One of the largest life insurance companies in the world, MetLife has operations in 26 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Common with other corporations of this size, it recognised that it faced a big communications challenge as it looked to build employee understanding and support for its corporate strategy.
It’s no mean feat communicating with 5,000 employees across a diverse region encompassing numerous languages and cultures. MetLife actively embraced the challenge as a team of employees at a 2014 MetLife Innovation Summit in Warsaw, Poland, and came up with the idea of using a social video platform.
The resulting solution, OneVoice, is based on the Kaltura MediaSpace social video platform. It is an internal YouTube-style video portal where employees post videos that show how their work is helping to deliver MetLife’s strategy.
When an employee uploads a video they tag it to an element of the strategy, known as a strategy corner. In the same style as other social media platforms, colleagues can then like, share and comment on each piece of content. This has proved to be a fun way to drive engagement with its corporate strategy.
“It was important that OneVoice should be easy to use. The video social media format is familiar to all our employees. And the great thing about video is that we can capture the genuine employee voice, share best practices and collaborate in a highly-engaging format,” said Jonathan Bunn, MetLife’s Head of Communications, EMEA.
The benefits of building employee engagement extend to increasing productivity, longer retention and become stronger advocates for the business.
“Thanks to the prevalence of video in our lives, we understand its power as storytelling tool. It enables us to capture and communicate good ideas that might previously have remained locked in employees’ heads
forever,” Jonathan added.
In June 2014, just five months after the idea, MetLife rolled out a pilot in the UK and Romania.
The MetLife communications team used a movie theme for the pilot’s launch and created MetLife branded popcorn holders as well as print posters and a viral campaign to promote OneVoice.
By setting up booths in offices, the communications team made it easy for employees to make videos and upload footage. They sustained interest in OneVoice with regular emails promoting new and popular videos and awarding prizes of cinema ticket for the best videos.
This multi-channel strategy was effective. OneVoice secured 320 unique viewers during the five-month limited pilot, representing a high proportion of its audience in those two markets. Employees uploaded 120 different videos explaining how they are delivering on strategic commitments. Some videos resemble mini movies even though they were made on smartphones and tablets with no budget.
Perhaps the most impressive figure is that these videos were played over 3,000 times with an average engagement of 52 seconds.
The internal ambassador for OneVoice in Romania was Raluca Marcu. She remarked, “One Voice is like a stage with a big microphone where everybody can be heard and seen and share what they did with a unique voice. It’s our internal YouTube, created by MetLife for our employees in partnership with Kaltura.”
Following the pilot’s success, OneVoice was rolled out to a further seven countries starting in summer 2014. Now, OneVoice videos have been watched more than 8,000 times and in September 2015, MetLife EMEA won the award for Innovation in Employee Engagement at the Peer Awards for Excellence in London.
OneVoice is also being used for targeted internal communications campaigns, most recently asking employees to share what made them proud to work for MetLife in 2015. The campaign generated more than 100 videos and 3,000 views in a three-week period in December.
Plans are in place to roll OneVoice out to a further 10 markets early in
2016 making it a truly pan-regional collaboration and engagement tool.
Tom Gaynor, who heads up MetLife’s employee benefits business in the UK sums up the reaction from employees, “OneVoice has captured the imagination of colleagues and encouraged us all to be creators and consumers of short, fact-filled, relevant communication. I've been impressed by the range of people contributing and the quality of the output. It’s also been a lot of fun.”
By Lisa Bennett, Managing Director of Public Relations &
Marketing at Kaltura
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