Ryan Cheyne, HR Director at Pets at Home will be speaking at this year’s CIPD NAP conference. He will be sharing more about how Pets at Home created an amazing workplace, leading to them becoming Number One in the top large companies to work for.
Last week Ryan was also speaking at the HR Directors Summit in Birmingham. This time, he was taking about social media. Here’s a little bit from that session by Gem Reucroft who had the pleasure of listening in.
Ryan was taking about the Pets at Home journey into social media, and how it has helped move their organisation forward and engage with the customers in a totally new way.
To begin with, Ryan didn’t see the potential opportunity of social media. He admitted he was on LinkedIn because you kind of had to be. He was on Facebook because his kids were but now they have gone somewhere more cool that their parents don’t hang out.
Social got on their radar for Ryan when people started doing things that they shouldn’t. Then a shop manager showed him how he was using Twitter to communicate with his team and customers. After some initial panic about the need for a policy, Ryan had a lightbulb moment; that this could be a really powerful tool for the business.
They realised that pet owners are very very social. 88% of pet owners post pictures of their pets on social media. 92% of people have had their pet as their phone wallpaper. 15% of people even Skype or FaceTime their pets when not at home. If customers are in the social world then they should be too.
Pets at Home use social media to recruit. Share content about their stores and their vacancies. They are also moving more of their training online. Their vision is to have people learning socially, anywhere and any when.
Crucially, their social media policy is about what you can do rather than what you can’t. Stores are empowered to do their own social stuff with support and guidance. There are few rules. It’s not mandated, and neither is any particular platform specified. Their view is that you can deal with those who misuse social media appropriately – but if they are then that’s probably not the real problem anyway.
Social media is also part of their reward and recognition practices. Share the good stuff that their employees have done openly and socially for all to see.
Ryan’s ponderings are these: Social is here to stay. Ignoring it is akin to denying the existence of the phone. But you don’t have to overthink it. We love a rule and a policy in HR. It can’t be controlled. Just get on with it. It is a great opportunity to get your brand out there as well as a powerful tool for engagement. Social is short and sharp – making it different from our normal approach to internal communications. It uses simple messaging.
The latest Pets at Home TV advert was socially crowd sourced via social media. Socially engaged customers and socially engaged employees coming together.
Sounds like the kind of amazing workplaces our NAP conference want to create.
And here’s the video of the advert (all together now, ahhhhhh):
There is one other important to thing to note about Ryan’s speaking sessions. He said that if he runs of out of things to say then he always brings lots of cute dog pictures with him. We are looking forward to a couple of those too please Ryan!