Meralco and Workplace: Changing How Things Work
Name of Organization / Company: Manila Electric Company (Meralco), Pasig City, Philippines
Category: Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications
Entry Title: Meralco and Workplace: Changing How Things Work
WORKING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
The use of social media as a platform for idea and information exchange in the workplace has become inevitable. Meralco, guided by its digital pivot, has already using social media to enhance its external customer engagement by social listening as a means to judge sentiment and identify customer service issues. To expand social reach and engagement internally, the availability of Workplace (previously known as Facebook at Work) presented an opportune moment for the company.
While Workplace may seem more suited for millenials (46% of Meralco workforce) the rest of Meralco employees, Generation X (37%) and Baby Boomers (17%), also benefit from the platform. As of 2016, Facebook had 1.79 billion users, a testament not only to its wide reach but ease of use. Workplace, similar to Facebook, can easily transcend age groups.
Prior to the launch, the organizing offices, worked hand-in-hand with key executives to gather support. Also, Workplace champions from each office were identified—employees who are positive and credible opinion leaders. The champions were given training and early access so that they could populate the platform with groups for their office. This activity was also supported with the release of teasers and pre-event communications for Workplace, which included collaterals that have never been done in Meralco such as wobblers, company shirts with no orange design, and unique launch decors.
Workplace went live on August 2, 2016, through a company-wide launch spearheaded by the Meralco Center in Ortigas, along with the Pasig, Balintawak, and Paranaque Sectors. The launch was held in all four locations simultaneously, with each site interacting via video conference. By doing a live steam of a four-way video conference, the launch aimed to conveyed how Workplace can connect Meralco employees. The event was also streamed to all Meralco offices and to bring all employees together, a free breakfast was given at the same time in all offices.
After the first week of the launch, 80% or roughly 2,100 accounts were claimed, with 53% or around 1,100 employees making use of the mobile application. 208 Workplace active groups were created, averaging five weekly group posts. There were 476 posts, 244 comments, and roughly 1,400 reactions in the first week. Additionaly, Work Chat, Workplace’s messenger, was highly utilized by employees, averaging 4,000 messages during the week of the launch.
MAKING IT WORK
Now, claimed accounts have risen to 93% or roughly 2,800 active employees with 57% using the mobile app. Group numbers have also risen to 341 from 208, with a majority still comprised of Teams & Projects. And while not as impressive during the launch, Work Chat continues to be highly utilized, hovering between 1000 to 2000 messages daily.
More operational function are being incorporated in Workplace. Meralco’s IT Service Desk and Orange Fit (Meralco’s Wellness Program) have accounts to address IT and wellness issues. Instructional videos titled Me-Know-How are being produced to educate employees in useful topics such as how to reconnect to the internet.
Last September 2016, Ramesh Gopalkrishna, the Asia Pacific Head of Workplace by Facebook, commented on how impressive the numbers of Meralco’s Workplace were despite not being mandatory for employees. He hailed it as a best practice among other companies that have availed of Workplace. This January 2017, Gavin Barfield, Meralco’s Chief Technology Advisor was also given the Digital Visionary Award by Workplace for his role in bringing Workplace to the company as well as demonstrating an outstanding commitment to innovation.
With the success of Workplace’s first phase, Meralco recently launched the platform to connect with its sister companies, Radius and Bayad Center, to further promote collaboration within the Meralco Group of Companies.
More than just a social network, Meralco is continuously exploring the possibilities with Workplace.