Enterprise social network (ESN) in action: Centrica
Poppulo customer Centrica is the parent company of British Gas, Bord Gais Energy, Direct Energy and several other energy brands. It employs approximately 39,000 people worldwide. With such a vast workforce, distributed around the UK and globally, both in offices and out in the field, collaboration was a challenge.
In 2012 a small team initiated a trial run of Yammer with a group of the organization’s engineers. “We wanted to allow it to grow virally, to see how people would use it and if there was actually a business need for it,” said Liam Kilminster, OEE Yammer Team Lead and Collaboration Manager. And grow virally it did; within a short space of time it had hit 5,000 users and that’s when Liam and the team approached senior management about rolling Yammer out organization-wide.
“We took a top down, bottom up approach. We had 5,000 people already using it and our leadership team, particularly our MD at the time, jumped on board and was amazing on Yammer,” said Liam.
Four years on 95% of Centrica’s eligible users are on Yammer, which equates to around 33,000 people across the organization. Users have created 586 public groups and 386 private groups. The groups focus on everything from HR and IT to social groups and a ‘rogues’ gallery’ where engineers post photos or messages about unusual jobs they’ve had to fix. And engagement is high, due in large part to the high level of response to messages: 65-75 percent of posts are answered. The success of Centrica’s ESN has not gone unnoticed; Microsoft named Centrica as the most engaged Yammer network in the world.
On a practical level, the ESN is used for daily roll calls for engineers that shaves time off service managers’ day, a technical helpdesk that has brought the IT team in constant contact with employees, a product promotion group that makes sure customer service and engineers are aware of current product deals, an organization-wide group for major announcements, feedback groups for customer experience, as well as hundreds of groups that have encouraged cross-departmental collaboration and broken down knowledge silos. Through closer collaboration, different business units have been able to make certain processes slicker, which has resulted in an uplift in customer sentiment and employee morale.
“Our Net Promoter Score has jumped from 5% to 19% and 35-40% of employees say they now feel part of the company compared to just 7% before we started using Yammer,” said Liam. “Our tagline for our ESN is ‘working out loud’. It has allowed people to share and find knowledge easily from people they would not have met or even known about. It’s transformed collaboration within our organization.”
Centrica is currently trialling Poppulo Cross-Channel Analytics to measure the organization’s Yammer network and gain insight into employee engagement across all digital channels.