Partner and Solutions Leader at Mercer
Lewis is a Partner and business lead for Mercer’s People Science consulting practice. In his role, he applies his training in organizational psychology and experience in the development of data driven talent, engagement and employee performance programs to help business leaders and HR executives design people practices that improve organizational performance. Prior to his role in Mercer, Lewis was the Managing Director for Sirota Consulting’s Asia Pacific operation.
Tell us about your background and how you developed your social media influence?
Most of my early career was spent in a business that used social science to help clients improve employee engagement and culture. I’m an organizational psychologist (a work psychologist) so my main focus was to make sure we were collecting the right data, analyzing it and then helping leaders use it. Over time I learnt a lot about how people think and feel about work. This turned into a hunger to learn as much as I could, and to share as much as I could about what I was learning. The best way I could figure to do this was via my social media network on Twitter and LinkedIn. Over time I connected with a lot of people with similar interests and started writing a lot about how work works. So much of someone’s identity is connected to their work, so many people find it an important and meaningful topic.
What are the key topics you’re most passionate about?
I’m passionate about driving performance and improvement in organisations through people focused solutions. I enjoy learning about businesses and organisations – finding out what makes them tick and helping them find ways to really unlock the potential of their people. This means I’m often engaging on topics related to HR Tech, especially culture, talent assessment, leadership and employee feedback – all highly relevant for the ongoing future of work discussion.
Which influencers influence you within those key topics?
What is your social media routine? Do you have any daily habits that you’d recommend?
I’m most active before 9 am – which is when I’m trying to pick a couple of things to read that day. But other than that, I tend to be pretty spontaneous. I have a couple of people on Twitter who I pay a lot of attention to – so I have alerts for their posts.
What motivates you to post on social media?
To be honest it’s complex. I find social media to be a great way to learn about what an audience is interested in, and what gets people engaged in a discussion. But I think I also find it very useful to build an online presence where people get familiar with my point of view, what I find interesting and where they might want to read more about the ideas I’ve chosen.
What tends to be your most successful post?
Ones that are both timely (they represent a topic that people find contemporary) and personal – they transmit a clear point of view about a problem.
Where do you start in finding relevant content to share with your audience?
I enjoy actively generating content – so I start there! But I also look to other people I follow, as well as some media outlets. One of the things I’ll often do is really explore all the hyperlinks in an article I find interesting. Often an author will link interesting studies and articles to their piece to support their point of view. I find those are often connected to other interesting pieces, so you can find new content by looking at the trail of evidence!
Do you receive any support or encouragement from your organization?
Mercer is actively supporting its people to engage in an ongoing discussion on social media, especially about the future of work, the importance of long term financial security and well-being. Sometimes I find that some ideas travel more efficiently on our external social media network than on internal email!
What results have you seen both personally and commercially for your company?
Personally, I get invited all over the world to share thoughts and perspectives on the topics I love – like talent and high performing workplaces. It’s great to be able to do that. For Mercer we gain a lot of brand presence and client mindshare, as well as great connections between different people within the company – that’s probably just as important.
What do you feel was your breakthrough moment?
In 2016 I co-authored an article for the Harvard Business Review on the Dark Side of High Employee Engagement. The piece was designed to be provocative. The ideas there really started a whole different level of interaction with other people on social media. Some liked it, others didn’t – but it got people thinking, and that’s what mattered. After that I was able to continue writing and engaging with people. I like to offer strong and clear opinions on topic, but I reserve the right to change my opinion if I find evidence that doesn’t support my point of view.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Contribute new and interesting ideas; engage with the ideas of others. It’s that simple.