By: Helios on May 11th, 2010

Print/Save as PDF

From Sweatshop to Career Destination: The Evolution of a Culture

Best Practices

In 1998, Edelman PR had about 1,300 employees, voluntary turnover was roughly 40 percent and its 'sweat shop' reputation plagued them. Exit interviews indicated that the single biggest cause of turnover was lack of mentoring, coaching and training.

The leadership team took notice! A seasoned HR professional, Laura Smith, Managing Director of U.S. Human Resources, was hired to help address employee retention and evolve Edelman's culture. In turn, the company launched Edelman University and created talent development programs that became the envy of every firm in the industry.

In a three year period the firm more than doubled in size, both in revenues and in employees. Rob Rehg, President of Edelman's DC office, believes that increasing their focus on three key areas — Career Development, Mentoring, and Management Development — through their Managers' Bootcamp (MBC), has contributed significantly to lowering their turnover rate from a high of 40 percent to less than 13 percent in 2009 — all while industry averages continue to hover around 20 percent.

Mandatory participation in MBC focuses on rewards and recognition, providing effective feedback, empowering employees, understanding generational differences and enhancing coaching and mentoring skills. As a direct result of MBC, they have seen measurable improvement in employee conflict resolution skills, performance management, feedback delivery and enhanced employee engagement.

While the work, prestige and brand bring employees to Edelman, it is their strong culture that is cited as one of the top reasons that keeps them at Edelman.

Edelman PR is a 2009 Apollo Awards winner. Register for the Apollo Awards breakfast on June 3rd and learn how other organizations like Edelman are building great cultures that enhance employee engagement, client satisfaction and retention. 2010 Apollo Awards™ Registration.