Author Terry Barber Discusses Social Media’s role in creating a Most Inspiring Company – Part 2


Quick note:  There was an overwhelmingly positive response to Part One of this series.  Therefore we rushed up part 2.  Enjoy!

Terry Barber is the Chief Inspirator at Inspiration Blvd. and has written a pretty great book called The Inspiration Factor.  On Tuesday June 22, 2010 he led an amazing seminar about the Most Inspiring Companies.  Below is a continuation from yesterday, just a fraction of what he discussed :

2. Allow employees to blur the lines between personal and work life.  Three years ago, most of my clients were on the cusp of creating social media policies.  Three years later, most of these policies have boiled down to a basic guiding principle, “don’t do anything to hurt the reputation of the company.”  The fact is whether we like it or not, social media has created a world of transparency. But, there is real opportunity in that if managers and supervisors will align personal interests and ambitions with corporate goals. No doubt this will require some creativity at times, but the payoff is significant, both for the employee who feels affirmed and for the company who is putting front line a happier, more engaged employee.  I think about some of my team in particular I have come to know through Facebook.  I did not seek them out but I gladly accepted their offer to “friend” me. Through it, I recruited an individual who used Facebook to show off his art to create a series of inspiring posters for our environment.  I also recruited another one who had a lot of passion in and around nutrition to do a lunch-n-learn for whoever wanted to show up.  It was a great success! And regarding corporate objectives, I actually did observe someone who was really good at soliciting donations for her favorite charity and  recruited her to spear head our United Way efforts.  In every case, the point is, by blurring the lines between personal and work, our team works together more like friends than simply co-workers resulting in really high employee satisfaction scores.

3. Leaders at the highest level of the organization are actively involved in social media.  In particular, one of the individuals I began following on Twitter after our Most Inspiring Company survey was Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A.  I love the way he uses Twitter to affirm his store Operators and employees and from time to time, even introduces a customer.  Chick-fil-A recently launched a new spicy chicken sandwich and evidently a customer contacted him through Twitter to voice her dislike.  He actually wrote her back!  I have also seen this same kind of response from the senior level leadership at McDonalds, Coke, and Target.

To friend and follow Terry Barber and his Inspiration Blvd:

Inspiration Blvd website
Terry Barber on Facebook
Inspiration Blvd on Facebook
Inspiration Blvd on Twitter

To friend and follow this article’s author Joe Wehinger:

Joe Wehinger’s Facebook
Joe Wehinger’s Twitter

Connected Interactive’s Facebook
Connected Interactive’s Twitter
Connected Interactive’s MySpace
Connected Interactive’s YouTube

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