We have twenty plus years’ experience helping clients deliver communications projects, often involving tech-y but important stuff, like bonuses and performance development. A few things mark us out: our restless search for creativity; our ability to take good writing and couple it with great design to create communication that employees want to read, surf, listen to, view or otherwise engage with. Plus our emphasis on getting senior leaders involved; drawing on them to create authentic messages, and coaching and training them to play their part in the roll out.
Recent work includes communicating salary review and bonus; long term incentives; role of the HR function and facilitating a group of teenagers to help build a follow up model of cancer care for the NHS.
SALARY REVIEW AND BONUS
Salary review and bonus can represent up to 40% of an organisation’s cost but they often become the Cinderella of HR comms. Our client, a global pharma, was panned by managers for the lateness and complexity of their SR&B communications. This was a back to basics communication for us. We worked with them speedily to develop and deliver a one page overview showing all the key elements of the global programmes. Issuing the one pager on time reduced anxiety levels. It paved the way for the more detailed work of engaging stakeholders around the business and communications communities so that they could roll out the details of their own bonus arrangements in a way that reflected the different bonus results from around the world.
LONG TERM INCENTIVES
Long term incentives again represent a huge chunk of a business’ spend on employees. Yet – perhaps because of the very fact that they are deferred benefits – many employees find LTIs difficult to understand. As a result, the organisation’s investment in LTIs can be wasted. We worked with another global pharma to communicate changes to their LTIs (to enhance the performance link) and – crucially – to make clearer the link between the their business strategy which emphasised the long-term nature of the drugs trial pipeline and their LTI strategy.
INTERNATIONALLY MOBILE EMPLOYEES
Many organisations struggle to find the best way to attract, retain, motivate, develop, reward and manage their internationally mobile employees. They need policies that reflect the diverse needs of their global businesses around the world. At the same time, they want to develop a cadre of managers who can operate effectively anywhere in the world.
We worked with a fast-moving consumer goods company to agree and communicate global and local policies, including an international pension plan, using a full range of print and interactive media
The more global businesses can simplify and standardise their performance management and reward policies, the more line managers will use them. Intranets are a great medium for making common information available around the world.
We worked with a global oil and chemicals company to develop a `People Site’ – a one-stop shop for all information about Human Resources. We worked with the project team to develop `core communication materials’ and to gain buy-in from business managers in 70 countries around the world. The outcome was a suite of common processes tailored to the needs of audiences from Venezuela to Vietnam, and overwhelmingly positive feedback for the clear and creative communication approach.
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES (EAPs)
EAPs are fast becoming part of the Human Resource and Employee Benefits landscape. Effectively implemented, they can be a valuable resource for employees, offering counselling and practical advice, for example, on legal issues and childcare. They are also an effective source of support for line managers.
We worked with a leading management consulting firm to develop and communicate an EAP that was used by more than 67% of employees within the first year of introduction. The unusually high take-up was attributed to the programme of leadership briefings and drop-in sessions, as well as the posters, employee leaflets and manager briefings we developed.
Employee research can provide a picture of the organisational health of a business. It can benchmark the success of policies (for example, the introduction ofvariable pay schemes) and it can highlight an initiative that is working in one part of the business that could have relevance for another. Yet no matter how good the research, it can only have any impact if response rates are high, results are fed back and changes made.
We worked with a leading fast-moving consumer goods firm to make sure that the project had high-level business support. We produced communications – including an interactive intranet site – to secure outstanding response rates. And, above all, the data is being used to make `bottom-up’ changes throughout the businesses.
Known originally as an oil company, our client had diversified to offer chemicals, fuels and business solutions. The company employed 115,000 people in 145 locations, from Sakhalin to Singapore. Its 3,000 core HR practitioners work as ‘business partners’ around the world. HR decided it was time to tell their community – and the businesses – that they were serious about developing their HR business leaders. The project team worked hard to develop common global processes, such as global competences, job profiles and an experience navigator, drawn from interviews with people perceived as role models within HR across the business. We developed a core brand and overview as well as detailed materials to support the intranet. HR business partners then cascaded support materials – spearheaded by a web cast by HR Director. Feedback on the project include: “Gives us the confidence to feel that we do have skills that not just any line manager could pick up when they are bored with the job”; “This sort of competence framework really moves us forward in terms of calibration/professionalism”; “Excellent work; reflecting the quality of HR’s aspirations.”