Lessons From Leaders - Metlife
Increase engagement by empowering employees to create their own video - Jonathan Bunn, Communications Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Metlife
Hi, I'm Jonathan Bunn. I'm head of communications for MetLife EMEA. That's Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and it's 27 countries across that region.
What I want to do today is talk to you about OneVoice. It's our version of the Kaltura platform that's really helping drive and build employee engagement across EMEA. It's been an exciting rollout for us as we've taken it from pilot through to rollout. And now it's going to go more broadly across the region.
So let me tell you a little bit more about how we came to roll out OneVoice. We had a real issue in EMEA. We had a new strategy that we needed to communicate to our employees across the region, and it's a hugely diverse region. It's 27 markets, and that's an enormous amount of languages, cultures, different geographies that we really needed to work with to get our strategy across in a simple, understandable way so that we can really engage our employees with that strategy, get their buy-in and get their support for what we were trying to do with the strategy. We called it our roadmap.
We used a lot of tools. We developed this image, which we call the Roadmap to 2016. It's a simple vision that helps engage our employees in a very easy way, visually, with the strategy. We turned it into a puzzle. We asked them to play wit it. That was a great step forward in helping to engage employees with the strategy.
But we needed to more, and that's when we started thinking, What can we do to really engage employees with the strategy? And there's a huge challenge when you're working in a region as diverse as EMEA. We came up with an idea. It was an innovation session. MetLife runs its own innovation program, and we actually asked our employees how can we continue with this great momentum that we're seeing from the vision in engaging the employees with the strategy. Innovation is a way of capturing brilliant ideas that are there latent within the business but my not have been surfaced, and we really wanted to capture the best of those ideas and find a way of unlocking what was inside our employees' heads so that we could use it to help continue to build our employee engagement story.
We asked the question directly to a group of our employees, a mixed group, a diverse group, from across EMEA. How can we help build engagement and continue building momentum with the strategy? And this is the idea they came up with, and they called it OneVoice, and it's a really exciting program. I'm going to tell you a bit more about it, about how we've rolled it out, how we've embedded it, and just how it's doing across the region.
But let me tell you first what exactly OneVoice is. We call it like an internal, YouTube-style platform. That's probably the best way of describing it so that everyone understands it straight away. It was, as I said, an employee-generated idea back in Warsaw in 2014, and what you'll see is just how quickly we took that idea and turned it into reality. In fact, it was just five months that we were able, going from the seed of an idea, to actually having something live and up and running. OneVoice captures and showcases how our employees across the region are helping with delivery of the strategy wherever they are. They're collaborating, they're sharing examples of best practice, and they're uploading them to this wonderful site that we call OneVoice.
With any innovation program, you need to test and you need to pilot, so we tested and we piloted in Romania and the UK. We launched that back on the second of June last year. As I said, that was just five months from the idea through to the launch itself. That's pretty quick. And now, after that, after successful pilot and I'm going to come on and I'll talk a bit more about the pilot itself we're ready roll it out across our region. Right now, we're rolling it out to another seven markets, and hopefully, by the end of this year, it will be rolled out more broadly across EMEA.
The look and feel is really important to us, and we worked with Kaltura to take it really out of the box, their platform, and make it look and feel like a MetLife product. And that was important to us. So you can see here it's a skin that feels like a MetLife brand and product. We've got OneVoice there, but you can see the content that we're uploading to the site, employees directly uploading, and we've got it broken down to recent uploads, most viewed, and also some introductory stuff to help people understand what it is we're doing. Importantly, for us, we guide people, and you can see we've got leader boards here, so people can see the most popular. We break it down by market as well so that people can go in and see market-specific content, and also you can see it aligns to the various corners of our strategy as well.
But why are we doing this? I think this is the core of what I'm trying to say today. It's all about building employee engagement. We know that employees who are engaged with the strategy are more productive, they stay longer, they work harder, and they're greater advocates for the business. We want to capture genuine employee voice. There's so much great stuff going on across our business. We don't just want to let drift by. We want to find a way of capturing it, uploading it, sharing it so that people can see best practice and so they can collaborate across the region. And we want to give employees the power to own the strategy. We want to empower strategic ownership, because that way everyone feels that they've got some skin in the game. It's about driving collaboration; it's about sharing best practice. And it's about demonstrating innovation across the business. And finally, it's about complementing the top-down traditional communications that you might see with some genuine bottom-up communications that will help give employees their voice. And really importantly for us, it's about being relevant. It's about having the right context, and we know, in communications today, it's all about social, so we wanted to introduce a platform that was genuinely social, that would feel comfortable for our employees every day, around their smartphones, on Facebook, on Twitter, and we wanted something, a corporate tool, that would really complement that and would feel at home when employees were using it.
So OneVoice, our Kaltura platform, is a very social tool, and we're seeing some great pick up of the social features. Most importantly for us, we're linking all the content directly to a strategy corner at MetLife, so we're asking employees, when they upload a video, to say and to think how does this link to the strategy so it's driving directly back to our strategy. And so they tag it to a strategy corner, as we call it. Then, when it's uploaded, other employees, their colleagues, look at the video. Just like any social function, they can like it. They can share it; they can comment on it. And the number of views it's received is also notched up on the site. You can see here an example of how an actual video looks. We'll look a little bit later on at that video itself.
So where are we now? Well, let's look at how we did in the first six months of the pilot. It went really well for us. We have more than 120 employee-generated videos uploaded to the site just from those two markets in the UK and Romania, and that's a pretty pleasing result and really shows, I think, how employees took the concept and ran with it. We've had more than 3000 plays of those videos, with an average view time and I think this is a really important statistic to show engagement of 52 seconds. I often say, within the business, that is someone looking at your content directly for almost a minute. You have their attention for that 52 seconds, and that's a really powerful way of getting a personal story across. Across those two markets, they're not the biggest businesses for us. They've probably got 300-400 people in. We've had 320 unique viewers, so a really good proportion of our employee base is engaging with OneVoice. And we've had 65 comments put up, and that's people who are saying, yeah, I like this so much that I really want to comment on it, and that's a really new thing for us at MetLife as well. So it's been a popular, fun, and engaging way for employees to share examples of how they're delivering on our strategic commitments. But importantly, it wasn't just about uploading this.
We needed to continue to drive this, to keep the interest high. You can just build a site, but if you do nothing to maintain it, it might drift away. So there's a regular communication program awarding prizes for the best videos. We kept with the movie theme, so we'd award movie tickets for the best video each month. And again, we would get people together in huddles, another opportunity for engagement. To showcase the best video, we'd send out emails, links to the video so that we've always got that regular drumbeat of activity around OneVoice. I think it's really driven a shift in employee interaction and engagement with the strategy. Just from hearing people talk about it, popping in to see me, stopping by saying, I'm recording a OneVoice video, or, "Did you see the one I've uploaded?" That's a really regular thing now, and that's really good to see. That just demonstrates people are excited about it, and it's changed the way that they think about this tool.
Just looking at the stats, the chart across the top here shows the spikes in activity, and I think this is really important in driving employees to the site. The big spikes you can see are where we sent out significant communications internally around OneVoice activity. And you can see you send out a message, people come onto the site, and I think you have to do this regularly to ensure adoption of the site. Where we haven't done it, maybe over the summer holidays you'll see we had less activity; it drops down. But then it picks up again as we send out more communications as we came back.
And I just wanted to share with you here a couple of comments direct from some of our key users in the market. Raluca here is one of my colleagues in Romania, says, "OneVoice is like a stage with a big microphone, "where everybody can be heard and seen, can share what they did with a unique voice." It's our internal YouTube made at MetLife by us," clearly with Kaltura's support as well. And Tom, who leads our employee benefits business in the UK said, "It's a superb information tool. It's captured the imagination of colleagues and encouraged us all to be creators" "and consumers of short, fact-filled, relevant communication.
I've been impressed by the range of people contributing" "and the quality of the output. It's also been a lot of fun." I think the creativity that we've seen has been incredible. We've given people a tool, and we've said, "This is yours. You own it. You make the content." And that's been incredibly liberating for people across our businesses given the opportunity to be creative, to really express themselves, and that's been really exciting to see. In those 120 videos, yes, we've seen some people just sitting down in our booths that we set up to capture but also people going out with their smartphones, with their iPads, with their cameras and making mini movies.
So we've seen enormous creativity, and what better way to demonstrate this than to actually look at one of the videos that our colleagues in the UK uploaded? This is all done by them. There's no budget around this. But this just shows, I think, the engagement and the excitement around it. So let's just look at that video now.
So that's OneVoice. It's a project and a product that we're enormously excited to have been involved with. It's unlocked creativity, real potential, and real engagement with the strategy across our employees in the markets where we've launched it. It's coming soon to an office near you if you're based in EMEA, and who knows beyond that. And hopefully, by the end of this year, we will have it rolled out across our whole region, and we'll be seeing hundreds more videos like the one you saw uploaded to the site, and we'll be continuing to build engagement among our employees.
I'm Jonathan Bunn. I'm the head of communications for EMEA. I would be very happy to take any questions now that you may have. Thank you.