People & Culture

We are building an organisation that is profoundly human…. A healthy working environment, where everyone belongs.

 

Our global talents are our most precious resource. Operating in a human-centric business, we have long prioritised the wellbeing of our employees, supporting them in their career journey and ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace. In doing so, we are building an organisation that is profoundly human, with a focus on care and responsibility.

 

Thriving through diversity, making space for breakthrough moments, living by growth and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship are the core values we stand by and will continue to build upon within the mci group.

Joelle Zumwald, People & Culture Officer

“We are committed to our talents around the world, making sure they work in a safe, respectful and caring environment, nurturing their learning and motivating them to be their best self. I want to thank all our talents for believing in mci group and helping us build an incredible company to work for.”

Joëlle Zumwald,
Group Vice-President People & Culture

A responsible employer

At mci group, we want to create long-term relationships with our talents that build personal success and fulfilment.

In 2021, 82% of our workforce had a permanent employment contract, 4% had fixed-term contracts, 10% were long-term freelancers, and 4% were interns/apprentices.

Our permanent employee turnover rate in 2021 was 16.9% (16.3% in 2019 pre-pandemic level).

Our group sustainability team works with group human resources (HR) and agency HR to regularly review and align our operations with best practices in human rights and labour rights impacts and compliance with laws (ie, International Labour Organisation).

We carefully monitor wage equality in the workplace at a country level, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations.

Remuneration is aligned with local industry standards. Not all our agencies offer identical benefits but typically they include health and wellness programmes, health and/or accident insurance and/or retirement savings plans. Some talents are on a performance-based incentive plan and our senior leaders may participate in a share-based incentive plan.

We support the rights of our people to join trade unions and to bargain collectively, although trade union membership is not particularly widespread in our industry and in some of the regions in which we operate.

We will continue to improve, where needed, our impact on our own operations and business relationships.

Note: all figures mentioned in the following sections exclude our affiliates and ventures.

Flex workplace – New ways of working to do our best work

We want to empower our teams to determine how, when and where they work based on their unique needs and projects.

Other than the necessity to comply with the various local labour laws and job specific requirement, we have decided not to edict a policy but instead offer local teams some guiding principles, such as:

    1. Teamwork: most of our work requires teamwork; therefore collegiality, equity and the well-being of each team member should be the first criteria to define a work style and maintain connections and team spirit as the ultimate goal.
    2. A home away from home: we will maintain physical offices as work and community gathering places and will be available without limitations to anyone who wishes to work from our “home”.
    3. Supporting each other: all talents should commit to regular face time with their team and office colleagues to build connections and camaraderie, share knowledge, and contribute to building a high-performance culture.

During our annual engagement survey, we asked our talents “What are you looking forward to about being back in the office after the pandemic?” 62% of them answered either social interactions with colleagues and clients and collaborating in person. Building my network outside of my team and opportunities to contribute my ideas were other reasons for returning to the office.

Moving forward, our group HR team is in the process of developing a future of work vision and strategy.

Thriving through diversity

Joelle Zumwald, People & Culture Officer

“Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) is a topic that is dear to my heart. At mci group, diversity has been one of our core values from the beginning and one we sincerely believe in. It’s not about numbers or quotas but about creating a culture in which all individuals feel safe, respected and accepted for who they are.”

Joëlle Zumwald,
Group Vice-President People & Culture

Our team originates from more than 60 countries and speaks at least 60 languages. This diversity fosters an international mindset and understanding of society that enhances creativity and our ability to work cross-culturally as we accompany our clients into new markets.

“Believing in people and thriving through diversity” is one of our core values. We want to build an organisation that actively promotes diversity and inclusion in all its forms, including culture, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability.

Following the racial attacks and widespread protests we all witnessed in 2019, a few of our talents reached out to our CEO and the group sustainability team as they proactively wanted to be involved in diversity and inclusion issues.
As a result, we formed our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) task force. The team was tasked to map what was working within the mci group and where we need to improve.

Our DEI&B commitment: We are committed to creating a safe and accepting environment in which all people can thrive. We are committed to fairness and equity in all aspects of our organisation.

 

Here some of the outcomes of our DEI&B task force:

Awareness campaigns and training on DE&I during our Academies (our yearly annual learning moment), local Learning Weeks and as part of our onboarding programme.
Creation of The Culture Club section on our intranet: a place to learn about and be inspired by diversity & culture; as well as a group open to all on MS Teams, to share personal stories or spark inspiration and interaction.
Launch of our Speak Up programme: a safe place to raise concerns.
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Updated our Business Code of Conduct in which we ask all our talents to commit to fostering a respectful, equitable and inclusive environment for all.
Launch of our Diverse and Inclusive Guidelines: or how to design client projects with diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in-mind, from start to finish.
Offices have also created their local DEI&B groups or Diversity Squad organising local campaigns on topics that matter to them.
Our US offices have introduced their Employee Resource Group (ERG) programme, with 11 ERG ranging from African American, Latino, Asian American, Women in the workplace, Young professionals, military, LGBTQ+, Mental Health and Family.

We are working hard to improve in all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion. In the future, we plan to establish more collaboration or partnership with DE&I focused organisations or working groups and use our voice to continue to champion diversity and inclusion in our industry.

Ultimately we want to build an organisation where we all feel safe and accepted, and where we can all thrive and feel we belong.

 

Gender diversity at mci group:

%

Female talents in all mci group

%

Female talents in middle management

%

Female talents in senior management

On 21 May 2021, to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, we created a video. We asked our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEI&B) task force members to share what “cultural diversity” means to them and the value it brings to our world.

Creating a learning culture; boosting performance

Avinash Chandarana, Group Learning and Development Director

“Learning powers culture, and culture powers engaged employees who are energised to innovate, provide exceptional customer service and solutions to help our organisation thrive in changing times.”

Avinash Chandarana,
Group Learning and Development Director

Creating pathways to drive organisational performance

To thrive in a world that is rapidly transforming, mci group ensures our talent is ready to face the new challenges and opportunities of tomorrow while demonstrating the capabilities to perform at the highest level, today. 

Whether it’s working from home, at the office or working from anywhere, the future of work is already here. Learning and Development represents a cornerstone to support this journey towards a future where talent can adapt and thrive in this changing context of work in an increasingly digitised world.

At the heart of mci group’s Talent development strategy is MCI Institute, our global learning centre of excellence. We strive to provide an environment which fosters our talents’ capabilities and performance to best serve our clients and drive tangible business results.

Our learning and development philosophy is built around the well-researched “70-20-10” learning model. Besides formal learning initiatives such as Global Academies and live webinars we facilitate learning through human-centred exchange, networks, feedback, practice and on-the-job experience – all supported by a comprehensive digital learning ecosystem offering AI powered, personalized learning resources and premium educational content.

More than 5,000 knowledge and educational resources are available on demand across our comprehensive digital learning platforms and are open to all talents at all levels of the organisation.

 

Key talent development initiatives in 2021

Empowering growth through Mentorship

As mci group leans into this period of rapid and sustained change, there is a need to provide relevant support as we reinvent ourselves and create the traction to move forward, develop capabilities and achieve our ambitions. 

By tapping into our greatest and most valuable asset, our talents, we relaunched our mentoring program, Mentor@MCI to empower the growth ambitions of our talent. The programme resulted in over 100 talents from a broad demographic to address complex, multi-faceted challenges while tapping into the wisdom and expertise of mentors to support the growth journeys of their mentees.  The programme’s success ensures that mentorship will continue to remain part of our talent development strategy for years to come under its new positioning: Elevate.

Nurturing a Digital Mindset – Boosting the Digital Quotient (DQ)

While the pandemic accelerated digital skills adoption during the past two years, we continue to upskill our talent to adapt to the demands of the fourth industrial revolution, primarily focusing on developing a digital mindset to support our clients and communities.

The framework used is called the DNA (Digital Native Acumen) project. In 2021, the first cohort of over 400 Project Managers completed the first round of self-assessments comprised of competency categories impacted by digital advances in solutions, ways of working and tools to perform effectively in the digital arena.

Overall, the DNA project ensures that at mci group, we maintain our focus on the upskilling experience which involves learning how to think, act and thrive in a digital world that is sustainable over time.

Launched in early 2021, our Onboarding 2.0 programme consists of a series of online training courses followed by a short self-assessment. Each new hire has to complete the programme within the first two months. These “learning essentials” cover brand guidelines, IT, data protection and information security management, safety and security, sustainability, procurement, ethics and soon to come DEI&B.

Health and wellbeing: nurturing our talents

The health and wellbeing of our employees is an important and serious matter. In the last two years, our talents were facing unprecedented challenges as they adapted to a “new normal”, with the majority dealing with working from home. With increased stress an emerging health and safety hazard, in 2021 we intensified initiatives to help our talents take care of their mental and physical wellbeing.

As part of these initiatives, we created our wellbeing and mental health task force and produced or highlighted educational wellbeing resources and advice on how to take care of mental and emotional health.

We also conducted webinars in which we shared tips on healthy living, balanced lifestyles, staying active and coping with stress.

Mind overs Miles (MOM) Challenge: this is our yearly group health challenge. The objectives are to promote physical activity, team spirit and well-being in general, as well as creating connecting amongst our talents through a fun and inspiring experience.

During one month, talents are encourage to be more active, using a step tracking app. All through that period, we share some wellbeing tips, fun trivia around health and we even create a playlist so talents can continue to be active listening to catchy tunes well after the end of the challenge. In 2021, 421 talents actively participated in our challenge.

Wellbeing and health at our Global Academy 2021: in addition to learning and upskilling, we also provided a Wellness corner, with short yoga sessions and breathe exercises that talents could follow whenever they feel like taking a break and some tracks to learn some tools and techniques to become physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy.

Our agencies also continued to implement various local initiatives to support our talents, such as Wellness week, telehealth or digital health services, mental health counselling or psychological support via external experts, which amounts to close to 4,000 hours of training, coaching or support offered to our talents.

Read some of our stories here.

Listening to our talents and communication

In an effort connect with the needs of our people, we take the time to engage with and listen to our talents regularly through various initiatives. Our Annual Talent Engagement Survey allows us to better understand their views on work at mci group and ensure they feel heard.

A total of 932 talents completed the survey between September and October 2021. Here are some of the highlights:

Talents’ average satisfaction score is 7.69/10

Or 3.8/5 – Very close to our objective of 4/5 satisfaction score.

Talents are proud to work at mci group:

7.9/10.

Talents trust their direct manager:

8.4/10.

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Talents have the autonomy to perform at their best:

8.2/10.

Talents are satisfied with the flexible working arrangements offered to them (read also above):

8.6/10.

As part of our materiality assessment, we carried out a specific internal survey to receive feedback on our sustainability programme, and had 338 respondents. Here are some highlights:

Talents rated the importance of sustainable business practice at mci group a 4.19/5 with the top three reasons being:

%

because it inspires and enables them to live a more sustainable and healthy life at work.

%

because it’s strategic (added value).

%

because it encourages innovation.

CEO town halls (#togetherisbetter)

In 2020, we launched our global CEO town hall meetings. Held four times throughout the year, these meetings allowed two-way communication between leadership and all talents, using polls and live Q&As.

This format has been extended in 2021 with “Town hall on the road”, a series of 16 local meetings in which our CEO virtually visits different agencies.

In addition, during our Global Academy 2021, our CEO held 18 “Open door to our CEO” sessions. A privileged moment during which our talents, in small groups, could join our CEO online, and ask him any questions they wanted.

 

Appreciation moment

Despite the last two years’ difficulties, our talents stood strong, raised to the challenge and took on board new ways of working. We wanted to thank all our talents for the extra efforts to keep business as usual during unusual times and the personal sacrifices they made without knowing what the future would hold.

So in 2021 we launched our appreciation moment. A video was created with thank you messages from our CEO and leaders. Offices were encouraged to organise local activations to thank their talents (personal thank you notes, peer appreciation, award ceremony, mentoring, social media kudos, etc.).

Talents with appreciation messages for their teams
Talents with appreciation messages for their teams
Message from Joelle Zumwald: Thank you for believing in MCI. I am so happy and proud to have you all in our professional life.

Our performance in 2021

•	7.69/10 talent engagement with the work environment and culture.
Formed our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) task force.
2 global CEO Town halls & 16 local meetings as part of the "Town hall on the road" series.
948 talents actively participated in our Global Academy 2021
•	Launched our automated Onboarding 2.0 programme.
103 participants in our internal Mentorship programme.
60 talents certified with industry specific certifications.
8 online webinars on health & wellbeing and close to 4,000 hours of training, coaching or support on wellbeing and mental health offered

 

 

 

Outlook

  • Accelerating our DEI&B initiatives, with mandatory inclusivity training, aligning our recruitment strategy and more importantly find solutions together.
  • Continuing to improve on our employee experience, we will be launching a new engagement survey to help us gain a deeper understanding of how our talents feel and what motivates them.
  • Continuing with our Elevate (mentorship) programme
  • Further developing our “work in the future” strategy – improving a hybrid home/office work system.
  • Improving our recruitment and retention strategy: Exploring how to attract the best talents and how to retain talents in a market where competition is fierce.
  • Continuing our wellbeing and mental health programmes.
  • Upskilling our talents across all offices on sustainable project management.
  • Continuing to provide shared breakthrough experiences for our talents to connect and feel inspired (global academy, appreciation moment, CEO town halls, etc).