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?
While companies and organizations continue to work towards ‘culture’ and ‘satisfaction’, they are also beginning to take advantage of one of society’s redefined version of friendship, social media platforms.
A company that has seen success, both in increased employee engagement as well as attracting new talent via social media is L’Oreal. The French cosmetic company launched #lifeatloreal, initially as an attempt to gather the temperature and culture was among employees. In a company of 78,600 employees (Key Figures n.d), L’Oreal wisely took advantage of the international reach of social media, focusing on the hashtag on instagram and twitter. By utilizing #lifeatloreal, employees have an opportunity to share fun events, communicate across borders, and build connections. The hashtag was even promoted internally encouraging employees to share their experiences with prizes and opportunities to be featured on L’Oreal’s social channels (Simpson, 2015).
#LorealCommunity was created and promoted to show the friendships and connections that existed inside of the company among employees. It gives employees an opportunity to share their successes and positive experiences with one another, building to concept of community by allowing employees to tell their stories through Instagram. The campaign saw results and usage within the company, but also opened the door to reach out to potential employees as well. “We’re reaching people we haven’t been able to reach before,” says Alexander Onish. “This allows us to connect with people who need to be convinced in a softer way about having a career at L’Oreal” (Simpson, 2015).
Lessons for Others
Alexander Onish, L’Oreal’s Digital Employer Branding Manager, speaks about using platforms like Glassdoor to promote engagement among employees through transparency. Even the platform used the share that very message (Careers at L’Oreal YouTube Channel) demonstrates how L’Oreal takes the power of social media seriously.
Restricting social media, especially when it’s so easy to be scared of the lack of control that can exist on those platforms is not something that Onish agrees with. “Social media policy is not about blocking Facebook at work,” he says. “It’s about telling people what is important on social media, and why, and putting the tools and tactics in place to help them use it in the right way.
“Don’t just say what they can’t share. Instead, define the things you do want them to share and show them the official and safe way to do it” (Simpson, 2015).
Operating with the assumption that employees voices matter and that they impact the business has been a drive behind L’Oreal’s push for employee engagement. Frankly, coming from the corporate environments that I’ve experienced and interacted with, its a refreshing perspective. Embracing change can be difficult, especially in the fast moving world of social media. But difficult doesn’t have to mean avoidance. By seeking opportunities to give employees a voice via social media channels, employers have an opportunity to create a community, as well as present a strong and exciting branch from the outside looking in. L’Oreal was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2016) with an “A” rating under the category of Employee Engagement and Performance (Yerema, Leung, 2015).
Name of Organization Contact: Alexander Onish, Digital Employer Branding Manager
Authored by: Michelle P
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Brown, D., Chheng, S., Melian, V., Solow, M., (May 2015) Retrieved February 1, 2016 from “http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/articles/employee-engagement-culture-human-capital-trends-2015.html”
Key Figures (n.d) Retrieved January 28, 2016 from L’Oreal website, http://www.loreal.com/group/our-activities/key-figures
Simpson, J (2015, October 22). How L’Oreal uses social media to increase employee engagement. Retrieved from January 29, 2016 from Econsultancy blog, https://econsultancy.com/blog/67091-how-l-oreal-uses-social-media-to-increase-employee-engagement/
Yerema, R., & Leung, K. (2015, November 08). L’Oreal Canada Inc. Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://content.eluta.ca/top-employer-loreal