How Essilor Drives Success with Employee Communication and Engagement

Industry

Manufacturing

Company Size

8,500 employees

Dynamic Signal is at the center of our communication strategy for several reasons. It’s the way that we communicate with our employees. It also allows our employees to share and connect to the broader community at large. So, while it’s not the only tool we use, it’s the centerpiece of what we use to communicate.”

Holly Gillentine, Vice President of Corporate Communications

If you wear prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, chances are you’ve touched an Essilor of America product. The Dallas-based company is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the U.S.

The brand has seen phenomenal growth over the past two decades as Essilor expanded from a small, family-style company into an optical giant with about 8,500 employees across North America. As the company grew, the close-knit feeling that’s key to Essilor’s success had become harder to maintain, said Holly Gillentine, Vice President of Corporate Communications.

“Our mission of improving lives by improving sight is at the center of everything, but many people didn’t understand that,” Gillentine explained. “When you asked 8,500 people, you would get 8,500 different answers about why we’re here. There was a real need to unify not only our communications but also what people knew about the company. We needed to bring that family community feel back.”

It started with making sure that messages reached all employees in the way they prefer, so they are always the first to know about Essilor initiatives, added Matt Tackman, Senior Vice President.

“If you ever played that game ‘Telephone,’ that’s what generally happened,” he said. “There was a handoff of information from top to bottom, and by the time you got to the field, it had changed 1,500 different times. So, having that direct line of communication is really powerful. We have a couple of simple, clear priorities that we want to make sure cascade through the organization.”

Wired, powered by Dynamic Signal, is the platform Essilor implemented to streamline employee communication, create richer connections throughout the company, and promote the brand to a broader audience. Lina Betancourt, Manager of Internal Communications, said employees rely on Wired as an easily accessible “rendezvous” point for everything happening at Essilor. She notes that there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of employees receiving company information since launching Wired.

Employee Communications App“Before you had a manager who would go to a meeting, come back, and bird feed you a little bit of the information that happened, and that was it,” added BJ McClendon, Finance Manager. “Now, I know what I’m working on is making a difference. You have everything that’s going on at your fingertips, any moment you want it, wherever you are. Wired helps me do my job better every day.”

Wired is a way for leadership to communicate directly with employees. There’s a video series featuring personal stories from company executives. The platform also has a weekly “Leaders Corner” where executives answer questions submitted by employees – ensuring their voices are being heard.

“Every day it feels like there’s a new piece of content and there’s a new way to see either a program, an activity, or just a fun event that happened at one of our labs or partner sites,” said Melissa Munoz, Associate Product Manager. “We’re able to see what people around the U.S. are doing, and that’s pretty cool.”

The platform also makes employees feel as if they’re part of something bigger than themselves – the Essilor mission. Betancourt explained that the name “Wired” is an acronym that represents Essilor’s fundamental values: Working together, Innovation, Respect, Entrepreneurial spirit, Diversity, and inclusion

“One of the things I love about Essilor is the culture and our values,” Tackman added. “It’s part of our DNA and who we are. It’s just a really great place to work. The inclusive nature of Wired is really important because it gives us a platform to share what we’re doing with outside folks. It’s pretty awesome.”

Employees are able to take the success stories they see on Wired and post them on their personal social media channels – spreading the word about why Essilor is a special place and the great work done to improve the sight of millions of people.

One example was a #showusyourshades campaign in June of 2018 where employees submitted photos of themselves, friends, family, and even pets wearing sunglasses. It was a fun way to put employees are the forefront of a campaign highlighting Essilor expertise in eye protection.

“I’m pretty addicted to Wired,” added Dori Abendschein, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “I read it all the time. I get to meet new people with it. I’ll tell someone, ‘Hey, did you see this on Wired? Have you thought about that?’ And it’s a terrific sharing platform.”

Essilor employees have generated 230,000 impressions on social media by sharing content posted on Wired – amplifying the company’s message. That’s the magic of having a platform that enables employees to communicate with one another and better understand the Essilor vision.

“It’s actually quite hard to imagine going back to a world where we don’t have that direct connection with our employees,” Gillentine said.

Key Takeaways

Challenges

  • Ensure employees have real-time access to information needed to do their jobs
  • Recapture the sense of being a family company after decades of explosive growth
  • Employees lacked ability to share Essilor story on social media

Dynamic Signal Impact

  • Information is shared with every employee at the same time
  • Builds rich relationships throughout the widely dispersed company
  • Enables employees to use their authentic voices to be advocates for Essilor

Benefits

  • 25 percent increase in number of employees receiving company information
  • Generated 230,000 social media impressions through content shared by employees
  • Values, inclusiveness, and mission of Essilor are continuously reinforced