This entry was shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Technology for Performance” category
The Successful Marriage Between Social Learning and Insurance Excellence
Marsh University, a unique online knowledge sharing and collaboration platform
Marsh University (MU) has teamed with an innovative technology start-up to create an industry-leading social learning community across Marsh. MU enables colleagues to tap the vast expertise and knowledge of their peers, contribute their own knowledge, build a personal brand and provide superior insurance and risk management support to clients. It engages the collective talents of Marsh’s employees in online informal learning, innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing. Through MU colleagues can build a library of content showcasing their knowledge and expertise via posting blogs, videos, or sharing a short thought or link and building relationships with peers worldwide.
1. MU makes it easy to find resources across the organisation
Through content and profiles, colleagues can easily and quickly find information and expertise of other colleagues to help them do their job more effectively;
2. MU increases employee engagement
MU connects colleagues to discuss subjects and issues of mutual interest, be they professional (risk and insurance, leadership, sales,…) or personal (music, parenting,…);
3. MU creates unprecedented transparency
MU is non-hierarchical, easy to access and deals in real-time dialogues;
4. MU unveils hidden talents anywhere in the world.
This can best be seen in the video at www.marshuniversity.com.
Given the large employee base (24.000 colleagues) and wide geographic footprint (> 100 countries), Marsh colleagues at times struggled to find the people, resources and knowledge they needed to serve their clients. MU has overcome this by (a) creating a unique internal knowledge sharing and collaboration platform to capture the wealth of Marsh’s resources, (b)making the information quickly and easily accessible to colleagues and (c) fostering strong networks and relationships across the globe. Additionally, instead of applying a large technology solution, Marsh brought together off-the-shelf existing technologies and then teamed successfully with an innovative technology start-up.
We quickly learned that ‘if you build it, they won’t necessarily come’. So, we spent a lot of time explaining, encouraging and nurturing its adoption and learned to focus on community management to connect ‘people to people and people to content’. We created a UK based community manager role and a small dedicated support team who work on individualised approaches with colleagues, treating them like clients. In addition, establishing a global team of 40+ “MU Ambassadors”, committed to MU adoption in their locations, has been very impactful in giving them an “ownership” stake in its success.
Within two years, MU has had over 500.000 visits and 2000 blogs, 70% of colleagues have joined voluntarily, and it won the InformationWeek500 award, a top accolades for innovation in business technology.
Results have been overwhelming: colleagues sharing knowledge, and supporting colleagues, clients and prospects across the globe 24/7; seniors leaving their legacy, juniors making a mark; the new CEO blogging in his very first week; a previously closed door executive strategy event now opened to all colleagues, with commentary shared real-time by delegates….. a revelation in employee engagement, support and professional and personal improvement.