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Marsh University – People’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 32


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This week, we distill insights around Marsh University - an internal platform where Marsh’s ‘crowd’ of 26,000 employees can share their expertise and experience with one another. …

This week, we distill insights around Marsh University - an internal platform where Marsh’s ‘crowd’ of 26,000 employees can share their expertise and experience with one another.

For more about Marsh U, visit:

100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on reputation, employee engagement and citizenship on the MSLGROUP Insights Network.

Every week, we pick up one project and do a deep dive into conversations around it -- on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web -- to distill insights and foresights. We share these insights with you on our People’s Insights blog and compile the best insights from the network and the blog in the People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities.

We have further synthesized the insights to provide foresights for business leaders and changemakers — in the ten-part People’s Insights annual report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement, now available as a Kindle eBook.

For more, see:

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Reputation | Employee Engagement | Citizenship Marsh University People’s Insights: Volume 2, Issue 32
  • 2. What is Marsh University? Insurance brokerage Marsh launched Marsh University in 2010, to combat low employee engagement scores in career development. The program encourages Marsh’s to share their expertise and experience over an internal blogging and collaborative web platform. Source:
  • 3. Challenge: Low engagement scores [ Marsh ] got involved in the founding of the university shortly after a 2009 colleague-engagement survey found that career development at Marsh was "an opportunity for improvement" that could lead to increased engagement levels among employees. Michael O'Brien Talent Management Columnist, HRE Online In an employee survey conducted in 2009, Marsh found that scores were low and that career development was an area of concern for employees – and also an opportunity for talent teams.
  • 4. “Everyone is a teacher” Their solution: turn to cutting-edge social technology to create a global community where employees could tap into the collective experience, networks and resources of the firm. This was a bold move in the traditionally conservative insurance industry. Kyle Lagunas Talent Acquisition Analyst at Brandon Hall Group Expanding their employee training programs was too expensive. Instead, Marsh decided to tap into the expertise and skills of their employees, and facilitate knowledge share using a social platform. Built on this principle, that “Everyone is a teacher,” employees were asked “What would you teach?”
  • 5. Affordable technology Rather than building on an enterprise social networking suite, Marsh partnered with a startup, Red Rover, that helped cobble together a solution including components like WordPress blogging software, Box file sharing, Kaltura for corporate video sharing, and Red Rover's own software for microblogging, member profiles and group discussions. David Carr Editor, InformationWeek To maintain cost and reduce set up time, Marsh decided not to build a cutting edge platform from scratch, but instead to use simple tools platforms that already existed. A hidden benefit of this approach – some employees may already be familiar or even well versed with the tools.
  • 6. Reliance on Insight In the report Introducing Social Employee Engagement: Shifting From Technology To People, Dean Parker, highlights the importance of a relevant purpose for engaging employees online. First consider specific issues related to stakeholders. Then address them in a creative way. Introducing Social Employee Engagement: Shifting From Technology To People
  • 7. Marsh U features The platform offers three key features: 1)  employees can ask questions and offer answers on a Q&A board 2)  topic experts can share their knowledge through blogs 3)  employees can share content to discuss using Spark, either with the whole network, or within interest-based Groups
  • 8. Sparking adoption To spark adoption at the launch of Marsh U, Marsh pre-recruited 350 employees who would share knowledge and ambassadors who would promote the program. Marsh also set up a support team to help colleagues use the platform, and the Marsh U Certified Blogger Program to train employees on how to blog. Published in: Connect 13: Engaging the Social Workforce ebook
  • 9. Building a sharing culture A common challenge for talent professionals is getting more people active - How do you get employees to overcome their shyness and the fear of ‘am I right ?’ SAS’s Becky Graebe asks for silly things to kickstart sharing. Cheezburger's Ben Huh believes the answer is in better design. Source:
  • 10. Link to Business case The Marsh U team monitors activity on the platform and evaluates performance against employee engagement scores. Online sharing has already contributed to at least one new business deal, and the team is exploring other potentials of the platform. Source:
  • 11. Endless applications We’re a knowledge based organization, so the next big idea is sitting in the mind of one of our employees. The best thing we can do as internal communications is to provide the tools and platforms for them to do that in a way that other employees can jump in, commenting, and help that idea to flourish. Becky Graebe Internal Communications Manager, SAS Several businesses are using internal social networks, to connect employees across physical and culture boundaries or to find the next big idea. The combination of social media, technology and the renewed focus on treating employees as customers and engaging with them can have endless applications.
  • 12. Read People’s Lab insights & foresights The People’s Lab team shares the insights and foresights from the MSLGROUP Insights Network on the People’s Insights weekly blog , quarterly magazine and annual report. MSLGROUP INSIGHTS NETWORK PEOPLE’S INSIGHTS WEEKLY BLOG PEOPLE’S INSIGHTS QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 100+ MSLGROUP planners share and discuss inspiring projects on reputation, employee engagement and citizenship. We deep dive into conversations around one project to distill insights and foresights. Every quarter, we compile the best insights from the network and the blog into a magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities. For more, visit
  • 13. People’s Lab: Crowdsourcing Insights & Innovation People’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietary crowdsourcing platform and approach that helps organizations tap into people’s insight for innovation, storytelling and change. For more, visit
  • 14. For People’s Lab solutions, please contact: