Construction business might not be seen as a forerunner on social media, but multinational construction company YIT has proven that things can be different. The company has been into Employee Advocacy for over a year now.
I had a pleasure to interview Mr. Timo Lehmus, the Head of Real Estate Development business division at YIT. In addition to being a member of YIT management board and responsible for the success of one of the eight divisions at YIT, Timo is an enthusiastic employee advocate. We spend a while discussing Timo’s take on social media employee advocacy at YIT and its role to him personally. Take a peek how he feels standing at the forefront.
Hi Timo, so nice to meet you! You have been YIT employee advocate for over a year now. How was it with you before you joined the movement?
I have always been somewhat interested in social media, even before we took SmarpShare into use. I have a profile in all key channels - LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, LinkedIn being the most important to me. I have a large professional network there, and I actively use it for connecting with people. To me, Facebook and Twitter are more about following things, companies, and people, not that much about participating actively.
How do you see Employee Advocacy and its role professionally?
I’m all for Employee Advocacy, I can clearly see the benefits YIT achieves with it. From my personal perspective, social media is not so much about building a professional brand, not even on LinkedIn. My interest comes from advancing company goals, not from personal gain. But like said, I see a lot of value in employee advocacy from YIT perspective, it is an excellent tool to distribute corporate content more widely than we could by using any other means.
What kind of content do you like to share?
I’m quite selective when it comes to sharing content, I choose content that I know will interest my audience and boost YIT’s business goals. However, it seems that it has an effect to my professional profile as well, my contacts often comment positively my activity and interesting articles I share.
You have been using SmarpShare for over a year now, how do you find the platform?
Even if I was present on social media before SmarpShare and felt I mastered the basics, I was not too active there. I was more of an observer, I would say. But now with SmarpShare it's different. My activity levels have increased enormously, and currently I hold the first place at YIT’s SmarpShare leaderboard. So yes, you could say that SmarpShare has revolutionized my use of social media.
What would be the biggest benefit for you?
As my days are packed with meetings, e-mails and business negotiations, I appreciate the easiness the Employee Advocacy platform offers. There is no need to spend the time to search content to share as SmarpShare notifies me about the new content available.
Actually, notifications have helped me to develop a habit of sharing – before it was easy to forget, but now I automatically check if there is anything interesting to share when SmarpShare notifies me. And what’s best, sharing itself is easy as 1-2-3!
Unfortunately, social media has proven to be effective in increasing both positive and negative reputation. That’s why I like the fact that SmarpShare eliminates the risk of sharing confidential or inappropriate content. I don't need to worry whether something is suitable for sharing or not. Social media has such complex principles that it is very easy to go wrong, and as a company advocate you definitely want to avoid that.
Your thoughts on Employee Advocacy in general?
As a member of company leadership, I clearly see the benefits of employee advocacy. It has proven to be a valuable asset for YIT, helping us to increase our reach significantly. Personally, I find it to be an excellent tool for professional purposes, helping me to be more efficient in my role as YIT employee advocate.
Thanks Timo for your time! I wish all the best for you and YIT Employee Advocacy program in the future!
If you would like to know more about employee advocacy at YIT, download the case study "Employee Advocacy in a construction industry".
Senior Vice President - Real Estate Development at YIT. Timo has an extensive career in the construction industry and wide experience in leading Real Estate Development and Building Construction in Finland, Russia, and Baltics. Timo joined YIT in 1989 and currently he is a member of YIT management board.
YIT leads the way in the construction field. YIT creates more attractive and sustainable urban environments by building housing, business premises, infrastructure and entire areas. YIT has a strong market position: it is the largest residential construction company in Finland and the largest foreign residential construction company in Russia. YIT is also one of the largest business premises and infrastructure construction companies in Finland.