Every day at WW, all their staff contribute to the company’s goal and vision: To inspire healthy habits for real life and real people everywhere. To extend this positive inspiration to their staff, WW started exploring bots on Workplace to help increase peer-to-peer recognition, grow their global community, and help their employees feel more connected.
Celebrating employees & building a community
WW, a wellness company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives, was looking for a way to celebrate their employees and amplify their corporate values. As a large organization stretching across multiple offices and countries, this wasn’t always an easy task.
For Taryn Davino, director of Global Organizational Development at WW, it was important to provide the best employee experience possible regardless of location or office size. Their pre-bot employee recognition program was splintered and singular to each office or department.
Most of the programs ran as a nomination process with a committee determining who should be awarded. But in order to build a true sense of team, recognition needed to be peer-to-peer, not determined by a small panel of leadership personnel.
To achieve this, WW started looking into bots on Workplace as a way to communicate with their staff effectively, facilitate peer-to-peer recognition and highlight examples of behaviors that brought their new company values to life.
WW approached their bot journey with a clear vision in mind and a rock-solid understanding of their goals. Their first priority was an employee recognition bot that was eventually named Ripple.
Ripple, named after its ability to create a “ripple effect” across the large organization, was built as an employee recognition program aimed to encourage peer-to-peer nominations, promote corporate values/behaviors, and automate their current process.
When a staff member is ready to submit a recognition, they simply open Ripple in their chat window and answer the prompts provided by the bot. The bot takes them on a guided experience where they provide information on the staff member they are nominating, focusing on the staffer’s actions. They describe how these actions represent company values, help the business, and inspire others. The bot then posts this recognition into a Workplace group for other staff members to engage with. Nominees can see the full written and detailed submission and the nominators can feel good knowing their message has been shared. This Workplace Group has become a constantly updated pool of positivity and staff will regularly go to look at new nominations posted and share the good vibes from colleagues’ activities.
In addition to posting submissions to a group on Workplace, the bot also adds the votes to a spreadsheet using The Bot Platform’s webhook functionality and a Zapier integration which updates a Google Spreadsheet in real time. At the end of each quarter, an “Impact Awards” panel, comprised of staff from each global region and representing every seniority level within the organization, reviews all the votes and selects those they deem worthy of an Impact Award.
WW announces the winners of the Impact Awards for both their corporate and field workers at their All Company meetings. These awards are then broadcast to the company through the Workplace live function to promote each of the winners and to show staff the importance of their nominations.
With Ripple, WW staff are able to not only recognize their colleagues and peers, but also create a sense of a connected global community living the company’s values in real life and going above and beyond to help their coworkers and customers.
Before using bots, the WW recognition process was complex and disjointed. It seemed that every country and corporate or field office ran their program differently.
Ripple allowed WW to create a unified employee recognition program that used the same methodology for awarding staff members across the whole organization. Instead of 16 teams building, operating and managing different recognition programs, WW now has one cohesive program across the board.
With bots, the WW team is able to effectively communicate their corporate values and provide their entire workforce with an easy-to-use and intuitive way of calling out the hard work and dedication of their peers, all directly within Workplace by Facebook.
How They Did It
Step 1: Identify pain points to be solved
Their previous method of employee recognition was not working and didn’t provide employees with the positive experience Taryn and her team were looking for. This process was taking precious hours away from the staff members, and every program was executed differently. To achieve success long-term, WW needed to find a way to celebrate employees and corporate values through a scalable program, usable at any level within the business.
Step 2: Establish which bots to introduce first
Ripple, the employee recognition bot, was WW’s first and primary focus. The recognition process before bots had inconsistencies in each program and was experienced differently by everyone who participated. Instead of a unified program, there were multiple versions with each communicating information differently.
With the recent rebranding of WW, it was essential to Taryn and her team that the information presented to employees was the same, across the board, and reflected the new company values and initiatives.
Along with automating and transforming their recognition program, Ripple provided WW with a way to ensure their updated corporate values were expressed from the main office to the frontline.
Step 3: Launch and monitor usage
After launching Ripple, 16,000 field staff are now connected to one unified recognition program.
Staff members are finding themselves going into the group and reading nominations when they need a boost. They report feeling moved and proud to be part of WW. Recognition is now a part of the daily experience and workers have a platform to share their stories of what people do every day to further the WW mission.
Leadership reports that the best part of their day is reviewing the nominations that come pouring in. They are thrilled to shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes of the organization. Ripple has become a method to show off the true culture of the organization, from the HQ to the field.
Step 4 : Refine the experience over time and experiment with new bots
Every attempt at a new task or project generates insights on how to move forward and do it better the next time.
Since the launch of Ripple, WW has learned how to make bots work for the organization. Treating this as a co-creation project was essential to Ripple’s success. Clear communication and creating educational tools, including FAQs and instructional videos, were needed to make the bot user-friendly and ensure a positive experience. Building an initial bot with a clearly defined purpose was the catalyst to scaling Ripple quickly and building the recognition program WW needed.