Best Buy's BlueShirt Nation: How To Use Social Media To Create Trust, Break Down Barriers & Build A Community Of Engaged Employees
BlueShirt Nation is a community site available to all Best Buy employees with over 14,500 members as of October, 2007 – nine months after it's official launch. It was built using open source software and, perhaps more importantly, open source philosophies. It’s intent is to bring employees together, and get them talking, thinking, learning and making something. Whether it’s making a friend or making a business breakthrough – making something is the end goal (if an end goal is necessary).
In a time when the idea of innovation is being so often identified as something to strive for that it nearly loses its meaning, the unvarnished voice of the employee keeps the tip of the argument sharp. Because BlueShirt Nation is purely voluntary and accessible from home, the average users tend to profile as an employee who is more passionate, engaged, interested and knowledgeable than average. Often, it is impossible to predict what topics of conversation will prove most relevant and it is even harder to predict where a given conversation will go in the largely un-moderated atmosphere of BlueShirt Nation. Peer to peer information exchange is having a growing impact on how people do their jobs. The site is already gaining a reputation as a place where you can search for and find answers, or as a place where you can post a question. The very fact that employees feel they have a place to find and share information has had the overall effect of creating trust and reliance on each other breaking down cultural and geographic barriers between stores and between stores and corporate.
Learn how you, too, can build a community in your own organization through new social media tools – with positive results.
Steve Bendt, Sr. Manager Social Technology
Gary Koelling, Sr. Manager Social Technology