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Connect 13: Engaging the Social Workforce

Conference Report


Index 06 07

Chapter 1: Leaders Get Engaged How Global Trends Affect Employee Communication and Engagement Scott Spreier, The Hay Group

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Aligning and Inspiring Employees Melissa McVicker, Intel

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Purpose Driven Leadership and How It Is Transforming SunTrust Rilla Delorier and Chuck Allen, SunTrust Banks

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Click to Enter: Opening New Doors to Employee Engagement Becky Graebe, SAS

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Inside GM: Engaging Employees Before, During and After a Crisis Katie McBride, General Motors

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Chapter 2: Engagement is Forever Your Audience Never Leaves: Digital Tools to Support Live Interactions Mike Standish, PBJS

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Drive Systemic Change Beyond Social Media Ben Edwards, IBM


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Connecting with Candidates and Newly Hired Employees Before and After Day 1 Allison Bunin, North Shore-LIJ Health System

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Do It Like Marketers Do – Treating Employees as a Key Audience Ellen Valentine, SilverPop

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The Digital Divide: Global Engagement at All Levels Bruce Brooks, Interface FLOR

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Chapter 3: Creating Brand Champions People-Powered Brands: Empowering a Tribe of Internal Advocates Geno Church, Author, Brains on Fire

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Becoming an Employer of Choice from the Inside Out Cameron Batten, American Express

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Unleashing Employee Potential Ben Brooks, Former Marsh

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Internal and External Rebranding: Connecting the Dots and the People Anthony D’Angelo, ITT


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Engaging the Social Workforce Evolving Leadership Styles, Tools and Programs to Engage 21st Century Employees

There may be no better time in history to be a communications professional. There are more tools available to us than ever before, and the tools themselves allow us to shape our experiences and share our learnings for continual improvement. We’re especially fortunate to be working in the age of social media. What was once thought to be a business distraction has evolved into an essential business communications platform with endless applications – the most logical and adaptable of which is employee engagement. Social media in the workplace is a fascinating phenomenon because it bubbled up from the bottomand drove those at the top to rethink the way they do things. People of every age and socioeconomic level live digital lifestyles. They want the place where they spend most of their waking hours – the workplace – to function the same way. The great news is that companies are now using digital and social tools in all areas of business, employees are participating and everyone is benefitting. Social media is exploding, but the best is yet to come. As we assembled our lineup of speakers for PRSA’sConnect 13: Engaging the Social Workforce, I was amazed at the vast range of social media programs and platforms they’ve implemented for millions of employees around the world. They’re living proof that you don’t need huge budgets or armies of people to effectively engage employees and impact results with social media. What you do need are resourcefulness, ingenuity and, as with any initiative, a sound strategy tied to business objectives. This eBook contains insights gleaned from each presenter during the event. Throughout the eBook you’ll be able to compare our written learnings with illustrations of each company’s journey in engaging their employees along with short videos to give you a flavor of the event. We hope you enjoy and learn from each of the elements. I want to thank everyone who participated in Connect 13, especially our speakers who allowed us to share their stories in the following pages. I’m confident their experiences and ideas will inspire you to use social media to achieve great results in your organization. Best regards,

Brian Burgess Practice Director, Brand and Talent MSLGROUP North America

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Chapter 1

Leaders Get Engaged Leaders’ roles and spheres of influence have changed dramatically in recent years. Authority wields less power than it used to; instead, people respond to leaders who are transparent, visionary and committed to a purpose. See how leaders in some of the world’s most respected and iconic companies use social media to engage and inspire their employees in good time and bad.

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Engaging the Social Workforce

Leaders Get Engaged


How Global Trends Affect Employee Communication and Engagement Scott Spreier, The Hay Group

It’s impossible to have engaged employees without good leadership, but the fact is, leadership may be losing its mojo. Far too many leaders are unable or unwilling to adapt to changes assaulting their organizations, which emboldens disgruntled employees to grab power and entitlement. Clearly, those in charge need to shift the way they communicate if they want people to listen and engage.

Leaders Get Engaged

How Global Trends Affect Employee Communication and Engagement

Scott Spreier, The Hay Group

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The Leadership Slide

The Road Ahead

A number of factors led to this environment. Since 2005, Fortune 500 company earnings went up 16% and productivity increased 23%, but wages rose only 2%. In other words, people are doing more with less and not being rewarded. As staff reductions eliminated management layers, matrix organizations emerged where employees end up mediating between multiple bosses who don’t communicate. On top of all this, the coercive style of leadership – necessary in a crisis – continued to grow even after crises began to subside.

So what happens now? While we’re slowly coming out of the financial crisis, the future looks even stranger than the past. A combination of megatrends is predicted to affect us over the next 20 years in ways we can’t yet see.

The Hay Group’s research shows people who work in good climates outperform those in average climates by up to 30%. Their leaders give them a purpose, job clarity, responsibility, freedom, flexibility, coaching and a sense of team, in other words, climates where people want to come to work every day. Unfortunately, more than half of employees say their work environments are demotivating. Trust in CEOs fell from 50% to 37% between 2011 and 2012, while trust in employee peers went up. These days, people are listening to each other more than their leaders.

Global Warming: We don’t know what climate change and environmental issues will bring or how they will affect our organizations. More hurricanes, typhoons and superstorms could have a 9/11 type impact on business.

Globalization 2.0: Most of us understand globalization intellectually, but find it hard to internalize. We must realize that, especially in the U.S., we’re one unit of a global business. We have to learn to understand the rest of the world if we’re going to operate effectively.

Demographic Changes: Multiple generations in the workforcecan lead to talent wars and fractured teams. To deal with the diversity, we must be self-aware and have the emotional intelligence to recognize and look past our own filters in communicating with digital natives or people from other cultures. Individualization: People nowadays feel entitled and younger generationsembrace individualism more than the generations before them.They have a lot of creativity and innovation, but also a tendency toward chaos. We must learn to tap the individualism and avoid the chaos!.

( Scott Spreier comments on the importance of a good workplace climate. )

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Leaders Get Engaged

How Global Trends Affect Employee Communication and Engagement

Digital Lifestyle: Everyone is always “on,” information is always accessible and narratives compete constantly. In a flatter world where the divide between public and private is blurred, it’s harder to engage people. Positional power and titles are becoming things of the past; digital anarchy is the new norm.

Scott Spreier, The Hay Group


What We Need to Do Better Our frenetic, fast-faced, fractured world presents many challenges for today’s leaders, but there are many things they can do to overcome them. For instance: 1. Focus on the narrative, not just the numbers. When all people hear about are numbers, they lose their sense of purpose and reasons to come to work every day. Neurological tests bear this out. When you only talk numbers, nothing happens. When you tell a story, the brain lights up. We can’t keep talking in sound bites. We must replace the spinning with contextual transparency, stop being opinion junkies and look for more facts and unvarnished truths. 2. Stop trying to control the message. Digital communication enables the disenfranchised and allows people to say whatever they want. Right now, they’re in sleeper cells, happy to have jobs. When things get better, they’ll become active and could sabotage your organization. Call it the employee spring; it’s very powerful and very hard to control.

Engaging employees begins with strong leaders who, when faced with a dead end, look at all the options and go. The trends tell us there could be lots of apparent dead ends ahead, but none that can’t be overcome. Embracing the inner pirate is a good first step. Scott Spreier, Hay Group’s leadership and talent practice leader, helps executives around the globe more effectively address key organizational and business issues including sustainable growth and strategic alignment. Working with individual executives and senior teams, he helps clients focus on creating climates and cultures that embrace change and enhance performance to drive business results. Scott has consulted with a number of Fortune 500 companies in sectors including government, technology, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

3. Align what you say with what you do. Successful businesses have a shared purpose and use organizational messages to reinforce it. As the keepers of reality, leaders must continually ensure formal communications and actions are aligned. 4. Help leaders unleash their inner pirates. Pirates are bold, courageous and not afraid to bend the rules. They’re willing to sail unchartered territory and work without a net. They aren’t afraid to make changes and bring people along with them. Good leaders are innovative, visionary, curious and never satisfied. They make the narrative their own and navigate the system to best advantage.

Leaders Get Engaged

How Global Trends Affect Employee Communication and Engagement

Scott Spreier, The Hay Group

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Aligning and Inspiring Employees Melissa McVicker, Intel

How do you bring together 100,000 employees to talk about your brand? At Intel, it started with a bold vision: “This decade, we will create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the life of every person on earth.” A statement like that is no doubt powerful, but even Intel’s leaders didn’t realize the impact it would have on their employees.

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Leaders Get Engaged

Aligning and Inspiring Employees

Melissa McVicker, Intel


Changing Times

Breaking Through

For years, Intel was admired as a technology darling boasting high stock prices, rapid growth and big bonuses. Everything changed in the mid2000s, as the tech crash drove restructuring, cost-cutting, increased employee turnover and devalued stock options.

Intel is a company of engineers who are not always the easiest to reach. The internal communications team uses lots of different ways to get through to them, forgoing strategy language and bullet points for fun, funny and interactive messages to inspire the next great innovation. Most communications fall into one of three broad categories: Inspire Me, Connect Me and Value Me.

The turning point came in 2010, when Intel realized their customary, top-down communication wasn’t working in a complex business with expanding product lines and markets. Intel was no longer their employees’ first source of information; instead, people were turning to Twitter and other media channels to get news in real time. Leaders knew they had to align with their employees’ needs if they wanted them to not just hear the words, but to take action. And they had to make an emotional connection, which is where the bold vision came in. Rather than saying, “let’s go build the next product,” the Intel vision inspired people. It was a galvanizing force that showed where the company was going and how employees could help achieve that goal.

Inspire Me Intel is a very technical company where it’s hard for employees to explain what they do, especially to outsiders. To make it easier, the communications team created an intranet platform where employees can share the Intel story, then recruited ambassadors to start the conversations. It didn’t take long before people were engaging before they were asked to. One example is the team who, on their own, turned a code of conduct training course into a fun, Bollywood style presentation with much greater impact than the conventional version. Connect Me Intel is serious about engaging their employees. All intranet articles allow comments and dialogue. All full-time employees can have a company blog. They tap the “wisdom of the crowd,” through Intelpedia, Ask a Geek forums and forums for asking for peer advice during annual benefits enrollment. Employees can personalize their intranet home pages with the modules of their choice – and 40% did within the first few months. The Intel intranet also encourages conversations with executives through leader profiles, blogs, one-to-a-few sessions and quarterly webcasts. Value Me Online platforms are perfect for showing employees you care, in small and big ways. Intel started with fun recognition rewards like movie tickets and debit cards, and soon added online tutoring and information about tuition assistance, health centers and scholarships. They found that employees may not realize the benefits they’re already getting, so they use social media to raise awareness of perks such as stock options using friendly, easy to understand language.

Leaders Get Engaged

Aligning and Inspiring Employees

Melissa McVicker, Intel

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It’s Working! Intel leaders understand the need for employee engagement, especially using the technology and devices they’re moving toward as a business. They know they need to be where their employees are instead of forcing them into channels they don’t want to use. They really want to know what employees are thinking and why something isn’t working so they can ask them to be part of the solution.

Melissa McVicker is the director of employee communications at Intel. With more than 15 years in communications and marketing at Intel, she manages all communications to global employees, including Intel’s intranet and social media and executive communications. She managed global product launches, oversaw sales and customer communications and was co-director of Intel’s Global Communications team.

Since Intel started using digital platforms to engage employees, organizational health scores have gone up, dialogue is trending positive, turnover is less than 2% and pride is at a record high. They see mobile as their next area of growth, since they have 40,000 manufacturing employees without access to PCs. So far, they’ve created an internal app employees can put on their personal devices to receive news, benefits information and other company updates. Intel knows engaging 100,000 people starts with a good story. Employees have the stories; all you have to do is find ways to get them out there. ( Melissa McVicker talks about what leaders must do to engage employees )

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Leaders Get Engaged

Aligning and Inspiring Employees

Melissa McVicker, Intel


Purpose Driven Leadership and How It Is Transforming SunTrust Rilla Delorier and Chuck Allen, SunTrust Banks

The SunTrust journey to convert from a missiondriven company to a purpose-driven company started more than 10 years ago. But because SunTrust teammates (employees) were so focused on perspiration instead of inspiration, the dialogue had to shift to remind them of the noble work they do as a bank.

Leaders Get Engaged

Purpose Driven Leadership and Hot It Is Transorming SunTrust

Rilla Delorter and Chuck Allen, SunTrust Banks

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The Business Side of Purpose Not that long ago, business was all about shareholder value. In recent years, however, experts realized purpose was a strong driver of business metrics including attraction, retention and productivity. Purpose- and values-driven organizations were shown to outperform comparison companies by 16 to one. Firms with shared values-based cultures enjoyed 400% higher revenues,700% greater job growth and 1,200% higher stock prices. The numbers didn’t stop there. According to the book,Firms of Endearment, purpose-driven firms produced an outstanding aggregate return of 1,025% over the past 10 years, compared to 122% for the S&P 500. And MillwardBrown research

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Leaders Get Engaged

Purpose Driven Leadership and Hot It Is Transorming SunTrust

showed values-driven brands outperform the competition by five times shareholder growth. These results, coupled with high profile examples such as American Standard fixing latrines in developing countries, and Dove raising teenage girls’ self-esteem, seemed enough to sell a purpose driven approach to any CEO. Purpose, however, is rare in service organizations like banks, so SunTrust dug up even more facts to support this direction, specifically related to people engagement. They found, for example, that 65% of respondents to a 2012 Calling Brands study said purpose would motivate them to go the “extra mile” in their jobs. Sixty-four percent said it would engender a greater sense of loyalty toward the organization they work for.

Rilla Delorter and Chuck Allen, SunTrust Banks


What It Takes to Be a Purpose Driven Leader SunTrust knew positioning as a purpose-driven company required more than just talk. Leaders had to do introspective work first and make a decision that went beyond jumping on the purpose bandwagon. They knew this commitment would take guts; too many leaders are content to simply make a point and too few want to truly make a difference. SunTrust didn’t want to just fan the flames of their own constituency. They wanted to convince people who think differently than they do, find work that needs to be done and bring people together to do it. SunTrust discovered that to be a purpose-driven company, they had to challenge themselves on several fronts: How to measure success. Purpose requires a whole new metric system. You’re not selling something, you’re doing good and creating intrinsic value that can be difficult to measure. How to manage reputation. Even doing good won’t make everyone happy. Shareholders may question your position if they don’t agree with the causes you support. With purpose, reputation has to be built from the inside out, with everything you do as a company aligned. How to manage the integrity gap. For purposedriven companies, there can be no difference between what you say and what you do, both as a company and as individuals. Leaders must carefully scrutinize how they spend their time, where they spend their money, what questions they frequently ask other people, what they celebrate, what they reward and what keeps them up at night. If there are gaps between purpose and actions, they must take steps to close them.

Leaders Get Engaged

Purpose Driven Leadership and Hot It Is Transorming SunTrust

For SunTrust, the integrity gap was a huge divide between how they wanted to be perceived and how people perceive banks as a whole. As a result of the financial crisis, only 36% of Americans have confidence in the banking industry and only 31% think their banks help them. When it comes to financial services, people don’t want to be cross-sold, bundled or deepened, they want help from someone they trust. SunTrust, like many companies, found the fruits are in the roots. They unearthed their founding values, which were to build communities and back dreams. They rediscovered their purpose to light the way to financial wellbeing.

Rilla Delorter and Chuck Allen, SunTrust Banks

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Connecting the Dots SunTrust engaged teammates in the company’s renewed purpose by communicating its principles, values and performance promises, which emphasize deep client relationships, teamwork, productivity and financial results. They are igniting a movement to show people that net worth does not equal self-worth, and to help them feel better about their finances even if they’re living close to the edge. The SunTrust brand message, “how can we help you SHINE today,” speaks to the circumstances clients are going through, rather than talking about checking accounts and bank services. What SunTrust sells is the way their teammates interact with clients. To create new client experiences that reflect the company’s purpose, they had to start with the heart and minds of their teammates. Conversations in social media and other channels help teammates understand what clients are going through and make interactions much more impactful and meaningful.

RillaDelorier is chief marketing and client experience officer for SunTrust Banks, Inc. She is responsible for the company’s advertising, direct marketing, brand management, sponsorships, client analytics, cross-channel strategy, web solutions, line of business marketing, corporate communications and client loyalty programs. With a focus on leveraging client insight to enhance the bank’s operations, Rilla and her team use client feedback and analytics to design client experiences that reinforce the SunTrust brand promise and increase loyalty. She was recognized in 2011 by American Banker as one of the “Top 25 Women to Watch in Banking” and serves on the Board of Directors for the Bank Administration Institute (BAI). Chuck Allen is senior vice president, enterprise change management for SunTrust Banks, Inc. He helps lead a Center of Expertise that guides the company’s approach to multiple large-scale change initiatives and equipping leadership to improve employee capability to move through change quickly and effectively. Prior to that, Chuck was senior vice president, director of internal communications, where he was responsible for managing internal communications and communications services.

( RillaDelorier stresses the importance of teammates’ interactions with clients. )

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Leaders Get Engaged

Purpose Driven Leadership and Hot It Is Transorming SunTrust

Rilla Delorter and Chuck Allen, SunTrust Banks


Click to Enter: Opening New Doors to Employee Engagement Becky Graebe, SAS

SAS is consistently ranked a “best place to work.” They have 13,500 employees in 56 countries and an internal communications team of 10 people who manage to keep everyone connected with absolutely no print media. SAS takes its digital communication cues from the outside world. They created a collaborative environment based on Facebook, a real-time news approach patterned after Twitter and professional connections and groups similar to LinkedIn. They looked to YouTube for how to use eyewitness and amateur video, My YAHOO! for news and information filters and subscription features, Google for optimized search and Pinterest for sharing photos. Modeling internal platforms after popular real-world channels almost guaranteed adoption and eliminated the need for training.

Leaders Get Engaged

Click to Enter: Opening New Doors to Emplyee Engagement

At the heart of the company’s internal communication network is theSAS Wide Web, a searchable intranet packed with news, daily employee spotlights, videos and employeegenerated content and feedback. SAS knows tools like these have to be interesting and interactive to keep people coming back, so they weave fun, unexpected elements into the site. They’re also sensitive to the fact that their audience is global, and provide a corporate “wrapper” that accommodates local country content and native languages.

Becky Graebe, SAS

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Engagement Principles Because they have a small staff and a large, diverse audience, the SAS team has to be efficient and creative. A few key principles keep communications on track, consistent and aligned with the SAS culture of collaboration, innovation and fun. Encourage interaction. Employees can comment, share and like every news story on the SAS Wide Web through integration with the social media platform. Nothing is anonymous, and the social media policy is readily available. Get families involved. SAS has an external site for U.S. families to communicate benefits, corporate health services, activities, lunch menus and other items of interest. This offloads the HR team, saves on printed materials and deepens employee relationships. Let employees tell their stories. SAS makes it easy for employees to submit stories, photos and videos, and simple Q&A profile forms let them talk about themselves, their roles and their interests outside work. The communications team does very little editing to keep the stories genuine. Make connections with executives. In addition to executive blogs and webcasts, SAS uses interactive games and profiles to make their executives approachable.

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Leaders Get Engaged

Click to Enter: Opening New Doors to Emplyee Engagement

Have fun. Quirky holidays, junk swaps, recipe contests – it’s all in a day’s work at SAS. The communications team constantly looks for new ways to celebrate events and expand on fun things employees are already doing rather than forcing corporate mandates. Ask employees what they think. SAS polls employees on topics ranging from how they shop for gas to what text message they would send to Steve Jobs. They believe if employees get comfortable sharing their opinions on silly things, they’llbe more likely to give input when you really need it. Don’t take the social out of social networking. SAS launched The Hub, its social networking platform, in February 2011. It now has almost 10,000 active accounts and more than 1,000 work and personal interest groups. It’s proven to be great for peer to peer recognition, identifying emerging leaders and influencers, and global collaboration.

Becky Graebe, SAS


Next Up SAS’ employee engagement success is evident. The company continues to be a highly rated employer by Fortune and other leading indicators, internal communication survey results are positive and employee participation and use of communication tools are high. SAS isn’t resting on its laurels, though. Next up are more video, greater content syndication and distribution, and mobile-ready apps and pages to further tap the vast potential of employee engagement. SAS knows the next big idea is sitting in the mind of one of their employees. The best they can do is provide the tools and platforms that allow ideas to flourish.

Becky Graebe, internal communications manager at SAS, oversees traditional employee communications efforts and the intranet and internal social networking channels to ensure the company’s 13,000 employees around the world are well-informed and connected.

( Becky Graebe talks about where the next big idea will come from )

Leaders Get Engaged

Click to Enter: Opening New Doors to Emplyee Engagement

Becky Graebe, SAS

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Inside GM: Engaging Employees Before, During and After a Crisis Katie McBride, General Motors

General Motors (GM) is one of the world’s largest automakers. But as they celebrated their 100th anniversary, they also faced one of the most difficult periods in their history. After a financial decline that led to a government bailout and bankruptcy, GM emerged as a newly restructured company that paid back its government loans five years ahead of schedule and began the journey back to leading edge status. Through it all, employee communications and engagement played crucial roles in keeping people focused on making and selling cars and trucks.

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Leaders Get Engaged

Inside GM: Engaging Emplyees Before, During and After a Crisis

Katle McBride, General Motors


On Solid Ground As a company with more 217,000 employees and operations in 140 countries, GM has always had a potent internal communications engine. During the bankruptcy, time-tested tools such as quarterly business update broadcasts, town halls, an intranet and internal blogs were supplemented with CEO global web chats, regular videos of the senior leadership team and a forum called, “Answer Me Now,” to quickly address what was on employees’ minds in real language with no spin. While the GM bankruptcy communication strategy was developed in response to a crisis, it is a solid approach for any employee engagement program and focused on three key things: 1. Keep leaders visible and accessible. GM’s top messages to employees were: 1) the company was not going away, 2) they were building the best products in their history, 3) they had the tools to rebuild the company and 4) every employee played a role. They used internal and external blogs, broadcast and written messages, employee letters, FAQs and video clips from town halls and press conferences to keep employees informed of what was happening and how they would be affected.

3. Use employees as ambassadors to help tell the story. After GM emerged from bankruptcy, the communications team found pentup emotion and fatigue among employees, as well as intense pride and desire to prove they could come back stronger than ever. They tapped into this positive energy to rebuild relationships with stakeholders, rejuvenate a very damaged reputation and refocus on selling more cars and trucks.

2. Reach global audiences in meaningful, relevant ways. Correctly timing communications to a worldwide audience took a lot of coordination. The GM team also had to interpret the meaning and repercussions of bankruptcy in multiple countries. Although many non-U.S. employees were not significantly affected, they were hungry for information about the mother ship and what the crisis meant to them. GM provided core information in 14 languages to global communication partners who customized and distributed it to their local audiences.

Leaders Get Engaged

Inside GM: Engaging Emplyees Before, During and After a Crisis

Katle McBride, General Motors

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Engaging with the Brand

Social Media, GM Style

GM quickly realized that to capitalize on the positive momentum of rebuilding, they had to empower employees with tools and information so they could serve as ambassadors for their products, brands and the company. They also saw the opportunity for employees to humanize GM at a time when people were angry at them for taking taxpayer money. They instituted a product ambassador programthat allows people to take vehicles home for a weekend and show themoff, and employee ride and drives where employees test drive GM and competitor cars and trucks at their worksites to build product knowledge. An employee journalist program encourages people to volunteer to cover GM events in blogs, the online newsletter and through word-of-mouth to friends and co-workers.

GM does a lot to engage employees through social media tools, including clear guidelines and training. They have a Facebook fanpage where employees post news items, product information, photos and stories; a Twitter presence where employees engage with 87,000 followers and tweet about products and positive things happening inside the company; and a GM Google+ newsroom page with more than one million followers. They encourage employees to proactively reach out to auto, business, mommy and environmental bloggers, and maintain an active “Faces of GM� blog to humanize the company with stories, video and photos of employees and how their work benefits customers. One of the newest and most popular social media channels is OverDrive, a Web-based chat tool that allows employees to ask questions and get answers from their colleagues. About 40,000 employees participate and there are around 1,200 conversations each week.

No employee ambassador program works if employees aren’t knowledgeable about the company and products. GM developed a number of training and information tools including product microsites, sites and apps for providing customer discounts or help with a dealer or service issue, and opportunities to visit dealerships and call centers to better understand what customers need and value.

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Leaders Get Engaged

Inside GM: Engaging Emplyees Before, During and After a Crisis

Katle McBride, General Motors


Engagement Pays Off GM has shifted its communications from defensive bankruptcy education to proactive product promotion – with big benefits. Internally, it puts authority and responsibility in employees’ hands, strengthens pride and morale and ignites passion and enthusiasm. It gets employees out of the workplace so they can interact with customers and each other while they learn about products.Bottom line, it’s changing the culture. Externally, GM employee engagement helps build relationships with customers, makes the brand vision personaland lets consumers experience products outside the dealership. When consumers can connect and relate to the people and products behind the headlines, they become supporters and even advocates.

GM saw the power of being transparent during a crisis and they continue this philosophy as they rebuild their company, brand and reputation. When they know the whole story, employees get behind it, understand where they were going and take ownership in success. Katie McBride was appointed executive director of GM Community Connections in March 2011. She had been executive director of GM Global Product Operations and Environment and Energy Communications, following key leadership roles in Regional and Grassroots Communications and Global Internal and Executive Communications.

GM’s journey was difficult, but along with the pain came powerful lessons on using communications and employee engagement to weather a storm and emerge stronger. 1. Unleashing employees can be risky. There will be missteps and mistakes, but the long-term benefits are worth it. 2. Engagement takes time. Employees must make engagement part of their daily routines for it to pay dividends.

( Katie McBride shares the vital need for transparency during a crisis )

3. Perseverance is a must. Changing a culture and image is a long process; every small win should be celebrated. 4. Success requires leadership and support. Employees can’t change the climate alone. Leaders must be committed and willing to do their part.

Leaders Get Engaged

Inside GM: Engaging Emplyees Before, During and After a Crisis

Katle McBride, General Motors

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Leader Engagement: The Big Ideas People who work in good climates where there’s a sense of purpose and job clarity outperform those in average climates by up to 30%. Leaders must focus on the narrative, not just the numbers. Leaders are the keepers of reality and must continually ensure communications and actions are aligned. People need emotional connections to their work to make it meaningful. A bold vision is key. Smart leaders tap into the “wisdom of the crowd.” Good leaders communicate with employees where they are instead of forcing them into channels they don’t want to use. Purpose- and values-driven organizations outperform comparison companies by 16 to one.

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Leaders Get Engaged: The Big Ideas

Good leaders don’t just fan the flames of their own constituencies. They convince people who think differently than they do, find work that needs to be done and bring people together to do it. Modeling internal communication platforms after popular real-world channels almost guarantees adoption and eliminates the need for training. Smart companies don’t take the social out of social networking. They encourage personal interest groups, peer to peer recognition and global collaboration. Employees who have the right tools and information are great ambassadors for products, brands and the company. Employees can’t change the climate alone. Leaders must be committed and willing to do their part.


Chapter 2

Engagement is Forever Social media communication is not “of the moment,� it is an ongoing engagement of people, ideas and actions. See how organizations of every size take a strategic approach to social media to drive consistency, deepen commitments and create cultural change.

Engaging the Social Workforce

Engagement is Forever

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Your Audience Never Leaves: Digital Tools to Support Live Interactions Mike Standish, PBJS

Live events may be the ultimate employee engagement opportunities. Done well, they encompass everything from social media to sensory experiences to live interactions. As a leading creative agency and producer of live events, PBJS has developed powerful principles for engaging audiences before, during and after the event.

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Engagement is Forever

Your Audience Never Leaves: Digital Tools to Support Live Interactions

Mike Standish, PBJS


It’s All About the Story Event planning begins with the stories you want to share. With meaningful, inspiring content, you can use communication and engagement tools to build a community or family around your brand and ideas. The next step is to develop the event strategy. When does an event begin? When the audience first hears from you.When does an event end? Never.An event is not just what happens on a given day. It’s a yearly calendar of nurturing the community you want to build. Employees are part of that ongoing story and should be engaged long after the physical event is over. Events have five touch points, all of which are opportunities to engage and inspire employees using digital as well as conventional tools. 1. Before: Establish your brand with a consistent story, look and feel across all media to build awareness and credibility. Choose the communication channels most appropriate to your audience. Does Facebook make sense? How about a dedicated website? Use digital tools only if they’re useful and inspiring, such as gathering presentation ideas from employees and letting them vote on what they want to see and experience. 2. Entering: Set the tone as employees arrive at your event, using the moment to preview the story you want to tell. If appropriate, use digital tools such as QR codes to communicate schedules or make check-in easier.

4. Downtime: Don’t overlook breaks and meals as opportunities to extend your story or event brand and further engage employees. An Instagram photo booth is a fun way for people to interact and walk away with physical and digital reminders of their experiences. Device charging stations are not only convenient, they show empathy for employees’ digital lifestyles and needs. 5. After: First, say thank you, then ask for feedback. Make your evaluation fun and playful so people will actually do it. Be smart about follow up; tell people when they’ll hear from you again and invite them to participate in the next event to maintain the feeling of community. Don’t say goodbye; continue conversations in meaningful ways.

3. During: Obviously, content is everything. If a digital platform will enrich the experience, go for it.Live interaction where employees can text questions during the presentation, for example, keeps content fresh and relevant. Just make sure the technology works and is mixed with tried and true tools.

Engagement is Forever

Your Audience Never Leaves: Digital Tools to Support Live Interactions

Mike Standish, PBJS

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Digital Tools: Yes or No?

Live Events: What’s On Your Mind?

A live event seems like the perfect venue for digital tools. They’re interactive, easy to use and can raise an event’s hip factor a notch or two. But just because something’s available doesn’t mean it should be used. Whether you’re thinking about using them before, during and/or after an event, ask these questions before checking yes on the digital tools box.

In the spirit of social engagement, we asked Connect 13 attendees to tweet their questions to Mike Standish during his presentation on live events. Here are a few of their thought-provoking questions and Mike’s inspired answers.

• Does it make the event easier to experience? • Does it enrich the content? (Eye candy doesn’t count.) • Does it inspire employees to attend and/or take action? • Does it help build a community? • Does it extend the event’s impact after it’s over? • Is it available to and accessible by all employees, including those who may be new to technology?

Q: Ever notice so many events feel like school? Just look at room layout. How can you make events participatory? A: For so long, live employee events have been executives on a stage talking to the audience. That structure will not likely go away, but surrounding it with participatory elements can make it more enriching and inspiring. Use social networks to poll the audience during a keynote, for instance, to empower employees with partial ownership of the presentation. Invite employees to shape the content of the event. This takes planning and executive trust, but satisfaction scores increase when you turn the spotlight on employees and invite them to participate. Q: Thoughts around branding/promoting ongoing live events such as quarterly exec webcasts?

( Mike Standish outlines his criteria for using digital tools at live events ) Big or small, frequent or rare, live events are great employee engagement opportunities. Digital tools can help extend the engagement and make your events more productive and worthwhile than ever before.

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Engagement is Forever

A: A quarterly webcast should get the same treatment as any live event. Give it an identifiable brand, name, look and feel that is easily recognizable—because you’re not just shooting a webcast. There should be a website. Promotional emails. Motion graphics in the video. Use email announcements, employee contests and usersubmitted content within the webcast to grow viewership. Unify these assets with a style guide for art directors and others developing collateral. Here are three things to consider:

Your Audience Never Leaves: Digital Tools to Support Live Interactions

Mike Standish, PBJS


1. Without a brand of its own, an event can disappear within your larger brand ecosystem. 2. Find an identity that stands out, yet makes sense within the context of your brand as a whole. 3. Be creative within a brand without breaking its rules. The event aesthetic must make sense when seen side by side with your overall branding. Q: Events on a budget? Advice for nonprofits? A: There’s no magic bullet for doing live events on a budget, but digital tools can help. Try a webinar or Skype/Google Hangout-style meeting, promoted with print collateral, signage and other branded elements distributed to all your locations. This extends the event brand to conference rooms and common areas to turn it into something different and exciting. When your print collateral matches what’s onscreen, it brings it all together nicely. And remember, no matter what your budget is, the real heroes of any event are content and speakers. Q: What are the top enterprise social networking tools today? A: Companies that want Facebook-level social networking including profile pages, commenting, etc., often create those experiences from scratch – a massive undertaking and not for everyone. Solutions that cost practically nothing include:

Engagement is Forever

Your Audience Never Leaves: Digital Tools to Support Live Interactions

• • • •

Base camp: Track project files and bring teams together through custom task lists, messages and more. Instant messaging: Use Microsoft’s Lync and similar products for IM, video conferencing and more. Existing social networks: Facebook and Twitter are ubiquitous for a reason. Use them for live events by creating a Facebook Group just for the event. Hashtag like crazy. It’s simple and underscores your event brand. Event brite: Organize live events and use application partners to extend your reach to a variety of devices for minimal cost.

Contact: Mike Standish +1 (206) 399 1118 mikest@pbjs.com

Mike Standish is senior director of content strategy for PBJS Seattle. His 15-year career has spanned a wide range of creative media, from print, film and Web content production to online branded entertainment and corporate communications. Mike has directed campaigns for Microsoft, Intel, The Walt Disney Company, AT&T, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many more. As a content strategist and creative director, he understands the importance of communicating an effective brand narrative to a targeted audience and serves client needs with engaging, eye-catching content execution.

Mike Standish, PBJS

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Drive Systemic Change Beyond Social Media Ben Edwards, IBM

Many companies assume employee engagement affects financial performance; IBM knows it for a fact. Surveys show the most important factor in the IBM experience is the person you interact with, not advertising and other marketing vehicles where the most money is spent. The IBM operating model says financial performance is a function of the client experience, which in turn is a function of employee engagement.

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Engagement is Forever

Drive Systemic Change Beyond Social Media

Ben Edwards, IBM


The Business of Social How does a giant like IBM engage 450,000 employees and influence the workflow to drive financial success? The mission is simple: to shape opinions by activating IBMers. At IBM, they don’t talk about social media or computing, they talk about social business. It’s not a channel or platform or technology, it’s a transformation that began back in 2005 with blogging guidelines. Today, social business at IBM is how they work and how they engage clients, prospects, investors and communities. They’re redesigning workflows to be transparent, accessible, clientcentric and responsive, and to encourage expertise sharing. In short, the primary goal of social media is to connect and do business. Back in 2005, IBM employees were encouraged to blog internally and externally for knowledge management. The current approach is much more intentional and focused on helping

Engagement is Forever

Drive Systemic Change Beyond Social Media

Ben Edwards, IBM

employees get better at using social tools internally and externally. In the last few years, the risk has shifted from brand and reputation to cyber security. Social media has become an important attack vector and social media engineering is much more sophisticated. IBM wants their people to understand the risk and be experts at it.

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Powerful Tools and Tenets Social business at IBM takes many forms, each with clearly defined objectives and guidelines. While these programs are specific to IBM’s needs, their tenets can be adapted to build strong social business tools and platforms in other environments where connectivity and collaboration are essential. Web services for partnersand sellers. IBM makes external marketing support services available on demand. Stock images on the website have been replaced with authentic IBM people, which increases trust and liftspage performance by 15-20%. Helping employees engage successfully in social business. IBM Select educates, enables, measures and optimizes employees’ social media participation for business. Employees take an in-depth online behavioral assessment that helps IBM understand individual social media strengths and assign tasks based on experience and preferences. IBM can also determine where employees engage and what content or activities would suit them best, thus increasing the chance of conversion, or the desired action from the audience.

Learning and doing. The Digital IBMer Hub offers broad education on social and security topics, gives access to technologies and tools and highlights social business resources. Ben Edwards is vice president, digital strategy and development at IBM. He leads the design and development of branded IBM experiences across digital media to connect and mobilize clients, partners, employees and the communities in which IBM does business. These experiences span websites, Web applications, mobile applications, social media and cloud computing interfaces.

Content aggregator. IBM Voices is a website that aggregates and presents social business content from IBMers from around the world in one spot. Instead of striving to speak to stakeholders in one voice, IBM wants clients, prospects and other influencers to know what IBMers are thinking and talking about.

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Engagement is Forever

Drive Systemic Change Beyond Social Media

Ben Edwards, IBM


Connecting with Candidates and Newly Hired Employees Before and After Day 1 Allison Bunin, North Shore-LIJ Health System

North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System (NS-LIJ) is the largest employer in New York State, with more than 43,000 employees and 100-200 more joining every week at dozens of locations. One of the problems with such a large workforce is managing new hires in the vast network, especially in an industry where almost all resources are spent on patient care. You have to be savvy about using digital tools to capture employees’ attention the moment they begin interacting with you. You have to make sure your employer brand is strong and consistent through the onboarding process and beyond.

Engagement is Forever

Connecting with Candidates and Newly Hired Emplyees Before and After Day 1,

Allison Bunin, North Shore-LIJ Health System

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Looking Back A few years ago, new employees joining NS-LIJ were unimpressed with the recruiting website and no one connected with them from the time theywere hired until they started their jobs. For many employees, the first two days of orientation were clinically focused and not relevant to the jobs they were hired for. Quite simply, the company did not engage people when they took the job, and treated them all the same once they got it. NS-LIJ squandered a significant opportunity to shape its corporate s with the influx of new recruits.

the dots from candidate to new hire to settled, productive employee. After all, these people are at a stage in their careers where they are impressionable and crave connectivity and purpose. The question becomes, how do you engage, excite and inspire them on a regular basis?

In the healthcare business, it’s necessary to communicate that the patient comes first. Therefore, it can be a challenge to let employees know where they stand, and do so with few resources. Even more important is connecting

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Engagement is Forever

Connecting with Candidates and Newly Hired Emplyees Before and After Day 1,

Allison Bunin, North Shore-LIJ Health System


Time to Reengage NS-LIJ knew that connecting with employees before, during and after they were hired would boost morale and productivity. They implemented several programs to change the experience and engage employees in a positive, relationship-building ways. Build an employer value proposition. To get employees invested in the company’s success, NS-LIJ created a mantra, a flag for employees to follow. They asked their people what they cared about most. The answer? “Transforming Care, Transforming Careers.” NS-LIJ leveraged this message as much as possible, embedding it throughout the application and onboarding processes and beyond. Grab their attention at orientation. The NS-LIJ CEO gives a powerful, “transforming careers” speech every week during new hire orientation. The employee communications department created an emotional and inspiring video using nothing but a Mac computer to show what the healthcare system means to its patients – a far cry from clinical-based training. Build the right career portal. NS-LIJ focused their resources on Career Compass, essentially a “new hire portal on steroids.” It personally guides each new hire through the critical first 90 days on the job, beginning the moment they sign on to their computer after orientation. Follow up. Once employees are settled, a great way to keep them connected to your brand is through social media. Only do this if you can keep up with it though, as your social media channels are only as good as their content.

Engagement is Forever

Connecting with Candidates and Newly Hired Emplyees Before and After Day 1,

Changing the way NS-LIJ interacts with applicants and employees is an ongoing journey with many challenges, but the results have been worth it. Not everything has worked, so it’s important to constantly reevaluate what you are doing and change course if need be. Many programs did work, however. The new hire portal now receives more than 200,000 applicants a year, more newly hired employees sign up for benefits and the new hire e-mail open rate is up more than 24%. Allison Bunin is assistant vice president of internal communications at the North Shore-LIJ Health System, a $6.5 billion health system with 16 hospitals and hundreds of outpatient facilities across metropolitan New York. She oversees all employee communications for a workforce of more than 45,000 and is responsible for driving the “employer/employee experience” through integrated communications.

Allison Bunin, North Shore-LIJ Health System

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Do It Like Marketers Do – Treating Employees as a Key Audience Ellen Valentine, Silver Pop

Employee engagement can be labor-intensive, especially in companies with thousands of employees in multiple locations around the country or around the world. Marketing automation tools are one way to do more with less while keeping engagement personal and authentic.

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Engagement is Forever

Do It Like Marketers Do- Treating Employees as a Key Audience

Ellen Valentine, Silver Pop


Ten Steps to Engagement Here are 10 ways to reach employees, influencers, alumni and applicants using marketing automation. 1. Annual insurance or benefits opt-in: Tailor messages and schedule them based on your audience to avoid blasting everyone whether they qualify or not. Build rules and let it run.

9. Event opt-ins: Using a Web form on your intranet, automate event registration and track who has signed up. Schedule a second wave reminder.

2. Happy birthday from the CEO:Personalize messages with names and information such as years of service.

10. Influencer/outside recruiter updates: Use automatic updates to communicate regularly with the media, analysts and other influential audiences. Content scraping lets you grab press releases or product updates so you can create new content.

3. Happy anniversary: Similar to birthdays, set up special employee milestones as system rules and implement automatically. 4. New employee onboarding: Drip-nurture new hires with information on education, training, orientation, etc. Track email opens to make sure they’re accessing what they need. 5. Job applicants and inquiries:Capture contacts and communicate with them over time to keep your company in front of people who want to work for you. 6. Facebook opt-ins: Nurture relationships with people who show interest in your company. 7. Employee referral program: Send referral rewards automatically as soon as employment criteria are met. 8. Annual certifications: Schedule messages to people when it’s time for training or certification renewals.

Engagement is Forever

Do It Like Marketers Do- Treating Employees as a Key Audience

Marketing automation is also valuable for capturing social media activity such as white paper downloads on Facebook and tracking Twitter leads. All it takes are knowledge of what’s possible, a vision of what you want to accomplish, the skills to use the tools and a master database that can be populated with employee demographics, behaviors and interests. By creating rules based on values in the database, you ensure your audience gets communications that are relevant, useful and interesting to them as individuals. Ellen Valentine is a product strategist for Silverpop, the only digital marketing technology provider that unifies marketing automation, email, mobile and social. Ellen coaches and mentors clients to adapt to new digital marketing practices to improve business results, increase engagement and more fully take advantage of Silverpop’s technology.

Ellen Valentine, Silver Pop

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The Digital Divide: Global Engagement at All Levels Bruce Brooks, Interface FLOR

Interface FLOR is the worldwide leader in the design, production and sale of modular carpet tile. The company has humble origins. Founded in LaGrange, Georgia, in 1973, it has grown into a complex global operation with 47 showrooms and 3,300 employees who speak more than 40 languages and dialects. Interface services all market segments, including corporate spaces, hotels and homes. The founder’s mission, however, was bigger than selling carpet. His goal is as ambitious today as it was in the ‘70s: to convert the product to one that’s completely sustainable from an environmental perspective.

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Engagement is Forever

The Digital Divide: Global Engagement at All Levels,

Bruce Books, Interface FLOR


Mission Zero Mission Zero is Interface’s effort to eliminate any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020. It requires cooperation, input and buy-in from all Interface employees. They are a company trying to change the world— and they just happen to make carpet. From the time he started Interface until his death in 2011, founder Ray Andersen was passionate about his vision and talked about it at every opportunity. He worked hard to instill that passion in his employees. Now, Interface is working to honor his legacy and achieve his Mission Zero goal by nurturing a passionate and dedicated workforce. The company accomplishes this in a number of ways: • Asksfront line employees what Mission Zero means to them. • Developed a consistent onboarding program so new employees around the word are aware of the Mission Zero goal and its importance. Part of this includes a video demonstrating employee passion for Mission Zero. • Builds awareness, excitement and belief that the company will achieve its goal. For instance, in Thailand, Interface is reclaiming discarded fishing nets and turning them in products. • Adopted an awards program recognizing factory employees who live the mission. • Implemented a visual factory campaign with posters and signs. • Holds quarterly meetings to assess progress and engage employees. • Updated technology and tools for better communication and collaboration.

Engagement is Forever

The Digital Divide: Global Engagement at All Levels,

Bruce Books, Interface FLOR

As the company talked to employees and promoted Mission Zero, it discovered something very important. Sustainability gives employees something to believe in besides profit. The program has inspired employees to bring sustainability into their own lives, and has shown how committed employees are to their founder’s dream. The best news? The company is on track to meet its Mission Zero goal. Bruce Brooks is director of associate communications for the Americas division of Interface, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles and a global sustainability leader. He oversees strategic communications for associates in North America and Latin America using a variety of channels to reach both manufacturing and non-manufacturing associates. Through a variety of communication vehicles, he works to increase the level of employee engagement in the company’s unique Mission Zero brand promise – or its promise to eliminate any negative impact the company’s operations may have on the environment by 2020. Bruce has led efforts to develop social media policies and leverage social media tools for associates.

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Ongoing Engagement: The Big Ideas With meaningful, inspiring content, communication and engagement tools can build a community or family around brands and ideas.

Employer brands must strong and consistent throughout the onboarding process and beyond.

Social media conversations shouldn’t end; they should continue in meaningful ways.

A mantra or flag based on what employees care most about gets them invested in company success.

In many companies, financial performance is a function of the client experience, which in turn is a function of employee engagement.

Creating database rules based on audience values ensures communications are relevant, useful and interesting to them as individuals.

Understanding employees’ social media strengths can help determine where employees engage and what content or activities would suit them best, thus increasing the desired.

Companies who give employees something to believe in besides profit inspire them to bring the goals into their own lives.

Instead of speaking to stakeholders in one voice, smart companies let clients, prospects and other influencers know what employees are thinking and talking about.

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Engagement is Forever

The Big Ideas


Chapter 3

Creating Brand Champions Branding no longer belongs to the marketing department or advertising agency; it’s every employee’s job to understand it, protect it and promote it. Whether they work in human resources, engineering or on the manufacturing line, employees can use social media to get the information and inspiration to become brand ambassadors.

Engaging the Social Workforce

Creating Brand Champions

41


People-Powered Brands: Empowering a Tribe of Internal Advocates Geno Church, Author, Brains on Fire

When you work in advertising, marketing or other idea-pushing businesses, it’s easy to get caught up in the work and lose interest in people. When that happened at Brains on Fire, it was time for a gut check. They decided they wanted their brands to be voices and advocates for people, and they started acting that way themselves. A good example of the Brains on Fire philosophy at work was when they accepted the challenge to tackle the highest ever smoking rate amongU.S. teens. They worked with teens who became the voice of the message, talking about the choice to smoke or not. They empowered young people to become leaders and this very successful program still exists today. Another example was a fitness franchise client who wanted to make fitness more real, more human. Brains on Fire started conversations first with employees. Then they engaged fitness “rebels:” owners, trainers and employees who were using different techniques to impact people’s lives.

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Creating Brand Champions

They helped them form communities to connect the unconnected. They made the brand real – and customers took notice. These stories illustrate the power of “tribal” behavior, or people powered brands. According to Seth Godin, a tribeisa group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to anidea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or an other. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and away to communicate. Encouraging tribal behavior is the perfect analogy for empowering employees to be brand advocates. For many of us, it also means unlearning what we’ve learned and letting ourselves be guided by new ways of thinking:

People-Powered Brands: Empowering a Tribe of Internal Advocates

Geno Church, Brains on Fire


A powerful identity is a must. Be a little loose with brand rules. Let your tribe fly their flag. Don’t pick the advocates you want; let them emerge. Make your brand more human. Find your hand raisers. Start the conversation locally and work out from there.

with Brains On Fire, he has helped build wordof-mouth into the identities of brands including Fiskars Brands, the American Booksellers Association, Rawlings Sporting Goods and Rage Against the Haze (South Carolina’s youth-led antitobacco movement).

Put people in the story and let them have ownership.Being part of a great story compels us to share. Build relationships. Love the people in your tribe, warts and all. Most of all, be real.

( Geno Church talks about tribal behavior )

Geno Church, Brains on Fire’s word-of-mouth inspiration officer, is responsible for developing word-of-mouth, buzz, viral and evangelism strategies for the agency’s clients. In his 14+ years

Creating Brand Champions

People-Powered Brands: Empowering a Tribe of Internal Advocates

Geno Church, Brains on Fire

43


Becoming an Employer of Choice from the Inside Out Cameron Batten, American Express

American Express is one of the world’s most recognized brands, but they faced a unique brand challenge. New technology platforms and services require them to hire developers, programmers and other types of talent who may not think of American Express as an employer of choice. To attract these candidates, the company had to reengineer its recruiting model, infrastructure and employee brand story to define American Express as a great place to work for a new kind of employee.

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Creating Brand Champions

Becoming an Emplyeer of Choice from the Inside Out

Cameron Batten, American Express


Talent Brand Positioning

Mapping Talent Touch Points

As a global, high-profile company, American Express has a lot of product and service brands. Their talent brand had to be consistent with the global brand while telling a story that would appeal to the candidates they wanted to target.

The candidate decision cycle is not linear. People experience and form impressions of American Express and other potential employers at many touch points, including YouTube, LinkedIn and consumer advertising. Once they start engaging as employment candidates on career sites, with applications and during interviews, the brand experience must be the same and the narrative consistent.

American Express’ first steps in developing a talent brand were to research targets, interview stakeholders, assess employee survey results and look at competitors to identify what differentiates American Express as an employer. Using these insights, the team developed and tested a talent brand position and narrative centered on, “challenging work with a purpose.� They also defined the traits they would look for in potential employees.

Creating Brand Champions

Becoming an Emplyeer of Choice from the Inside Out

American Express ensured this consistency by 1) communicating the talent brand position and recruiting strategy to senior leaders and global recruitment teams, 2) launching talent brand training and communications to hiring leaders and human resources employees and 3) communicating recruitment campaigns internally to all American Express employees. Online tools and platforms including Webinars, a recruiter community, a refreshed careers site, a talent brand training site and an online talent requisition process gave everyone easy access to information and kept the conversations real.

Cameron Batten, American Express

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Measuring Results American Express diligently measures talent experiencesthroughout the recruiting and hiring lifecycle. Since revamping its talent brand and recruiting strategy, they have seen vast improvements in career site visits, applicants and conversions; social media visits, applicants and conversions; and mobile visits.

Cameron Batten is vice president of communications at American Express. He is a trusted advisor in global corporate communications, brand management and digital/ new media. Cameron is recognized for producing award-winning communications and employee engagement programs that move businesses forward.

Illustrations by dScribe - dScribe.ca

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Creating Brand Champions

Becoming an Emplyeer of Choice from the Inside Out

Cameron Batten, American Express


Unleashing Employee Potential Ben Brooks, Former Marsh

Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser with 25,000 employees around the globe. After a disastrous decade marked by tragic losses on 9/11, multiple leadership changes, poor financial results and painful cost cuts, the organization realized they had to declare a new future and create a great place to work for outstanding people. Many things changed, but it was commitments such as rewards linked to performance, career development and performance enabling tools that helped change the conversation inside Marsh and put the organization back on track

Creating Brand Champions

Unleashing Employee Potential,

Ben Brooks, Former Marsh

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Burn Off the Fog

Everyone is a Teacher

Marsh has always been a great company full of great people – but like San Francisco hidden under a blanket of fog, the assetshad to be rediscovered. It didn’t take outside experts to find them. It took identifying and communicating inspiring stories about how Marsh products are used and the people who are passionate about selling them

Like many companies, Marsh traditionally thought of learning as a few smart people who teach everyone else what they need to know. Part of burning off the fog was to abandon that notion, find a lot of smart people inside the company who wanted to share their expertise and create an environment where people could meet and connect. Research shows adults learn and develop in three ways. Ten percent comes from formal training, 20% from mentoring and coaching, and 70% from informal, social and on-the-job experiences. Marsh set out to exploit the 70% with Marsh University, an online community where, “everyone is a teacher.” Online communitieshave a unique engagement dynamic. Ninety percent of users are lurkers; they look but don’t do anything. Nine percent are passive contributors who like, comment and share. The last 1% are active contributors. Marsh focused on the small number of contributors,knowing thatbefore long, the rest of the crowd would follow. To make sure Marsh University got off the ground unencumbered by the complexities of a huge IT initiative, the communications team decided to build a classroom instead of a campus. They recruited teachers, let them sign up for what they wanted to teach, built content and encouraged conversations in a flexible Word Press content management system. They found 50 people who wanted to be ambassadors for the program and hosted fun programs like photo contests to generate excitement and momentum.

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Creating Brand Champions

Unleashing Employee Potential,

Ben Brooks, Former Marsh


Make It Happen Culture and values are key parts of creating a great place to work for outstanding people. To more clearly define what Marsh stood for and how they wanted people to behave, the leadership team engaged managers from all parts of the company to develop six new operating principles forming the acronym, IGNITE. Employees loved it, and even though they didn’t always adhere to brand standards in the way they applied IGNITE to their own divisions or programs, Marketing let them run with it to encourage adoption of the principles themselves.

University allow employees to learn, participate in executive updates, converse with their peers and share ideas all year. No longer does a less than stellar quarter mean the end of employee events and programs. Social media allows Marsh to keep the momentum going.

As with the operating principles, unleashing employee potential means finding out what’s important to people and letting them create their own experiences. The social aspects of Marsh

Creating Brand Champions

Unleashing Employee Potential,

Ben Brooks is the former senior vice president and global director of Enterprise Communications & Colleague Engagement at Marsh Inc., the world leader in risk and insurance services and solutions. Ben was responsible for the firm’s global internal communications, strategic change management, social media adoption, corporate culture and employee engagement for 24,500 colleagues globally. He was named 2011 “Rising Star” by HR Executive Magazine.

Ben Brooks, Former Marsh

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Internal and External Rebranding: Connecting the Dots and the People Anthony D’Angelo, ITT

ITT is a $12.5 billion, highly diversified manufacturer of engineered components and customized technology for the energy, transportation and industrial markets. It was founded in the 1840s, went on an acquisition binge in the 1960s, and in 2011 split into three separate companies, including ITT Industrial Process. In short, two years ago, ITT was a century-old startup. And when the dust settled, the workforce found itself asking, “What now?”

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Creating Brand Champions

Internal and External Rebranding: Connecting the Dots and the People

Anthony D’Angelo, ITT


A New Brand Beginning The process of untangling something this large and complex into three separate entities had the potential to seriously disruptthe workforce, not to mention create a lot of external chatter. People wondered if ITT Industrial Process had enough resources to survive the surgery, so to speak. One of the biggest problems they faced was the need to create a whole new internal and external brand—and they had 10 months to do it. To approach the challenge, the leadership team devised a series of internal questions. • Does the company have a plan? • Do employees understand the competitive situation? • Does leadership understand employee perception of the company? • Is the change of company structure a campaign or an operating model? After all, it must be about the business at its core. • What do we want people to know, feel and do? What will they experience that’s different? Most importantly, ITT Industrial Process set out to find its competitive advantage in the marketplace while isolating its internal strengths: what do we build on and what do we change? They did research to find authentic things about the brand. During a listening tour, the research kept returning to a key message: what’s cool about ITT Industrial Process is that the stuff they make lasts forever and their people take pride in the fact they are in an essential industry. These points were developed further into the working mantra, “The ITT Way,” and a DNA that says:

Creating Brand Champions

Internal and External Rebranding: Connecting the Dots and the People

• • • • •

We have highly engineered products. We are a global company. We are leaders in the industry. We are a long-standing brand. The workforce is the core of the company.

ITT Industrial Process took what the employees said were the most important things about the company and used it to increase engagement with partners and potential customers in a series of innovative ways: • • •

Its most legendary product is the Gould pump, a water pump developed in the 19th century. The company established Pump Appreciation Day, a holiday to celebrate its original product. It formed a sponsorship with the American Heart Association. After all, the heart is the most important pump. It established an online contest and awards program, a photo contest and an online quiz, knowing engineers love knowledge-based games and activities.

As a result of the initiatives, de-merger sales went up 20% and brand awareness rose 3%. Employee engagement with the Pump Appreciation Day site was huge! Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, is senior manager, communications for ITT Industrial Process and responsible for internal and external communications strategies and programs. With more than 20 years of corporate and agency experience, he joined ITT in 2011, following service in lead communications roles for Carrier Corporation and Magna International. He is an adjunct professor of public relations at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Anthony D’Angelo, ITT

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Big Ideas: Brand Champion A powerful brand identity is a must. Smart companies are a little loose with brand rules and let their tribe fly the flag.

A company’s culture is defined by the human connection with each employee and how well management engages them.

The best brand advocates aren’t selected; they emerge on their own.

It doesn’t take outside experts to find a company’s hidden assets. It takes identifying and communicating inspiring stories about products and the people who are passionate about them.

A good talent brand is consistent with the global brand while telling a story that appeals to targeted candidates. The candidate decision cycle is not linear. Because people experience and form impressions of potential employers at many touch points including social media and consumer advertising, all messages must be consistent. Sometimes improving the brand means rewriting the company rulebook. Positive customer experiences begin with a combination of exceptional leadership and highly engaged employees.

Great companies know everyone’s a teacher. They find smart employees who want to share their expertise and create an environment where people can connect. Unleashing employee potential means finding out what’s important to people and letting them create their own experiences. Brand standards are necessary in most cases, but there are times when it’s best to let people run with their ideas. Engaging employees before they’re employed is the way to build shareholder value. Everyone in a company is responsible for communicating the employer brand.

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Creating Brand Champions

Brand Champion


Brian L. Burgess Practice Director, Brand and Talent MSLGROUP North America 646.500.7635 brian.burgess@mslgroup.com

Mike Russell SVP, Sales & Business Development MSLGROUP Americas 646.500.7825 mike.russell@mslgroup.com

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Engaging The Social Workforce  

Insights from industry leaders attending PRSA's Connect 2013 on evolving leadership styles, tools and programs to engage 21st century employ...