How do you foster a collegial atmosphere in an agency with 17,000 employees spread around the world?
If you’re the U.S. Department of Labor, you create an interesting, relevant employee magazine.
The U.S. Department of Labor earned first place in the Best Employee Magazine (Electronic) category of Ragan’s 2012 Employee Communications Awards for its FRANCES e-magazine. We congratulate Suzy Bohnert, Steve Barr, Carl Fillichio, and Cindy Riggs, who were responsible for the project.
The Labor Department’s staff is a divided one in terms of geography and profession. Employees reside not only throughout the United States, but throughout the world, and the staff includes scientists, lawyers, economists, accountants, investigators, and engineers. FRANCES needed to connect these employees and make them feel like colleagues, even when they were in different departments, states, and countries.
To do this, FRANCES delivers solid reporting that includes features, interviews, career advice, historical content, and more in an irreverent, yet informative style employees like. Its goal is to celebrate employees’ contributions to the agency and tell their stories.
FRANCES’ staff members find stories through reader feedback, employee referrals, and their own sleuthing. Because the staff gets stories from employees, the magazine is always timely, newsworthy, and relevant.
FRANCES goes out once a month via email. Labor Department staff members also post the cover and content links on the intranet, and hang posters in the department headquarters and regional offices to let employees know when a new issue is available.
During an 11-month span, FRANCES articles saw 310,439 views, and an average of 28,221 views per month. The average time employees spent on a page was slightly less than three minutes, which is about how long it takes to read an article. And while FRANCES gets a significant amount of activity when a new issue is released, employees continue to read the articles throughout the month.
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