Engaging Hard-to-Reach Employees
"We needed a diversified communications strategy to increase employee knowledge about MVM benefit offerings. GuideSpark helped fill that gap for us."
Lisa Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources
Transitioning to “Strategic HR” Through Technology
Headquartered in Ashburn, VA, MVM is a privately owned federal government contractor supporting federal clients such as the US Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. The 39-year old company delivers unique, high-impact work in the areas of counter-narcotics, criminal and civil investigations, and public safety. Their diverse 2,500 person workforce is dispersed across 49 US states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Since MVM is anticipating exponential growth in 2019, its leaders needed to take a fresh look at their programs to ensure they keep pace with employee growth.
“We’re committed to creating a great employee experience,” explains Lisa Johnson, VP of Human Resources, “and that’s something we don’t want to lose sight of as we grow.” But in order to make the employee experience stronger, “We had to build a realistic, time-bound plan to modernize,” says Johnson, who aimed to employ technology to better communicate with employees and improve participation in benefits programs. “We took the opportunity to jump into the 21st century—to take one process at a time and digitalize it.”
Connecting Employees to their Employer Value Proposition
Communicating with employees was a perennial challenge for MVM. That’s because most of their employees are embedded at client sites and don’t have access to the internet—let alone any connected devices—during work hours. How did this affect the employee benefits program? They had “almost zero” participation in their EAP and less than 20% participation in health benefits. What’s more, the only people participating in MVM’s 401(k) program were high earners because, as Johnson recalls, “nobody else knew about it.”
To address the challenge Johnson leveraged GuideSpark Communicate Cloud. Johnson and team kicked off a 45-day, open enrollment campaign comprised of over 15 messages shared via email, poster, flyers, and more, all encouraging employees to a interactive experience where they could learn more and then actively enroll for benefits in their online Workday portal. Starting with teasers and messages that touted the value of MVM’s employee benefits, the email campaign progressed to teach insurance terms and break down medical plan scenarios to help employees understand their options. “For the last week of OE,” says Johnson, “we sent an email out every day, and it worked!” Posters and flyers also had to be placed on refrigerators and time clocks, since employees work in secured workspaces. “We had to get creative in how we reached employees,” says Johnson, “so everything was mobile-friendly and had a strong ‘enroll now’ call to action.” And that’s just what employees did.
Keeping Up the Momentum
“The results blew us away!” Johnson reports. “When you look at the statistics, it was impressive.” Seventy-eight percent (78%) of employees reached by the campaign took action, and benefits enrollment increased by 50%. Johnson considers this evidence that “employees are starting to feel connected with HR and the MVM brand—and are engaging with our technology.” Not only did they engage with the GuideSpark campaign, but some employees logged into the HRIS system for the first time to complete their enrollment. “That’s really set the tone for us going forward. We are not losing that momentum.”
Importantly, efforts like these are helping to shift the perception of HR’s role at MVM from a transactional program to a strategic part of the business.
Johnson and her team are in process of launching additional campaigns—at least one every quarter—to encourage employees to “log in and stay connected.”
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