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Case Study: Marsh Transforms Itself with Social Technology

Guest post by Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice [http://www.softwareadvice.com/hr/]:

Employee engagement is a challenge–especially when you’re an international company with 28,000+ employees. When Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management, faced low scores in career growth and development, executive leadership knew something needed to be done.

Leading this initiative was Ben Brooks, SVP and Global Director, Enterprise Communications and Colleague Engagement, and Laurie Ledford, Chief Human Resources Officer of parent company Marsh & McLennan Companies. Faced with a complex set of challenges–from sequestered resources to a lack of community–they decided to go all in on social.

The result, Marsh University (MU), was a bold move in the traditionally conservative insurance industry. MU is an online community designed to be more than a Q&A forum, more than a social network, and more than a learning platform–while still being all of those things.

MU Home PAge 1

And since its inception in 2010, MU has proven a valuable tool for Marsh employees, as well as for the company as a whole. In fact, Marsh now leads in employee engagement across all Marsh & McLennan companies. According to Brooks, some of the other benefits realized include:

  • Improved performance on growth initiatives.
  • Year-over-year improvement in career and employee development.
  • Improved perception of leadership.
  • Reinvigorated company culture.

The success of Marsh University was no accident. It was largely a product of hard work and strategic thinking. There were also a few keys to the success of this monstrous undertaking:

1. Brooks and his team focused on employee adoption and participation from the very beginning. They ran numerous internal marketing campaigns aimed at building buzz and excitement around MU, and recruited employee advocates to help drive adoption company wide.

2. Ledford and Brooks sought full support from executive leadership early on–and honored that support by reporting on MU’s progress on a weekly basis.

3. MU was managed with the same rigor as any major business initiative, which was key. They established and tracked metrics measuring employee adoption and activity, correlative impact on performance, and increases in engagement.

As social technology continues to gain traction as a viable business tools, stories like Marsh’s make interesting case studies. For the full report on the success of MU, you can find the case study on Kyle’s HR blog.

Comment by Martin: You might also not the similarities between this and the Ford Portal project mentioned elsewhere on my blog.



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