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Engage with Your Employees

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe some typical use cases for an employee community.
  • Define measurable goals for an employee community.
  • Define which Salesforce features can be used to help your employees.

Make Your Employees Happy Campers

Sarayu, the head of IT, is ready to explore a community for the audience she knows best: Lira Financial employees. As we mentioned in the previous unit, Lira is a growing business. It’s hiring aggressively, both at the Boulder headquarters (335 employees and counting) and worldwide. While Lira doesn’t yet have any satellite offices, 145 sales and service team members work from home offices. Sarayu wants to make sure that Marco Gonzales, the head of HR, is equipped to keep the workforce engaged, knowledgeable, and empowered.

Marco is the first to admit that he doesn’t yet have what he needs. For example, Lira relies on a variety of disconnected systems and tools for onboarding new employees. Even for established employees, business processes are disjointed. The sales and service teams use Salesforce daily, but none of the Lira engineers have Salesforce licenses. The engineers use a mishmash of Google sites and tribal knowledge to keep track of their documentation, and they use Jira for project management.

So HR relies heavily on a third-party intranet to store and disseminate information about onboarding, benefits, and general company-wide updates. Employees waste a lot of time trying to figure out where to look for what. Sales and support staff who log in to Salesforce every day look in their org for information, while the engineers go to Jira. When employees remember to try the intranet, they find that the intranet’s lackluster search capabilities fail more often than not...and then they call HR. All this adds overhead costs for Lira and makes employees unhappy.

Sarayu and Marco meet and discuss how to fix what’s broken while staying within their IT budget. Marco explains that he wants employees to have a single point of contact for all recruiting, HR, and onboarding questions. Sarayu recommends using the Community Cloud to create an employee community. Lira Financial can keep Sales and Service Cloud licenses for the sales and support teams, respectively, and buy Employee App licenses for all other full-time workers. This licensing plan meets the company’s operational and budgetary needs, and it gives all employees access to what they need in their community.

Marco then tells Sarayu how his ideal employee community mirrors the life cycle of an employee in the company.

First, the community includes an integrated recruiting tool, where employees can refer friends and former colleagues.

New employees can find an onboarding area, with training tools tailored to their role, and study groups to join for product certifications.

After they’ve settled in, employees can access a space where they file HR inquiries (When is open enrollment? How many vacation days do I get? What happens if I’m called for jury duty? Is there a nap room?), log IT tickets (Help! I forgot my password!). And they can make workplace service requests (Can we fix the monitor display in Conference Room D?).

An employee filing a case

Employees can also use the community as a social intranet, where groups collaborate on work and projects. Folks who work remotely especially appreciate the opportunity to connect with their colleagues. Once up and running, the community becomes the go-to place for learning and growth.

And if an employee decides to retire, the community functions as a gateway for alumni relations and keeping in touch with old friends.

After hearing Marco’s dreams, Sarayu puts him in touch with Lira’s community manager, Alessandra. Together, they create Liranet: the employee community of Marco’s dreams.

A Personalized Experience for Every Employee

The first thing Marco and Alessandra do is to use the company’s branding and fun voice to infuse the employee community with Lira’s quirky personality. Marco is amazed at how intuitive Community Builder’s customization tools are.

He’s also in awe of how Alessandra delivers a personalized experience for each employee. This community is an employee-only space. When they log in, sales, customer service, and engineers each see a different homepage, which is based on their profile and location. At the same time, everyone has access to information all employees need—company-wide news like acquisitions—regardless of role or rank.

Several core Salesforce features keep Lira’s employee community members happy. Salesforce Chatter is one of the biggest assets to the community. Using Chatter, Lira workers can discuss specific topics (401(k) accounts, parental leave, or even social groups). Organic conversations, polls, and secure file sharing all flourish in Chatter. Speaking of secure file sharing, Lira uses Salesforce Files to upload training workbooks and benefits packets. Using versioning, Lira makes sure that employees have the latest and greatest info at all times.

The internal support team uses cases to keep tabs on the number of tickets filed by employees. The team creates reports and dashboards to track the most frequently asked questions and concerns, and to improve internal education around key issues. What makes all this even better? Lira employees can access their community on their mobile devices. Marco knows how fabulous mobile access is when you’re at the doc’s office and trying to find that one benefit you were sure you had.

Tracking Success in the Employee Community

Sarayu wants to make Marco and the rest of Lira’s employees happy, because happy employees are productive employees. To make sure that the community also has real impact on the company as a whole, she asks Marco for some specific numbers that she can track.

Marco tells her he wants to see if the community improves these metrics.

  • Number of candidates for every job opening
  • Number of calls to IT by employees
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Retention rate

In the year following the employee community rollout, Marco does see that these numbers improve. And he sees some things that he didn’t expect.

For example, he gets a surprise visit from Jasper Hare (remember him? The VP of service) one day. Jasper thanks Marco profusely for setting up the employee community—because now employees are helping support agents with customer cases. It all happened by chance. An engineer saw a post in the community by a support agent. After some investigation, she found a bug in Lira’s main product. Her work helped the support agent close the case, and it improved the product at the same time. After that, support and engineering department heads decided to set up a few Chatter groups to encourage communication between their teams.

Group showing collaboration between product and support teams

So, not only does the employee community help Lira employees find answers quickly and reduces HR costs, it also helps customer support make customers happy.

Lessons Learned

Lira’s experimentation with the Community Cloud is starting to pay big dividends. So far, implementing communities has been a successful endeavor. At the same time, all the various teams involved in setting up the communities are eager to make them even better. With that aim, they’re keeping a close eye on all their metrics and community involvement, and they’re always coming up with ideas to improve the audience experience.