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Andy’s Answers: How Wal-Mart engages with employees using social media

With more than a million Wal-Mart Stores employees nationwide, the company’s Lisa Thurber and her team are tasked with communicating with this massive workforce in a two-day dialogue.

At our BlogWell conference, Thurber took us behind the scenes of how they’re doing this with employee community, a forum that has more than 1.2 million users. A few of her take-aways:

  • Answer common employee questions where everyone can see you. Thurber and her team set up a blog to describe changes to employee benefits. The forum made it easy to ask questions and get a real-time response from experts. The result was more than 80,000 views of the blog but only 200 questions.
  • The “real human” effect works for internal communications, too. Just like in a public community in which upset customers tend to change their tone when they realize they’re talking to a real person from the brand, a similar effect happens with internal communications when employees see they’re talking to a colleague, Thurber said.
  • Remain open to honest opinions. is open to positive and negative responses from employees. As Thurber explained, one of the primary goals is to understand how employees truly feel about issues, so the community stays open to good and bad feedback.