1-800-Flowers Improves Employee Productivity With Work.com

  • November 2, 2012 at 5:00 AM EDT
  • By Alicia Esposito
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Cutting-edge organizations are recognizing the benefits of utilizing social networking sites and more interactive communication methods to improve employee productivity and overall satisfaction.
1-800-Flowers has implemented Work.com, a social performance management solution from Salesforce.com, to help HR team members and managers better track employee progress and encourage peer feedback, thereby boosting performance across the organization.

Maureen Paradine, SVP of HR at 1-800-Flowers, discussed the implementation during a presentation titled: Align, Motivate & Drive Performance, at the annual Cloudforce event, presented by Salesforce.com on October 19 in New York City. Paradine joined other leading industry executives from companies like Estee Lauder and Coca-Cola to share their expertise with more than 10,000 marketing and sales professionals attending the conference.

Regarding the new Work.com solution, Paradine explained: “We wanted HR to go social because the rest of our company and business in general was going social,” Paradine said. “HR can no longer operate separate from the rest of the organization: it has to be integrated.”

Work.com Delivers A Collaborative Work Environment

1-800-Flowers initially began strategizing a social methodology for the HR department in 2011. But since adopting Work.com in May 2012, Paradine has reported stronger alliances forming across departments, and among 2,000 employees nationwide. “We now can see public goals across the enterprise, and conversations between employees happening organically,” she said. “Now, our company population is very team-oriented and collaborative.”

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Recruiting, interviewing on-boarding and performance management processes now are social, largely due to features and capabilities within Work.com, according to Paradine. “It’s brilliant because when people are doing a good job, you want everyone in your organization to notice,” she said. Through the Work.com platform, managers and employees now impact each other’s performance and reviews by sharing goals, feedback and praise.

Moreover, Work.com enables 1-800-Flowers managers to track employee performance, progress and goals more seamlessly. This capability allows employees to obtain performance reviews more frequently, rather than once a year.

“We used to not manage employee performance efficiently,” Paradine said. “We have great managers that just don’t enjoy the once-a-year process. We wanted to make it more enjoyable and not have it be an HR process. We wanted to offer Work.com to our managers and help make them better leaders. We rolled out the solution to provide better tools and resources for managers to communicate, coach and recognize performance of employees in specific departments.” 

Employees Receive Feedback And Incentives  With Work.com

Within the Work.com platform, 1-800-Flowers employees across departments can share feedback on performance, and offer tips and best practices to achieve goals. In addition, department heads and C-level executives are increasing employee motivation by rewarding best-in-class employees with badges.

At 1-800-Flowers, department managers create their own badges with employees — as well as the criteria to earn them — making the entire performance management process more fun and engaging, Paradine reported. “It’s quite powerful to see employees have so much fun,” she said. “We’re taking a process that people don’t really enjoy doing, and are making it fun by letting employees recognize each other’s performance and reward each other.” In the near future, 1-800-Flowers plans to integrate tangible rewards such as Amazon gift cards with badges in the Work.com platform, Paradine added.

Because younger generations are utilizing social media more actively and frequently, 1-800-Flowers experienced a “bottom-up implementation” of the Work.com platform, Paradine reported. “The entire social experience is extremely intuitive for these younger employees,” she said, “so they actually surpassed our training program schedule.”

While Millennial employees embraced and adopted Work.com with ease, older team members were hesitant, Paradine noted, due to “fear of making mistakes and publishing the wrong information to the wrong people.” To mitigate this fear, Paradine and her team tapped different methodologies for training programs, including one-on-one, in-person educational sessions, WebEx segments and how-to videos.

“Back when we started our HR social initiative, we ignited a bit of a cultural revolution,” Paradine explained. “People think HR managers don’t want employees to use social media, but in actuality, we encourage our employees to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Facebook. Work.com is providing additional tools and features to help our employees do their job better.”

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