So here’s kind of a genius idea. Best Buy recently launched a contest asking employees throughout the retail chain to create a motivational video encouraging employees to participate in the company’s 401(k).
When the contest wrapped up, 401(k) participation increased by 30 percent – which is pretty significant considering, well, we’re talking about 401(k)’s here…it’s not exactly free pizza in the break room – people aren’t going to seek it out with quite the same urgency.
But here’s why it’s genius: Best Buy found a way to implement an effective employee engagement activity – at almost no cost or extra work on the company’s part. Okay, maybe “genius” is a strong word (Best Buy of course isn’t the first company to embrace social media.)…
But instead of simply saying “we want to engage employees using social media” and arbitrarily signing up for Facebook or half-heartedly setting up a blog, Best Buy chose a specific medium (video), with a concrete purpose in mind (increase retirement benefits participation), and in such a way that they could see the direct benefits (a 30 percent increase).
I hope other companies follow suit – in truly thinking about what will work best for the goals they want to achieve – as they consider social media. I know (and am guilty of it, too) that conversations on social media tend to focus strictly on sites like Facebook and Twitter – and we often get sidetracked with wondering how these things will affect the bottom line – but really, there’s no end to the possibilities of or uses for social media.
For one, this kind of project Best Buy underwent could also effectively generate awareness of benefits employees probably don’t even know they have, such as financial planning assistance, wellness information, work-at-home opportunities – you know, the kinds of things that show your employees you care about their benefit and generate company loyalty, boost morale, drive productivity…all that good stuff.
What else ya’ got? What is your company trying differently to engage employees? Better yet, what do you wish it would try?