Be More Than - Korn Ferry Social Engagement Platform


Magdalena Perier


Nalissa Bedford

The Success Formula: to “Be More Than”

During this session Korn Ferry will share how it has successfully delivered and integrated its social engagement platform, ‘Connect’.

Learn how Korn Ferry use a combination of internal collaboration, extensive enablement, and continuous monitoring to ensure that the Connect platform has become the cornerstone of communications – and that employees are informed, engaged advocates of the business.

Video Transcript

– My name is Magdalena Perier. I am leading a global lead management and strategic enablement team at Korn Ferry as marketing director and I’m super enthusiastic and excited to be here today. My whole career has been in the commercial side of business and just three years ago, I transitioned into marketing and I can tell you I love the experience. It’s totally different from sales and a few fan facts about myself, I am a cold water practitioner. I love both cats and dogs. And also, I just started learning Italian. So if there’s anyone in the room that speaks the language, please, please, let’s, you know, chat and speak some time. And I’m here together with Nalissa.

– Yep. So hi, everyone. My name’s Nalissa Bedford and I’m a lead management representative, also part of the global lead management annual team.

– I’m based at the UK office in London. And a few fun facts about me is that I apparently don’t know my left or my right. So with the presentation, if you hear me say the image on the left and it’s on the right, just, know that it’s an image on the screen. So, that’s just fun fact about me.

– Wonderful. So do we have the? We want to start with the video, that’s why.

– Start with the video. Yeah.

– Almost. Tik tok. Tik tok.

– [Crew Member] So do you like, swim in lakes then that are colder?

– I do actually, I have a barrel in the garden.

– Oh.

– Like a wine barrel.

– All right.

– Which is now filled in with cold water. And especially in the winter, it’s beautiful because then you get a ice, natural ice and I go in few minutes and I come out totally refreshed. Also, this morning I took a cold shower so I was like, I need to wake up.

– That’s good. Yeah.

– Yes. Yes.

– We’re good.

– Okay. Let’s start with the video. Wonderful. So welcome and thank you so much for joining our session. We do realize that we are standing just in front of your lunch break. So thank you so much for signing up for this session where we want to talk to you about internal collaboration, about working together with different stakeholders in the firm. Just to make sure to launch a platform that we use internally purely for social engagement. So like many sessions that you hear today, people talk about internal communication and we are actually talking about social engagement. So we are using Firstup dynamic signal platform purely for social engagement to allow our employees, our team members to use it on their social media like LinkedIn or Twitter. So what we want to talk to you about today while we did the presentations in terms of agenda, we have actually summarized this in few things. And actually, all of the things that you see on the slide are super important because it’s the fact that these all elements came together with working together with different campaign managers, right? Who are pulling the content into the platform, working together with different partners, stakeholders that are helping teams and making sure that their teams are using the platform. And then, next we’ve set up different targets and goals for ourselves just to make sure that we are able to make sure to manage and and also to monitor what’s happening. And then finally, we’ve added resources and lots of enablement materials, quick video tutorials that people love to watch because they can watch it on their own. And then, we’ve combined it with social setting as well, which is interesting, which Nalissa will cover. So, as you’ve seen, Korn Ferry is 11,000 colleagues, strong global consulting organizational firm. We help clients to hire advice, reward, motivate and develop their people. Global, truly global organization. And also like Nalissa and I, we are based in EMEA and when our colleagues are in different time zones, we need to make sure that we are helping them, especially when we are not available because we are not in their time zone. And our purpose is to enable people and organizations to exceed their potential. And as we’ve heard the title of this presentation is to be more than, and it’s really a determination, right, that people take and especially if you think about specific goals that other things, are they ready? Can they be done? And then doing this anyway. So this take the the determination and especially to make sure that, you know, you have those determinations to do something outside and even more than that and that’s being more than. So with that, I’ll hand over to Nalissa to talk to us about the connect platform that we call this internally.

– Yeah. So before we begin, I just wanna introduce you to our platform which we call internally Korn Ferry Connect. However, for this presentation, you may hear us referring to it as KF Connect or just simply Connect. So we actually purchased this from Dynamic Signal and we use it for probably a different way that some of you may be using it. So what happens is is that our colleagues get registered onto the site and then they upload contents such as like articles and posts which get shared onto the platform. And then all the colleagues that are on the platform as well can share the content from within the platform onto their social medias. And this includes things such as like LinkedIn and Twitter. And the reason why we have this is just ’cause we want to make it as easy as possible to get our colleagues sharing on their social accounts. So we’ve actually seen an incredible amount of success with this platform over the past few years ’cause we’ve had it about three years now and we’re actually seeing the activity increase month by month. And that’s why we wanted to come here today and just kinda explain how we’ve been able to develop this site and improve it over the past few months. Connectors managed by myself and Magdalena and we are sort of the go-to people should anyone require anything Connect related. But yeah, so other than that, we’re just gonna go in and kind of explain how we’re improving this site. So the first area that we’re going to discuss is the campaign managers collaboration. So what’s really important to note is that with a platform, the success of the site is actually a combination of multiple different groups and teams. And our, within our global marketing team, we have a team of campaign managers who are responsible for driving specific marketing campaigns. And this includes things like content creation, working with external vendors and as well as just organizing webinars and planning and communication. And the reason why we have a team is to ensure there’s a bridge between marketing and the business. So as I said, Magdalene and I, we just manage a platform and it is the, with the help of the campaign managers, they’re the ones creating the content and putting this onto the site for our colleagues to then share onto their social medias. And the our five core capabilities that campaign managers provide information for includes organizational strategy, assessment and succession, talent acquisition, leadership and professional development and total rewards. And as Magdalena said, because we’re such a large company, we need to be uploading content quite often. So we really need the help of the campaign managers because alone, myself and Magdalena could not be uploading content onto the site as well as also managing the platform. So there three main areas that we actually provide support with, and this includes reporting post management and broadcasting in newsletters. So with reporting, what we do is we go onto the backend and we find out how each post is performed on social media sites. So this is looking at things like how many likes, clicks and shares a post has gained on. But we predominantly look at LinkedIn but we can also do this for Twitter as well. And then we will go back to the campaign managers and just provide this information to them so they know what type of content is performing best, maybe what’s not performing so well and then that can help them moving forward when uploading content. This is an example email here of just a communication between one of the campaign managers in which they’re asking for this kind of information and just asking for statistics for this. The next one is post management and this is actually where we provide the most help with. So if a a post goes missing on the Connect platform, we will help go into the backend and look for this post, find out what happened to it, why maybe it’s not pulling as we’d like it to, maybe the data’s like incorrect, but we just go and we work with the Firstup team to try and find out why there’s an issue with this post. The last one is broadcasting a newsletters. So a broadcaster newsletter, slightly different. So with a broadcast, this is where we highlight one particular post of a group of people and we encourage entrepreneurs share this post on their social accounts. Whereas with a newsletter, this is where we highlight multiple different posts and this can come from a certain campaign that may be released and then that’s when they’ve had more than one post that we would really like a group of individuals to look at and share. So to enable the campaign managers to get them set up with creating broadcast, we usually equip them with things like training and then we’ll send ’em a follow up email, just sort of explaining where they can find broadcasting and how they can best use it. And again, so we really want to enable the campaign managers to be quite self-sufficient with creating broadcasting newsletters because actually this is the golden way to sort of promote the content that they upload. And for us, we don’t have the time to be creating the broadcasting newsletters for them. So if they’re self-sufficient with this, they can upload the post onto the site and then straight away, they go and send out a broadcast on a newsletter and make our colleagues aware that this site, this post is ready to be posted on there social accounts. And we also have a mobile app which we really encourage all of our users to download because this is a really quick and easy way to share content on the go. So the furthest phone, that side, that just shows like the first initial notification that user would receive on their phone, then the middle phone just shows the actual post itself and they can just simply share the post within their app. And then the last picture is the link itself. So they can go and see what they’re gonna be sharing. And as I said, we really, really want our users to be downloading the mobile app because we want ’em to be exposed to content quickly. ‘Cause nowadays, everyone’s on their phone. I look around the train today and not a single person was not on it. So this is just a quick way to get one on there, facing on their social medias and again, post performance. So this is something that’s really important that we look at and we monitor. So as you can see here, this is one of our campaigns which was the women’s CEO Speak Today Campaign. And as you can see, all the posts that were included into a newsletter actually received like higher performance statistics and those who are not. So that’s why we really do encourage our colleagues to been, well, our campaign managers to make sure they’re creating, broadcasting newsletters if they want their posts to get this kind of publicity. At the back here, we have an email that we send out because not everyone within Korn Ferry actually has access to Connect. So to make other colleagues who are not on connect aware that this content is available and that they can share this with their clients, we’ve included links to where they can find this information. I’m now gonna pass back over to Magdalena who’ll talk about leadership collaboration.

– Thank you. And eventually, if you think about content, right, it wouldn’t be useful to have that content if people didn’t know about the platform or didn’t know where to find it, right? So we wanted to work with different leaders across the firm, just to make sure that they can help their team members to make sure to use the platform. So what we’ve done, we’ve started actually to create leader boards for their teams just to make sure that, you know, people like this little competition and just to say, “Look, I’m sharing this content, et cetera.” And we wanted to make sure that they would have information not only about their team sharing specific content, but then also having insights into what their solution area content is shared by other members on the platform. Like Nalissa mentioned, not everyone within our firm has access to the platform. So they wanted to know who else is sharing their specific solution area content. And then, what they also wanted to know is who within their teams is actually not sharing that specific solution area content and all of these inside, this is something what we report for them monthly, just to make sure that they’re able to, a, see the numbers but also be able to look at the performance of all of the posts. And eventually what we’ve done next, we wanted to make sure to train their teams, right? To see, you know, when people start to use the platform, it’s like, “Oh, how do I use this? How do I do this? Or how do I connect my social accounts?” Like all these kind of questions. And this is simply an example of a training that Nalissa delivered and also feedback provided. And if you think about those trainings, we are looking there for two things. On the one hand, we are looking for those ambassadors, right? People that are really enthusiastic and want to go with you and make sure to also share that content but be mindful that not everyone is triggered by the same things. Some people will say, “Hey, that’s my personal brand, I want to stand out and I want to share more of that content.” And others are more triggered by the leaderboard. “I want to get that recognition. I want my manager to know this is what I’ve been sharing.” Or there are also people that are saying, “You know what? All that content that I’m sharing, it’s actually such a fascinating, interesting information, I want to learn.” So different people are triggered by different things and that’s important to know when you do trainings like that. And then, looking at the fact that we get asked mostly the same questions like, “How do I do this? How do I connect that social account?” We wanted to create some enablement materials, especially thinking about if we are in this time zone and colleagues are indifferent, how can they get into information that they’re looking for? So we’ve created different enablement video materials to help them to understand how to use the platform. And then for leaders, we wanted also to make sure that they’re equipped with that information as well because it helps them to communicate efficiently and more effectively. And eventually, it helps everyone, right? The users, to know how to use the platform, the leaders to have that information and also us, to strengthen that relationship with the leaders as well. And as we join different solution specific goals, we want to understand what’s happening in the business because only then we can understand what is that they need, right? And this is what you’re seeing here is an example of the most recent newsletter that we send out specifically for the ESG team and what we’ve done, we’ve highlighted the ESG specific posts and send out to the whole world, to everyone on the platform. In that way, people that are not specific to ESG solution would share that post within their network and eventually, that would spark our potential conversations. And things like that are super important because when we join calls like that and understand what’s happening with the business, only then we can help them. And this is one of the examples we just started recently. And now, personally I’m a big believer that without a goal, you cannot score. But then without a goal, without a plan, it’s just a dream, right? And then if you think dreams without goals or what, just dreams. Eventually with fueled disappointment, and I’m talking about myself and I’m taking examples, I’ve been saying to myself, I wanted to learn Italian and I wanted to learn the language for such a long time and I was always dreaming like, “I’m going to speak the language.” But I never did. And then eventually, I decided this year, “You know what? I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this every day.” So if you think about targets and goals, what’s important, there are two things. First of all is your commitment, meaning that you will do this, right? And second of all, it’s also important that you are well committed to continuing doing that. So you need almost like a two factors, right? You want to start but you want that consistently to be doing that on and on and on. So like for me it’s been, I don’t know even which day, but as of January 1st, I started to learn Italian every day for 20 minutes. And I’m like, I can speak few sentences and I’m proud of that. So let me tell you what we’ve done in terms of targets and goals, and what you see here is a lot of information. But let me take you through it. Like Nalissa mentioned, we’ve had this platform for over three years now. And when we are approaching a year second, we wanted to look at the numbers, what we’ve had, and then, specifically define our KPIs. And we look at the numbers that you see here, like active numbers, total shares, clicks and reactions. And eventually, what we wanted to say is we wanted to increase the number of active users on the platform and we wanted also to increase the numbers of shares through the platform. Now, why these two KPIs? It’s really because we wanted to have KPIs that we could manage, monitor, but then also to enable our users as well. So what you see in here in that red color, but especially those picking numbers, the gray colors, these are the numbers of total clicks, which we didn’t set a KPI for and if you see here, it’s going up, right? So we were like, “What is this?” And, “Where did this come from?” And especially if we think about is, mostly the clicks come from a platform like Twitter because that’s where you get the most clicks from. But then we started to dig into numbers and we realized it wasn’t Twitter. So before I continue, also what’s important for you to know, if we think about a platform, there are three ways how content comes in. We can have Korn Ferry content, which our marketing campaign managers produce. We can have non-Korn Ferry content, but we can also have content that users themselves submit. So think about that. If we have a specific, taking example of ESG content, which is Korn Ferry, we can have content from, for example, a Harvard Business Review page that’s loaded into a platform or we can have another piece of content that someone uploaded as well on the platform, which is also ESG. What we’ve realized that the number of those clicks, actually comes from our own users who submitted the content on the platform and is actually coming from LinkedIn, which is fabulous because that’s something we didn’t set a KPI for. And eventually to us, it says so much by really having the crystal clear focus on the KPIs that we wanted to achieve, we started to see results that we even, you know, didn’t think of. And eventually, we started to compare the numbers. What you see in here is more comparison calendar year versus calendar year and then fiscal year. And our fiscal year starts in May. So we are almost approaching to end of our fiscal now in April. And when we look at those numbers, I mean, great, right? We see the growth, even we see results that we personally didn’t know we could achieve. And what’s important to mention is that this wouldn’t be possible without that closely monitoring month over month, right? That determination, those goals that I was talking about earlier. And it was super helpful for us when our Firstup strategic customer success manager, Scott Stewart, actually helped us and guide us in terms of what else we could do. And to me personally, because I’ve been with the firm for over four years and before I started to work at Korn Ferry, we launched this platform, it’s so important to have that guidance because we are simply users as well, right? But then we have a customer success manager who is helping us to better understand the platform and use it and also invited us to, you know, use things like broadcasting, broadcast and newsletters, which we didn’t even know how to set up. And that was super important. And actually everything that we discussed today is lined up into this. And there’s even more good news because everything what we’ve done, nearly dabbled our earned media value. Again, something we didn’t set a KPI for. And to us, again, super, I mean great news, but all of that wouldn’t be possible without additional resources enablement which Nalissa will cover next.

– Yep. So to help get everyone set up on Connect, we have our own dedicated resources just so when people can go onto the platform. So when our users want to come onto Connect, they have to request access. And to do that, they need to go onto our page views, which is an internal site for our company and it’s where we store all of our company information and we simply just click request access and then this will send an email to our dedicated inbox, which is managed by myself and Magdalena. And then my job is to go into the backend and just add the use credentials into the backend and then let them know that their account is ready to be activated. So this is just an an example of an email that I’d send out to a new user, just making them aware that their account is ready and that they need to register their information. And also, I’ve included some quick tutorial videos at the bottom and we really do recommend that our users watch this before they set up their profiles ’cause this will ensure that they set up their profiles correctly. And with the quick tutorial videos, we also put them on our Korn Ferry Connect homepage. And this is because when our users come onto the site, we want them to know that they can quickly access our quick tutorial videos in case there’s of problems with their settings and they can just find a solution easily. And then that way, they don’t have to depend on myself and Magdalena to troubleshoot this issue for them. And the reason why this is as well is ’cause as we mentioned, we are in EMEA, we’re a massive global team, we have a huge team in the US, a huge team in APAC. So they need to kind of be a little bit self-sufficient when trying to find a resolution. And here’s just a few examples of the quick tutorial videos that we have and as you may notice that will how-to’s and with our quick tutorial videos, it’s simply just a kind of screenshot screen grab thing where we just record our screen and then go through the settings and look at how they can make these improvements. And typically, we have in between one two minutes long, we don’t want it to be too long ’cause who has time for that. So yeah, two minutes is our absolute maximum. Okay, so the question is, but what next? So we have our users set up onto the site, their platform set up correctly. They’re uploading onto their social medias, especially LinkedIn. However, we’ve noticed that with some of our colleagues, their LinkedIn profile isn’t set to their full potential. You may have a few colleagues yourself where they might not have a profile picture and banner, maybe no headline, no contact information, nothing on it really says who they are and what they do. And because of that, that’s kind of a bit of a waste with Connect. So you’re posting but you don’t have anything on there that’s gonna help you drive sales. That’s why we’ve introduced our own social selling training. So social selling is a sales methodology that enables employees to build trusted relationships, boost their social credibility and reach their goal in the modern online era. So at the moment, as you can imagine, as a salesperson, selling on LinkedIn is super important and a lot of sales people have noted that LinkedIn’s probably one of the most important sites for finalizing a sale’s deal. That’s why we wanna help our team make sure that their profiles are set up as much as possible so they can be more than, and they can try and do better and make sure that they’re presenting themselves in the best way possible. I know it’s me, but here’s just an example of the type of things that we look out for. So again, it’s profile picture and banner. It’s having a headline which shows some information about you, something that’s personable, shows who you are about section, but you know, talks about your services and making sure that anyone that visits your profile knows exactly what you do. And you may be wondering, “Does this actually work?” And we actually found, but we do have a use case that shows it does work. So our colleague, Shukhrat. He joined about a year ago and when he joined, he contacted myself and Magdalena and he asked if we could provide him with his own LinkedIn audit and also show him how to use Connect and show him how he can make an impact on LinkedIn. And actually, it showed to work. So, not so long ago, he just posted this, saying how he went from 1,200 followers to 3000 followers in that time. And this is actually growing. This was quite, this was a few months ago, so he’s got many more followers now. And then lastly, with our social selling training, we would like feedback from anyone that joins our sessions. And this is ’cause we also want to be more than, we’re trying to improve and we’re always looking for new ways to develop our trainings and just get better than what we currently are. And now, we’ll go on to any questions. Yep.

– Yeah.

– [Audience Member] Do you guys have as well as this platform, on internet as well, where you show internal messages and.

– Yes. We use Yammer and our internal platform, actually what Nalissa was showing earlier, it’s Fuse and that’s where we also send out a lot of communication. So, to help also our users who wouldn’t know about this platform, we would have also information on that internal page as well just to make sure that they know how to sign up. Yep.

– [Audience Member] In terms of your employees uploading content, is there a certain agreement process. Or content is automated.

– Great question. Yes. So it’s fully automated, but what we did set up is a list of specific words that they cannot use. And with that, we trust them that they know what they’re doing and also sometimes, they’re like, “Hey, I’m trying to post something but it’s not there, where is it?” Right? So then, we look in the backend of the platform to see what’s happening and sometimes it’s just a word that it’s not exactly what we wanted them to be using. Great question. Yes.

– So I tend to see common trends like say, equal, you get talked by, you know, And I don’t know if you see that trend and how did you pull people in that, like what was key thing that helped bring in

– Yes, thank you. And the fact is that when we see common people, that’s because they’re triggered by that leaderboard, right? And then others are saying, “What are you doing? I cannot keep up with you.” Right? Whatever I’m doing, I’m like number 10 and you’re number one. So yes, newsletters, broadcast, definitely. But also explaining to others how they can make impact because there is so much which is unknown. And through these trainings, like Nalissa mentioned, social selling, it helps them also to understand, “Oh, so I have to share consistently.” I thought if I share it once a month, sometimes it’s enough, right? And then, really having a conversation, what is it that they would like to get out of that, right? And that then yes, it helps, but still, you know those that are so competitive, they’re still on top.

– We actually also, each quarter, we reset the leaderboard so it gives others a chance to be at the top. And actually what was really interesting was with our ESG team, there’s this one issue ESG team and she absolutely smashes it like every single quarter, she’s always at the top. And then we spoke to ESG team, we were like, “More of you need to start using this platform. You’ve got so much content you need to be sharing this.” And recently, someone who has never been at the top just surpassed her massively and she’s now at the top. And we were so surprised and it’s actually really good for us to go back to the team leader and say, “Actually, I know that this individual’s always at the top, but since we’ve spoken to your team, this individual’s not at the top.” And it’s just, that’s the way we do it. And when we do refresh the leaderboard, they still keep all of their points, but it’s just their leaderboard that refreshes. So as I said, just give everyone a chance to be a winner at some point.

– I am being told. So, one more question. Is that what you’re saying, doctor?

– [Audience Member] Yeah, yeah, yeah. One more.

– Great.

– Yeah.

– [Audience Member] Do you track your monthly engagement as a percentage and do you have any fluctuations?

– Yes, absolutely. And that’s what we were able to see on the, I don’t know if we can come back to that slide, because yes, that’s what we want to see. And when we see that the numbers of active people on the platform are dropping down. Exactly, that’s the number, the blue ones, it’s pretty steady if you see it. But then there are some, some jumps and when we see that those numbers go down, we are like, “What’s happening?” Right? So, there could be different things. We’ve had some challenging IT issues, right? And I think that’s common for every company. And then when people cannot log in, so then we’re trying to make sure and escalate that. But then, there are also people that, you know, use it maybe just to send through the platform emails to someone else and don’t use it actively. So eventually, we are looking into active users and if someone just haven’t used the platform for over six months, we are sending newsletters, well, newsletter broadcast, what is it, we are sending them messages saying, “You haven’t used the platform in such a long time. There is a waiting list.” And then after a third email, we just suspend them.

– Great. Well, on behalf of Firstup and everyone here. Thank you so much for your time.

– Thank you. Thank you.

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