It is our pleasure to introduce our December Customer of the Month award to Thomas Scott from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). Here is his story, in his own words:
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has 20,000 employees in 47 countries around the world. CWT is blessed with a culture of collaboration and trust among employees. Employees share common values; talent and skills abound. There is an incredible amount of energy around the world. Employee engagement scores are high. So what could be better?
As employee communication leader for CWT, I am constantly searching for ways to ensure all employees actively drive CWT’s goals and remain mobilized. In my mind, this mobilization can happen only if two conditions are met:
- Employees need to be willing to go above and beyond job demands, while constantly looking for ways to do their jobs more efficiently. That is what we typically call employee engagement.
- Employees must prioritize their work to be more aligned with company goals, while actively advocating for these goals.
In a global, highly matrixed organization, how can we help employees focus on these two areas?
My professional experience has shown me the importance of ‘the personal connection’ in ensuring employees are mobilized across an organization. Two areas are particularly important, the first of which is a feeling of a personal connection with a company’s goals. The more employees feel connected to strategic goals, the more likely they are to actively participate, prioritizing those goals. The second area is around the support employees feel they have from each other – not just from their own manager or leader. I have found that most employees are excited about sharing their ideas on how to do their jobs better and more efficiently. Unfortunately, large global companies do not always have the means or platforms for employees to make the personal connection or share ideas outside of their immediate circles.
I believe we can create value for both, companies and employees, by finding ways to allow better collaboration and peer support. Face-to-face meetings are the best way to establish relationships; however, in a large global organization, it is not always possible to break down silos or gather employees in one place. Intranets are typically used to disseminate information, but not always configured to allow this collaboration and relevance for employees.
How can we help create increased relevance through collaboration and peer support? Common interests, as well as solving problems collectively, bring people together. There are many ways to help employees share information, and Yammer has proven to be the perfect internal social media platform for Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
When I was tasked with pulling together an internal social media platform for CWT almost two years ago, we had over 30 individual Yammer communities based on CWT’s various URLs. CWT’s Innovation team led by Patrice Simon was a driving force behind the initiative. I partnered with William El Kaim, to pull the existing Yammer instances into one common Yammer platform for CWT, which we officially launched in July 2011. We began with a rather soft grassroots approach to see how employees would react; we did not want this to be seen as ‘just another initiative from corporate’. Today, 18 months later, we have over 10,000 employees on Yammer and over 800 groups.
I am looking forward to continuing to expand how we use Yammer throughout CWT!
Learn more about Thomas here: