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.
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of supportive women who have her back.” A quote printed in the online Issuu of Stella & Dot’s October 2017 Opportunity Brochure. Browsing their beautiful products, Manifesto, inspirational testimonials from Stylists: It is clear Stella & Dot strongly defines themselves as a company “that is inspired by, created for, and run by strong women”. Stella & Dot currently has over 18,000 active independent Stylists and were listed as an Inc. 500 fastest growing company. Their Stylists are independent contractors that represent the line of jewelry and accessories. But with so many women representing globally, how do they create this tribe? Stylists are equipped with newsletters, online and live training events as well as the app, MIMI. However, in this case study I’ll be focusing on their effective use of Facebook groups and how by using them it enhances their Stylist’s engagement with each other.
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.
Social media is prevalent in today’s society, so much so that it is almost more noticeable if a company doesn’t use it opposed to if they do. Looking at companies as a whole and studying how they are integrating social media through their enterprise allows us to better understand not only the company but their communication. Norwell Dairy is the largest dairy supply company in all of North America selling and servicing approx. 1700 dairy customers in Ontario. They have four locations across Ontario with the head office being in Drayton. Norwell employs just over 120 employees and communication and a social media plan is huge for them to ensure everyone is on the same page which can be done through effectively synchronizing the use of social media across the organization. Norwell’s vision as an organization is that “By continually seeking out new and innovative products to meet the ever-changing needs of our industry, Norwell has grown into the country’s largest dairy farm design, equipment and supply company.” Norwell wants to be able to provide dairy farmers with all the daily needs required to successfully milk their cows and run a profitable operation. Being able to service customers milking equipment and provide them with the tools needed to clean and care for their equipment is very important to ensure customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. It has been said that organizations are increasingly recognizing the benefits of enterprise-wide integration in the area of information technology, as they move away from legacy systems to integrated systems (often called Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems. This statement is very true for Norwell, as they have moved from basic IT systems to now have two in house IT personnel and a dynamic ERP system, NAV, as well as active on Facebook and Twitter.
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.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Couchiching in Central Ontario, Fern Resort is a family-owned business that has welcomed visitors to its relaxing and laid-back atmosphere for 123 years. The all-inclusive resort caters primarily to families during the summer and welcomes large social groups and conferences during the winter and shoulder seasons. “The fun, fine food and hospitality you’ll experience at Fern have been developed into a solid tradition by four generations of our family (and there’s a fifth generation now growing up at the resort.) We, the Downings and Nelsons, have a genuine concern for the comfort and well-being of our guests. We hope you’ll truly enjoy your stay.” Fern Resort is located in the Lake Simcoe Tourism Area described as “Ontario’s Recreational Heartland, offering a myriad of outdoor experiences for residents, cottages and visitors.” Within a 90 minute drive of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Fern Resort takes full advantage of its almost 2km of prime waterfront on Lake Couchiching and 200 acres of rolling fields and bush to offer visitors the very best of Cottage Country. From summer sunset cruises and water skiing to a 1.5 km skating trail through the woods and a traditional outdoor hockey rink on the lake, guests at Fern can experience all the seasons in Ontario in all their glory.
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!
A great way to generate successful employee involvement and motivation is to promote everything employees love. Most employees love their water cooler talk and that is why UPI Energy FS created an online platform for employees to communicate daily, from different cities, offices, cubicles and even their homes.
Is it really necessary in 2018 to teach your staff and colleagues to be more socially engaged in social media? The quick answer is yes it is necessary, but it can also be risky at times. Social media is one of the strongest most powerful tools we have at our fingertips. It is the way that we now do business. 20 years ago it was mostly being used as an internal tool and many didn’t dream that it would become a part of everyday life for business in general.
Companies have long used social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter to reach more customers – but how are businesses using it internally? While business-to-consumer (B2C) companies are using social media to communicate with customers, less is said of the trend in businesses to use social media platforms to improve internal collaboration. In a technologically savvy company like Nokia, it’s no surprise that they’ve been successfully implementing social media into their internal communications. The company’s motto is connecting people and exploring ways to enhance communication. Nokia’s Social Media Communications team was established in early 2008 with the aim of improving inter-company communications and engaging employees. The objective of the Nokia Social Media Communications team is to: encourage the use of social media internally to bring out the company’s unique authentic voice and to engage in social media externally on behalf of Nokia, and contributing to product and service announcements by opening up a dialogue and driving online engagement. “What is the first thing that Nokia manufactured? Rubber boots.” “When did Nokia sell their billionth mobile phone? 2005 in Kenya.” These are just some of the facts that every Nokia employee knows – not just interesting trivia, but history, facts about where Nokia comes from and where it’s going as a brand. This is one of the things that unifies Nokia as a brand.
Microsoft Corporation is one of the biggest technological companies in the world. So, when it comes to future development, they are always ahead of the game. Microsoft has integrated social media through the entire company and has even created social media management software systems. When it comes to their company, future development will only keep advancing because of the social media practices that have already been put in place.
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.
Born in 1981, I am an in-betweener, or a Xennial; I am able to identify with members of both Gen X and Gen Y. As a Xennial, I have the unique experience of living in both realities of the X’s and Y’s – the advantage is that I have lived, experienced and functioned in a world without internet and instant communication. I understand the need for the occasional digital detox, and often miss life without a smart phone. Additionally, I have the advantage that I belong to one of the first generations to be taught “computers” in school. As a result, I am comfortable working on a computer. In this blog post, I will examine the link between Slack, a social media and collaboration tool used in businesses, and higher levels of performance in the workplace.
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)
Social media has been helping many companies drive improved performance to their bottom line. Now, in a world where companies are in hyper-growth, employers are focusing on driving higher performance & engagement from their employees with the use of social media and it’s having positive effects such as giving employees purpose and a space for finding like-minded people, faster innovation sharing ideas, and improved communication to employees. At FlashStock, social media helps drive higher engagement and participation from employees which enable them to be more connected through virtual based channels, share information through virtual bulletin boards, and to quickly collaborate on ideas and obstacles. When asked about the benefits that social media has brought FlashStock Brett Mellon, COO, said that “the beauty of social media is the timeliness and efficiency that it brings teams. Traditionally lots of information was researched in order to uncover areas that needed improvement. Now the organization is connected and it is easier to see the response from employees and pivot because that is what happens in high growth companies.”
Connecting with others is one of the cornerstones of the Weight Watchers philosophy. It all started in founder Jean Nidetch’s living room in the early 1960’s. Since then the company’s program and philosophy around how people connect has evolved keeping them not only relevant but also making them a social media powerhouse. The company today has created a social media frenzy empowering it’s members to share their weight loss journey not only on traditional social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube but also on their own social media within their own app on a forum called Connect. The true genius behind this is that Weight Watchers employees are also plan members. What it creates is a level of excitement, accountability and transparency that you can’t bottle but most of their industry counterparts would love to recreate.
L’Oréal is a global leader in cosmetics, beauty and grooming with companies in more than 70 countries representing over 130 product lines. The company is highly revered as a desired place to work and has been awarded with several “top employer” awards globally from various respected entities including Forbes magazine , Glassdoor and Montréal’s Top Employers . There are several factors that have contributed to this top employer recognition, one of which is the strong, positive corporate culture they’ve manifested through employee engagement and empowerment via social media. Although counterintuitive for many companies, L’Oréal has embraced the use of social media by it employees. In fact, it encourages it. Social media for most companies is perceived as a distraction and a hindrance to productivity. As a result, social media policy is typically created with the objective of restricting its usage. Conversely, L’Oréal, views social media policy as an opportunity to enlighten employees on its benefits and an opportunity to shed light on the tools and tactics that can be applied to use it effectively to shape desired behaviours.
As excitement continues to build for the Jays, I started thinking about how this week’s topic of Social Media and Employee Involvement draws several parallels to baseball. Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) is a solid team. It’s one of “Canada’s most shopped general merchandise retailers” (CTC, 2015) and is “strengthened and supported by a Financial Services sector (CTFS).” (CTC, 2015). Yes, its outfield is well positioned with a vast external Social Media presence; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Linkedin, but its infield is quite impressive and should be commended as well. The use of Social Media within this company has been a key contributor to involving their employees.
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.
Social media is often perceived in the business world only as a marketing tool that bolsters customer satisfaction and engagement. This client-centric approach limits the ways in which social media can be utilized as a positive tool in the workplace. Social media has many business applications that are not related to marketing, including strengthening employee engagement by improving internal communications.
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.
Social media is one of the fastest-growing industries in today’s interconnected world. People more or less have relationship with social media in their daily lives. This gives organization a new situation to face — like it or not, your employees’ uses of their own social media channels could put the organization exposed to the public in good or bad way. There are challenges and opportunities living together. On one hand, it will give organization more promotion opportunities. On the other hand, employee’s wrong or negative mention of organization on social media will possibly bring crisis to organization. Organization should more likely deal with it as an issue or take the initiative to leverage employee’s social media resources for its use? Corby Spirit and Wine’s best practices in promoting responsible drinking give a successful example of how organization uses social media to enable employee to become more involve in organization’s missions.
Before I jump into a multitude of reasons why Southwest is seemingly a great company to work for and how they engage their 46,000+ employees, I want to share some alarming facts regarding employers that don’t promote employee engagement. It is startling to learn that unhappy employees cost employers hundreds of billions of dollars annually in lost productivity. Employee engagement (or disengagement) directly affects numerous performance… Read more »
Social Media is evolving fast, but using its extensive and endless capabilities to your advantage is not an easy task. Social media is a powerful tool for employee engagement, Human Resources, and for other departments within a business beyond marketing. New Ideas With regards to employee engagement, The Adidas Group is doing a great job to support their 51,000 employees…. Read more »