We’ve all seen it. Bosses paying lip service to employees on social media with obligatory shoutouts and thank yous. At best, it’s forgettable. At worst, cringeworthy.
Then there are the leaders out there who actually get it right.
Effective leaders understand the importance of publicly showing gratitude for their team members, which pays off — employees who feel recognized at work are more than twice as likely to have a positive perception of their work environment and share new ideas to drive innovation.
With that in mind, we're excited to showcase five leaders who are doing an exceptional job of championing employees on social media. Let's dive in and explore what makes them stand out in this important aspect of digital leadership.
Holly May — CHRO of Walgreen Boots Alliance
Holly May, Chief Human Resources Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, is a pro at using social media to champion her employees. By publicly recognizing her team members, Holly creates a supportive and positive work environment where employees feel valued and motivated — but also safe.
Take a look at this post announcing WBA's award as one of America's Greatest Workplaces for LGBTQ+ team members. Not only does the recognition itself speak volumes about employee well being, but May also shouts out Alethia Jackson, their Chief DEI Officer, for her efforts.
May also understands the importance of acknowledging all contributors to a company, whether they're executives or the ground team, as shown in this post spreading love to staff across the country. Ultimately, her work on social showcases Walgreen's commitment to employee wellbeing, a surefire way to attract and retain top talent.
Doug McMillon — CEO of Walmart
Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, is one of social media's best employee champions. One common thing he does that goes above and beyond as a CEO are his store visits, where he shouts out specific store employees for things they do well. Most employees of large corporations would never even exchange an email with the CEO, let alone meet them.
Doug often — and in fact, almost exclusively — posts about the successes and achievements of Walmart employees, celebrating their hard work and dedication. He also highlights the company's initiatives to improve the lives of its employees, such as upskilling programs that allow them to complete college degrees at the same time. By championing his employees on social media, McMillon not only rewards them for their contributions but also showcases the values and culture of the Walmart brand.
Sowmyanarayan Sampath — CEO of Verizon
Sowmyanarayan Sampath, CEO of Verizon, works hard to build and promote a culture of employee wellbeing through his LinkedIn profile. One way he does that is by being vocal about the benefits of having a diverse team, especially for a company with an equally diverse customer base. As Sampath explains, it's "not a nice to have, but essential for progress and success."
Sampath’s also proves the maxim that investing in employees will lead to returns for your customers. A happy employee is going to be more engaged and provide better service, which makes customers happy and generates a virtuous cycle. It's no surprise Verizon has been recognized for its customer satisfaction.
Leeatt Rothschild — CEO of Packed With Purpose
Most leaders here are being commended for their work recognizing their own employees, but Leeatt Rothschild takes it to another level. As founder and CEO of Packed with Purpose, she founded a company whose mission is to disperse gratitude through employee gifts. Not only has she made employee appreciation her business, but on social media she shares resources about how to express gratitude the right way. For example, in this post she shares a blog from her company on when to show employee appreciation. One helpful takeaway: it’s not just useful when employees do well, but also when they have a hard time.
It’s little surprise that Packed with Purpose was awarded as one of 2021’s fastest growing companies. By empowering and encouraging businesses to show gratitude, Rothschild and her company have found a receptive audience among leaders everywhere.
Dev Raj Saini — Influencer
Dev Raj Saini is a business influencer who’s all about helping out employees and leaders alike. He encourages employers to show appreciation for employees, and serves up tips on how to do it, like offering them flexible work arrangements as a form of gratitude and trust.
Saini posts daily, always dropping new insights and advice on how to recognize employees and treat them well. And with his follower count of nearly 100,000, he proves what every other leader on this list knows and follows — that employees deserve recognition for their work, and showing it properly has huge payoffs.