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Get Social Media & Cross Functional Team Engagement

dreamstime_xs_8191037Yesterday, I had a conversation with a banking executive (the bank will remain nameless) on the topic of social media engagement across functional areas. He noted how the bank, was missing opportunities to engage with its customers.  That it was ignoring many close, warm and personal opportunities to build social customer relationships, as people, dealing with people.  I got excited when he said that the bank was not only in the money business, but was in the business of helping people achieve dreams, helping and welcoming families, engagements, marriages, weddings, new babies, potential homeowners, new restaurant/business owners or new college students.

No doubt, he was frustrated because there were problems and issues with building a team across functional areas. He noted that the departments were like strangers, with hidden agendas and it was like they were running from each other and the team could not find a common ground.

 He then asked me how to deal with it?  What do you do?  Have you ever experienced this?  I suggested a few steps to help him and the team get there.  Maybe you could offer a few more?   I said:

  1. Make it Personal – with team dynamics and icebreakers – we all have friends, families, loved ones or people that we admire (a hero, sports idol, saint), make it fun, engaging and energizing, get pizza, snacks and laugh. 
  2. Listen & Illustrate – Illustrate where the moments of truth, or touch points are for the team to build relationships. Outline the wins, the what’s in it for me (WIIFM) opportunities for departments, to build and connect in meaningful and measurable ways.
  3.  Focus on the 4C’s, - Content, Communication, Connection and Community.  Engage with content that is meaningful, fun or both.  Generate dashboards that the whole team can share to measure performance, across the organization. Identify connection points, where you need to weed out missed communications or misunderstandings with customers.  Build community and identify key individuals throughout the organization that can focus on the essentials.   Use the measures as a way to build the team and engage. 
  4. Encourage humanity - focusing on the emotional value of relationships (like a new baby, or marriage, what’s important to them?), helps humanize how we look at business.  Remember we are in the business, but it’s incredibly important with customers as people dealing with people. We are a part of a larger community, connected, looking to be heard and recognized.

So, at the end of the day, cross-functional team engagement is not a walk in the park. And, while it can be mandated, there are always hidden agendas and blow ups that can cause upheaval, especially if we are not all on the same team, or hiding, running or blaming others. Remember, at the heart of a teamwork is our own humanity calling to us to laugh at ourselves and admit that none of us are perfect.   So have fun and engage!

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+1 #3 Mette Rehnström 2012-03-19 08:39
Good advice for any kind of business!
Today I read a new article in a Swedish newspaper about banks and their executives' salaries and bonuses. I think that many people don't really want to have so much involvment with their bank because they think the banks are cheating and in a legal way "robbing them" on their money due to the big margin between intersts on deposits/compared loans. So I think the banks have to start with their internal policies, be less greedy. Otherwise all other kind of activities will be considers as cosmetics and not a geuniun interest in their customers's ordinary, simple, not luxory lives!
+1 #2 Axel 2012-03-16 11:05
It's funny. If you glans over the post, it reads like this:
fart... Make it Personal, Listen & Illustrate, Focus, Encourage :oops: .... :lol:
0 #1 Mette Rehnström 2012-03-16 10:15
Interesting with non-money banking business! In Sweden banks earn more money than ever before, and they would really need to focus more on the human/personal and engaging part of their operation and not only on earning money. Good advice for banking business all over the world!

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