Unifying and Engaging an Enterprise: The DeVry Commons Story

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In a recent presentation, Deb Maher, Director of HRIS and Benefits for DeVry, and Cary Schuler, CEO of cfactor Works Inc., explored how to maintain a connected and efficient workforce, particularly throughout periods of transformation.

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...we started by identifying some of our strategic goals; things like enhancing communications throughout the entire organization...we focused on driving productivity by automating processes to eliminate a number of manual processes...

How do companies successfully maintain a connected and efficient workforce, particularly throughout periods of transformation? DeVry Inc., a global provider of educational services and one of the largest publicly held education companies in the world, has experienced its share of change, having undergone continuous growth, some through acquisitions.

In a recent presentation, Deb Maher, Director of HRIS and Benefits for DeVry, and Cary Schuler, CEO of cfactor Works Inc., explore this topic further and uncover secrets to success from The DeVry Commons story.

Deb explains, "It can be very hard to find a way to reach employees and make them feel a part of what's going on and also informed about what's going on…we worked with cfactor to create The DeVry Commons - a place where we felt everyone could come together, meet each other, get information, get to know people in other positions and other countries, partner with people who have best practices that work in a different part of the company who you would not necessarily get to know normally."

While The DeVry Commons was rolled out on an accelerated project timeline, DeVry took great care in evaluating their goals for the short- and long-term, taking immediate aim at focused 'wins' that could establish a base on which they could build on. "We didn't try to put everything in it at the very beginning, we started by identifying some of our strategic goals... things like enhancing communications throughout the entire organization, both at a DeVry Inc. level and again at each one of our college levels. We also wanted to increase our engagement - how do we get people to feel more involved and a part of what is going on? As well, we focused on driving productivity by automating processes to eliminate a number of manual processes and reduce some of our costs." noted Maher.

To encourage on-going participation and vibrancy in The Commons, DeVry empowered employees to post information through profiles and collaborate in professional communities. They also rolled out programs such as the "Thanks a Million" peer endorsement program, and they continue to drive new programs, including everything from leadership development to health and wellness programs.

DeVry's overall approach has proven to be highly successful, as can be seen in the metrics and on-going analysis provided by cfactor: In the first month: >85% of employees logged in, 1,331 peer endorsements were given and 16,533 employee transactions were generated. By the 11th month, those measurements had increased further with >96% of employees logging in resulting in a total 5,500 peer endorsements and more than 59,000 employee transactions.

Cary Schuler, CEO of cfactor, is passionate about redefining the employee experience in just this way. He offers this advice to companies who are adopting an enterprise solution - "If the system does not truly become the destination point for your enterprise, you lose your ability to communicate your message to everyone and foster broad-based collaboration. We recommend organizations take a very deliberate approach to rolling out these types of technologies. From our perspective it is a unique combination of technology choices rooted in a clear and continually evolving strategy that opens up the realm of possibilities." Many analysts would agree that this is important for success. For example, in 2009 McKinsey stated that "What's in the workflow is what gets used," and the Altimeter Group cited that "Social computing concepts, when injected into process, actually reduce costs 2 to 4 times."

To find out more or view the full presentation, please visit our website.

About cfactor
cfactor Works Inc. uses social web technology and strategies to deliver enterprise communication, community and workforce solutions. cfactor uniquely connects people, work process, social media and existing technologies to drive new insights and efficiencies - fundamentally transforming how our clients do business. Since its founding in 1999, cfactor has been delivering enterprise applications for Global 2000 companies.

Media Contact: Bonnie Clark, Marketing Manager, Toll Free 877-655-5798 x123

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