by James Burnes
Creating platforms to demonstrate and build company culture is an increasingly important strategy in building a work force for our 24/7 economy. With so much uncertainty, being a strong community within our organization is critical as we work to maintain talent, maximize productivity and generate a culture that helps us recruit the right talent for the future.
Last week I visited with the HR leadership and employee culture committee at one of Indiana’s largest and most successful manufacturers to hold a workshop on how social media and employee engagement can spur a new found desire to become part of your company community.
The presentation focused on several important topics, including:
- The world is changing – and company newsletters and picnics are no longer having ‘value’ as an organization’s communication tool
- What platforms and tool can help you activate employees to take ownership of their culture and inspire awareness?
- What do your employees really care about in life and work that you can capitalize on to inspire them to connect with colleagues?
- What are the rules for successful employment engagement and activation?
- What makes a company culture viral, in the online world?
Check out the presentation here:
(I’ll be following up in the coming weeks on some of the rules, with additional insights and detail for your consideration.)
Remember, in this Interconnected Age, employees are going to respond to community and communication tools that integrate into their personal lifestyle. Txt messaging, email, social networks and personal interaction all play different roles depending on your audiences, proximity and technical savvy. What’s important is that when employees are given ways to share and demonstrate their contribution to their work – or what their team contributes to the organization, they will share it with their social network (which often includes their colleagues).
Even better, company culture that goes viral as a secondary benefit: customers who want to interact with your organization more. One of my favorite examples of this comes from Southwest Airlines embracing their flight attendants to have fun with the safety information/warning prior to take off. I’ve flown Southwest (follow them on Twitter at @southwestair) dozens of times, and am routinely entertained and actually pay attention to the pre-flight announcements because I never know what little quip might get thrown in.
Of course, sometimes, I get lucky and I get an even more unique experience. I could explain, but you’d better off watching a YouTube clip of the perfect example of how a company culture can go viral…(as of last count, this video has received 2.5 million views):
Building a corporate culture, both in white collar and blue collar settings, no longer will survive with monthly stand-ups and newsletters…it’s going to take a new wave of platforms and content approaches to inspire your people to become more than just employees.
Companies like Southwest, Best Buy and others are supporting their most passionate employees to become more than just team members, but ambassadors to the world – and that’s very exciting for all of us.
What tools does your company use to engage and connect? We’re curious to hear about the best-practices and applications you’re using to connect in this 24/7 world.
James Burnes is VP of Strategy at MediaSauce. If you’d like to discuss how your company can better connect and engage your employees, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, reach him on Twitter @jamesburnes or call at 317-512-3612.