This week Kristin and I review the notion of employee empowerment and its impact on the collaboration process inside an organization. Does too much employee empowerment lead to innovative ideas or just cause chaos?
The question is particularly relevant in today’s social media driven environment. Employees now enjoy greater latitude when engaging customers online and when collaborating with fellow employees inside the firewalls.
Collaboration and empowerment go hand in hand. To make collaboration work, employees must feel empowered to share information and be rewarded for doing so. The goal is build an open environment but establish clear guidelines that are neither too restrictive nor too unstructured.
Ultimately, an employee powered, collaborative environment helps marketing and PR in maximizing engagement process.
The first post this week is related to a piece about Ted Schadler that we featured in last week’s review. Keith Fiveson adds important points to the argument and examples for how improving employee empowerment will generate better customer experiences. He outlines specific tactics including “rewarding excellence” and “defining brand values that employees can connect with.” These are the ways organizations can provide excellent customer experiences like Zappos, Disney and Starbucks.
Can you think of other organizations that are successful examples of companies helping employees identify customer-centric values?
One of the concerns regarding employee empowerment is what trouble they can cause. Marketing strategist David Meerman Scott @dmscott discusses one such case that happened to H&R Block after this year’s tax season. The social media team at H&R Block identified quickly deleted the troublesome tweets. An important lesson to learn here is that these issues can be avoided if the right structure and training are in place for all employees. PR and marketing professionals know these principles and could be called on to organize the structure and training for other employees.
Is there a structure in place at your organization to ensure employees know what is acceptable when engaging online about their organization?
Marisa Peacock from CMS Wire wrote an interesting piece outlining a simple strategy for implementing a social organizational structure and encouraging employee collaboration across an organization. And the strategy is simple: (1) start small, (2) define success metrics and (3) treat social like a true asset. In many organizations, PR and marketing professionals are the strongest advocates of using social externally, which can help provide perspective for its internal uses.
Where do PR and marketing fit in this strategy?
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