Lesson 3: Working Out Loud in A Network from a Factory

Working Out Loud In a Network

03 Feb Lesson 3: Working Out Loud in A Network from a Factory

Business Benefits

What were the problems which needed to be fixed?

How to efficiently and effectively connect c.2100 people across 8 primary supply pharmaceutical factories, predominantly in the UK and 2 international factories, plus collaborate with head office support function staff and management.

How would you have fixed it in the past, without enterprise social networking (ESN)?

One-way pushed emails, web articles and face to face team leader meetings. Newsletter in the canteen, plasma screens that end up blending in with the wallpaper, and the very effective – back of the toilet door!

What did working out loud on ESN help do, that wasn’t possible before?

Using emails requires access to, and maintenance of cumbersome distribution lists in order to cover various factories, functions and locations. Web articles require people to visit web sites and again with various factories, functions and locations, the question is always which sites should we publish on – its a complex web of websites! People can’t really reply to a web article and are less likely to reply to an email with a huge distribution list.

So we now easily collaborate and staff can share insights from across 8 factory locations and potentially reach the production line like never before in one private place (network),

After deploying ESN, what value-add outcomes were achieved?

Enable good news, but much more importantly — best practices on safety, quality, productivity and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be shared effectively by subject matter experts (SMEs) in a timely manner — and allow production line staff to escalate issues fast.

The speed with which people get important information is now much quicker. The ability for people to comment on a post provides opportunity for collaboration to begin authentically from the production line. Plus the added bonus of staff posting their own work photos and videos is fantastic engagement and they now have a real-time voice.

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What were the benefits of this to the people involved?

They find it a quick and easy way to stay informed, especially those who are on shift work, part of a shared support service and may not be included in email cascades, or whose default web pages do not include our factories.

The benefit to company is the sharing of good news stories improves morale as well as generating a healthy competitive appetite for example “… having read about THAT team doing some great work I must put MY team forward for recognition and share the great work we are doing with others at our factory!”

It also keeps people generally up to date faster and avoids confusion by delivering consistent messages both within teams and across the usual work silos or boundaries.

They can also access the network from their own devices using an easy to use app, any time any place any where! And that’s important as the majority of people at these factories are shift workers, who are managed by team leaders who need ample time to brief them on latest safety, quality or productivity news.

Staying tuned-in to the network helps staff keep up to date on local company news and allows them to comment. This is slowly transforming our factory employee engagement and empowerment behaviors.

Business intelligent hashtags: #manufacturing #primary #secondary #safety #escalation #product #stock #sku #sop #recognition #empowerment #quality

Co-author credit: Brian Petrie@GSK2014

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Lesley Crook

Communications strategist, coach, speaker, workshop facilitator and project manager who helps businesses leverage digital technology to improve employee engagement, share knowledge and improve productivity. Volunteer: IABC-UK Chapter Board. Enactus business advisor at Brighton University. Founder ‘Working Out Loud in a Network’ #wolan. Internal digital strategy advisor at Enterprise Strategies.

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