Benefits of TELUS Creating Their Own Internal Social Network

In Chapter eleven of the Groundswell, the text talks about tapping into the Groundswell inside your company. According to the book, by tapping into internal Groundswell applications, this can help employees feel more “empowered, connected and more committed on a day-to-day basis” (Li, Bernoff, 2008).

I believe this to be true because working for a company is like partaking in a type of culture, especially when work occupies a third if not more of one’s life. It is important for individuals to feel like they fit in with in with that culture because finding that fit and purpose would make employees feel more content and connected with their job position. Demonstrating this fit can be done by having the leaders of the company create a form of internal Groundswell inside the company such as a Wiki, community chat, or an idea exchange.

I currently work for TELUS and from my understanding, we do not have an internal Groundswell. When we log onto the site, the bulletins are available and always updated, talking about price changes and new products, and sales competitions. However, I am not aware of  an online community where employees can chat with each other and talk about things that are working and not working within the organization. It would be nice to have a place where employees can talk about the constant changes taking place in the organization and see how those changes how are affecting internal users. As well, since I work at a small dealership in a small town, it would be nice to connect to employees at other dealerships to see how their day is going and if their experiences are completely different from mine based on location and population. Looking at TELUS’ Strategy and Values, I do not doubt that TELUS is  fulfilling these imperatives and values, however some employees may see this and still not feel completely tied to these statements so a form of community should be established.

The following is five objectives TELUS can accomplish by building an internal groundswell:

1. Listening- Setting up a social network can allow employees to give feedback on what they feel is working and not working for TELUS, whether it is policy changes or system glitches, and managment can view this and solve problems at almost a real time rate. Employees feel empowered knowing their opinion matters and knowing that their voice can make a difference.

2. Talking- TELUS already has a place where they post news such as policy changes and new products, however in creating a social network this should be counted for as well. Employees may be more likely to read them if they are put on a social network type medium and if the news allows for comments and opinions.

3. Energizing- Having a medium where employees can talk about work issues, can motivate employees. If there is always that employee at your work who is inspirational and knows how to energize the co workers around them, they can spread their positive spirit even further to other TELUS dealerships and make the organization more cohesive and one.

4. Supporting- If all the TELUS employees were to make profiles on this internal Groundswell, it would make employees of the organization feel like they belong to something much bigger than the building they work in. As well, participants can go to co workers outside of their initial workplace for help and support.

5. Embracing- Ideas, and comments posted on the social network can allow talent to be recognized and information that would stay at the bottom of the hierarchy could travel and get upper management’s attention at a way faster rate.

If TELUS were to construct a fully interactive social networking community for its employees, they will be able to tap into the internal Groundswell and help employees establish their TELUS identity further. This can foster heightened employee satisfaction and motivation in the organization.

PS. On the TELUS channel on Youtube, I did come across a video titled Collaboration at TELUS with Social Media which talks about the types of social media TELUS uses inside the organization. Working at the organization for about a year and a half, I have never heard of either of these methods. However, the video was published in 2012 so this video may not be accurate means of the way TELUS conducts social media internally nowadays.


One thought on “Benefits of TELUS Creating Their Own Internal Social Network

  1. Well hi ya Leslie. I’m Dan, also from TELUS. (officially I’m the Head of Learning and Collaboration but please just call me Dan)

    You can send me an IM, email, comment on my internal TELUS blog (or my external blog – or use Buzz — our internal micro-blogging platform — to get in touch with me because I can’t seem to look you up on the company directory. (you can even use our virtual world environment called TELUS Collaboration House if you like)

    That all stated, and in the most professional and courteous way, I’d like to disagree with your assessment. (in its entirety)

    In fact, I recently wrote a piece on our external blog pinpointing the transformation TELUS has been under over the past four years. It’s called, “The Journey Through an Infographic” and it depicts (in part) the rise of social and collaborative tools at TELUS as a mechanism that assisted our cultural and engagement evolution. You can access the piece here

    Let me debunk each of your five points:

    1) Through the use of Fair Process (engage, explore, explain, execute and evaluate) we utilize concepts such as Webjams and open discussions to engage with the organization and explore options on items like our Customers First Commitments. (we used Sharepoint 2010 for that one) We asked the organization to help us come up with four commitments (think of them as promises) as opposed to the C-Suite cooking them up in an office. We had well over 1000 submissions and through Fair Process (and our social tools) we whittled them down to 20 where we then voted on the most appropriate ones. Cool, eh?

    2) Our internal intranet (called Habitat) has both comments and ratings available for every article we post. We openly encourage discussion, debate and discourse as it helps us improve. (life and work isn’t about perfection, right?)

    3) We’ve got some lively debates and interactions going on right now at Buzz. (it’s like Twitter, but internal only to TELUS) In fact, you should check out the thread about Work Styles, where our team members are chiming in about Yahoo! and Best Buy and their recent decision to force all employees to work from an office. It’s a perfect example of energy.

    4) Hello MySites. Each TELUS team member has their own personal profile through this technology. Whilst it isn’t perfect, it’s a wonderful example of showcasing your skills, photo, interests, what you’re working on … and it’s a place to personally blog. You should try it.

    5) Great point. Through our myriad social/collaborative tools and technologies we fully endorse the aspect of corporate osmosis; let the information flow wherever it needs to be and take action however deemed necessary. For example, when we conducted a Webjam about our TELUS Day of Giving, there were oodles of examples that surfaced from the crowd about unique ways in which we could further our time and our investment. In fact, one idea that gained traction was to identify yourself as someone who has participated in the past thus you may not require a new TELUS Day of Giving t-shirt. That was definitely a ‘bottoms up’ approach.

    Thanks for reading. Please reach out to me and we can chat.


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