Tag Archives: Employee Engagement

In an increasingly digital world, the number of employees working remotely 100% of the time is rapidly rising, and these workers now collectively account for 20% of the American workforce. (Dvorak and Sasaki, 2017) Understandably, this means that employee interaction and information sharing between peers is becoming less and less frequent.

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.

How do you unite a rapidly growing company that has offices all over the world? How do you integrate the work of employees in disciplines that range from architecture to geomatics to wastewater engineering? How do you inspire people who’ve come to your organization through acquisition to buy into your vision?  These were some of the challenges facing Stantec in 2011. In consultation with employees, Stantec built a new strategic framework around the concept of community and launched it in 2013.  “We have evolved our brand to better reflect who we are and what our clients and employees believe about us,” says Stantec president and chief executive officer, Bob Gomes in a news release.   “Our new positioning—focusing on community, creativity, and client relationships—differentiates us in our many market sectors. At Stantec, we design with community in mind: we help our clients meet the needs of the communities we collectively serve.”  Four years later, that concept of community pervades all areas of the organization, on its website, in its employee publications and its marketing materials. And social media plays an important role in bringing the strategy to life. Here are three examples of how Stantec uses social networking and collaborative tools to build a sense of community across disciplines and time zones. 

TELUS Corporation, is one of world’s largest telecommunications companies that offer services to individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. As a leader in the telecommunications industry, the company employs around 39,000 people. In 2007, the company was realizing that they were suffering with employee engagement. The results of survey that participated 4,000 employees, only 58% were only engaged with the work environment (So, C., 2013, October). The lack of engagement was starting to show amongst all sectors of the company. Now today in 2017, TELUS was awarded as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Achiever’s 50 Most Engaged Workplaces  . By modernizing their leadership philosophy, TELUS has increased engagement and remaining high level interest.

Social media gives us the ability to stay connected like never before. From personal relationships to workplace inclusivity, the power and importance of social tools has never been more evident or necessary. For companies life LifeWorks, which works to help employees feel loved by providing businesses with a global employee wellbeing platform, this ideology around social media and connectivity is what the technology company is built on. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that using social tools to boost communications can raise productivity by 25%. Social media has the potential to empower employees by helping them collaborate and work effectively together. If used properly, social tools have the potential to completely transform workplace morale, attitudes and overall performance.

Like many multi-level marketing companies whose products are geared toward women, one of Younique’s main tenets is to build the personal confidence of their independent consultants. Younique is a cosmetics company founded in 2012 that uses social media as a main driver of sales from their independent consultants. They decided early on that instead of the traditional in-home parties, that are typical of many direct sales companies, they would hold live Facebook events where hosts and guests could virtually attend the sales party from the comfort of their own home. Younique consultants still do some in-person parties to sell their products but the virtual parties and consultants Facebook Live posts are popular ways that they have propelled their company forward in the multi-level marketing world.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded on May 21, 1904 in Paris by delegates from several European countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. FIFA is currently based in Zurich and is an association governed by Swiss law. It has 211 member associations and its goal is the constant improvement of football world wide. FIFA is a not-for-profit community of football associations. The headquarters of FIFA in Zurich is the home for 270 million players, coaches, referees and other soccer participants and enthusiasts around the world. The founders created the first FIFA statutes to unify ” The Laws of the Game” to make it fair and clear to all players and set the foundation for all future football development. FIFA’s use of Social Media globally is a way for them to connect globally and instantly to all stakeholders including, fans, professional and non-professionals players and soccer clubs. As excitement continues to build for the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia, games broadcasted on TV, radio, news reviews, newspapers articles, are currently focusing on scores, teams advancing and major upsets of teams that did not qualify. FIFA is doing a great job through social media at keeping people up to date on the ranks of how countries are progressing in their soccer (also known as football) qualifying endeavors. Information is being updated in a timely basis as one can log into FIFA’s site to obtain all required information on countries successes. FIFA is well positioned with most external Social Media engines such as, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. In 2013 FIFA joined Facebook and by April 2014 they reached over 280M users,  FIFA joined Twitter in mid-2010 and had over 7M followers by June 2014, FIFA created an Instagram account in June 2014 for the 2014 World Cup within its first 18 hours accumulated 28,000 followers. Here are some current Analytics found in FIFA’s Social Media websites. Current Twitter stats: Tweets 65.7K, following 829, followers 11.4M, likes 123, list 15, moments 37 Current Facebook stats: Likes 3,440,829, follow 3,431,095 Current Instagram stats: posts 5,047 followers 4.9m, following 1,122 Current YouTube stats: subscribers 1,826,075 Current LinkedIn stats: followers 59,708 In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube Picture of FIFA Headquarters in Zurich

Bell Canada is one of Canada’s largest communications companies providing solutions to customers’ various communication needs. A selection of the many services Bell provides consumers and business customers with include: wireless service, TV, high speed Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell boasts an enormous 38,671 full time employees in Canada with the longest serving employee of 50.3 years.

We live in a world where we can buy anything, at any time, from anywhere. When you’re sleeping in Canada, your order could be processed in Australia, Africa or Hawaii. Isn’t it great? Thanks to globalization, “the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale,” it has allowed companies to expand into different countries and create jobs for local people. But with growth and opportunity, comes the need for quick, simple and translatable communication. Que social media. Nowadays, the majority of the population has a smartphone and is always connected. Dialogue and networking have also evolved and taken on a new way companies do business and communicate. The need to have instant information at our fingertips is at an all time high and the expectation to respond, share or view something has become a 24-hour, 7 days-a-week responsibility. via GIPHY This is where social media has delivered. It has transformed how we communicate, broken traditional communication channels, and given companies the power to be creative with what they need to say and to whom.

A communication revolution is sweeping over the workplace as it begins to dawn on company stakeholders that the personal benefits of social media communication could be bolstered in the corporate setting. If using social media for internal business communications sounds like a conflict of concepts, then this blog might change your mind… or not. A few mind-boggling stats: According to SEC filing, for the first time, Facebook’s U.S. ad revenue will be larger than the biggest traditional media companies trailing only behind Google. Updated May 8, 2017 Worldwide, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users for March 2017 (Facebook MAUs) which is an 18 percent increase year over year. There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users (Mobile DAU) for December 2016, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year 28 billion people log onto Facebook daily active users (Facebook DAU) for first Quarter of 2017, which represents a 18% increase year over There are 1.74 billion mobile active users (Mobile Facebook MAU) for December 2016 which is an increase of 21% year-over-year On average, the Like and Share Buttons are viewed across almost 10 million websites daily. Age 25 to 34, at 29.7% of users, is the most common age demographic. Five new profiles are created every second.. Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.(Source: The Social 75 billion pieces of content shared daily as of May 2013 which is a 94 percent increase from August 2012.(Source: Facebook) 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up. One in five page views in the United States occurs on Facebook. 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. 16 Million local business pages have been created as of May 2013 which is a 100 percent increase from 8 million in June 2012.    

Tone It Up was started by Katrina Dawn and Karena Scott with a $3,000 start-up investment in 2009 (Lepore, 2017). They began by self-shooting and editing beach workout videos targeted to women, that they put on YouTube. Fast-forward to 2017, Tone It Up is a multi-billion dollar fitness/nutrition/lifestyle company, boasting a community of over 5 million women (Lepore, 2017). What is in the secret sauce for their success? Tone It Up has tapped into one of the most successful tactics to propel businesses in this highly social and digital age – engagement.

“You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within them.” — Dr. Bob Nelson, Employee Engagement Expert (http://www.egroupengage.com/blog/social-media-to-increase-employee-engagement) It’s no secret – the Vega team is definitely lit from within.  With a strong set of internal values and a workforce that lives and breathes those values, it is unsurprising that Vega was named one of the Best Workplaces in Canada for six years running and this year nabbed the prestigious title of #1 Best Workplace in Canada 2017.  How does an organization like Vega secure its place at the top?  It starts with a connected community of likeminded people.

TELUS is a Canadian communications company that was officially founded in 1990. Since then, the company has grown to become Canada’s fastest growing national telecommunications company. TELUS provides services to 8.6 million wireless subscribers, 1.7 million high-speed internet subscribers, 1.4 million residential network access lines subscribers and 1 million television subscribers. Telus also provides communication products and services, which include wireless data, Internet Protocol, voice, television, entertainment and video and it’s also the nation’s largest healthcare IT provider. The success of TELUS can be credited to their company ideology. The TELUS slogan is “The Future is Friendly” and the company incorporates this ideology into each aspect of their brand. TELUS is known for their cheeky use of ‘cute’ animals throughout their branding and marketing campaigns to emphasize their slogan; but they also take many other measures to ensure the continued success of the company and to demonstrate their loyalty in providing excellent service to their customers. TELUS is active on a number of different social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn. They also have a company blog and an online discussion forum for customers called the Neighbourhood, that allows customers to “Share thoughts, ask questions, and get answers. All in one place.”

Background Parmalat is one of the largest food companies in Canada with $2.2 billion annual revenues. The company is a marketer of such popular retail brands as Black Diamond cheese, Ficello Cheese Strings, Astro Yogurt, Lactancia Milk & Butter and Balderson cheese. The company has a large and diverse work force of 2,900 people, operating a large corporate office in Toronto, 2 major sales offices in Calgary and Montreal and 16 manufacturing plants across Canada. Challenge Given the scale and complexity of its work force, Parmalat Canada has been searching for effective ways of promoting company’s values and increasing employee engagement across many branches with their unique geography, organizational culture and regional dynamics. This challenge is especially magnified by the company’s work force composition – only about 30% of work force is full-time employees working in main offices or plants, whereas 70% of workers are part-time hourly workers at various plants. The HR Department has turned to Social Media to increase employees engagement. The idea was to encourage company’s employees to share new ideas on  improve various aspects of company’s operations ranging from work processes, life balance, health & safety and even new product ideas. Social Media Solution The choice of social media tools that will allow for maximum participation in the initiative was difficult one. The company’s digital culture has been defined by work force average age (40+), and a long practice of using IBM Lotus Notes as a major source of all inter-company communication. As such, the HR department has opted for finding new ways of using existing technologies, expanding their ability to function as social media tool as opposed to creating new social spaces on Intranet or developing dedicated digital applications modeled after popular applications like Facebook, My Space etc. Towards that end, the corporate Lotus Notes was re-designed to give birth to a large digital project called “Parmalat’s New Ideas” that allowed employees to integrate social media functions with their regular activities on the Intranet.  The new platform provided capabilities to share and discuss ideas on various topics and select the best ideas by employees voting (15 votes required to put the idea for the Senior Management consideration). Real Life Roll-out/Early Wins In 2015, the Communication Manager, Ambra Sultzbaugh , led the roll-out of this initiative to employees in a series of in-person meetings across different regions. Since then, the program has significantly exceeded initial expectations… Read more »

The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the world’s leading museums in regard to natural history and world cultures. Given this fact, one might assume that an institution such as The ROM would want to keep it’s knowledge within it’s walls; however that is not the case. The ROM is arguably one of the most social and tech savvy learning institutions in the country. This is due by and large to their philosophy on social media and their social media coordinating team. Through online communication, The ROM hopes to build strong community connections and encourages individuals to engage in conversations and debates with their experts and employees directly.

If you rewind seven or eight years ago, many organizations prohibited employees from accessing social websites on company computers viewing this new trend as a distraction and risk to business. However, the rise of smartphones made it nearly impossible to block the use entirely. Fast-forward to today and you’ll notice times have changed as to how social media is perceived in the business world. Instead of frowning upon sharing thoughts and ideas digitally, businesses now invest in social media tools for internal use. After all, the benefits of having a highly engaged workforce far outweighs the risk. EY (formerly Ernst and Young) is one of the largest professional services firm in the world and specializes in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. EY is progressive in their approach to leveraging the power of social media to drive employee engagement. They have published performance reports such as Change 3.0: Using Social Media to Engage Your Workforce that discusses their research and the benefits of going social in the workplace. Currently with over 230,000 employees in over 150 countries, as well as an increasing number of Millennial employees joining the team, social media is a key part to building positive culture, engaging employees and delivering results.

Not long ago, company picnics, water cooler talk, bulletin boards and office memos were the biggest tools in a company’s “employee engagement toolbox”.  Although business information eventually made it to every ear in the company, it’s dissemination was slow and arduous. Flash forward to today, where information is in your hands micro-seconds after it is made public by company heads, management and team leaders.  As a result, companies have been forced to jump into the digital era or risk losing the opportunity to rally their employees and make them feel, not only part of the team, but part of the business family.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most disruptive professional network with over 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. When I tell people I work at LinkedIn, one of the most popular questions I receive is whether our environment is like Google… then I get asked whether we’re hiring. (The answer to both questions, I would say, is yes.) We are a dynamic company that is fiercely proud of our culture. One of the easiest ways for us to show who we are – beyond the company that sends out connection requests – is by using our hashtag #linkedinlife. Created in early 2015, #linkedinlife has moved beyond LinkedIn into other social platforms, and is being used by employees all over the world to demonstrate the breadth of our culture and our humanity beyond the work we do.    

Lutherwood is a non-profit providing that provides children’s mental health, employment and housing services to more than 16, 600 people annually in the Waterloo Region and Wellington County.  It also operates Lutherwood Village on the Park a retirement community in Waterloo, and Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation.  Its mission is to “inspire hope and strengthen lives by offering high quality mental health, employment and housing services”.  Operating for more than 45 years, Lutherwood’s leadership credits having motivated, engaged and happy employees as the key reason for its ongoing success.

Schneider Electric SE or Schneider, is a multinational organization specialized in energy management and automation solutions. It is headquartered in France, Paris also known as Le Hive with more than 160K employees. Speaking of multinational organizations , Schneider Electric undoubtedly connects employee from different countries together through various programs and communication media, and this is the real definition of employee engagement in my opinion. Schneider Electric as one of the leaders promoting Internet of Things IOT and connected devices in the Electrical industry business (The EcoStruxure Platform) has also taken the idea to the next step by engaging employees to share and brainstorm their brilliant ideas through connected systems by different communication platforms. SE intranet SPICE portal for instance!

For small town non-profit, WES For Youth Online, social media plays a large role in volunteer involvement. As a small organization, WES For Youth Online currently has less than a hand full of staff members on pay role. To wear as many hats, and play as many roles as these individuals do on a regular basis takes real passion. Therefore, their issue doesn’t lie in keeping employees engaged and connected; the question is, how do they keep their volunteers involved? The answer… social media.

When it comes to social media, most of the time it is the IT and retail companies actively engage with their employees and customers through digital channel. Unlike many traditional manufacturing companies who struggle with effective social media communication, Cummins, a Fortune 500 tech giant, knows how to make the most of social media to engage with its employees.

Professor Justin Bruckmann walked into his martial arts academy on September 8th, 2016, expecting a normal day of teaching classes. What he was instead greeted by was the destruction of his life’s work. The club’s hot water tank had burst, flooding the entire building. Nothing could be salvaged, from the floor mats, to the washrooms and Justin was left waiting for insurance to pick up the pieces. With nothing to do but wait, Justin turned to his social media network to spread the terrible news, there were classes to teach and no academy to house the students. What happened next was a perfect example of employee involvement helping an organization recover and thrive.

While the success of a company or business is dependent on the product or service offered, its long-term success is heavily dependent on engaged employees. Without dedication and a desire from staff to want to do their best work, the long-term success of a company is all too often going to falter. So what makes for a truly engaged workforce? There are many things that can contribute – recognition, remuneration, growth opportunities – but perhaps one of the most important aspects is staff involvement. There are many approaches companies can take to engage staff. Having been ranked as one of the top 5 employers in Hamilton in 2016, I turned to McMaster University to explore their approach to, in their words, create a work environment for staff that encompasses respect, recognition and engagement.

Going to the dentist for most of us can be a stressful visit and many patients suffer from anxiety before going to the dentist.  At a visit to Gardner Dental Group (Burlington, Ontario) they do their best to make the patient visit a relaxing and enjoyable experience. From the moment you step into their office you are greeted with a friendly smile in a modern environment. You have the choice of three waiting areas; a quiet reading room, a TV room or an arcade room that actually includes retro video games!  This made me think …the patients are likely at peace in this setting…but how does the practice maintain the morale and engagement of the employees?