May 26, 2009 11:21 pm
Why companies are using social networking as a team building tool
When Amanda Wilson finishes her night shift, her work day isn’t over. The MacDonald’s restaurant manager heads home to log on to StationM, a social network developed by MacDonald’s as an online meeting place for crew members. The 20-year-old Okotoks, Alberta native was selected as this year’s resident blogger for the North American site.
Since its launch on March 28, 2008, StationM has registered more than 14,000 users with an average of 95 new registrations per week, exceeding company expectations. MacDonald’s management created StationM as a medium for staff that allows for immediate feedback and engagement. This network replaces a quarterly newsletter that did not meet the needs of its younger workers. StationM has imparted a sense of community that has taken on a life of its own for crew members. Wilson reports that some users are logging in on a daily basis to stay in touch with their colleagues in restaurants all over North America.
StationM is one of a number of social networking sites designed by companies to encourage communication and raise morale among their workers. The use of social networking tools, also known as Web 2.0, especially resonates for Canadians. According to the comScore World Matrix, Canadians communicate via social network more than any other country, with 86.5% of us reaching out online compared to 70.2% of Americans. A recent study by IDC Canada found that 51% of Canadians have a profile on some sort of social networking forum.