2010 Platinum PR Awards: Employee Relations

Winner: ITT Corp. – ITT’s Employee-Based Approach to Lean Six Sigma

Three years after launching its Lean Six Sigma program, ITT’s Texas Turbine Operations facility found that the performance improvements were not as dramatic as anticipated. To revitalize the program, ITT partnered with consultant Jim Shaffer, who worked with employees to gauge key concerns—for instance, employees were unclear about ITT’s business direction and what Lean was and how it would help them meet their goals.

As a result, Lean was streamlined to just a few company-wide performance indicators that all employees influence. A new site-wide communication system and scoreboards throughout the offices enabled quick sharing of ideas. These ideas were then distilled into two or three key takeaways discussed during daily 10-minute huddle meetings. Employees began to participate actively in the Lean transformation, as indicated by increased engagement scores in a company-wide survey. The facility has been invited to help other ITT branch businesses enact the same transformation.

Honorable Mentions:
American Express - Communication Is the New Community for American Express Human Resources: To deal with anxiety related to employee layoffs, American Express launched a message platform to improve the communication between HR and employees, striving to fill the information gap. A measurable 87% increase in the health of employee-leader dialogue resulted.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. - 2010-2015 IM/IT Strategic Plan and Campaign: The 2010-2015 Information Management/Information Technology Strategic Communications Plan was the first of its kind within the Department of Defense. As a result of one of the plan's recommendations—to conduct a media analysis and provide a media monitoring solution report—IM/IT purchased a media monitoring tool with an annual cost savings of $400,000 in labor.

IHG Friends and Family Americas video launch: To create a fun, engaging way to encourage employees to become part of the “World’s Biggest Sales Force," the IHG team visited all seven IHG hotel brands (in Atlanta) and three corporate offices in one day to shoot a video, in which employees were were asked to say the tagline and then offer a few different ways they had “passed on” their Friends and Family link. On the day the program launched, 626 Americas employees signed up.

Latham & Watkins - “Employee Engagement: Audio/Visual Blast!”: With no budget for outside vendors, the L&W manager of internal communications and an in-house programmer worked together to design a NetCam application that utilized the webcam-ready laptops the company already owned. This tech was adapted and laptops placed around 20 offices around the globe. Employees at all levels contributed pro bono stories as part of a company-wide initiative.

Lockheed Martin - Cheers to Peers: The Power of Recognition:
The Cheers to Peers campaign encouraged employees to recognize great work by co-workers with an internal "sticker" application, by which employees could reward their peers and post a message to the office community. It obtained its no. 1 objective of attracting 500 tributes to employees via the Web site.

Portugal Telecom S.A. - eConsigo: eConsigo! ("it is with you") is a brand name that expresses the new concept of internal social responsibility of the PT Group.  Employees were encouraged to post testimonials about their families and lives, for which some lucky employees were rewarded with scholarships and incentives. More than 1,100 scholarships and prizes of excellence were awarded in 2009 to employee children.


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