Ranked 128 in the Fortune 500, EMC helps IT departments in some of the world’s largest corporations to store, manage, protect and analyse information.

Like many large corporations, keeping employees engaged and happy is no small feat for EMC, who have over 50,000 employees around the world. With 50,000 colleagues, it’s seemingly impossible to get to know everyone, and making sure that each employee feels valuable and understands their importance to the company is difficult.

In 2013, Kristen Garvey joined EMC to build a central internal communications function that would bring people together, connecting them to one another and to EMC overall. Since joining EMC, Kristen’s team has led a number of successful initiatives to boost employee engagement and improve communications. One of these initiatives has been the You Define program.

“We had a goal at the beginning of the year to be named as one of the top 25 International Great Places to Work” says Kristen. We spent a lot of time on those [employee communication survey] results, looking at what we needed to do.”

EMC has grown a lot out of acquisition over the years, which means that a lot of business units operate independently. “It became really clear that we needed something to connect people” says Kristen. “Something that was bigger than each of those business units… what we needed was kind of a rallying cry to connect all of our employees and all of these functional units to one overall strategy, vision and purpose.”

At this time, EMC was running an external marketing campaign around the word “redefine” and how EMC is helping its customers to redefine the IT industry.

“We looked at what was going on in the external marketplace” says Kristen. “We looked at what our customers and partners had going on in their businesses, the fact that the climate was changing and they needed to redefine how their business models worked, how IT was working. If you look at the way you and I are, as consumers, our expectations in the world are changing. We all have iPhones, we’re always connected, we expect everything 24/7.”

Kristen and colleagues realised that they needed to be thinking of EMC employees in a similar way as they thought about their customers – as another core audience. “We needed to think about their expectations of EMC as an employer, their expectations of what it means to come to work everyday and we needed to understand how that was changing.”

The creative concept for the You Define program was proposed to EMC by Bristol-based communications agency, Home. “It was very personal” says Kristen. “[It had] handwritten fonts, the look and feel was different, it was full colour and it allowed all of those individual silos and business units to be able to customise You Define… so they were able to take it and make it their own.” The concept was bold, unlike anything the company had done before – that was a critical success factor. It stood out from everything else and made a statement.

Kristen and the team came up with three ways that employees could commit to the big EMC transformation, including communicating and collaborating with each other in new ways using a new global social intranet, a company-wide volunteering program and career development classes.

“Simpleweb developed a microsite that would allow people to upload a picture, write on it in their own handwriting (and language) to say that they’re “in,” post it and share their stories. Really what your team did was build a whole new storytelling platform that was so visual it just drew you right in. If you have ever seen the web site Humans of New York, this was similar in concept, but Humans of EMC.”

EMC’s employee engagement mission is a big task but their commitment to building an engaged workforce is admirable. The EMC team has some awesome ideas for how to further improve their team’s experiences and we can’t wait to help them with their next employee engagement project.

To find out how Simpleweb can help with employee engagement at your company, get in touch today.

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