At IBM we believe that in order to build a great brand, we must first be a great company. And the key to being a great company is hiring, supporting and retaining great employees.
Across the world there are more than 430,000 IBMers. These employees represent our brand, they embody our values and they drive our success. They are IBM. And that is why the work of developing their full potential is never complete. Within the human resources function at IBM, we are constantly crafting new strategies to meet our employees’ needs. During the last two years, we have been challenging ourselves to rethink how we select, recruit, train and develop IBMers in a range of critical job roles, especially client-facing and manager roles. This focus continues to intensify.
In 2012 and going forward, our focus has been on fostering the link between IBMer engagement and client experience. This focus has included a broad range of tactical activities across geographies and business groups, from engagement councils in China to new manager training in India to “IBM University” in the United Kingdom and virtual job fairs in the United States and elsewhere. We also invested heavily in developing new, more social approaches to finding and cultivating expertise, to understanding employee sentiment and to fostering collaboration with one another. Several of these investment activities will be launched in 2013, including a new approach to locating the right IBM expert on any topic, at any time.
Social technologies continue to change how we work together with other IBMers, and how we work with our clients. Today, new hires are given the option to begin relationship-building as soon as they accept a job offer, thanks to a new social platform called Soon 2 B Blue that connects soon-to-be-IBMers with IBMers already in place. Our learning programs are infused with rich social interaction and collaboration opportunities that continue long after a formal training program is complete. IBMers have the option to thank one another—publicly or privately—in the digital BlueThx environment, built by volunteers at IBM for IBMers. And increasingly HR teams are using their own internal blogs and Lotus Connection online platforms to introduce new programs, solicit feedback to existing programs and fine-tune the IBMer experience.
Also in 2012, we continued to focus on using analytics to drive action by training HR professionals worldwide on the use of data and analytics. We have launched a self-service Cognos data portal customized for use by the worldwide HR team. And our workforce analytics team takes on an increasing number of projects to determine what distinguishes performance, what makes managers effective and how to best retain key performers.