Stampin’ Up! prides itself on making a difference. Its mission statement is “To love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments … in this we make a difference.” And one of the ways it makes a difference among its demonstrators (independent sales agents) is with its hashtags.
It’s a common thinking that human resources are the most important asset of an organization. Big companies, small start-ups, non-for-profit… no matter the size, most businesses understand the benefits and ROI of employee involvement. In my research to find companies excelling in this strategy through social medias, I was particularly drawn to the story of Legal Monkeys. They manage medical records for medium to big American law firms. Their expertise and field of work is so far from the company I work for, however the fact that they are, too, a small organization (80 employees), got me thinking about the use of social medias in smaller scale businesses – such as where I spend my own 9-to-5.
There are various ways in which organizations may utilize social media as a tool to help various areas of their company perform better in today’s business climate. Although many organizations already use social media within certain facets of the workplace, social media may also be applied across the whole organization to create more effective business plans throughout the entire company. For example, rather than simply focusing on using social media for only marketing and customer engagement purposes, a company may decide to work on integrating strategies to aid employee involvement, product development/design, metrics and supply chain management, to increase the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. However, in order to make this strategy possible, businesses require the integration of enterprise social media which provides the platforms necessary for all departments within an organization to communicate and share unique department data with one another. In other words, enterprise social media works to help all departments in their collaboration and planning processes in order that social media may be successfully integrated across the whole organization. In turn, enterprise social media, if implemented carefully and strategically, has various benefits to add to a company’s business performance. One company that is reaping the rewards of enterprise social media includes major food processing company MARS, who has successfully integrated social media across it’s organization. Although the first thought that may come to mind when considering the company from a Canadian perspective is the decadent Mars nougat and caramel chocolate bar, candy confectionary isn’t the only thing MARS produces. In fact, MARS also produces gum, beverages and even pet food! Another important fact to consider about the company is its global scale, as it produces and distributes products across the world.
Taking your kids to school, enjoying paid vacations and quitting your ‘full time’ job to run a business from your phone is something that is only possible in today’s society and because of the power of social media. Everything USANA does “aims to help you love life and live it”. At USANA Health Sciences their mission is to provide families with the highest quality, science-based health products. They are more than just vitamins; they are health and beauty products as well as weight loss management.
What makes up the framework of an organization is the diverse set of employees which holds it together. However, this framework may be significantly weakened if it is not maintained through proper communication between all employees which ultimately affects their own involvement within the organization. Thus, it is also important to consider, whether in the work place or everyday life, how modes of communication are not static, but in flux. From the telephone to the internet, technology continues to transform the dominant ways in which we relay information to one another within the workplace. However, keeping up with the times and adapting to the current, rapidly evolving social media landscape may pose a struggle to organizations that were not born in the current social media era. One organization that is fighting against the odds and keeping up with the times is Dutch airline company KLM. Despite, KLM being the oldest scheduled airline in the world still operating under its original name, the company has successfully integrated a social media strategy internally within their organization to increase levels of employee involvement.
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!
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
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)
Bell Canada is Canada’s largest communications company, providing telecommunication services and solutions to consumers, businesses and government customers. Services provided include wireless, Internet, TV, Home Phone and broad band communications. Bell Canada is one of the main assets of the conglomerate BCE Bell Canada Enterprises. In 2010, Bell Canada, launched its first annual Bell Let’s Talk Day to raise awareness for Mental Health. The goal of this campaign was to begin a new conversation about mental illness at a time where it was not talked about. Millions of Canadians, celebrities and athletes began to engage in the conversation, discussing their experiences and offering support and hope for those struggling. Leading personalities of this cause include Clara Hughes, Howie Mandel and Michael Landsberg just to name a few. In addition to the conversation, Bell Canada has also made a pledge to invest an unprecedented $50 million in this multi-year campaign. What makes this initiative stand apart from other campaigns is its use of social media. In 2017, Bell Let’s Talk day was on January 25. Bell Canada committed to contribute 5 cents towards mental health programs for each of these interactions on Bell Let’s Talk day at no extra charge to participants. Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada customers Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Facebook.com/BellletsTalk Instagram: Every Post using #Bell Let’s talk geofilter. The hashtag the #BellLetsTalk was in Twitter’s annual top 10 list. To date the campaign has been very successful with 729,065,654 interactions and Bell Canada committing $6,585,250 to mental health in 2017.
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.
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.