When brewing company MillerCoors realized it was struggling to retain female salespeople, the company turned to social tools to turn this trend around. Executives at the country’s second-largest brewing company wanted to make far-flung female sales reps feel less isolated and more of a cohesive team. But how could they do this when their workers are spread across the country, often on the road, and working odd hours? They went social.
What did they accomplish? And, more importantly, how can “going social” help YOU retain female employees?
- It can help you build connections. Women had more opportunities to connect with other people who have similar roles at work, and even similar workplace concerns.
- It can help you build personal relationships. Women also get to benefit from developing personal– not just professional – connections through the use of social software. For instance, at MillerCoors, working alone was an issue for some, while others, mothers in particular, were having trouble with the hours, which require them to make sales calls at bars at night or on weekends.
- It helps facilitate sharing. Women can share discussion topics, such as developing a personal brand and work/life balance, and to share documents or articles that pertained to their discussion threads.
- It provides mentoring opportunities. MillerCoors decided to provide mentors to some of its saleswomen, connecting them through software designed to let mentors and workers connect one-on-one or in groups. The software also enables people to share documents and post comments. As part of the program application process, it also matches workers with mentors who have experience with issues the workers are dealing with.
- It helps facilitate learning. Having the opportunity, not just to speak with other women sharing the same struggles, but to have the chance to hear from a female executive can also be really valuable.
- It can help create unity. If workers are geographically isolated, social platforms can be very effective in building team unity.
- It can be cost-effective. Using social networks to build connections can save a company a lot of money. Workers can log in rather than buying pricey plane tickets to fly to meetings. And if employees feel more connected with one another, the company might see a decline in turnover and would therefore save money on rehiring and retraining new people.