We have a new case study up! See how Benz helped this high-tech company get employees engaged in career development and excited about their long-term growth with the company.
One of the global leaders in providing innovative equipment, services and software to improve the way people live. This high-tech company helps make innovative products more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world.
Despite a formal performance management process that included objective setting and development planning, employees did not understand that they had tools and resources available to them to grow their careers both horizontally and vertically. And at the time, there was little focus on career development for managers to increase their role and skills as career coaches. In fact, employees cited career development as a top concern in an annual survey.
The HR team was already laying the foundation for career development and emphasizing its importance through employee and manager training. But with limited resources for communications, and competing priorities, they needed help making this a well-known initiative within the company.
Each of the challenges was identified so that they could be strategically addressed. The top challenges were:
- Creating a renewed focus and energy around individual development by raising awareness, building commitment and long-term support of the mindset that employees can develop a meaningful and satisfying career at the company.
- Reaching managers and employees in a global environment in meaningful and impactful ways.
- Developing a rich and vibrant visual campaign that was more personable to employees and moved away from product and industry images.
- Creating content and resources that could be used “right away and as is,” so that managers and employees could get started as soon as possible.
The talent team was already in discussions to kick off a campaign with a different marketing communications firm. Enter Benz Communications, who was able to present a comprehensive and strategic approach. The global employee development manager stated, “Benz had better ideas, skills, talent and came in at a competitive price for what they offered and we needed.”
Benz created a year-long global marketing communication campaign to raise awareness of career development, shift mindset, promote available resources and to get employees to create and complete individual development plans. The campaign was multi-faceted and incorporated many elements over the year. The priorities included:
- Redesign of the company’s internal career development website. Everything from nomenclature, to site architecture, to content was updated based on feedback and user testing. The site is now the hub for all things related to career development for employees and managers.
- Ongoing communications tied to key phases of career development. By leveraging the existing phases it allowed for ongoing communication versus event or one-time communications. And a regular dialogue with managers was created through ongoing messages from key executive sponsors.
- Key resources developed to “script the moves” for managers and employees. Key checklists and tip sheets were developed so that managers and employees could quickly learn what to do and when to do it.
- The visual campaign took personalization to a new level. A key element used throughout was the use of doodles. The doodles took the idea of the company’s products and transformed them into fun, creative expressions, while maintaining a serious side. These fun drawings were perfect for the campaign because they were approachable—everyone doodles—and they are the start of how a company innovates. Most importantly the doodles opened the door to invite employees to get involved by contributing doodles for future uses.
The focus and campaign on Career Development worked. Among the results produced were:
- Increased employee engagement scores. In the two years the high-tech company decided to focus on career development the category increased 14 points as measured by an employee survey.
- Increased tools and resources. More than 40+ tools and resources for managers and employees were developed. From manager checklists, to quarterly emails, to tip sheets for employees and managers, to frequently asked questions, to executive talking points. All audiences were targeted to create momentum.
- Increase in individual development plans. In the first fiscal year of the marketing communication campaign there was an 80 percent completion rate for individual development plans. Employees were having meaningful conversations with their manager and documenting development goals.
- Managers trained as career coaches. More than 500 managers were trained on how to be career coaches and to increase individual development for employees.
- Career website redesigned. The internal career development website was redesigned, focusing on the four key phases of career development and how employees and managers search for information. About a month after the website went live the site had received more than 37,000 hits.
Benz was able to understand the business’ needs and adapt as the high-tech company was going through changes. Over the course of the year Benz continued to provide strategic counsel and execute against ongoing deliverables to continue the focus and drive necessary in order to make employees’ mindset changes stick. “Benz has such knowledge of our business. They have so many years of experience all rolled up into their company and have provided us such great support and a great experience,” said the global employee development manager. “Benz upped the ante—helping us be better and successful.”
Partnership with the employee development team, HR communications and employee engagement were key to the success of the campaign. As the global employee development manager put it, “We don’t consider Benz Communications as a typical client/vendor relationship—we’re a team! And it’s good to know who to go to and lean on when we need someone who won’t let us down.”
Note: This case study does not include client names because the company’s PR policy restricts the use of their name.
Check out other case studies with Benz clients, here.