Approach. This new online tool called Shift is an internal space for collaboration based on the concept of social networking. At CEMEX a virtual business network is made up of people with common interests, who create their own online profile, and communicate with each other via components such as communities, wikis, activity tracking, bookmarks, and file storage. It even includes widgets that connect employees with their existing social networking platforms.

Implementation. A thorough assessment of the company’s needs and audiences was made to set the pace for implementation. This analysis not only helped to set realistic collaboration goals, but also to select the correct tools to help CEMEX fulfill them. Implementation has proved to be a remarkable experience in terms of the challenges and learning experiences it has presented. CEMEX is a company with a long history and a well established traditional culture. It also has employees from all age groups, which means there are many within the company who are new to social networking tools. To help make the cultural change easier, and ensure that all users could easily participate, the implementation team provided a self-service help center as well as a series of on-boarding sessions to introduce users to Shift, and to show them how to make the most of it. Furthermore, a series of internal communications materials (posters, teasers, invitation e-mails, etc.) were developed to raise awareness of Shift.

Main Results. Since January 2010, when Shift was released to a select group of power testers, and after its general release in April, we have seen a rapid increase in users.  After less than a year from the start of its viral spread, the collaboration platform has reached 20,500 users, which represent more than 95% of the company’s employees. Furthermore, we have seen exciting results. There are now more than 500 communities where employees can collaborate on topics ranging from everyday work, such as developing commercial practices and improving products, to strategic projects such as the Low Carbon Sustainable strategy for CEMEX.

Testimonials. A great example of how Shift has helped people to collaborate and achieve a common goal is the creation of a blog to help communities affected by a recent natural disaster. People volunteered to go and help at the most affected communities, as well as to donate materials and funds. CEMEX agreed to double all funds raised for the cause, totaling $150,000 USD. The response was impressive, and many employees commented on Shift about their experience.

“It is a great satisfaction to be able to help all these people, and at the same time to see so many people wanting to help!”
Luis Fernando Gonzalez Hernández, HR Planning & Development Advisor

“It’s good to see that we share work with colleagues like you!”
Rocío Flores Aragón, Cost Analyst