop into the Klick offices in Toronto for a little visit. I must say, I left their office in quite the amazement! From their kitchen equipped with a popcorn machine and a chest-freezer filled with ice-cream, to their living plant walls, yoga studio, or social area furnished with game consoles; It was obvious that this organization cares and invests in their employees more than anything else. For Leerom Segal, Klick’s Co-Founder and CEO, he believes that with the right company culture, they can attract and retain the best and brightest employees. Happy employees generally means better productivity, higher quality products, and ultimately happy customers. Klick has been recognized as a Top 5 Great Place to Work company, has been in the top 10 for two consecutive years now, and also celebrates 5 consecutive years for being named a “Best Employer” by Aon Hewitt. Holding such prestigious titles, it’s no wonder why anyone who aspires to work for an organization that promotes growth and fun would want to work for Klick. The Relentless Pursuit of Awesome is this organization’s commitment – whether it be the company’s products and services, or it’s company culture.
Employee empowerment. While many companies around the world claim to empower their employees on a daily basis, many times, their actions don’t support their claims. Could it be that, in 2016, companies still don’t understand the value of employee engagement? It seems so. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that other priorities like customers, sales, profits and, well, money, are important. After all, without profits, most companies won’t be able to keep their employees around, right? But, maybe they should be looking at it the other way around: without their employees, they can’t do business. From what I can see, Adobe, recently valued at $4 billion, seems to have figured out that, happy “everyday” employees make the best brand ambassadors.
Social media is one of the fastest-growing industries in today’s interconnected world. People more or less have relationship with social media in their daily lives. This gives organization a new situation to face — like it or not, your employees’ uses of their own social media channels could put the organization exposed to the public in good or bad way. There are challenges and opportunities living together. On one hand, it will give organization more promotion opportunities. On the other hand, employee’s wrong or negative mention of organization on social media will possibly bring crisis to organization. Organization should more likely deal with it as an issue or take the initiative to leverage employee’s social media resources for its use? Corby Spirit and Wine’s best practices in promoting responsible drinking give a successful example of how organization uses social media to enable employee to become more involve in organization’s missions.
Before I jump into a multitude of reasons why Southwest is seemingly a great company to work for and how they engage their 46,000+ employees, I want to share some alarming facts regarding employers that don’t promote employee engagement. It is startling to learn that unhappy employees cost employers hundreds of billions of dollars annually in lost productivity. Employee engagement (or disengagement) directly affects numerous performance… Read more »
Social Media is evolving fast, but using its extensive and endless capabilities to your advantage is not an easy task. Social media is a powerful tool for employee engagement, Human Resources, and for other departments within a business beyond marketing. New Ideas With regards to employee engagement, The Adidas Group is doing a great job to support their 51,000 employees…. Read more »