One of the growing challenges with organizations, is keeping teams connected and informed. This can be extremely difficult with companies that have multiple office locations, especially globally.
Yet, one way to alleviate these communications challenges has been through the use of employee advocacy. Typically employee advocacy programs are known more for driving marketing, sales, and recruiting results.
However, employee advocacy can (and should) play a role in your internal communications strategy as well.
Below, I interviewed Cyxtera, who has been a great client of ours for a bit now. You’ll learn about this awesome company and how they built a connected global work culture.
“When companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35%, the time employees spend searching for company information. (McKinsey)”
Who is Cyxtera?
Cyxtera Technologies combines a worldwide footprint of best-in-class data centers with a portfolio of modern, cloud- and hybrid-ready security and analytics offerings – providing more than 3,500 enterprises, government agencies and service providers an integrated, secure and resilient infrastructure platform for critical applications and systems.
Some cool info about them:
- Top 3 global colocation market share
- 2.6 million sq. ft. of data center space
- 3,500 customers
- 1,400 employees
- Leading Zero Trust solution for network access control
- Expertise in identity-centric security and advanced threat and behavioral analytics
“More than 80% of Americans say employee communication is key to developing trust with their employers. (Lexicon)”
Cyxtera + Employee Advocacy = Connected Global Workforce
Many times, we like to create a great narrative with these kinds of posts. However, Tatiana Echeverri — Communications Project Specialist at Cyxtera — gave me some amazing information and detailed insights, so I wanted to leave our interview format intact.
Below is my interview with Tatiana. She shares about her communications process, employee advocacy, and using EveryoneSocial to connect their global teams.
What were the challenges Cyxtera was facing as a company in building a connected corporate culture?
Cyxtera is a company that is spread out through many places in the world. Our biggest challenge was connecting the corporate cultures from different places.
For example, the LATAM culture is more “family-friendly” and concentrates on making a fun environment whereas in the states, we are more work focused. So what we wanted to do is blend the cultures so we all get the best of both worlds.
Why does Cyxtera value a work environment that is more like a family? What results was the team looking for?
Most employees spend more time in the office together than they do in their homes so we wanted to make a family feeling environment so when our employees are at work, they feel almost at home.
With that, the employees feel more comfortable staying late if they need to, they feel comfortable speaking to their co-workers and supervisors openly, and they will want to be here – which is key.
The increased engagement and productivity will also be a plus because our employees want to make the company thrive as they have a personal attachment to it, on a larger scale than “I need my job.”
The employees care about each other and want to make everyone succeed.
How did Cyxtera overcome some of the above challenges?
We try to do team building activities to make the employees feel appreciated for their hard work and time dedicated. We have done happy hour and bowling which our employees love.
When you spend time with your co-workers outside of work, it makes them feel closer which helps the team grow and the company grow.
Describe more about your company initiatives to build an informed and connected global corporate culture. How has EveryoneSocial be used to elevate these initiatives? (Examples of streams, strategy behind them, etc.)
We use EveryoneSocial for different programs within the company. We have created a private stream for our group called “Women of Cyxtera.” It is a group where we discuss the strides women have taken in the technology industry.
Another stream we have created an award called the “Spotlight Award,” which is similar to an employee of the month. You get nominated by your team and even win a bonus in that paycheck.
Additionally, we created a health challenge to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual health. We have one new goal each month and the employees have to comment what they hope to achieve through that month’s goal.
How does Cyxtera help ensure employees stay engaged with the initiatives and platform? Same question with new hires?
Every Monday, we have a call with the new hires for that week. We explain all of our tools and give them personal attention so they are free to ask anything they want about the company, what we do, how to succeed etc.
In terms of staying engaged, we try to create new ideas, like the health challenge, or create contests where they can win a gift card for a certain amount of engagement.
It is tough in general to keep people engaged when it is not directly correlated to them, so when there is something to give praise on, we make sure to give them a shout out and their own personalized post.
For other companies looking to improve communications and build a connected corporate culture, what recommendations/tips would you give them to get started?
This is a tough one. You have to know your employees well enough to know what they care about. For us, we see that events and recognition works best. I would say to interview a few employees and ask what they would want out of the platform.
When employees feel like their voice matters, they are more willing to use the platform and it builds the relationship between the company and employees.
Since kicking off the initiatives, what kind of benefits/results have you seen among the organization?
I feel that the employees are more engaged and connected on a personal level. It has helped build the family corporate culture that we hoped for. You’ll see a lot of repeat commenters but some are just more interested in the social aspect of the platform. Others use this to get more points and get higher on the leaderboard.
Side Note: While Cyxtera is using our platform for internal communications and building a community among their global workforce, they also use it for sharing content. Here is some interesting data: Cyxtera has almost 800 users on EveryoneSocial with a network reach of 275,985 and their employees share about 5x per month. This number is great since sharing content is only secondary for their team. They see about 70% of their content being engaged with and also shared.
Besides for Cyxtera, how are employees benefiting from these communication and culture initiatives too?
The employees have grown closer in general. We spend so much time at the office or working together, that if they don’t have a good relationship, it shows.
I’ve noticed more of an interest in employees and their co-workers than I did before we became active on the platform.
What’s next for Cyxtera’s program? What are you hoping to accomplish in the next year?
We are hoping to accomplish a company based corporate culture that is unbreakable. We hope to keep the employees happy, which is key in having a successful company culture.
We are hoping EveryoneSocial can bridge the gap between the countries where our employees feel as if they are all working together under one roof.