The Tribe Report 5. The Non-Desk Worker Issue - Page 5

Eli Lilly and Company is routinely recognized as one of the best companies to work for. The pharmaceutical company is highly successful at engaging their employees and aligning them with their mission and objectives. Yet their large workforce includes many employees who rarely (if ever) sit in front of a computer at work. So just how does Lilly communicate with the non-desk population of their workforce? “Our supervisors are our employees’ key source of information,” said Janice Chavers, Director, HR and Diversity Communications for Lilly. Many companies delegate communication with non-desk employees to their immediate managers, but Lilly does two things that help this system work well. “We offer our supervisors informational sessions to help them communicate messages to their teams. This allows our supervisors to provide employees with explanations about the communications that link the information to the individual business unit as well as the big picture goals of the company.” Besides the informational sessions, Lilly helps prepare their supervisors by providing communication kits with key messages and a series of questions and answers for leaders to use with their employees. The company also emails their supervisors printable materials to display. “WE HAVE A NEWSLETTER THAT GOES OUT TO ALL OUR MANUFACTURING SITES,” SAID CHAVERS. “IT’S SENT VIA EMAIL AND OUR SUPERVISORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PRINT IT OUT AND PUT IT IN A PUBLIC SPACE SO EMPLOYEES HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ IT.” Lilly also makes top management visible to non-desk employees and provides a way for their voice to be heard. Town hall meetings are held at both the individual function and corporate levels by Chairman, President and CEO John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D. and other top leaders. Each town hall concludes with a Q&A session that allows employees to share their questions and concerns. The company also recognizes that even employees who don’t use computers at work are likely to have one at home. They’ve recently launched a new internal social media tool called The Loop that employees can access from any computer. The site includes a section for cor