We believe strongly in a high-performing, client-oriented culture of innovation, learning and engagement. Our employees’ commitment, passion and energy drive innovation, collaboration and client value—which drive our growth and financial success.
Highly engaged employees are crucial to our company’s success. Engaged employees have a strong focus on clients, radiate optimism and regularly achieve or exceed their objectives. Pitney Bowes seeks to engage, enable and energize employees through challenging work assignments, training, and career development opportunities that promote personal and professional growth. We solicit feedback, encourage dialogue and measure engagement through formal and informal mechanisms.
One of our most important measuring tools is our annual multi-language global employee survey. The survey explores sustainable engagement drivers such as client focus, diversity, growth and development, innovation, manager effectiveness, teamwork and communication. In 2018, for the fourth year in a row, employees participated at a rate that placed us at the top of our industry. Our thanks to the 89% of employees who responded with valuable feedback.
Using data from the survey, we identified our top managers of highly engaged teams and created a series of articles, videos and infographics to highlight their work, published it on OurPB as a resource for all managers and employees, and promoted it through weekly and monthly emails and digital signage. We also enhanced our communication platforms with an expanded CEO video series and weekly/bi-weekly team calls by senior leaders. Our digital channels allow all employees across the globe to interact in real-time. Together these initiatives led to a 14.3% increase in intranet visits.
We focus on hiring talented people, nurturing their growth, and providing opportunities for them to make a real impact for themselves, for our clients and for Pitney Bowes. We see employee development as a partnership between individual employees and their manager, aided by strong support from our Human Resources organization.
The Learning, Leadership & Organizational Development organization provides support for professional development, including offerings that improve and promote career mobility and employability. In addition, we provide programs to improve role-based proficiency and leadership competency. These programs are delivered in a variety of formats, including leading-edge virtual/mobile offerings that are available to employees. The Talent Development organization provides a set of tools to enable individual development planning and track progress against identified development goals.
We believe it’s important for employees to have opportunities to use the skills they develop. To that end, we have increased our focus on internal mobility by implementing a “look inside first” policy when we search for talent. We have also improved our internal web resources to help employees pursue such opportunities.
In 2018 we launched our Enabling High Performance strategy, which replaced annual performance reviews with quarterly manager check-ins to discuss employees’ performance against goals. To make this possible, we provided managers with training on how to have effective feedback conversations. In 2019, we are following this up with a new coaching program for all people managers. Our intent is to equip managers with the knowledge and skills needed to integrate coaching into their leadership style, so they can develop their people to better succeed on their own. Managers will learn the difference between feedback and coaching and be able to have effective coaching conversations with their direct reports and peers.
Over the last several years we have developed and implemented a comprehensive offering of core leadership development programs. The elements include:
Leadership Essentials for Managers: This program is designed for leaders who are newly hired or newly promoted to frontline manager positions, but it is also open to frontline managers who have not completed a leadership development program since acquiring their position. We offer it both as a standalone program and as a prerequisite to role-specific leadership programs for client-facing groups such as Sales, Client Operations and Global Service.
Site Leader Network (Lead Locally, Engage Globally): Building a sense of community, collaboration and vitality at our work sites is a critical component of sustaining our culture and values. This program, launched in May 2017, identified senior leaders to serve as site leaders in facilities with 50 or more employees. These leaders engaged teams to sponsor initiatives in their communities, develop site-wide communication strategies and gain a deeper understanding of the talent at their sites. We support these leaders with monthly updates on corporate initiatives as well as site-specific information.
High Potential programs: We believe strongly in identifying and investing in high-potential talent to help accelerate business results and ensure a strong pipeline at all levels of the organization. We have four enterprise-wide High Potential programs in addition to specific leadership initiatives for individual business units:
SPRINT is a six-month development program for individuals at the non-exempt and entry-level exempt levels of the organization. Launched in the Sending Technology Solutions business unit in April 2017, SPRINT is designed to educate employees on topics such as development planning and the skills and capabilities required for frontline managers, while providing interactive access to leaders at multiple levels of the organization. In 2018 we extended SPRINT to all Pitney Bowes business units and we are offering it again in 2019.
The Early in Career (EiC) program is an 18-month global offering designed to accelerate the professional and personal growth of employees with up to ten years of professional experience as identified through our Strategic Talent Review process. Program participants are mentored by senior executives, receive group coaching and attend professional development seminars. As a capstone, they are assigned to work on visible challenges and opportunities developed by executive sponsors. The fifth cohort of program participants graduated in the summer of 2019 and have since been deployed across the organization.
BTS (Business Training Systems) is a 2½-day business simulation exercise that educates our High Potential Senior Managers and Directors on business acumen and the importance of decision making in business. This in-person training puts leaders into businesslike situations in which they have to make real-time decisions and then witness the long-term effects of those decisions.
ExecOnline is a new partnership that we launched in the summer of 2019. This partnership allows our most senior executives to take appropriate business certification courses from top universities such as Yale, Columbia, and MIT.