Crowdsourcing and Team Collaboration for Trendspotting

Today’s post features Alison Pincus, Co-Founder & Chief Partnership Officer, One Kings Lane

Connecting and Empowering a Growing Company

onekingslane_headshot_alison_pincusOne Kings Lane works with top brands and designers to give members access to top home and lifestyle products at a great value. “I think of it as a magical place that takes shoppers on a journey of discovery,” says co-founder Alison Pincus. “Plus, we offer amazing products at fantastic prices.”

One Kings Lane doesn’t just use networking technology to change the game between consumers and retailers, it relies on an internal Yammer network to tie together staff from three cities and a range of functions.

Fostering Collaboration Across Teams and Functions

Trend spotting is vital to retail, so Yammer has become the place for employees to share insight, as well as videos, photos, and articles. Anyone who’s sniffed out a new trend can alert others, and spark a dialogue among team members.

One Kings Lane’s customer service department is based in San Francisco, and with Yammer, staff can share their perspective across the company. “It’s vital for the rest of us to hear from the customer service team, because they’re on the front line with our shoppers every day,” Pincus says. “They can use Yammer to share the beat on the street.”

Building Pride and Employee Connections

Before employees connected on Yammer, they did it the old-fashioned way: in person. One Kings Lane incurred significant travel expenses, which have been shaved considerably now that the company relies on video conferencing and its network to keep communication flowing between teams.

The tighter ties the network builds promote efficiency, while fostering a sense of belonging. “Culture is critical for any business,” Pincus points out. “Yammer makes people feel more tuned in to each other and what’s going on in the company—and that makes them happier in their jobs.”

Chief People Officer John Anderson’s first exposure to Yammer came when CEO Doug Mack posted on the network to welcome him to the company. Anderson appreciated the ensuing messages that poured in, but the payoff wasn’t just warm and fuzzy: “Yammer enabled me to really understand who people were, see their role in the company, and build relationships quicker,” he says.

Anderson has also seen how Yammer helps on-board new hires. He estimates it now takes a month or less to get up to speed instead of three to six months.

The Results

  • A powerful social internet. Yammer goes beyond a traditional intranet or email, enabling everything from video sharing to team collaboration.
  • Better knowledge management. Improved information sharing and crowdsourcing means faster responses to business and customer demands.
  • Faster onboarding. New hires get up to speed in about a month, significantly faster than they did before.
  • A cohesive corporate culture. The network unites the company’s three locations and helps employees get to know each other—and the business—better.

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