Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism

tmacmillan    February 1, 2015


weber shandwicklogo

Organization Name: Weber Shandwick

Industry: Public Relations & Marketing

Name of Contact: Andy Polansky, CEO

Web References:



About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a creative marketing agency that operates in 81 countries and encourages a company culture of collaborative and out-of-the-box thinking. Weber Shandwick conducted a survey called ‘Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism’

Description of how social media is used for business performance

Weber Shandwick states that they strongly believe that employee engagement is central to company success and is the underlying foundation for high performing companies. Weber Shandwick engaged 2300 employees from over 500 companies in a global online survey. Part of the survey focused on the use of social media for employee involvement, which they have referred to as employee activism.

Survey Results

50% of employees post messages, pictures or videos in social media about employer often or from time-to-time

employee stats

The survey results determined that there are 6 types of employee segments based on demographics, employer engagement, job descriptions, employer profile and social media confidence:

  1. InActives
  2. ProActivists
  3. Detractors
  4. PreActivists
  5. ReActivists
  6. HyperActives


Top drivers

The survey determined the top drivers behind employee activism and strategies to positively engage all of the employee segments:

  1. Leadership
  2. Internal Communications
  3. Human Resources and Policies
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility

Lessons for others

The data collected during the survey is very useful for employers to better understand the needs of their employees. It is a great idea for employers to develop a system for collecting this kind of information from their employees through the use of surveys or other means. By determining how employees are or aren’t using social media to affect the business image is something worth looking at. Relevant strategies can be developed, implemented and evaluated based on the type of information gathered through employee involvement surveys.

Submitted by: Trish MacMillan and Paul Fendley

To contact the authors of this entry please email at: tmacmillan@live.ca and pfendley@uwaterloo.ca

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance