Engaging Employees Through Social Technology at Marsh

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 wasBen 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.

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.

Of course, the success of MU was no accident. It took hard work and a team dedicated to results. Brooks and Ledford, along with executive leadership at Marsh managed the project 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.

Two years since MU launched, it continues to drive engagement and reinforce a sense of community. But the work is never done. Brooks and his team continue to analyze data to continuously improve MU, and have bigger plans for the platform in the future.

As social technology continues to gain traction as a viable business tools, stories like Marsh's make interesting case studies.


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: