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#DF15: Use employee communities to engage and retain top talent


Dreamforce 2015 is off to a great start. I just attended my first session of the week where I had the chance to hear Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and AstraZeneca talk about how their enterprise social networks are transforming how they work as companies and how they retain top talent. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt integrated Chatter on top of an existing Sharepoint site while AstraZeneca used a combination of Orchestra CMS (a native app) and Chatter to build theirs.

Did you know that:

  • 25% of all new employees leave within one year
  • 2x employee salary to find and train replacement

As companies expand globally and more of the workforce is remote, the old way of engaging colleagues through conversations around the water heater is a thing of the past. While many of us still work in offices, the people who hold the answers to our questions may not be located in the same office as we are. For those working remote, having a tool to connect with colleagues is essential.

Brian Moore, the Director of Internal Communications at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt echoed this thought today in his presentation: “The potential for what we learn from each other is HUGE. But none of that is possible, if we NEVER cross paths.” Hence, creating a social intranet is essential to engage and connect today’s employees.

If you’re considering rolling out an enterprise social network, keep in mind the goals put forth by AstraZeneca’s Paul Frodsham, their Enterprise Social Lead, for success. Your intranet should be:

  • Simple
  • Supportive
  • Social

Its purpose to to help people do their jobs, and as such, they should be able to access it anytime (mobile access is key), from anywhere and it should be fast and responsive. For these reasons AstraZeneca chose Salesforce over Sharepoint; they felt it best met their goals of allowing employees to access the community on a mobile device, in their local language, with fast performance from anywhere in the world, which was crucial for them given that their workforce of 57,600 employees are spread out in over 100 countries.

What results did these companies see from rolling out an enterprise social network built on Chatter?

-Reduced internal email volume. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt saw internal emails go from 58.8 per day to 50 per day.

-Increased intranet traffic. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt saw their intranet traffic go up 5x after integrating Chatter into their existing intranet.

-Increased employee engagement. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt does an annual employee engagement survey in spring and this year, saw a spike in their employee engagement scores following the launch of their enterprise social network. AstraZeneca saw 17K posts and 6K likes in July 2015.

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