Employee Engagement and Social Media At Best Buy

i_hub_com    February 10, 2013

UnknownOne of the key areas of interest for today’s companies is employee engagement.  To make the most of today’s rightsized and restructured resource pools, companies are striving to achieve employee retention while maximizing the contributions of their select employee pools.

The following excerpts are based on Canadian HR Reporter TV’s interview with Jennifer Rock, director of employee communications (U.S.) for Best Buy, and highlights the employee engagement model used by this retailing giant and the role played by social media as a key  employee engagement tool.

How does Best Buy approach employee engagement?

The company has adopted an approach based on opening the channels of communication with its employees striving to not just talk to but to talk with its employees.

What does Best Buy hope to achieve by using employee engagement?

Employee engagement allows employees to ask questions, challenge what is happening in the organization, share their ideas which leads to employees who are informed, more productive, with a stake in what is happening, feel like their voice has been heard thus positioning Best Buy to achieve better business results.

What are some of the aspects used to facilitate employee engagement?

Best Buy has experimented with a lot of two way and all way dialogue and Social media tools ranging from face to face to a sophisticated discussion forum that has generated 1.5M post in the last two years averaging 10K posts per week.  Topics discussed includes strategy, policies, what employees like/dislike about the company all of which has had an impact on the culture of the company.

How can companies harness Social Media for employee engagement?

Firstly, companies need to realize that social media is not a fad but is hear to stay and it is one tool to add to the mix of your other employee engagement and communication tools.

Second, your employees are already talking about your company in social media environments such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn whether you choose to listen or not.  If your objective is employee engagement then you must listen to what they are saying and meet them where they are discussing the company.

How can companies handle negative feedback through Social Media?

Best Buy takes the approach of it takes courage to have an open dialogue.   The company fully expects to hear negative feedback and is prepared to stick with their approach to employee engagement.  Initially you may experience complaints but but continuing the dialogue you may discover the driver for the complaints (misinformation or outdated policies).  Resolving such cases ultimately will lead to a better working environment and be beneficial to all key stakeholder.

Lessons Learned

  • Employee engagement is not just talking to but talking with employees
  • It takes courage to have an open dialogue with your employees
  • Social media is not a fad but is hear to stay and it is one tool to add to the mix of your other employee engagement and communication tools
  • Topics discussed with employees include strategy, policies, what employees like/dislike about the company

Web References

a) The full interview can be found on You Tube (Employee engagement and social media at Best Buy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE3_va3K6Jc

b) How Best Buy’s Execution Culture Creates Social Media Success http://www.competingonexecution.com/2009/10/how-best-buy’s-execution-culture-creates-social-media-success/

c) 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement

http://www.aon.com/attachments/human-capital-consulting/2012_TrendsInGlobalEngagement_Final_v11.pdf

Submitted by: Mark Baboolal  – SMBP Student University of Waterloo

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