Lessons From Leaders - Groupon
Groupon’s Enterprise Social Business Engagement Platform: Scalability, System Integration & User Adoption as Challenges in a Global Organization - Andrew Mishalove, Global Enterprise Social Business Strategist, Groupon
Hello everyone. Welcome to my discussion around Groupon's Enterprise Social Business Engagement Platform. My name is Andrew Mishalove. I am the Global Social Business Strategist for Groupon. I'm here to talk to you today about how we're using technology in the enterprise to elevate the levels of employee engagement.
Before we get started I want to talk to you a little bit about Groupon. I'm sure everyone out there has heard of Groupon. Most people have probably purchased at least one Groupon in their lifetime. So give you a little bit of company background. I'll talk to you about company performance and then we'll kind of more into some of the more meaty parts of the presentation.
So we were founded in November of 2008. We are the global leader of local commerce. Groupon's had very very rapid growth over the short lifespan. We're now nearly 12,000 employees located across the world. We're actually in 47 countries, headquartered in Chicago. We have offices as well throughout the US in Palo Alto, California, we're in New York, we're in Seattle, and then regional offices around the world as well.
What's our philosophy? It really boils down to something very simple and that is make life less boring. How do we do that? A couple of key things. We sell stuff that we ourselves would want to purchase as well. We want you guys to love Groupon as much as we do. And then lastly unbelievable customer service. So when you make a purchase on Groupon the deal does not end there. It also moves beyond the purchase into post-deal customer service.
A couple more quick facts about Groupon. Merchants love us and customers love us. So we have nearly 950,000 merchants who have been featured to date on groupon.com in our various properties. We've sold more than 900 million units to date. Nearly 110 million people worldwide have downloaded our mobile apps. And our active customers have increased 23% year over year. In the chart below you can see the last five quarters of consistent growth quarter by quarter year by year. So that said I'm not exactly sure what Wall Street's referring to about Groupon's growth over the course of the last few years but this looks pretty good.
Okay so we're going to get into some of the ideas behind the platform that I run at Groupon. Employee engagement. That's really what it boils down to for me. I was hired by Groupon to build an intranet. And what that means for me is to build a tool through which employees in 47 countries could connect communicate and collaborate. So we're going to get into a couple of things her -- definition of what employee engagement means in the workplace. How does it impact productivity? And how does it impact financial performance? So an engaged employee and I quote an engaged employee is one who is fully involved and enthusiastic about their work and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization's interests.
If you look at a couple of quick stats, 72% of the US workforce today is not engaged in their work and they have been defined as essentially sleepwalking throughout the day. Seventy-two percent is a big number of the workforce. That means only 28% of people within the organization are engaged in what they're doing. That translates into $37 billion a year in lost revenue.
Productivity okay so engaged employees 2% more productive than disengaged employees. They take less sick time. And another staggering fact is that 18% of disengaged employees will actually undermine the work of their coworkers. Fifty-one percent greater turnover for businesses that have poor employee engagement. Pretty staggering numbers that translate into significant financial impact on the business.
So as I was building the tool and thinking about how do I roll this out at Groupon? How do I build something that the employee base has a sense of ownership? It's not just a one-way communication platform. It's not just a push platform where employees log in and get information that's created by a select few members of the organization. This is a tool that allows the employees to communicate and connect inside the platform create their own content discussions all of the above. So I wanted to have a platform that there was a sense of ownership.
So I'm going to get into some of the key things some of the laundry list items that I created through interviews with end-users and some of the key stakeholders. So elevating the level of employee engagement. That was kind of number one. How do we elevate levels of employee engagement? Groupon was built very very quickly. Within the first three years of Groupon we went from a few employees to nearly 12 in 47 countries. So how do we get these people to connect worldwide? How do we create a uniform company culture? How do we give employees a voice share best practices at the corporate level at a functional level? How do we accomplish these goals in a single secure platform rather than multiple disconnected engagement tools or collaboration tools? How do we centralize company communications? So these types of questions are being asked around the entire organization. It was my job to figure out how do we bring all this under one single technology stack?
Okay here's the shopping list: single sign-on enabled application; search for people places content in a Facebook type of an environment. So Groupon is made up mostly of people in their twenties, talking about the Facebook generation smartphone generation the millennial population. So we want to give them something that they're familiar with already. Live streams and video on demand was a key component to this given that we're dealing mainly with the next generation of workers. Providing easy access for folks who are on the go. Providing a platform through which senior leadership could connect with the workforce communicate company vision communicate culture for timely and relevant company communications.
Okay so key use cases for the platform. When I started running this project I was doing this as a one-man team so I wanted to make sure that I was able to accomplish some of the quick simple tasks. Where's some of that low-hanging fruit that's going to enable me to elevate the levels of engagement and adoption of the tool quickly without trying to pull off too much? So five quick things employee collaboration so creating these open areas for engagement and discussion; having the system synchronized with company authentication systems so being able to tie into active directory and pulling in all the user populations so onboarding and offboarding of employee accounts into the system based on authentication systems; reaching a globally distributed workforce quickly and accurately; securing robust multimedia video platform so providing live streams and user-generated content options; and then last but not least having a region-specific human resources document center.
So deployment schedule. July 2, 2012 about 3500 to 4000 users quickly captured feedback which would shape what sort of phase two looked like. Phase two included rolling this platform out to the rest of the Groupon population so it went from three countries to 47. And then we've continued to do iterative cycles launching and evolving the platform. About every six months or so we're bringing new tools updates to the system to continue to meet the needs of the employee population.
Role of Video
All right so a big component of our success with this tool is the use of video as a critical engagement tool. So I want to kind of go over a couple things. Some of the key bullet points here are the employee voice video as a tool for social collaboration video being a critical tool for senior management more effective communication platform and then again getting back to the point of addressing the needs of the next generation of workers.
The first idea we wanted to cover in terms of the use of video in the enterprise is providing a platform that gives the employees a voice to be heard a way to communicate with senior leadership. For example how do you feel about working for the company? What can be done to improve operations? What are some of the trouble spots? How do we improve company culture and morale? Video what video does is basically brings the employee voice to life. So it's not just a blog post or a discussion. It's actual human-to-human interaction that's able to be recorded. If it didn't happen in video it didn't happen at all. That's the idea behind this.
Video for social collaboration. So being such a geographically distributed employee base in 47 countries this helps break down a lot of those silos. I have examples from folks who were working for Groupon in far regions of the world--Japan in other parts of Asia--that didn't feel that they had a voice didn't feel they had a sense of connection with headquarters. And this allows for that. So breaking down those silos allowing employees across the globe to easily communicate putting a name to a face and building relationships.
Video is also social like any of the other content types inside of my tool. Posting comments and questions is just like standard content. So instead of just writing content back or writing a comment back you can now record a video. You can like and share videos with colleagues and you can again record a response.
So a CEO puts out a blog post and video and instead of receiving written responses to that you have now the opportunity to go in record a video and then that puts your name and your face in front of the CEO of the organization. So a way to connect with senior leadership is critical. So senior management--quickly and easily share company vision and culture engage with the workforce soliciting feedback for the entire organization. These were typically held in very large venues that would hold thousands and thousands of people. As Groupon was going through a significant growth phase the only way for people to tune in from around the globe is to tune into a live stream video. And if time of day is an issue for these folks if these videos are being shot at 11 o'clock in the morning Chicago time it may be in the middle of the night somewhere on the other side of the world. Having this video then put into the system for video on demand allows these people to go back and watch the all-hands meetings and then again they can contribute to the conversation directly using the social collaboration tools available within the system. Enables a more personal connection with senior leadership so again putting a name to a face instilling confidence and trust.
Great place to inspire motivating the workforce and simply getting away from email which is impersonal. More effective communication tool. So one of our big initiatives inside of this tool was just to create a place through which we can broadcast internal communications news and content from around the globe. This provides a much more effective way to provide a clear and concise message quickly deliver the message to folks around the globe. It's great for people who are on the go using smartphones and other devices. A way to omit the noise. So email tends to get very noisy very lengthy a quick concise way to deliver the right message effectively.
And then video is great for live events. So again for those folks that are not able to attend management meetings or quarterly all-hands because of the difference in time they're able to go back and watch this content and then contribute to the conversation through social elements. Last but not least next generation workers have a very high demand for video. So these are folks that grew up in the Facebook generation smartphone generation. Video is how they communicate connect and collaborate in all these other tools outside the workplace. We need to provide these tools to them inside the workplace in a secure environment. So again smartphone generation or else they're going to start to bring their own technologies into the workplace. And it also provides for them a way to share knowledge skills showcase their work and engage with the enterprise.
All right. I'm going to show you a couple of quick screenshots of what this system looks like take you all the way through our home page onto what one of our video blog posts looks like. So the name of the community is called Skynet. It's based on Jive software. So a single sign-on application so from here I would click on Skynet Here's our welcome page. You can see it's mostly made up of these news tiles right in the middle. That's sort of the meat of the content. That's what drives users to the system. Each of these tiles here takes you to a blog post that contains video content. Once we click on one of these blog posts this is what we're presented with. So here you see a video that's being presented by the global director of IT and then there's some written content beneath that. And again having this blog post type of format like share the video
A couple of quick stats: How much video content is being consumed in the platform? So the platform in general has 96% global user adoption 84% active participation--that means people who are commenting liking We're now doing over 13 live streams per quarter. Average tune-in to each of these live streams is about 12 to 14 users from a 12 user base. A lot of these folks are actually sharing conference rooms and logging in under a single name so those numbers are a bit on the low side. We have over 15 curated on-demand videos and thousands of UGC videos in the form of blogs comments in the system.
Thank you very much for attending my presentation. We covered topics such as employee engagement enterprise social in the enterprise to help the employees connect communicate raising the levels of employee engagement within the organization. I'd like to open it up to Q&A. If you have any questions please let me know. Again my name is Andrew Mishalove. I am the Global Enterprise Social Business Strategist at Groupon. Thank you.