The impact of social media on corporate culture

In a recent post, Rob Paterson at the FASTforward Blog did a mini case study on how one company is successfully using the social networking tool Twitter in their corporate environment. It opens up new ideas of how strong the impact of social media on corporate culture will be, especially with more Gen Y and Millennial employees taking their place in the corporate world.

Zappos is an online shoe retailer that expects to bring in more than $1 billion this year. The company touts it’s success on superior customer service - promising free, four-day delivery, free returns and an outstanding call center where customers get through to a real person on the first try.

More than 300 Zappos employees use Twitter to let friends, colleagues and customers know what they’re doing at any given time in the day. This informal and immediate conversation benefits the company culture by keeping employees connected and promoting collaboration.

For those out there who missed the bandwagon - Twitter is an online, social networking tool where users update their status by answering one question (“What are you doing?”) in 140 characters or less. Tweets, as they’re called, can be made online or by text message for those employees on the go.

Take a quick look at Zappos’ Twitter page and you can find customers raving about the new boots that just arrived and the “Grt cust svc” they experienced. You’ll also find employees discussing treats outside the lunchroom and recent NPR features about the company.

Zappos also keeps a running “Inside Zappos Blog” to keep employees and customers updated on the happenings inside the company. Yesterday’s post, “Happy Birthday & Happy Graduation Young Squire,” is a congratulations to a young graphic designer for passing his New Hire Training test and his birthday, complete with a toilet-papered working area.

Other large companies, like T. Rowe Price and Best Buy have incorporated various Web 2.0 tools in their daily routines.

During each tax season, T. Rowe Price hires 1,500 workers who all go through an extensive training program. The trainers transferred the entire training program to a wiki where employees can add notes, comments and recommendations. The company estimates they save millions in wasted call time.

Best Buy created the Blue Shirt Nation (BSN), a secure and private social networking site for more than 100,000 of their employees. The company adopted the site as a way to engage employees to share new ideas that could improve the business. “In general, they talk about how to make Best Buy a better place. Improve on the things we don't do well, share the things that we do do well, talk about and express the culture that we have, talk about customers- both good and bad,” said founder and sponsor Gary Koelling.

Generation Y and the Millenials are making their way into the corporate world and bringing along all of their favorite social networking sites. Keeping these young employees engaged and connected is not tough ... if you’re using the right tools.

1 comment:

Rob said...

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