Do you have a company Christmas party? Do you do things like “casual Friday”? How about company picnics? None of these directly boost the bottom line. In fact, most of them have an associated cost. Yet we can all appreciate the impact that these can have on company morale. They each help those in your company to relate to one another personally – not just professionally. Management is in the unique position to help employees make these connections.
I was thinking about this as I worked to sell a few large items that aren’t used much around our house (but which still have value to the right person). As I considered placing ads, I thought of my brother-in-law, who works at Rockwell Collins, an aviation electronics company that employs 7,300 people in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Each time we visit, he has a new story of something he’s purchased (or sold) on the classified ads portion of his company’s intranet. Most recently, it was a 16′ telescopic flag pole purchased from a fellow employee. He said everyone loves their classified ads system. It saves one set employees money while it helps another set get rid of things they no longer need. It doesn’t add to Rockwell Collins’ bottom line, but with a small investment, provides a unique benefit to their employees.
Like Christmas parties, casual Friday, and summer picnics, the Rockwell Collins’ classified ads help employees connect with one another. It makes their lives just a little bit better and leaves them with a positive feeling toward Rockwell Collins. It’s not as sexy as Twitter, as complex as Facebook, or as corporate-driven as LinkedIn, but it’s still a great implementation of social media.
Your company may not have 7,300 employees in one community. But you are uniquely capable of bringing a certain group of people together, whether they are employees, clients, prospects, or a combination those groups. Done right, that will create fans and lots of goodwill for your company. Keep your eyes and mind open to those opportunities to be a connector!
Have a similar story? I’d love to hear it.