By Ralf Larsson
At Electrolux, a global leader in consumer and professional appliances, including the Frigidaire line of refrigerators, the heart of our organization is powered through the innovations of our employees. With nearly 58,000 employees across 60 different countries, harnessing the creativity for real innovation can be challenging using traditional modes of communication like email and phone.
A few years ago we embarked on a journey to find a solution that would better connect our workforce and help our employees share knowledge and creativity across the organization no matter where they were in the world, what time zone they were in, or what mobile device they were using.
After a rigorous evaluation process, we determined that creating a social business platform was the way to achieve these business goals. We knew it could help to transform our company culture, to harness the knowledge and power of our employees, and help us to evolve into a social business. With social business we’ve finally found a way to bridge cultural barriers and harness our corporate brain in a way that helps us to deliver unprecedented products to our clients and real business value for our organization.
Social technologies are key to maximizing organizational efficiency and developing a productive, engaged workforce. They’re helping us to drive significant cultural change, increasing knowledge sharing and expertise location, driving innovation and as a result better products for our customers. With social business we’re becoming smarter, better connected and more competitive.
Beyond the impact on Electrolux’s innovation processes, our change management program has also been significantly impacted from our use of social business technology. For example, we recently moved employees from one Electrolux location in Brussels to a new facility in Stockholm. This scenario had the potential to be very disruptive and confusing for our employees; however, our HR and legal departments used our social business platform to create a community for the affected employees where they were able to quickly and easily share information related to the relocation. Employees were able to provide their feedback, connect with each other and Electrolux leadership to voice their concerns, gain knowledge and share relevant information. Through the use of this community, employees were more engaged, better informed and more comfortable with the process.
HR and line managers are also using the social business platform to onboard employees. We educate our new hires on how to create a profile, tag their expertise, join communities relevant to their job function and much more. Through this process we expect to find that new employees are more engaged and able to set out into their roles and responsibilities at a faster rate, they’re connecting with colleagues across the globe who can help them to get their job done and they’re engaging in projects companywide that are driving innovation and pushing Electrolux to the forefront our of competitive industry.
Even though we haven’t abandoned the quest for constant improvement, becoming a social business is one of the best ways I know of ensuring that our company is innovative, transparent, and united. It’s an area that every organization should really start to explore to remain competitive in today’s increasingly digital and social world.