Porter Novelli is first and foremost a talent-focused organization. As such, growth opportunities for employees are of paramount importance to the firm. In 2014, Porter Novelli launched a new performance management system. Each year begins with every employee setting their organizational goals for the year, and then follows with mid-year and year-end performance reviews.
In addition, it launched a job competency model. This model identifies key competencies and level of expertise needed (at each level) to be successful. It sets forth a clear view of job requirements and level of experience needed to progress along the career track. Employees are assessed against the competency model to evaluate strengths and improvement opportunities.
From the culture to the actual physical design and layout of space, Porter Novelli has made every effort to ensure that all employees have direct access to all levels of management. While any employee could—and is encouraged to—email or call the CEO or any member of senior management directly, or just stop by their offices, the firm has also established a number of opportunities to facilitate interaction and communication (and hence increase engagement).
The agency, for example, holds quarterly all-staff town halls with CEO Karen van Bergen, where employees are encouraged to ask questions. It also has established email addresses where employees can send questions they would like to see addressed at town halls, in case they are uncomfortable asking in person. Karen posts monthly on an internal blog, and employees are encouraged to comment and respond.
In addition, the CEO regularly contacts employees directly, regardless of level, to congratulate them on great work, awards won, clients won and recognizing praise from their managers. The door is always open for contact with all senior management.