To explode the power of Manning, Selvage & Lee’s (MS&L) global network of 900 employees working in 29 cities around the world, MS&L recognized that effective employee communications would be essential for motivating employees, reducing turnover and ultimately, fostering a competitive advantage for staff to creatively collaborate and mine the rich resources of the network. Moreover, a new professional development program was introduced in March 2000 and it was critical to the program’s success for employees to understand it, embrace it and be encouraged to realize their full professional and personal potential at MS&L.
MS&L employees have diverse interests, clients, geographies and preferences for both the frequency and content of agency information they receive. The MS&L employee communications program was designed to exploit online and print mediums to inform each employee about MS&L’s vision, values, news, policies and practices and reinforce the creative collaboration message.
Results from the 2000 MS&L Roper Starch Employee Satisfaction Survey demonstrated the success of the employee communications program. Highlights include: job satisfaction is high, 78% up 10%; 90% up 10%, are optimistic about MS&L’s future; morale is very good, 71% up 30%; 67% up 31% agree MS&L has successfully communicated the company’s values. The career development program, which incorporated the employee communications program, was introduced in the second quarter. Turnover in U.S. offices was reduced by 50% from the first quarter of 2000 to the fourth quarter
Specifically, the program’s objectives were to communicate several key messages:
- MS&L provides a personally tailored career development program and the required support for every employee to do the best work they can for clients.
- MS&L’s core values are partnership, collegiality, knowledge, and initiative and risk-taking.
“What’s behind MS&L is you. What’s behind you is MS&L.” The tagline used in the external advertising campaign as well as all career development materials.
In MS&L’s culture, employees must trade competition for collaboration to ignite the power of creative collaboration and achieve a competitive advantage.
MS&L’s employee communications program includes mymslpr.com; a newly-revamped Intranet site; an edgy, online “e-zine” created using Flash technology that is distributed monthly; global e-mail news briefs distributed via a customized “MS&L Minute” e-mail template; and printed quarterly reports distributed to each office. In addition, many offices have customized these initiatives with their own internal publications.
MS&L’s Intranet site had a complete re-haul, face-lift and name change. Re-launched as mymslpr.com, to reinforce the personal employee career planning focus, the high-interest home page deliberately has an employee communications-centered tone and feel. There is a digital news strip at the top of the page announcing immediate and important “breaking” news to all employees in the network. There is also a photo album on the homepage containing colorful captioned photos of network activities and it is refreshed daily.
Mymslpr.com serves as an on-line library about the firm, with useful sections in particular for new business pitches (including the company’s credentials), network office information, affiliate information, information on the company’s four business practices, and clients. There is a dedicated Employee Center on mymslpr.com that contains all information pertaining to the company’s career development program and human resources information. MS&L’s corporate communications director and Chief Technology Officer manage Mymslpr.com jointly.
[email protected] (samples included)
Using Flash technology, MS&L’s e-zine features music, creative graphics and easy to navigate “articles.” The sections include news briefs from offices across the globe, a clever employee profile, pictures from events and activities, a “tell us” section, and a case study on a particularly interesting campaign that was recently executed. The [email protected] has a distinctly international flavor and always represents a wide range of offices, news and content.
This medium is in the form of an e-mail embedded in an attractive background, in which important and/or breaking information is sent out to all internal stakeholders in the network. The goal is to inform the recipient in an immediate and direct manner about an important or impressive bit of news, before this has the chance of being disseminated by other means through the network. News such as senior appointments, significant agency account wins, corporate news (e.g. an acquisition, etc.), award wins, etc. are some of the topics of MS&L Minutes.
MS&L QUARTERLY REPORTS
Issued every three months, this information-packed publication targets internal and external audiences. It includes a letter from CEO and Chairman, Louis Capozzi as well as highlights of financial growth, case histories and new client wins. Internally, a copy of the quarterly report is hand-delivered to each employee.