Opening the Door for Conversations
Clarity is key to cultivating an open, engaging environment where associate feel free to question and communicate with their leaders. In the past year, Acxiom’s leadership has focused on sharing ideas, insights, and information in an open, honest and straightforward manner. We understand the need for transparency and have increased our communications through frequent all-hands meetings, digital communication, and one-on-one associate communication.
Divisional Townhall Meetings
Each member of our executive leadership team holds an all-associate meeting for their entire organization on a monthly or quarterly basis. Holding these townhalls on a regular basis increases our leadership team’s visibility and reinforce a culture of transparency. The purpose of these meetings is to share key events, hear updates from organizations of the business, and to recognize associates in a public setting. Additionally, leaders typically provide an open forum for associates to ask questions either through pre-submitted questions survey or through an anonymous real-time survey
Company Wide Townhall
Our global, company wide town hall is the foundational communication channel for everyone to stay connected to our strategy, mission, vision and business. Our quarterly town hall is not about our executives going through slides, it’s about two way dialogue based on questions from our associates. We should really call this a company-wide roundtable because our company and executives don’t believe in filtering questions. We embrace the honesty and direct communication because it helps us all better understand what is on our associate’s minds but also hear the unfiltered truth from our senior leadership.
Town Hall for Home-based Associates
Over 300 associates are home-based and they are just as important as our associates who are in the office! To ensure our home-based associates are just as engaged and get the opportunity to interact with our CEO, Scott Howe hosts a quarterly town hall just for these associates. Leveraging video conferencing, Scott shares the latest updates of the company and facilitates a QandA based on pre-submitted questions.
29 Minute Meetings
In San Francisco, time is precious! Our Connectivity division based in San Francisco hosts a bi-weekly 29 minute meeting over lunch for leaders and other associates to share the latest company news, office updates, product updates and other important business strategy information.
Blogging From Travis May, President and GM of Connectivity LiveRamp
Travis May, who was recently featured in Forbes Magazine’s “30 for 30”, regularly shares his thoughts and answers questions through his blog on our private Facebook group. Associates ask questions about things like gender diversity, associate development and more.
Closing the Loop of Continuous Listening
Acxiom has a long history of conducting an associate survey to measure workplace satisfaction and engagement. An important part of doing associate surveys is sharing results and feedback with associates. Each year, the survey results and key focus areas are shared with all associates by senior leadership to reinforce complete transparency of what is going well and what needs to be improved.
Communication is a Two-Way Street
At Acxiom, we strive to create a culture that values open and honest feedback throughout all levels of the company. We understand the heart of our company and culture is our people, so our Senior Leadership team makes every effort to ensure our associates have the opportunity to openly share their feedback.
Ongoing Dialogue with Your Leader
Associates knowing how they are performing and developing is the fourth step in an associate’s moments of truth. The typical “performance management” process, we call “Talent Performance” at Acxiom.
Say "Good-Bye" to Annual Reviews!
Acxiom has recently changed from an annual performance review cycle to a process of setting quarterly goals and having quarterly check-ins. The decision to move to a more frequent check-in was the direct result of external benchmarking and internal customer safaris. We created a talent performance system that runs at the speed of our business, is agile, and is dialogue based for leaders and associates to receive meaningful and timely feedback.
For the past twenty years, Acxiom has conducted an annual survey to understand what is working well in our culture, work environment, and what areas need to be improved. After the survey is conducted, action planning as a result of the feedback happens at the team and overall company level.
A few examples of the improvements that have happened over the years as a result of the feedback include:
- 401k matching program
- Walking trail on the Central Arkansas campus
- Creation and improvements of a more robust career development program
- Implementation of a single-sign-on system
Improving Two-Way Communication Through Weekly Pulse Surveys
In an effort to provide associates with the opportunity to share feedback in a more continuous manner, Acxiom recently moved from an annual survey to a weekly pulse survey. Associates are asked one question per week via email and have the opportunity to offer virtual suggestions and provide positive feedback on their peers. Leaders have real-time access to their results and can respond to suggestions and comments from associates as they come in to facilitate candid two-way communication.
‘Open Door’ Policy with Senior Leaders: Acxiom’s culture has always been open door— associates are encouraged to approach leaders with feedback, questions, or concerns at any time. Even though they all have busy schedules, the team has an excellent track record of quick responses.
Questions From Associates in Townhalls: Giving associates an outlet to share feedback it important, but equally important is giving them the ability to ask questions of leadership. Acxiom leadership gives associates the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. In several of the associate town halls, associates have the opportunity to either submit questions beforehand or to send in an anonymous question during the event.