Table for 5,000? Siemens unit holds expansive lunchtime videoconferences

Company organizes simulcast for employees in 50 locations, featuring texted employee comments and photos.

A companywide lunch can be a big undertaking, with varying schedules and accommodations. Imagine trying to have one with employees in 50 locations all over the United States.

Somehow, Siemens Industry Inc., one of Siemens’ U.S. arms, pulled it off in October, reaching about 5,000 of its roughly 18,000 employees.

“In any organization, no matter how complex it is, there’s one moment in every day when people shed their individual responsibilities and come together as co-workers and colleagues,” says Robert Balog, a creative director with Ogilvy & Mather, Siemens’ marketing and public relations firm. “That’s lunchtime.”

In collaboration with Ogilvy, Siemens Industry held four simulcasts, one per time zone, during which CEO Daryl Dulaney gave employees a rundown of the accomplishments of the past year and conversed with employees through texts and photos sent through their cell phones.

One year in

Siemens Industry was formed in October 2009 as a part of a global realignment of Siemens’ various divisions. “This live simulcast was really a celebration of our anniversary,” said Mindy Kantor, director of employee and leadership communications for Siemens Industry.

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