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Case Study IABC Quill Winner

How to: Convert Town Hall Meetings into engagement magnets for senior leaders and associates Raise the bar on workforce knowledge and bring the communication gap between levels Measure effectiveness and demonstrate results
Background: Thermo Fisher Scientific is a $10-billion-plus global company with approximately 34,000 employees at over 300 sites around the world. The company chose Dulye & Co. to partner with them to develop and implement a program to create a global Town Hall Meeting program for engaging leaders and employees at all sites. Dulye & Co.s Spectator-Free Workplace solution increased employee involvement through action teams that bridge partnerships between employees and senior leaders, increased content relevancy through simple message tools, and calibrated results and impact through measurement practices. Thermo Fishers 2007 employee survey results showed that employee satisfaction is highest among employees who: Consider their direct supervisor or manager to be a role model leader Clearly understand their annual performance goals and feel that their compensation is aligned with their achievement of those goals and their contributions to the business Understand the business, their role in the companys success and the career opportunities available to them.

The companys small, highly centralized Communications Department gave considerable thought to how it could help the company improve in these areas. How could they reach employees at more than 300 sites in 40 countries with consistent yet localized information? The solution was to focus on connecting with site leaders. If site leaders could be better role model leaders and improve their communications skills, specifically their ability to hold effective Town Hall meetings with solid two-way communications and meaningful content, they would in effect touch all Thermo Fisher employees. Helping Thermo Fishers site leaders improve their communication skillswhich the company had identified as a key competency of Role Model Leadersand improving the Town Hall meeting process would enable leaders to provide more relevant messaging. We could increase the companys return on its investment in Town Hall meetings by boosting the effectiveness of these meetings. They would become a true forum for sharing information and promoting two-way communications and boost employees understanding of the business and their role in the companys success Goals & Objectives: Help site leaders build their communication skills, and provide them with tools and other resources they can use to improve Town Hall meeting effectiveness. Change the paradigm of Town Hall meetings as an event driven solely by management. Build better understanding by employees of the business, company objectives and performance and, most importantly, how individuals contribute at their site to the organizations success.

Our Spectator-Free WorkplaceTM Solution Shared accountability. By transferring ownership for the Town Hall Meeting process from a single function (i.e., Human Resources, Communications Department) to multiple stakeholders, at the senior leader level, employee level, and in various business and functional units. Town Halls became a true team practice. Baseline measurement. Thermo Fishers CEO sent an e-mail to over 140 leaders at major sites around the world explaining why the company was implementing Town Hall process improvements, and asking for their Involvement. The e-mail linked to a survey, designed by Dulye & Co., in which the site leaders could assess current Town Hall practices and suggest improvements.

For more information, visit or contact Roger Gibboni: 845-987-7744 |

A new Town Hall Meeting process. Based on the feedback and data collected through our baseline measurement and observation, we developed a revitalized Town Hall meeting process that focused on three key principles: o o o Employee Involvement Local Content Measurement / Continuous Improvement

Pilot Sites. Thermo Fisher leadership identified two pilot sites to work with Dulye & Co. in developing, testing and refining the new Town Hall process. Town Hall Resources Web Sites. We worked with the client to establish two new resource sites on the Thermo Fisher intranet: o One containing information developed by Dulye & Co. on how to recruit members for the Employee Support team, team member roles and responsibilities, sample Town Hall meeting agendas, etc. Another for leaders only. It contains links to the archived webcast training as well as the clients slide library with companywide messaging, including a summary of the companys quarterly financial report, posted on the day of the quarterly earnings release.

Webcast training sessions for site leaders. Dulye & Co. developed and delivered a two-hour Webcast training session for site leaders. It was offered four times over a five-month period, and about 300 leaders participated. Each session was led jointly by a Thermo Fisher senior leader and a Dulye & Co. consultant. Teaming with Thermo Fishers process improvement community: We also teamed with the client to deliver a special webcast training session, attended by about 100 process improvement managers, to help them understand their role in facilitating the changes, particularly in launching local Employee Support Teams.

Measurement & Outcomes As with almost every Dulye & Co. project, feedback and measurement were integral to the implementation of the Thermo Fisher Town Hall improvement process from the beginning, starting with the baseline survey of site leaders and employees at pilot sites to identify key improvement opportunities. And metrics were tied to program objectives; some highlights: Help site leaders build communication skills, provide them with tools and resources: We surveyed the site leaders at the start of the initiative, and after each of the four webcast training sessions. Some of the results: o 97 percent of the site leaders surveyed indicated the training would boost their ability to conduct more effective Town Hall meetings, and 93 percent said it contributed to their personal development. 96 percent said the course provided practical information and tools that they could use immediately. Perhaps most telling, 95 percent said they would recommend the training course to other Thermo Fisher leaders.

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Build a partnership between site leadership and employees. Help employees better understand the business, objectives, performance and their role in the organizations success: We collected baseline data from employees at the two pilot sites at the outset. We then compared this to survey data collected by the Employee Support Teams after the first improved Town Hall meetings.

This program was awarded the Quill Award, the highest award of excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators, in 2010.

For more information, visit or contact Roger Gibboni: 845-987-7744 |