Share Business-Critical Insights with 200+ Global LocationsA large multinational corporation needed to do a better job of disseminating key insights and information stemming from key bi-monthly business review meetings with employees at more than 200 remote locations around the world.
Record, Edit, Produce & Distribute Meeting ContentTo capture and disseminate critical business insights from the company’s bi-monthly business-review meetings, the Chatfield Group recommended the following approach:
- Technology: Evaluate, select, and purchase a coordinated set of technology tools to record proceedings; tools included video cameras and accessories as well as post-production software
- Production Training: Assemble and train a dedicated team responsible for pre-production videotaping, post-production editing, and multiplatform content delivery
- Presentation Training: Train executives and presenters on camera presence, video etiquette, on-camera movement and presentation skills
Boost Marketing Impact from National Survey of PractitionersA world leader in professional services had been taking a bare-bones approach to reporting on its annual survey of practitioners. The firm sought greater marketing visibility from the ongoing project.
Create High-Impact Marketing Vehicle for Interpretive InsightThe Chatfield Group suggested transforming the survey report into a high-profile marketing vehicle that would integrate the firm’s insights and expertise with annual survey results. What’s more, The Chatfield Group provided the editorial resources to achieve this objective on a multi-year basis. Today, this much-anticipated annual survey report is viewed as must-reading within the profession.
Strengthen a Best Place to WorkA top-ranked employer in a major metro area wanted to know what it could do to enhance its already strong corporate culture.
Conduct Employee Focus Group to Identify Areas for ImprovementTo determine how best to fine-tune an already strong culture, The Chatfield Group conducted a series of employee focus groups to pinpoint areas of opportunity. Feedback from these focus groups suggested the need to strengthen communications. In particular, employees said organizational silos were stifling communication across business lines, hampering the ability of employees to build cross-functional product knowledge, and interfering with career advancement.
Focus group participants cited the need for a performance management process so employees could get the feedback they need to improve. And they highlighted their interest in formalized training and development opportunities, adding that managers, in particular, should improve their listening skills to do a better job eliciting ideas and feedback from employees.
Key Focus Group Recommendations
After an analysis of focus group feedback, The Chatfield Group presented specific recommendations to the company, including the following:
- Strengthen Branding & Marketing: Update marketing materials to reflect a shared vision and consistent messages … Build deeper awareness of products and services at all levels…
- Break Down Organizational Barriers: Build cross-functional alliances and teamwork to combat organizational silos that stifle communication across business lines … Expand personal relationships across functions…
- Strengthen Communications: Increase straight-talking business updates from key executives … Create opportunities for employees to connect face-to-face across departments and levels and to offer suggestions…
- Give Employees First Crack at Open Positions: Update the job-posting process to give employees first consideration for open positions … Require that jobs be posted before recruiting externally…
- Provide Focused Training and Development Opportunities: Target leadership development … Provide 360-feedback to high-potential managers … Train executives and managers on listening skills, on providing feedback to employees, and on facilitating employee suggestions … Provide work-flow training to help employees in process-oriented jobs identify process improvements…
- Require Goal-Setting and Performance Reviews Firm-Wide: Hold top executives accountable for reducing organizational silos and for improving communications … Ensure that managers take responsibility for cascading business goals across their departments and for conducting annual reviews with their direct reports…
- Communicate About Pay Practices: Provide employees with clear communications about the company’s pay policies and how pay is linked to performance…
Reposition General-Interest Business MagazineA major professional organization concluded that its flagship magazine needed to be revamped in order to be more relevant to senior management readers.
The organization, which serves an international marketplace, also sought to set the magazine apart from competitive publications.
Create Forum for the Exchange of Strategic InsightsTo differentiate the magazine and strengthen its value to readers, the Chatfield Group recommended that the organization reposition the magazine as a strategic forum posing difficult questions and addressing critical issues.
By creating a new vehicle for serious discussion, debate and analysis, we suggested, the organization would create a valued resource to help companies achieve sustainable competitive advantage and maximize shareholder value. The organization’s senior management and board of directors agreed with our thinking and adopted our recommendation.
The Chatfield Group partnered with the organization to reposition the magazine. We revised the thrust of the publication to focus on corporate and line-of-business strategies featuring insights from industry leaders and experts. And we developed a compelling new name for the magazine as well as a refreshing new format with strong visual appeal.
Create State-of-the-Art Website to Attract Rental & Real Estate ProspectsA leading real estate company operating in a major metro market needed to totally revamp its website in order to compete more effectively. It also needed a new graphic identity.
Develop Advanced, Interactive Website with Appealing GraphicsAs part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative, The Chatfield Group designed a technologically advanced transactional website featuring strong graphics, fresh photography and multiple interactive functions. With its new website, the company can showcase apartments for rent, homes for sale and community information in addition to company policies and procedures.
By employing SQL, ASP.NET, CSS-P and Adobe Flash technologies in website development, The Chatfield Group created a robust technology platform that enables the company to share a wealth of information in a highly organized, easy-to-understand manner. We also added interactive functionality, including mapping and social-networking widgets, to enhance the visitor experience. And we developed a database management system as well as administrative and technical guidelines to facilitate updating by the company’s in-house staff.
In our broader branding engagement with the company, The Chatfield Group developed new visual identity guidelines for the firm and new digital artwork for implementing the new brand consistently across diverse media and consumer touchpoints.
Update Compensation ProgramA leading cultural institution well-known for its state-of-the-art attractions needed to bring its entire pay & total rewards infrastructure up to date.
Compensation OverhaulIn a top-to-bottom restructuring of the organization’s compensation program, The Chatfield Group:
- Rewrote 150 job descriptions and ensured compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) using multiple valid data sources
- Matched jobs to market, including both for-profit and not-for-profit positions, and set up an easy to understand documentation system to facilitate future updates
- Clarified the organization’s pay philosophy, using input from key managers across the organization
- Reviewed its existing pay structure to identify areas for improvement
- Developed a new pay structure, a supporting cost analysis, and guidelines for implementation
- Drafted key messages and talking points for top-down rollout of the program to employees at all levels, describing the scope of the new compensation program and how it would affect individual employees
University Needed Help Getting the Word Out on their New Pay SystemFaced with significant time constraints, a large metropolitan university needed comprehensive communications support for the rollout of its new compensation program.
Outsource Rapid-Rollout Communications Support for New Compensation ProgramKnowing that time was limited, the university retained The Chatfield Group to produce the broad range of communications materials it needed to support the imminent rollout of its new compensation program. Working in a compressed time frame, Chatfield’s compensation and communications team created a wide range of communications materials for the University’s HR staff and managers to use in discussing the new grade structures and salary ranges and in fielding questions about the new compensation structure. The university also made this information available on its intranet.
Key deliverables in this engagement included a Personalized Employee Statement as well as detailing how specific changes would affect individual employees; Talking Points for Managers – key information for managers to convey to their direct reports about the new compensation program; three different sets of scripted talking points for use by managers in one-on-one meetings with employees whose new pay is either above, below, or within the new pay range; a PowerPoint deck for the university’s compensation staff to explain the new compensation program to managers; and two sets of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and corresponding answers – one for managers and another for employees. In addition, The Chatfield Group produced a description of the university’s Job Families and a Glossary of Key Terms.
Facilitate Open & Transparent Communications about CompensationA Fortune 100 company wanted to equip its managers and HR professionals with the means to communicate more effectively about compensation. When employees have a good understanding of how they are paid, the company reasoned, they are likely to be more engaged. What’s more, employee survey data indicated that company employees were eager to gain a better understanding of compensation issues, and the company was eager to share insights about its Pay for Performance philosophy and its approach to total rewards.
Intranet-Based Compensation ToolkitTo help determine how to strengthen its compensation communications, the company turned to The Chatfield Group, which offered in-depth expertise in compensation, communications, and website development – the three areas deemed critical by the company’s project leaders.
At the outset of the project, a task force of senior HR managers representing all of the company’s U.S. divisions developed guiding principles for their planned compensation toolkit: 1) Discuss pay & compensation in a broad, “total rewards” context; 2) Use clear, concise language to make the Toolkit easy to read and understand; 3) Use a logical and attractive format; 4) Provide fast, accurate and consistent answers to employee questions about pay and compensation; and 5) Keep the information contained in the Toolkit up-to-date.
After assessing the pros & cons of print, PDF and intranet delivery options, the project team opted for an intranet-based toolkit which could facilitate clear, fast and easy access to information presented in an attractive format that could also be easily updated. In its final form, the toolkit features drop-down interactivity and a search function providing quick access to toolkit content, answers to commonly asked employee questions, and a glossary with quick-reading definitions for technical terms.
An immediate success, the intranet-based comp toolkit received more than 1,000 “hits” during its first two days of availability.
Align Incentive Plans for Management & Sales with Growth-Oriented BehaviorsThe sales and installation division of a Fortune 500 company needed to restructure its management and sales incentive plans in order to strengthen the link between pay and performance. The division operated out of 45 field offices across the US, each with separate sales, service, and installation functions. Incentive plans at these 45 field locations were hard to understand and calculate, making it difficult for plan participants to see how their individual activities were tied to potential rewards. What’s more, the plans largely ignored the importance of teamwork.
To address these multiple compensation issues, management needed incentive plans that would provide strong linkage between performance and rewards as well as drive desired business results.
Conduct Incentive Compensation Study to Provide Basis for Comp PlanThe Chatfield Group designed and implemented a comprehensive compensation study to provide the foundation for revising the company’s management and sales incentive compensation programs.
Over a six-month period, we brought together representatives from across the country to pinpoint problems in existing plans and to take part in revamping the company’s approach to compensation. We led cross-functional discussions to identify key individual and shared performance metrics as well metrics that were particularly relevant from a functional, regional, and corporate perspective. And we provided continual analysis and modeling of plan options to keep a sharp focus on the study’s primary objectives – simplicity, teamwork, and financial results.
Once the new management and sales incentive compensation programs were approved by senior management, The Chatfield Group created communications materials for regional management to use in rolling out the new plans to covered employees. We also developed a workbook to help employees calculate their individual rewards under multiple performance scenarios.
Provide Communications & Training to Ensure Success of New Performance Management SoftwareTo create a high-performance culture, a major utility was seeking to 1) improve its ability to prioritize and manage goals, 2) strengthen the alignment between individual, departmental, business-unit and corporate goals, and 3) enhance its performance management process. To address these objectives, the company was turning to integrated performance management software and needed communications support for the implementation.
Develop & Execute Communications Plan to Support Software ImplementationThe Chatfield Group designed and executed a broad-based communications plan to support the company-wide rollout of Success Factors, a robust performance management software. At a high level, the various communications deliverables reinforced the utility’s plans to 1) automate its paper-based performance management process; 2) streamline goal-setting and performance appraisal while improving the quality of reviews, feedback, and employee development; and 3) improve the ability of the company to check alignment between individual, department, business and organizational goals.
Key deliverables included a comprehensive User Guide to help managers and employees set goals, fill out forms, take part in performance reviews, and engage in the online performance management process; handy EZ Guides to walk managers through the performance management process; a training PowerPoint for facilitators to use in conveying key learning experiences to employees; a chart outlining how to create SMART Goals, i.e. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound; and a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with information about the planned adoption of the performance management software.
Restructure Compensation ProgramMajor not-for-profit organization with 250 employees and more than 100 separate job categories needed to totally revamp its compensation structure.
Totally Revamp Strategic Compensation FrameworkThe Chatfield Group helped the association transition to a more competitive pay philosophy. We developed a strategic compensation framework for the organization to assess the competitiveness and equity of both base pay as well as total cash programs.
The Chatfield Group created a market-based job evaluation system for the association as well as new salary structures for executive and sales positions. We developed a performance-based management incentive plan and a structure and system for sales incentives. We also developed both a salary administration handbook and a training program to introduce the new pay program and pay administration policies to employees.
Improve Employee OrientationA major, multinational corporation created from the merger of two key competitors needed a fresh, more sophisticated approach to New Hire orientation. At its inception, the company’s New Hire orientation and employee onboarding processes were dated, cumbersome and labor intensive.
Streamline New Hire Orientation & Launch Comprehensive Onboarding ProgramTo revitalize and strengthen employee orientation, The Chatfield Group recommended a multi-step action plan:
- Streamline New Hire Enrollment – To provide managers with greater hiring flexibility, facilitate a “when you’re ready” start date rather than restricting managers with fixed hiring dates. Once a job offer has been accepted, send a Welcome e-mail to New Hires along with a summary of employee benefits and a website link to your annual report.
- Create New Employee Webpage – By providing New Hires with access to an onboarding website, new employees can download payroll and benefits forms so they can complete paperwork in advance or electronically. They can also gain online access to orientation presentations, your employee handbook, and other corporate, product and marketing information.
- Develop a Formal, 90-Day Onboarding Program – Onboarding is a comprehensive process designed to help new employees feel comfortable in their new work environments and become productive more quickly. The two primary objectives of an onboarding program are to 1) help new employees learn about their new organization, its culture, its customers, and the specific jobs to be performed and 2) provide supporting relationships and learning events to reinforce an employee’s decision to join the organization. In many cases, the onboarding process begins when an offer of employment is accepted and continues through the time when an employee feels “at home” and productive in a new work environment. Conclude your formal onboarding program with 90-day follow-up and review.
- Involve Hiring Managers, HR & Peer Mentors in Onboarding Process – Onboarding involves three primary players: the Hiring Manager, who takes the lead in providing the New Hire with a positive introduction to the department and the organization; Human Resources, which works with hiring managers to select peer mentors and provides program development, consultation and administration, as needed; and Peer Mentors, who perform a variety of supportive tasks to help the New Hire feel welcome and productive.
- Develop Personalized Launch for New Hires at Corporate HQ – To provide New Hires with a solid welcome to your organization, develop a comprehensive orientation program that delivers high motivational value and ensures a smooth transition to other components of your onboarding program. Feature live presentations by company leaders, if possible, and put presentation materials on your company intranet so they can be updated, archived, and accessed conveniently by presenters and other employees. Use your welcome to heighten employee appreciation for your mission, values, primary markets and key products as well as your approach to Research & Development, people development and the like. By doing so, you can generate excitement about your company, reinforce company values, reinforce an employee’s decision to join the company, and strengthen organizational relationships with new employees.
- Build a Department Orientation Template – Develop a standardized approach to departmental orientations to ensure that employees receive a solid introduction to the company and their primary operating unit. Help create customized departmental websites with checklists and guides for New Hires, hiring managers, peer mentors and administrative assistants.
- Create a Manager’s Guide to New Employee Onboarding – To optimize the success of your onboarding efforts, develop a manager’s guide to employee onboarding at your organization. Such a guide will help Hiring Managers provide a consistently high-quality orientation to their respective departments as well as monitor New Hire progress. In terms of content, consider including (1) a template for the New Hire’s first day on the job as well as an outline of activities and milestones for the New Hire’s first week, first month, and first 90 days with the organization; (2) training & development (T&D) activities scheduled to take place in the department during the New Hire’s early months of employment; and (3) questions to consider during the New Hire’s critical first 90 days of employment.
- Provide Ongoing Developmental Opportunities – To be effective long-term, an onboarding program should include a variety of continuing education opportunities for New Hires. These can range from all-employee “Lunch & Learns” and focused workshops to webinars and other types of online learning opportunities offered on a flexible basis.
Eliminate High Employee TurnoverA mid-sized technology company experiencing high turnover among its employees needed to address its turnover issues.
Use Focus Groups to Identify Reasons for High Turnover and Generate Ideas for ImprovementTo determine the root causes for the company’s high turnover, The Chatfield Group conducted a series of focus groups at the firm’s primary operating facilities. The lack of a clear chain of command and poor communications were identified as key concerns. So, too, were the needs to improve employee orientation and to provide training and development opportunities for both managers and employees. After analyzing staff feedback, The Chatfield Group teamed with company management to implement the following six-step plan to correct organizational deficiencies:
- Step 1: Expand Management Ranks – To clarify reporting relationships and improve functional management, the company created a layer of departmental management. Under the company’s revised organizational structure, Department Managers take the lead in communicating with employees on a day-to-day basis, in coaching employees on performance, and developing employee capabilities.
- Step 2: Launch Onboarding Program for New Hires – To increase retention of new employees, the company developed an onboarding program designed to make New Hires feel comfortable and productive in their new work environments from Day One. Hiring Managers developed an Onboarding Plan for each New Hire to address practical concerns of both the new employee and the Hiring Manager. Topics included 1) key people for the New Hire to know; 2) tools of the trade, such as computer log-ins and directory structures, file-naming conventions and reference materials; 3) a review of job basics, including the New Hire’s job description; 4) a “starter” assignment in which the new employee works independently to quickly add value with minimal supervision. To check on New Hire progress, Hiring Managers and HR schedule formal reviews with New Hires after they have been with the company for 90 days.
- Step 3: Strengthen Corporate Communications – A number of focus-group participants expressed the need for more frequent communications from the company. To address this issue, the company launched a company intranet designed to share lessons learned, project updates, job descriptions, job titles and contact information. It developed additional forums for discussion. And it began conducting exit interviews with departing employees to continue gathering feedback about the factors underlying its employee turnover challenges.
- Step 4: Improve Benefit Communications – In response to focus-group feedback about the need for a better understanding of employee benefits, the company benchmarked its current benefit plans with industry standards. During benefit-enrollment periods, it met with employees in small groups to provide them with an overview of company benefits and announce benefit changes. In addition to strengthening some benefit options, the company also began providing vacation accrual information on employee paychecks.
- Step 5: Introduce Performance Appraisal System – To provide greater clarity with regard to performance expectations, the company introduced a performance appraisal system that includes goal-setting, ongoing performance feedback, employee development and coaching. Training managers on setting goals and providing feedback was given high priority.
- Step 6: Provide Training & Development Opportunities – Many employee suggestions focused on the need for better management training. In response, the company developed a multifaceted T&D program that included Quarterly Workshops for Managers covering topics such as Maintaining a Strong Customer Focus, Interviewing Skills for Managers, and Coaching for High Performance. To build its management pipeline, the company introduced a Leadership Development Program. And to respond to employees’ thirst for learning opportunities, the company launched a series of “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” seminars for all employees.
Develop Competitive, Performance-Oriented CompensationGrowth-oriented “Tier Two” accounting firm needed to realign its compensation programs in order to compete more effectively with its larger competitors.
Firm management was seeking a more competitive and equitable compensation system that would tie associate and staff pay ranges to performance goals.
Market-Based Compensation StructureThe Chatfield Group developed a market-based compensation structure for the accounting firm that was equitable as well as both flexible and competitive in the administration of pay.
Project deliverables included the market analysis of all positions, development of new pay structures, a cost-analysis program implementation, development of pay administration guidelines for managers, and communication of program changes to managers and employees.