Cross-generational collaboration at SWOOP Chat Sydney

What does a company of 30,000+ teenagers serving fast food have to do with a prestigious law firm, a government finance department and a catholic university?

Despite the completely different roles of these organisations, they all use SWOOP Analytics to measure how their employees connect on their Enterprise Social Network (ESN), in this case Microsoft’s Yammer or Workplace by Facebook.

KFC’s Internal Marketing Officer, Francesca Guidi, leading law firm Hall & Wilcox’s Technology Trainer, Jason Soo, NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation’s Senior Communications Advisor, Nick White, and Australian Catholic University’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr Stephen Weller, were among those who shared their experiences with Yammer, Workplace and SWOOP at SWOOP Chat Sydney 2019.

SWOOP Chat is our annual customer event, and the third event of its kind following SWOOP Chat New York City in December.

The goal of SWOOP Chat is to bring together the experts – the community managers and those who use Yammer, Workplace, Teams and SWOOP to drive business performance, employee engagement, conversation and collaboration – along with researchers and thought leaders to openly discuss how we can help each other improve.

It was no coincidence much of the day was focused on discussion because we can all learn from other’s experience. We structured the day around four themes:

  • How to get senior leaders connected and keep employees engaged
  • How employee engagement leads to better business performance
  • How to use your network to recognise employees and boost communications campaigns
  • The “Teaming” Invasion – the impact of teams and how to create successful teams at work.
Dr Stephen Weller speaking at SWOOP Chat Sydney 2019.

Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Stephen Weller, kicked off the day sharing how he uses Workplace to keep a pulse on what’s going on across his eight campuses and keep connected with employees.

“I’m an ambassador of Workplace. I love it. I think it is fabulous,” Dr Weller told SWOOP Chat.

“Staff say to me; ‘Do you look at it all the time?’ and I say; ‘Why wouldn’t you? Why don’t you? Why aren’t you?’”

However, he said without analytics provided by SWOOP it was difficult to measure the impact of communication, collaboration and connection on Workplace.

“You can’t just use the tool [Workplace]. You have to use a tool that understands the analytics,” Dr Weller said.

“So for us, working in partnership with both Workplace and SWOOP has been quite powerful.”

Dr Weller gave the example of a post he saw on ACU’s Workplace network from an employee in Brisbane asking if it was possible to have a stingless beehive on the campus, given the species is vital to pollinate local crops, flowers and bushland.

Within 24 hours, Dr Weller had commented on the post expressing his interest and a month later there was a stingless beehive on the Brisbane campus.

“She (Daniella) did it because she thought she may then get traction to change what we were doing,” Dr Weller said.

“She was right. I saw it, I’m in a position of influence, I’m in a position of seniority. In a short period of time we set up stingless beehives on our campus.”

I got the sense many in the room were envious of Dr Weller’s authentic leadership style and his willingness to ensure he is connected with his 2,000 staff.

Cross-generational collaboration

KFC’s Francesca Guidi, aka The Yammer Queen, shared her infectious positivity when she spoke about the 30,000+ 14-17 years olds who collaborate on Yammer at KFC.

The Yammer Queen – Francesca Guidi.

Francesca targets her Yammer posts directly at her audience, aiming to engage the 14-17 years old who make up the majority of the workforce.

She runs competitions with prizes including having famous You Tube gamers visit a KFC store to learn how to make a burger and cook chicken. She measures the campaigns and competitions with SWOOP and relies on the analytics to see what engages employees.

Francesca was justifiably proud of the growth on KFC’s Community Health, measured by SWOOP.

At a store level, KFC employees use Yammer for rostering and shift swapping but at a national level the focus is more on recognition of employees and campaigns to keep employees engaged, all ultimately resulting in a better product for customers.

Francesca spoke about “Fast Friday” competitions where stores time how long it takes them to serve drive-through customers and post the results on Yammer. It creates a buzz amongst staff nationally, keeps them connected and engaged and provides customers with a faster service. You can watch Francesca’s presentation here.

While teenagers are embracing Yammer at KFC, some of Australia’s most eminent lawyers at Hall & Wilcox are using the same tool to deliver a better “Smarter Law” to clients, as are public servants at the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation – showing ESNs really are a cross-generational tool.

Griffith University presented some ground-breaking research on how ESNs positively predict engagement.  ​

​Findings demonstrate that, overall, ESN and work-related social media increase employee engagement. There is evidence ESNs, or social media for work-related purposes, is associated with higher self-reported employee engagement and work performance and productivity. ​

SWOOP CEO Cai Kjaer sharing Griffith University’s findings.

Researchers suggest work-related social media use promotes employee engagement and enhances employee performance by: ​

  • Increasing communication within the organisation ​
  • Facilitating information and knowledge sharing ​
  • Increasing the accessibility and availability of resources (to facilitate task performance) ​
  • Increasing opportunities for collaboration ​
  • Increasing sense of connection and belonging among employees ​
  • Increasing self-efficacy ​

Interestingly, the Griffith University research found that for ESNs to be successful in facilitating employee engagement and performance, a number of conditions are considered important, including:

  • Leadership’s engagement and use of ESN ​
  • A flat hierarchy ​
  • Trust within the organisation ​
  • An open organisational culture ​
  • Clear guidelines for ESN use ​

More research is needed on the subject and Griffith University is looking for partners to do further research. Please contact Academic Director at Griffith University, Nick Barter, to join the research. Learn more about the research here.

Alistair Reid gave us the hot tips on how to successfully communicate through video with the three Vs – visual, vocal and verbal.

Special thanks to all our other presenters at SWOOP Chat Sydney. Sharing your experiences is what made the day! Thank you to:

NRMA’s Pete Johns.

A huge thank you to all the fantastic people who chose to spend a whole day in our company. I love that you were able to build some new relationships and I value the time I spent with you all.

Thank you for sharing your time and collaborating with us.

Please mark your calendars for our next SWOOP Chat in Chicago on November 14, 2019.

 

 

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