Guess who blew it?

Labels with social media icons. Concept.

Earlier this week, I was invited by an organization for a chance to sneak a peek into their culture and way of work. Just back from a conference that hosted a talk on leveraging social media, I saw this as a perfect example of an organization that took its social media strategy seriously. Just how many organizations throw their door open to bloggers from all walks of life and encourage them to write or tweet about what they see? I was intrigued and their marketing and social media team did a good job of keeping the interest alive. This was a brilliant opportunity for the less known brand to make themselves known to a wider audience.

However, as I walked through the doors of the organization on the D-Day, I couldn’t have been more disappointed. The tour began with the HR head talking about the organization culture and his talk largely focused on great food, infrastructure designed by the marketing team, a focus on employee health via dance classes and open workspaces. The tour exposed bloggers to only five parts of the organization – the cafeteria, the coffee shop, the exercise zone, the massage parlour and the HR bay that stood largely empty. We got a chance to see coffee made by a barista, danced a little with the dance instructors, got a free shoulder massage and ate lots of food.

Not once did we walk through bays where their employees were at work nor was there any mention of what the organization does or policies/quirks that enable employees to deliver effectively. We didn’t speak to any employee who wasn’t hosting the event and we got zero glimpse of what life at the organization actually meant for an individual.

For those blog about workspaces and food alone, this exposure might give enough material for a raving review. In one way, you could count this as a win. #LifeatXYZ trended on twitter, gift vouchers were offered to bloggers for every blog they wrote on the experience and Instagram was flooded with pictures of the lovely office facilities. However, for someone looking for an actual glimpse into the culture, this event gave little insight.

If one is confident, there are at least half a dozen ways to showcase your culture to the outside world. (Need I mention Zappos?) Showing them only your cafeteria, recreation center, massage offerings and swings is definitely not one of them. I haven’t come across a single candidate who joins an organization because of free massages. If that is how an organization defines its culture and life at work, I’d be worried. In my eyes, this organization had a perfect chance and they blew it.

P.S: I am a 100% sure; I am not getting any vouchers for this piece.  

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