The Perfect Company: Anatomy of an Ideal Practitioner of Stakeholder Capitalism Seen Through Its Human Capital Report
When the subject of Stakeholder Capitalism and reporting comes up, the first challenge often is: provide an example of an organization based on Stakeholder Capitalism principles and of an ideal human capital report. Because the concepts of Stakeholder Capitalism and human capital reporting are so new, it’s difficult for people to visualize perfect examples without fabricating a perfect case. This case study of a model, fictitious company named Integrated Media Communications (IMC), is designed to provide a paradigm any organization can follow in its own quest to put into action Stakeholder Capitalism principles and effective human capital reporting. The principles apply to public companies, government, and not-for-profit organizations of any kind. Readers are invited to ask themselves if they would invest in, do business with, or work for this organization, as well as provide suggestions for or additions to this model so we can continually improve this model to help any organization profit from its own form of Stakeholder Capitalism. This represents the second draft of the "Perfect Company" model based so far on input from a half-dozen Enterprise Engagement Alliance advisors.
In order to help people visualize what Stakeholder Capitalism and human capital reporting look like under ideal circumstances, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance was challenged by one of its advisors, Larry Beeferman
, Fellow at the Worklife Center at Harvard University Law School, to invent such a company and its human capital report. For the sake of authenticity, this case study is loosely based on what a 100-year-old employee-owned publishing company for which I once worked as a publisher could have become were it not sold to a private equity company in 1995 and almost entirely dismembered within a matter of years.
IMC is a fictitious company created to help people visualize:
1) The components of a “perfect” company based on the principles of Stakeholder Capitalism. Is this a company people would like to do business with, work for, or invest in?
2) A perfect-scoring human capital report according to the Enterprise Engagement Alliance human capital reporting framework
based on ISO 30414 Human Capital reporting and ISO 10018 People Engagement standards. As a stakeholder, would you find this human capital report of value, even though it does not provide specific metrics on many key areas for competitive reasons?
3) How capitalism can be a force for good by making it profitable to solve social problems.
The methodologies and metrics included in this report are designed to illustrate the specific management and reporting practices of an organization based on Stakeholder Capitalism and how it can report these activities without giving competitors an advantage. For a more granular look at the tools involved with implementing these principles, see ESM: The Stakeholder Capitalist’s Toolkit
A note on metrics.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has recently published a series of new standards that provide precise and comparable calculations for almost all of the categories below. This enables companies around the world to use the same method of calculation for comparison purposes. Click here
to obtain a list of the human capital metrics standards and where to purchase them.
This human capital report for the mythical IMC follows the framework of the Enterprise Engagement Human Capital Report
, based on ISO 30414 Human Capital reporting standards and ISO 10018 People Engagement standards. This framework was created to provide investors and organizations a model upon which to base the analysis and publication of meaningful human capital reports. The report is written in the voice of the figurative management of IMC.
IMC Corp. 2020 Human Capital Report
The purpose of the annual IMC Human Capital Report is to provide our stakeholders a comprehensive overview of our strategies, tactics, and metrics to engage IMC’s most important assets: our employees, customers, supply chain and distribution partners, and communities. We report separately on our environmental practices in our annual sustainability report.
We have followed the format of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance’s Human Capital Report because it conforms with a common-sense framework to address all stakeholders developed by ISO (International Organization for Standardization), the same organization that helped transform quality manufacturing in the 1990s. We are hoping that using a common reporting format will encourage others to do the same so that stakeholders can more easily make comparisons between organizations.
In conformance with ISO standards, we share our mission, purpose, values, and goals with all stakeholders; address the key factors considered to be material to success through people; specify the methodologies used to achieve our goals and the people who are accountable, and the metrics that provide insight into whether we are achieving our goals. While we aim for transparency, we are careful not to reveal confidential information not required of our competitors that could give them an unintended advantage.
Our human capital strategy is based on the premise that our stakeholders will have the highest possible levels of engagement in our mission and results if we address:
• A sense of mission – What we stand for and how we help people in their lives and businesses.
• Clear goals – How we can benefit together.
• Emotional bonding – A sense of community and camaraderie.
• Capability – Do people have the resources and knowledge to do what is asked of them?
• Fun – A sense of humor and good-naturedness in all that we do.
• Support – A sense of being valued and that humans are running the business.
• Task value – A sense that what I’m doing has purpose.
• Feedback – Everyone knows that they can provide input at any time to solve problems and enhance performance.
Note that many of the programs outlined in this human capital report are the result of input from IMC’s Quality Circles program.
Integrated Media Communications (IMC), based in New York City, was founded in 1899 in upstate New York as a trade publication company serving the agricultural industry. It has since grown to become the country’s largest business information company spanning 82 vertical industries, with employees owning almost 28% of the company as of the end of 2020. It was relocated to New York City in 1952 to reflect its goal to serve a broad swath of industries.
Privately held, IMC reported sales of $293.5 million in 2020, with a loss of $83.2 million, compared with sales of $443.31 million and net profits of $69.76 million the year before.The company has an Employee Stock Ownership Plan through which the employees own 22% of the company, with 20% in a profit sharing trust. The remainder of the company is owned by descendants of the company founders and select management.
IMC was better prepared for the pandemic than many companies in the business publishing and information sector because we had already transitioned almost all our print media to digital platforms; developed new research services for customers and had in place digital information strategies to support our events business. Nonetheless, the elimination of face-to-face events, which comprised 30% of our revenue and 35% of our costs in 2019, dealt a serious blow to our 2020 sales targets, with slightly less impact on our profitability because of the lower margins involved with events.
Because of our earlier investment in digital events to support our exhibition business, we feel particularly well prepared to benefit from our ability going forward to offer clients highly effective hybrid event solutions that can increase their reach, sales, and profitability as we come out of the pandemic-induced downturn.
IMC values and mission. Since our first day in business, our values, mission, and purpose have remained unchanged. While IMC is completely secular, our values are based on the principles of treating others as we ourselves wish to be treated. Our mission is to achieve consistent double-digit revenue and profit growth by enhancing the marketplaces we serve and the lives of our employees and communities through:
1) Identification of the most effective ways to promote industry growth, best practices, professionalism, and commerce by providing useful information, helping to educate the market, and connecting buyers and sellers of solutions via the most effective platforms possible.
2) A continual search for new underserved marketplaces for the current industries we serve or which warrant development of new marketplaces.
3) A strategic commitment to enhancing the lives of all stakeholders.
4) Identification and use of metrics most likely to be predictive of desirable outcomes.
Our commitment to growth balances short- with long-term goals, so that short-term goals do not jeopardize long-term prosperity. Despite setbacks due to economic downturns (and the effects of the Depression, World War II, the 1970s stagflation, the Internet, and, most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic), IMC has achieved double-digit sales and profit growth for 95 of its 121 years, including nine out of the last 10.
Our stakeholders. IMC’s success is based on attracting, engaging and developing talent in editorial, research, marketing, sales, technology, and events; addressing the needs of highly sophisticated business readers and marketers in 82 industries through multiple information platforms; identifying and building relationships with independent sales representatives and marketing agencies that serve our markets; supporting the publishing and information community through education, and by developing talent in our communities. With 82 information platforms in as many industries, our growth hinges on our ability to recruit and engage the broadest and most diverse pool of talent, customers, distribution, and supply chain partners as possible.
In addition, IMC benefits form strong relationships with independent sales representatives, advertising and marketing agencies in the industries we serve; supply chain partners particularly in the events industry; with the publishing industry, in which we develop and recruit talent, and with the communities in which our employees live, mostly in the New York City metropolitan area.
Employees. In 2020, IMC employed 1,220 people full-time, down from 1,515 from 2019, and 22 independent contractors, down from 210 independent contractors. Our strategy is to use independent contractors to enable us to expand short-term to meet short-term or specific customer demands with a foreseeable end, so that we do not have to lay off full-time employees to handle projects with a limited timeframe. We do not disclose the number of our customers, supply, and distribution chain partners for competitive reasons, but the number of both decreased in 2020 due to economic conditions.
Our strategy. Based on the premise that providing cutting-edge information and services to business professionals and bringing buyers and sellers together in effective ways requires highly informed sales, marketing, research, editorial, and event professionals, IMC has a strategic and systematic approach to addressing the needs of all our stakeholders—employees, customers, distribution and supply chain partners, and communities—to foster their proactive involvement in our mission and purpose. Each business operating unit's annual plan includes the specific tactics to engage and equip all stakeholders in our mission, values, and goals, along with metrics. We run our business using metrics predictive of results and whenever possible use benchmarks upon which to gauge the effectiveness of our practices and analytics to prescribe performance or experience enhancements.
IMC’s President Jane Hamlin has responsibility for the overall human capital management plan, which encompasses all our stakeholders—readers; marketing, research, and event customers; supply chain and distribution partners, and communities. Merit Smith, the Chief Engagement Officer, reporting to the President, is responsible for day-to-day management of the human capital management. The CHRO, who manages workforce engagement; the CMO, who manages customer and distribution partner engagement; the V-P of Procurement, who manages supply chain engagement, and the V-P of Corporate Social Responsibility all report to the Chief Engagement Officer.
IMC manages its business using a Business Operating System that includes bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly video meetings with all key business managers to address current issues, monitor progress and metrics in the business plan, and to ensure alignment across all business departments and units. Implementation of our leadership strategy includes:
• An annual business plan for the company and all operating divisions consistent with our mission, values, and short-and long-term goals, updated annually, or as warranted due to unexpected circumstances, such as the pandemic.
• A commitment to maintaining cash reserves to protect against unexpected circumstances.
• Clear human capital metrics tied to financial and other goals (see below) and benchmarked as possible against public data.
• A Chief Engagement Officer (our CEO) who facilitates our human capital strategy across the enterprise to ensure a consistent message and alignment with all stakeholders; effective monitoring of human capital metrics among all stakeholders; oversight of the engagement and related activities of all the business units and their effectiveness with all stakeholders; trouble-shooting unexpected challenges, and continually driving innovation through leadership of IMC’s Quality Circles program—the heart of our continuous improvement process.
Metrics. IMC measures its overall human capital success based on the following metrics because of their connection to achieving our financial goals and fulfilling our organizational purpose:
1. Human Capital Return on Investment (a calculation of the ROI of the investment in people) and Human Capital Value Add, the extent to which employee investments increase our bottom line.
2. Revenues, costs, turnover, and referrals of customers, employees, independent sales representatives.
3. Costs and turnover of supply chain partners.
4. Training effectiveness—percentage of trained employees who remain with the organization or advance within the organization.
5. Diversity Equity Inclusion effectiveness—percentage of employees in comparison with the demographics of our marketplaces, and their level of engagement in our multiple development practices as measured by the above metrics; i.e., % involved in learning, communications, recognition, innovation programs, etc., versus the population at large and other populations.
6. Organizational culture (combination of mission, vision, and values)—level of participation in and impact of our recognition and appreciation programs on the company's Enterprise Engagement app; percentage of employees who can explain the organization's mission, vision, and values and how it relates to their job function.
7. Health and wellness of employees based on participation and impact of wellness program; i.e., number and dollar amount of insurance claims; lost-days due to accidents or sickness; aggregate health indicators--biomass, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Whenever possible, we benchmark our results against available industry data; unfortunately, reliable sources for such information remain limited.
2020 Results. As a result of the pandemic, IMC experienced:
• Significantly decreased Human Capital ROI and Value Add due to efforts to retain employees during a period of falling sales.
• A significant decrease in sales and therefore higher costs per employee and customer, and significantly reduced referrals for business.
• Decrease in training effectiveness due to furloughs and elimination of off-site training activities.
• Stability in our DEI commitment—there was no noticeable difference in the engagement or turnover of any portion of our workforce, although our minority contractors were hit particularly hard by lay-offs because they are well represented in our event business. Engagement is measured by responses to the employee engagement survey and percentage of turnover measured against other employee categories.
• A slight improvement in our organizational culture metrics—employees generally approved of our efforts related to managing the pandemic.
• An improvement in participation in our wellness program, perhaps because of the work-from-home phenomenon.
While the economy is improving, and there is an uptick in spending in many of our industries, we do not expect a significant improvement in our human capital metrics until 2022 because the company expects to remain in a rebuilding and recovery mode for much of this year and into next. The recovery strategy is focused on addressing the most pressing needs of customers in each of our market segments, which in most cases is related to finding digital communications platforms; using technologies to engage on a one-to-one with prospects and to inform and educate; and reducing event costs and re-thinking the traditional event strategies to make them more experiential and interactive.
Action Steps. See information below in each of the human capital areas covered in this report.
As a national organization, IMC must comply with tax and employee regulations in 26 states and minimally in six countries. (Note: we have only 80 people outside of the US.) Our Chief Human Resources Officer, Jennifer Whelan, is responsible for maintenance of our compliance strategy with the goal of minimizing risks and costs through effective practices.
Our policy is to comply not only with the letter but the spirit of regulations to maintain positive relationships with government authorities and to demonstrate our commitment to working with our communities. Our Chief Human Resources Officer maintains a continually updated electronic binder that contains an accounting of every regulation with which IMC must comply in every region; the nature, timing, and frequency of the disclosure or procedure; costs involved; the person in charge, and the status of compliance for each item. The report also includes a regularly updated addendum of pending regulations and the anticipated impact on the organization.
The most demanding of compliance issues are related to the privacy of our customers. As a result of ransomware and data breaches in other industries, IMC instituted a policy in which it will not store the credit card information, bank, or tax-identification information of customers on any Internet-connected servers. Most customers appear to prefer the security over the slight loss of convenience when making online transactions. All sensitive information is stored on servers completely disconnected from IMC’s internal email and other networks, to further reduce infiltration of malware into vital data and systems.
IMC management is watching for potential changes in regulations related to health care incentives that could have an impact on the structure of our wellness program.
Metrics. IMC tracks violations, penalties, regulatory action, and employee legal actions (number and cost) as the best means of assessing the effectiveness of our compliance management.
2020 Results. The number and value of compliance and legal issues remains de minimis and if anything was further reduced by the pandemic. The company did not experience a single citation or violation in 2020.
Action Steps. IMC continually monitors the regulatory mandates in all its operating areas and is particularly alert to changes in Covid-19 circumstances; additional privacy legislative actions in California and other states that could affect circulation and attendee management practices costs, as well as to equal opportunity and sexual harassment prevention.
Under the direction of the CHRO, IMC’s goal is to continually manage human management costs as a percentage of revenues and against customer engagement scores to ensure that we are achieving an ROI from our people investments without hurting quality. We also look at costs in terms of new assets created by our people in their business units, such as Intellectual Property; products and profit centers; technology, or knowledge contributed to our Knowledge Management platform shared with employees, supply chain partners, and customers. Overall people costs are under the management of the CEO, who collects data from all the operating units related to people. IMC employs on retainer an expert in ROI of engagement processes to annually review key human capital programs and to assist managers with designing ROI-based processes.
To calculate our core human capital metrics, IMC carefully tracks by business operating unit:
• All employee costs broken out by payroll; taxes; benefits, incentives, recognition, and commissions, professional development, travel, and all other human resources costs.
• All customer costs broken out by sales and marketing (by key category type); customer service support; research or other costs, travel, and entertainment.
• All supply chain costs are broken out by vendor, type of expense, and business operating unit.
The major costs are expressed as ratios to revenue and profit in management reports and reported quarterly to business operating unit leaders unless significant deviations are detected earlier.
Metrics. Changes in costs and ratios are analyzed quarterly against forecasts and actual business results to keep track of the connection between people and financial outcomes. The relevant manager is charged with addressing the deviation and reporting back on results in the regular senior management meetings.
2020 results. As a result of the pandemic, IMC experienced a significant decrease in costs across the board because of:
• The need to furlough 20% of our employees due to cessation of all events and significantly reduced research and marketing budgets. Despite significant cash reserves, we could not anticipate the duration and depth of the economic collapse and therefore had to make difficult decisions to ensure the viability of the company.
• The elimination of almost all events and related expenses.
• Reductions in training, travel, elimination of the IMC University live annual event for 2020 and 2021.
• IMC provided 100% of health care coverage for all furloughed employees.
Action steps. Given the disruption caused by the pandemic, IMC is taking the following steps:
• Regular communications with furloughed employees to update them on their prospects and monitor their status.
• Rehiring employees as quickly as possible based on restoration of the exhibition business and of the recovery of some of the hard-hit industries in our portfolio.
4. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Located in a highly diverse community serving diverse industries, IMC has always had a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in its talent recruitment, marketplace development, distribution and supply chain management, and community activities. IMC views DEI as a means of optimizing access to talent, customers, distribution, and supply chain partners, and maintaining good relations with the city of New York. Our DEI strategy is under the direction of the CEO (Chief Engagement Officer) and the CHRO, supported by a Director of DEI to help manage employee recruiting, onboarding, ongoing training, Employee Resource Groups, and Corporate Social Responsibility activities, and by our purchasing management team for supply chain diversity. DEI is baked into (rather than segregated from) all organizational practices.
Our DEI goals are based on a regular assessment of our talent pools, marketplace opportunities, distribution and supply chain strategies, and community development opportunities or issues.
In addition to community engagement, section 14
, we address DEI in seven ways. In addition, using an outside DEI expert, we analyze all our applicable human capital engagement strategies by the levels of participation of all our stakeholder groups to detect racial, ethnic, gender, or age discrepancies.
1. Our board. Of 12 people, our board is comprised of two women; an African-American; a Latino, and one gay person. Our goal is to have at least five board members composed of other than white males, which will be achieved by 2022 through the replacement of retiring board member.
2. Our strategic human capital plan. IMC’s annual human capital business plan as well as the plans for its operating units are based on continually identifying new markets for talent, customers, distribution and supply chain partners, and community development opportunities. Both the CEO and each business operating manager are tasked with specifically identifying the DEI goals for the year; specific initiatives; the potential benefits to the organization in terms of contribution to the business plan, and metrics.
3. Employee Resource Groups. To ensure that diverse employee groups have a place to feel safe and a way to address the issues in their communities, IMC encourages the development of Employee Resource Groups for interested employees. IMC allows employees three hours per month during the working day for ERG activities and provides an annual discretionary budget for specific activities requested by the group, administered through the CHRO. More hours may be permitted if a particular event or other action is required or desired to address an important issue.
4. Quality circles. IMC mandates that all Quality Circles in the organization set up to address specific company issues are comprised of a representative group of all employees by age, tenure, race, and gender preference to the extent feasible or reasonable. Employees involved with Quality surveys are allocated three hours per month for participation, and more if needed.
5. Company events. Prior to the pandemic, and resuming shortly, the company encourages and funds quarterly off-site social gatherings during lunch hour to encourage socialization among all employees, in addition to its annual offsite IMC University.
IMC incorporates racial and gender sensitivity and sexual harassment training into all professional development and leadership training programs, as well as into all employee onboarding. (See section 10, Skills and Capabilities
7. Distribution and supply chain. Operating business unit managers include DEI goals in their distribution and supply chain management to ensure maximum diversity. Their annual plans must specify the actions they are taking to recruit employees, develop customers or supply chain and distribution partners from the broadest possible community, along with the metrics they use to measure their results.
In addition to viewing DEI as a business opportunity, IMC’s community engagement strategy (section 14
), includes both a business-focused community development plan as well as a charitable-giving strategy.
Metrics. IMC measures DEI based on the following metrics believed to be most connection to financial and overall organizational performance:
• Percentage of the workforce by key category by race, age, and gender preference compared with New York City demographics and national demographics. (Note that IMC’s footprint outside of the US is de minimis in terms of number of employees.)
• Level of engagement in our professional development, incentive, recognition, and community development efforts by employee category, as tracked in our Enterprise Engagement technology.
• Percentage of minority-owned independent sales organizations engaged.
• Percentage of minority-owned supply chain partners.
*See our separate EEO1 report.
• IMC continues to underperform in diversity of our employees, supply chain, and distribution partners based on the demographics of the New York City region.
• The percentage of minority groups represented in our editorial, sales, and research continues to lag the demographic composition of our operating regions based on census data.
• The only area of our business that approaches the general breakdown of census data is our event business, which tends to employ a greater percentage of lower-income individuals.
• IMC has had equal difficulty diversifying its distribution channel of independent sales representatives, finding it challenging in many of its markets to find any functioning minority-owned sales representative companies, except for a few women-owned businesses.
Action Steps. As a result of a continued inability to employ and engage minority employees and distribution partners, IMC has undertaken the following strategies based on the IMC DEI Quality Circle:
• A training program in New York City colleges for aspiring professionals in editorial, research, and sales, as well as in our three other largest operating areas in the Midwest, West Coast, and London.
• Sponsorship of high school programs that supporting writing and other forms of communications, including a mentorship program that brings IMC employees into schools in low-income areas to help support aspiring students.
• Sponsorship of a minority professional development program offered by a leading trade association in the publishing industry.
• IMC has joined a minority supply chain development organization to help it identify more options for diversification.
• IMC sponsors a Minority Entrepreneurs education program for a national association of independent sales representation companies.
5. Occupational Health, and Safety
It is our goal at IMC to foster a positive, healthy work-life balance that enables employees to envision a life-long career at IMC that accommodates their changing needs. Achieving these goals is the responsibility of the CHRO.
Most IMC employees work in their homes and offices with little risk of injury from their work and equipment. We expect to return to a hybrid office environment in which employees generally work in the office three days a week, based on the degree of collaboration related to a project. Except for on-site exhibition employees, for whom safety procedures are established based on the location and event, the focus for home and office workers is on ensuring they have a properly configured desk and computer set up for posture and to minimize chances for carpal-tunnel syndrome. In addition, we have a 24/7 mental health emergency line with trained professionals to confidentially assist with crises, and each employee is contacted in a monthly call by a Personal Prosperity Assistant (see Section 6, Organizational Culture
.) The office building is upgrading the air filtration to meet the latest Covid-19 mitigation standards and should have the work complete by September 2021.
IMC’s employee engagement software application (see Organizational Culture) includes an optional wellness program that enables all employees to earn points for achieving stated health goals, including physical activity, biomass index, cholesterol, and glucose level management. Employees can easily upload activity information from popular fitness tracking devises into the employee engagement application, as well as information from their health care professionals confirming biomass, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Points can be accumulated for achieving activity and results goals with those earned in other organizational programs and redeemed for desirable merchandise, gift cards, travel, and other services.
In addition, IMC has an emergency health desk in which any employee or manager can privately report a personal mental or other health crisis to an advocate trained to help find a solution with respect for privacy. The company’s medical plan covers most mental health issues.
Based on recommendations from our Worklife Quality Circle, IMC attempts to address unnecessary work-related stressors by:
• Having a company policy that no emails but serious customer or health emergencies need to be answered outside of the company’s local business hours or during paid time off unless an exception is agreed upon with a supervisor.
• Reducing the stress of uncertainty by requiring all employees to respond to requests from customers and colleagues with a status update within one business day, or sooner.
• Requiring all employees to use autoresponders that provide another contact when they are “off the grid," so that customers or colleagues are not left wondering when they will hear back.
• Requiring all hands-on meetings to have a clear agenda and benefit to attendees and a prescribed time frame that is adhered to unless more time is required.
• Discouraging use of e-mail or our internal communications platform to discuss any issue that is considered serious or emotional in nature.
• Having an ongoing feedback platform and Personal Prosperity Assistant for each employee to contact about a sensitive problem with a manager, colleague, or financial or other challenge.
Metrics. IMC measures its wellness activities based on the following measures to determine the connection between wellness, costs, and productivity.
• Engagement. Percentage of employees participating in the wellness program.
• Attendance. Days lost due to illness.
• Insurance claims.
We also correlate wellness with turnover and other engagement factors to identify trends using an outside prescriptive analytics firm.
• 32% of employees now participate in the wellness program, up from 24% the year before.
• 74% of participating employees are achieving their wellness goals.
• Attendance: Only 3% of employees required sick days above the company policy, despite the pandemic.
• We have experienced a 6% decrease in insurance claims since instituting the program in 2018, but as of this publication cannot yet be sure of the impact of the pandemic this past year.
• As a result of so many employees working at home, we were concerned about a significant decrease in physical activity. In 2020, we instituted a bonus-points program in our employee engagement wellness application that rewards extra points for people who achieve their stated activity goals each month. Participation in the program increased by almost one third in 2020.
• In addition, our CHRO is continually monitoring the latest Center for Disease Control guidelines for the most effective practices to mitigate the potential spread of the virus as more employees return to the office.
• We are also watching regulations that could affect the structure of our wellness incentive program.
6. Organizational Culture
As a company offering employees a path to ownership in IMC, IMC is committed to supporting practices that make everyone act like an owner as well. The management of IMC believes that its culture of commitment to addressing the needs of all stakeholders is critical to success. Our employee engagement strategy, overseen by the President and Chief Engagement Officer, is directed by the CHRO, consistently promotes our organizational values, purpose, and goals through:
• A quarterly all-hands video meeting with the CEO or other representative of management to report on the latest status of the organization; to field questions or to address issues raised in the Quality Circle employee involvement program and reinforce key values and goals.
• Reinforcing values, purpose, and related issues at departmental meetings and in one-on-ones with managers and employees.
• An ongoing assessment and feedback process included in our Enterprise Engagement software application below that assesses employee mood, engagement levels, and danger areas—with a formal action plan overseen by the CHRO’s office to ensure issues are addressed at the front lines as necessary.
• A strategic appreciation, recognition, and rewards process that consistently promotes our values to managers and all employees by recognizing the people whose actions help support the organizational goals and mission--funded by an average of 1% to 2% of payroll a year—increased to 2.5% in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. Managers and employees can recognize colleagues and share points for specific actions redeemable for desirable merchandise, gift cards, and travel. IMC assigns a dollar or performance value to these actions to help track return on investment and/or impact on the organization.
• IMC University, an off-site, three-day trip with senior management that includes a selection of top performers from each part of the organization who can also invite a significant other, and a recognition program that provides rewards to up to 80% of the organization over the course of the year based on employee actions. It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, but it is expected to resume in late 2022.
• An Enterprise Engagement technology platform that aligns all our assessment, communications, learning, innovation, rewards, and recognition program on a single, smart-phone accessible application that provides detailed analytics on the actual levels of participation in our engagement efforts that can be analyzed by every type of employee, gender preference, age, race, or ethnicity captured in our human resources management platform to ensure consistent engagement.
• Performance appraisals are based not just on subjective manager reports but on data derived from the Enterprise Engagement platform, which provides information on the individual’s engagement scores, feedback, recognition, incentives, learning, and participation in innovation, Quality Circles, Employee Resource Groups, or other programs.
• Flexible working-hours when possible to accommodate family or commuting issues for those employees coming to the office.
• A Quality Circles program that selects representative individuals from all parts of the organization to participate in a collaborative, grass roots approach to addressing culture, innovation, DEI, and Corporate Social Responsibility.
• An ongoing innovation campaign that encourages all employees, customers, supply chain and distribution partners to contribute ideas, which are evaluated and, when appropriate, recommended for implementation by the innovation quality circle. Rewards are provided for ideas adopted in proportion to their value to the organization. The largest award given was a Tesla for an operations employee in 2019 who developed an idea worth over $$700,000 in annual cost savings for the company. (The car was selected because it was known that the employee needed one, and because of the communications impact the gift would have on the organization.)
• A benefits program designed to address our employees’ “whole lives.” IMC provides:
o A high-quality medical plan paid 75% by IMC and maintained for furloughed employees throughout the pandemic at 100% of the cost.
o Employee stock ownership based on matching contributions in an IRA that kicks in after the first 12 months, with matching funds depending on the company’s performance each year.
o A comprehensive benefits package offering discounts on travel, products, and many other services, including health and lifestyle enhancement programs.
o A Personal Prosperity Assistant to help employees address financial, personal, or job issues who checks in on each employee on a monthly scheduled basis to also ensure all is well with each employee.
o A first-year three-week paid vacation plan; with one week available after three months, and four weeks after the second year, as well as sick and mental health days.
o In those states where allowed, employees are allowed to apply unpaid time-off to the employee discount benefits program, offering thousands of ways to turn their PTO into an experience or products they desire purchased at a discount.
o We offer comprehensive six-month maternity and paternity leave for parents, with special consideration given to situations requiring care of a family member.
o We offer a tuition assistance program for education related to professional development within IMC.
o A select number of employees each year is selected to attend our annual offsite IMC University, held whenever possible in a desirable destination, significant other included. (It was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid but is expected to be restored in 2022.)
o For employees who did not need to take advantage of our parental or sick leave policies, IMC offers a six-week sabbatical to employees every seven years of employment to use as they see fit for personal downtime or professional development.
o Our mostly open floor plan offices are designed to provide employees the ergonomic comfort and privacy needed to conduct their jobs and make phone and video calls without disturbing their neighbors as well as comfortable common spaces to congregate for impromptu collaboration. IMC will follow CDC protocols when bringing snacks and refreshments back to the office.
IMC focuses on the following key metrics because they are considered most linked to achievement of our financial and other organizational goals.
• Human Capital ROI and Value Add.
• Employee turnover by job category, business unit, and location. This includes voluntary and involuntary turnover.
• Overall employee engagement scores from quarterly pulse surveys and annual motivational mapping.
• Talent referrals by current employees.
• Actions recommended by Quality Circles; percentage and status of those acted upon, and their impact on the organization either financial or based on other goals.
2020 results. The year’s results were highly distorted by the effects of the pandemic. While the company was forced to furlough most of our exhibition related staff to ensure liquidity, we experienced a lower percentage of voluntary resignations than the prior year.
• Employee engagement scores fell only slightly from the company’s target of 90% job satisfaction, probably because of the furloughs, uncertainty, and challenges of working at home. As a result, as we recover from the pandemic, we do expect an increase in turnover in 2021 and potentially 2022.
• The company’s commitment to paying for the health programs for furloughed employees and remaining regularly in touch with them through personal calls by management appears to be paying off. So far, most furloughed employees have returned to work upon recall, and our ongoing surveys with others indicates that most will return if their jobs can be restored by sometime in 2021.
Action steps. As a result of anticipated higher turnover in 2021 and 2022, we are implementing the following steps:
• A gradual return to a hybrid office based on the needs of each business unit and an employee, with the goal of reducing by 30% the overall number of people required to be in the office at any given time by the fall of 2021, when it is hoped the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
• Because we already provided about six feet of face and dividers for semi-privacy and sound mitigation, a redesign of the office layout of the main office in NYC should not be necessary. Our building has installed a new air filtration system that the management company says is equal to the air quality control in airliners.
• Institution of a monthly 15-minute scheduled check-in program with each employee by a Personal Prosperity Assistant. IMC has engaged a benefits company that employs experienced professionals to help identify and address personal, financial, job challenges or other issues in an anonymous fashion that could affect performance in a monthly check in call and to help find solutions. If the fit is right, the PPA remains with the employee for as long as possible.
• Gradual rehiring of furloughed employees for the exhibition business with the goal of restoring most jobs by September 2021, when enhanced unemployment benefits programs end.
• Reinstitution of our quarterly off-site get-togethers with management starting in the 4th quarter of 2021, assuming the pandemic remains under control in the New York City area.
• Use of a third-party analytics firm to analyze the data generated from our Enterprise Engagement technology platform to identify trends and provide prescriptive analytics to guide future people decisions.
Note: each year, IMC in compliance with disclosure and privacy principles, sends aggregate Enterprise Engagement platform and human resources system information to third-party human capital analytics firm. This company uses the data in the aggregate to help identify trends that could affect future talent needs, turnover issues, development, engagement, communication, or more. This information is shared with the management team each year or earlier when necessary; incorporated into business plan developed and shared with employees as appropriate.
Under the direction of our CHRO, IMC continually monitors the productivity of our human capital investments against customer service. The productivity metrics are included in our core human capital metrics outlined above.
To ensure that decisions related to productivity do not have a negative impact on the quality or customer satisfaction, IMC carefully weighs productivity data against customer satisfaction and retention data.
In addition, IMC assesses productivity based on new products and services launched; technologies developed, businesses created, both in terms of sales and profits; cost-saving initiatives, or new assets, such as knowledge shared in our Knowledge Management system.
Results. Ironically, employee productivity metrics dropped only slightly because the furloughs occurred in our less profitable exhibitions business. Productivity in our research business and information divisions declined only slightly, and showed strong improvement in our digital business units, whose revenues and profitability were not as deeply affected by the pandemic because of strength in several of our industry sectors, notably food services, information technology, ground transportation, and agriculture.
On the positive side, the exhibitions and conference business have accelerated a focus that began before the pandemic: expanding traditional two- to three-day events into 365-day-a-year information platforms that keep attendees engaged throughout the year through information sharing, gamification, virtual education, and on-demand videos on a smart phone engagement platform. In addition, we anticipate making major changes in our event formats to place a far greater emphasis on interactivity and relationship-building among attendees and exhibitors, with less emphasis on traditional keynote and panel discussion formats at conferences. We also plan to discourage expensive exhibits at our trade shows that drive up costs without creating value for IMC or its clients.
Action steps. IMC will carefully manage productivity as we gradually restore furloughed employees and will continue to expand into its 365-day-a-year approach to face-to-face event experiences.
8. Recruitment, Mobility, and Turnover
As an information, research, events, and technology company, IMC is highly dependent on having educated, informed employees with strong written and spoken communications skills, emotional intelligence, and the ability to adapt to changing technology. Our goals are to minimize turnover and recruitment costs and employee replacement time, under the oversight of the CHRO. This requires recruiting from the broadest possible community based on age, gender preference, color, ethnicity, and income, etc.
Compensation, profit-sharing, and gainsharing. Our policy is to pay above-market rates for all job positions, monitored by a professional compensation firm each year, and to ensure that all full-time employees receive a living wage based on statistics in their region so that they do not require government benefits to live. Our aim is to retain all high-performing employees through professional development, job sharing, or advancement as appropriate, and to identify as soon as possible employees who for whatever reason are not the right fit in terms of consistent quality, productivity, and actions to support our organizational values. IMC has a profit-sharing program for all employees starting within 12 months of employment that becomes fully vested in seven years. In the cases of special initiatives requiring extra effort, IMC from time to time offers targeted gain-sharing programs for employees that include cash bonuses or tangible gifts selected based on each’s employee’s situation and preferences.
Job design. IMC is committed to designing job functions based not only on organizational needs but on the best way to keep people engaged across an eight-hour day. Each year, job design consultants help business leaders review the functions of selected departments to identify ways to make the jobs more engaging, which often involves new ways to share jobs over the course of the year.
Recruitment. IMC has a talent branding, recruitment, and development process that makes sure that our recruiting team tells the right story to reach people with the right skills or capabilities, and that consistently onboards new recruits with a full understanding of our mission, values, culture, contribution to society, and enriching benefits, including our IMC University program and community engagement programs. (See Community Engagement.)
• Our recruitment team ow nreflects the broad demographics we’re trying to attract.
To broaden our pool of applicants for sales and exhibition jobs whose skills can be taught more quickly to capable candidates, we look for candidates who may not have the experience but who have demonstrated the aptitudes necessary for success in their role. These employees are trained in the IMC University explained outlined under section 10, Skills and Capabilities
• We actively promote our IMC University, employee engagement strategies, and benefits as a reason to join IMC.
• IMC has an employee referral program that provides employees up to $1,000 in points redeemable on its employee rewards application if one of their referrals accepts the position and remains for six months.
• IMC actively encourages senior employees to remain part-time upon retirement and encourages recruiters to include older and senior candidates when appropriate for open positions.
• IMC participates in a neurodivergent talent recruitment program for positions in analytics, exhibitions and conferences, and research, with a particularly high retention rate.
Mobility. IMC is committed to developing talent from within and encouraging job-sharing within the organization. To do so, each employee is reviewed annually or sooner for promotion or other job-change possibilities.
• All available jobs are posted online on the company’s job board on the employee engagement application.
• All employees are reviewed at least annually for professional development desires or opportunities.
• Business units are encouraged to create job-sharing opportunities within or between divisions. This approach has specific application in our editorial, research, technology, and exhibit areas, where skills in one industry can easily be applied to others. Job sharing means that employees of similar job functions are paired to cover for one another should they leave on vacation or for other personal reasons.
Retention. IMC has a stated policy to retain all engaged and capable employees who wish to remain at IMC.
• Each employee now receives a once-a-month, scheduled 15-minute check-in call with a “Personal Prosperity Assistant” who confidentially advises on personal, financial, or job-related issues.
• All employees can indicate their “mood” each day on the employee engagement application as well as respond to quarterly engagement surveys. Results are shared with supervisors, who provides an action plan for “yellow” or “red” flags followed up on by HR.
Metric: We track the following metrics identified as most closely related to our financial and other organizational goals:
• Cost per hire, including fees, allocation for staff time to replace employees, and onboarding time.
• Percentage of people participating in the referral time and percentage of successful hires.
• Mobility—percentage of people who voluntarily move up or change jobs in the organization and percentage who participate in the job-sharing program.
Note that we filter this data by demographic group when possible to identify consistency of engagement in our human capital management efforts.
Results. The effects of the pandemic greatly distorted our Recruitment, Mobility, and Turnover metrics, because:
• Hiring drew to a near halt and there were almost no employee referrals due to a lack of openings.
• Mobility drew to an almost halt due to minimal job openings.
• On a positive note, the job-sharing program proved invaluable in supporting employees who fell ill with Covid or who had family member(s) to assist. There was an increase in job-sharing activities last year, even though the division with the great job-sharing activities—our exhibition group—was the most affected by the pandemic.
9. Employee Bench Strength
As a result of our Professional Development and Job sharing activities, IMC has a strong employee bench strength strategy, overseen by the CHRO.
A. Our annual human capital management plan and division plans all include a key-person succession plan and/or the action to be taken in the case of an unexpected departure. So far, IMC has lost almost no key personnel due to Covid-19.
B. The Job-sharing program includes a software application that tracks job-sharing participants, capabilities, and activities, and includes a database of all employees that includes their self-identified skills.
C. Our employee bench strength is greatly aided by our “seniors welcome” program, that not only enables retired employees to continue working at part-time jobs when possible but encourages the hiring team to look for talent of any age depending on the job requirements.
Metrics. We track the following metrics most closely related to effectiveness of our Employee Bench Strength strategies.
• Time and cost to replace an employee (indicating a high level of bench-strength if we don't need to hire from without).
• Percentage of promotions from within.
• Number of key positions that have replacements ready now or within two years.
Results. Our employee bench strength strategy focused on internal Professional Development and Job sharing significantly mitigated the disruptions caused by the pandemic by having employees already set up to support others in time of sickness or family health challenges.
10. Skills and Capabilities
The IMC University, under the direction of the CHRO, provides multiple levels of ongoing education for employees and management with the goals being to: attract and retain employees by developing their capabilities from within; create a more productive, harmonious workforce and minimize employee complaints and lawsuits; ensure that employees have the personal and professional skills to operate at peak performance in their jobs or to learn about and prepare for other opportunities in the IMC Job-sharing program.
IMC participates in a program to recruit neuro-divergent talent (people with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome etc.) for our exhibition and research businesses, which can benefit from the satisfaction these highly reliable employees get from ability to rapidly do repetitive or analytical work that others are unable to do as effectively.
Mandatory training includes: team dynamics; appreciation and recognition, DEI and sexual harassment issues, and, when appropriate training in technology or other skills. Other training includes:
• Basic training for all new employees in writing, verbal communications, workplace software, company values and culture, appreciation, and recognition.
• The IMC Knowledge Management platform, that includes a library of 30-minute videos from internal and exgternal experts and leaders on key topics relevant to our employees and customers and ongoing learning programs for each business unit.
• An ongoing learning game on the Enterprise Engagement app delivers employees fun questions each week about the company, values, DEI and harassment, and other key skills that enable them to earn points on based on successful responses.
• Quarterly offsites at local restaurants (resuming in 2022) that include reminders on our values, latest developments, and priorities.
• The annual off-site university when the entire company is invited to participate in and are registered to attend regional education programs that combine live and video sessions. (The face-to-face event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, with plans to go to a hybrid event later in 2022.)
• Run by the Communications Quality Circle, topics focus on the latest vision and priorities for the organization; the culture; and key technical and other skills taught by our own employees, customers, distribution partners, suppliers and external experts based on areas of interest in editorial, research, marketing, technology, and events.
• Required or optional technology training and refresher classes, depending on the position.
Our training program involves participation by all employees, including those in our neurodivergent communities.
Metrics. IMC tracks the following metrics to determine the benefits of the Skills and Capabilities process:
• Percentage of employees who correctly identify the company’s vision, values, and objectives in surveys, and who can explain how their jobs can contribute to success.
• Participation in the IMC Knowledge Management platform—frequency and time used and by who, by type of employee and business unit.
• Advancement and mobility by level of participation in and performance in education programs, tracked by type and location of registered attendees--an indicator of satisfaction with training.
11. Workforce Availability
Based in New York City, IMC has an ideal pool of candidates to draw from for all its skills requirements: general management, finance, technology, editorial and content, marketing, technology, and events. That said, there is increasing competition for this talent not only within the metropolitan area but now from other parts of the country that can access our talent because of the new work-at-home culture.
Based on the premise that people many in the New York area generally wish to stay if they can afford it, IMC has developed an outreach program to support regional middle school and high schools in the city and metropolitan area to develop a potential “farm team” for talent for all our businesses. (See Community Engagement, section 14
.) Selection of schools is weighted toward low-income areas to profit by developing talent overlooked by competitors. The plan is to remain in contact with and support engaged students who later can become interns and/or entry level employees.
Because IMC also values our senior workforce and neurodivergent community, our company has a greater availability for talent than those that ignore it.
Metrics. We track the following metrics to assess the effectiveness of our ability to recruit relative to Workplace Availability.
• Time and cost to fill a position, by type and level of position--cost measured by recruitment and placement fees and estimated hours of recruiter time and interviews.
• Percentage of employees recommending employees for general or specific positions.
• Percentage of “farm team” participants recruited by the company and the percentage who remain.
• Diversity of our employees in comparison with the demographics of our community--the demographic composition of the New York City metropolitan area according to Census Bureau statistics.
Results. Workforce availability metrics did not change significantly in 2020; if anything, availability has grown due to our ability to consider candidates in geographic areas we would have overlooked in the past. We expect this to enhance the definition of Workforce Availability for our company in the coming years.
Action steps. Despite across-the-board budget cuts to protect liquidity, IMC maintained funding for its regional training workshops in low-income communities to ensure continuity.
12. Customer Engagement
IMC strategically focuses on continually identifying and addressing customer needs to minimize the cost of sales and maximize retention. Our CMO reports directly to the COO and works closely with the CHRO and other division heads to ensure alignment of external and internal messaging. Sales management and Customer service report to the CMO to ensure alignment between promises made in marketing and those made by salespeople.
• IMC’s customers generally are professionals in sales, marketing, operations and sometimes purchasing at large organizations and therefore have demanding requirements for presentation skills, written proposals and specifications, and execution of marketing, research, technology, or event activities.
• IMC’s business development model focuses on helping, not selling. We train our salespeople heavily in the businesses of our customers and the services we provide to help salespeople develop the confidence to use a “discovery” approach to better understand customer needs.
• IMC has an online Knowledge Management Center specifically curated with content and research for customers, including readers and marketing, research, and exhibition sponsors.
• IMC’s innovation program is open to customers, who can earn rewards based on providing suggestions we implement.
• IMC holds an annual customer council (held virtually in 2020 and 2021) in which we invite all established customers that spend over $50,000 a year to send an employee for collaborative learning sessions that covers the latest trends, issues, and challenges in each of our industries. The event enables customers, prospects, and even former customers to meet and collaborate on potential solutions to industry challenges in a relaxed resort environment to encourage socialization.
• The customer council program is limited to the top five customers in each sector and three prospects each year, with different customers and prospects invited each year. We hire an outside facilitator to lead interactive sessions with customers so that the program is viewed as a “customer council” and not a sales presentation.
• As a result of the pandemic, IMC will restore the live event in 2022 with a hybrid model that will enable all customers to participate in elements of the event through live and recorded video added to our Knowledge Management library.
• Because of the sophisticated nature of the sale, IMC provides ongoing training for the sales team on discovery selling processes that focus on identifying and solving customer areas of pain and on challenge selling, the art and science of introducing customers to cutting-edge solutions they might not have considered. IMC’s sales recruitment strategy seeks to find and develop candidates in a way that they can learn to “walk in the shoes of our customers.”
• IMC has an active customer referral program that rewards clients for referring customers outside of their companies or in other divisions in the manner consistent with the policies of each company.
• IMC surveys all customers once a year using a professional third-party service that includes a brief email and a phone call to establish level of customer satisfaction. Findings are shared with appropriate parties within the company, with an action plan required when necessary to address a specific issue.
• IMC has a surprise and delight program that gives the sales team a small budget for discretionary thoughtful gifts to customers in accordance with their organizational policies as a tangible expression of appreciation. The nature and reason for the gifts are tracked in our Enterprise Engagement software application.
Metrics. These are considered to be the metrics most closely related to our goals and objectives.
• Revenues, costs, turnover, and willingness to refer of customers.
• Responses to the customer surveys, whose results are fed back to all management to address in their business plans.
• While IMC experienced a significant deterioration in sales in 2020, levels of customer satisfaction scores rose, we believe, because of our proactive efforts to continue covering the news in our 82 markets despite the huge downturn suffered by many.
• As a result of our longstanding commitment to digital and virtual solutions, we were less affected by the pandemic than our competitors with a greater focus on print and physical exhibitions. Nonetheless, our sectors in hospitality, restaurant service, travel and tourism, were deeply affected by loss of business and others in manufacturing were affected by supply chain issues.
Action plan. While being compelled to reduce expenses in all departments to protect liquidity, IMC maintained its emphasis on providing ongoing useful information via its digital platforms, greatly expanding its video offerings both for customer events and through its IMC University for all stakeholders. We continued to remain in contact with customers to offer whatever support our businesses could during the worst of the pandemic, even if their budgets were curtailed.
13. Supply Chain and Channel Partner Engagement
IMC depends heavily on its supply chain, especially in exhibition and technology services, and to a lesser extent on independent sales representatives and agencies that assist our business clients. Due to the never-ending need to provide better, more effective services, IMC has a strategic plan to continually evaluate the best options and services for its customers and to help train our suppliers to be more effective. Our strategy includes:
• A series of courses on our IMC University for our Distribution Partners and Supply Chain, all of whom have access to a Knowledge Management Center with the latest information available about our company and topics to help them work more effectively with IMC.
• Participation in a supplier diversity organization that helps us continually identify new resources, especially in our technology and exhibition services.
• Conducting a survey of relevant IMC business managers each year related to the level of service and costs of each vendor.
• Conducting a survey of suppliers each year to rate their satisfaction with our: communication, policies and payment practices, and their willingness to recommend IMC.
• Including our supply chain and distribution partners in our annual IMC university program, which includes a supply chain and a marketing partner council to help inform our purchasing and other executives as appropriate on their issues and perspectives.
In addition to fees paid to suppliers for products and services, IMC provides concrete incentives for both supply chain and distribution partners based respectively on quality service and sales performance.
Both in the RFP process and annually if the supplier is engaged, IMC evaluates vendors on their own practices related to people management and environmental practices as disclosed in their sustainability reports.
Select members of our supplier community are invited each year to the live IMC University, which is expected to return to a hybrid format in 2022 in which all supply chain partners can participate in select live and or access recorded sessions.
Metrics. We track these metrics because of their alignment with organizational goals.
• Number of vendors, turnover, and costs per vendor by type.
• Supplier and distribution partner willingness to recommend.
• Operating costs as a percentage of total business unit costs.
• Customer satisfaction surveys conducted of IMC managers.
• Customer satisfaction surveys of IMC readers or event attendees.
• Diversity of supply chain and distribution partners compared with availability of resources.
2020 Results. In past years, IMC has maintained a highly efficient and cost-effective supply and distribution management process, based on our cost and quality controls, sales, and profitability performance. Especially due to the disruptions in our trade show and conference businesses, IMC experienced a significant decrease in the number of vendors used, as well as costs per vendor, along with a significant decrease in activity from our distribution partners. We did not conduct our usual supplier or marketing partner surveys this year, because it appeared a tone-deaf exercise given the circumstances. Instead, we refocused it on identifying ways we can help suppliers and marketing partners as we emerge from the pandemic.
Action plan. As our exhibition and other businesses resume activity, IMC intends to re-focus on its supply chain and distribution channel development efforts through one-to-one engagement with the respective purchasing teams. Based on resumption of the annual IMC University, select supply chain and distribution partners will be invited as is the usual practice to engage in discussions on how to optimize performance in the new normal.
14. Community Engagement
IMC has a two-pronged approach to Community Engagement, led by a Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility who reports to the Chief Engagement Officer.
A. Community development that supports long-term IMC talent needs in the communities where we actively recruit talent.
B. Charity aligned with our principles but unrelated to our business needs.
A. Business-Focused Community Development
Due to the desire to develop a home-grown team of research, editorial, sales, technology, and event personnel, IMC’s Corporate Social Responsibility program focuses on identifying 16 regional middle schools, high schools, and college in areas of different demographic composition in the five boroughs of New York City with an emphasis on low-income areas. IMC supports already active or desired programs determined by the districts or administrations, such as:
• Performing arts that promote confidence, presentation abilities, teamwork, and production skills.
• Technology and math clubs.
• English and second language programs.
• The school newspaper, official social network, or other communications platforms.
• Or other programs that a local school might recommend.
IMC employees serve as mentors in each of the programs for a least a full year or more if they desire, and IMC provides a job board for high school and college students participating in the program for our annual summer job program.
Metrics. Because the program only began in 2018 as a long-term strategy, most metrics will be of little value for several more years. Our plan is to traack metrics related to the effectivess of the effort in achieving our recruitment goals:
• Level of satisfaction of the school districts based on annual evaluations.
• Number of students and IMC employees who participate and remained engaged in the mentorship programs.
• IMC mentor satisfaction with the program.
• Percentage of participating employees who apply for and are accepted for summer job or later full-time jobs.
• Number of students remaining in school through high school and who go on to participate in higher education of any kind.
2021 Results. As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, most school activities moved to remote activities, with a generally lower level of engagement, especially in low-income areas. The mentorship program had to be effectively suspended until the 2021-22 school year because of video class overload. Nonetheless, in the first two years, the programs received high marks from the participating school districts and mentors.
In addition to ad hoc charitable contributions in according with IMC’s corporate values and allocations from profits each year, administered by our Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, IMC focuses on two charitable goals not directly related to its business goals.
1. Bringing seniors and children together. As a 120-year-old company, whose Chairman Morgan Ames is 86, IMC places a high value on our nation’s senior population and believes it provides an invaluable, untapped resource for our nation, both in business and in our communities.
IMC has created the “Grandparents for All” not-for-profit program that supports a local day-care employment program that connects senior citizens with day-care programs or that enables select senior care centers to run day-care centers for their communities. The program focuses on lower income areas under-served by traditional day care programs in a way that provides income for eligible seniors.
Metrics. IMC employs an outside strategic philanthropic management firm to help ensure that the “Grandparents for All” program is run according to the same principles as IMC applies to its for-profit businesses.
Results. Since creation of the program in 2015 as a test, the foundation has created 20 senior-care centers and employed over 400 seniors, with 80% expressing high levels of engagement as expressed in mood and feedback surveys.
2. Rebuilding our small towns. Originally coming from rural upstate New York, IMC founders have a profound affection for life in small-town America. IMC has decided to support a new program known as “Hometown America” that aims to create a model for downtown revival by combining entrepreneurial work centers on the ground floors of abandoned storefronts alongside retail, restaurants, food, and other services, with upstairs floors dedicated to mixed use of living units, low-income housing, and offices, supported with world-class broadband infrastructure. Given the much wider acceptance for off-site work, we believe the timing is good to support this initiative.
IMC is considering a test of the concept in an update New York town in a scenic area of tourist appeal for its own employees, as a way for some to have a change of location for a year or more. We are in early talks with other companies in New York City to coordinate efforts for maximum impact, with the goal of coordinating with up to 15 companies employing about 450 people—enough estimated to have an impact on a deteriorating downtown business district in a small rural town.
The goal is to create a model that can be replicated elsewhere.
This program is in its early phases and expects to release a formal business plan in fall 2021 with implementation beginning in 2022.
Chief Engagement Officer
Master the “S” of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG), A.k.a. Stakeholder Capitalism
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance at TheEEA.org
is the world’s first and only organization that focuses on outreach, certification and training, and advisory services to help organizations achieve their goals by fostering the proactive involvement of all stakeholders. This includes customers, employees, distribution and supply chain partners, and communities, or anyone connected to an organization’s success.
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Organizations of all types develop strategic Stakeholder Capitalism and Enterprise Engagement processes and human capital management and reporting strategies; conduct human capital gap analyses; design and implement strategic human capital management and reporting plans that address DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and assist with managed outsourcing of engagement products and services.
Human resources, sales and marketing solution providers profit from the emerging discipline of human capital management and ROI of engagement through training and marketing services.
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For more information:
Contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheICEE.org
or call 914-591-7600, ext. 230.