Rajiv stood motionless for a few seconds as the weight of the question he just heard hit home.
Kapil, 55, the CEO of his pharmaceutical firm – Spike Ltd had just turned down a request to engage on their internal social enterprise platform. Read how Rajiv, 30, who heads Corporate Communications for Spike Ltd shaped his conversation with Kapil and share your thoughts on ways in which he could make his CEO a social media evangelist.
Rajiv: “Hello Kapil! I wanted to speak to you about the upcoming employee event that we plan to organize to celebrate the 50th year of our company’s journey.”
Kapil: “Hi Rajiv. Come on in. Let us talk. I am excited by the opportunity this event gives us”
Rajiv: “Great! Let me start by sharing that my recommendation is that we involve our employees as we craft the event. I think we must invite our employees’ families to our campus and show them around. You know how powerful that gesture will be.”
Kapil: “You mean to see our campus and our labs? Yes, I am fine with that. That is a wonderful way to highlight the innovations we do.”
Rajiv: “Well, not just that Kapil. I think the opportunity is to instill pride is even greater”.
Kapil: “Pride? But how?”
Rajiv: “Our employees are closely linked to their families and make life and career decisions based on how their families think and feel. It therefore makes sense to involve families and show them why their sons and daughters have made the right decision to work with us. We want to have them working with us all their lives, if they can. This event will allow them to experience who we truly are as an organization – open, direct, honest, transparent, caring and lots more”.
Kapil: “Hmm. Interesting. So what are you proposing?”
Rajiv: “I am proposing we begin an internal social media community page on Blend, our network – and ask employees to share their thoughts as we lead up to the event. There will be a lot of exciting conversations and it will truly engage the company.”
Kapil: “How will an internal social media page on Blend help us engage?”
Rajiv: “The average age of our employees is 25 and they prefer to socialize online and share their thoughts in a collaborative manner. Blend allows us to channelize their views. In fact, we can ‘listen’ in and gain great insights which will help us improve our messages to them. Also, if leaders participate they will feel even more connected to our purpose and vision”
Kapil: “I am unsure”
Rajiv: (trying to probe Kapil’s uneasiness) “Why do you say that?”
Kapil: “What if we get negative comments about the event and company considering we recently announced some unpopular policies?”
Rajiv took a deep breath and realized the issue was much deeper than he imagined. He decided to think about this concern a bit more and come back to Kapil.
How can you help Rajiv overcome Kapil’s uneasiness with facing negative views as a leader on internal social media? Share your thoughts here.