MKP’s Green Team: Jumpstarting Employee Engagement

Most people would agree, there is no silver bullet for promoting a culture of engagement and enthusiasm at work. Large companies (and some medium-sized ones) often have some sort of employee engagement program spearheaded by Human Resources (with varying results!). But what’s a company on the smaller side to do?

At MKP, we’ve always had a team-first attitude. For 25 years, we’ve taken pride in being a close-knit group of colleagues who support and back each other up, at work and in our personal lives. Last year, with some new employees joining the team, and our quarter-century milestone at hand, we collectively decided to start a more formal group for employees to coordinate and collaborate on whatever it was they thought was important. We set up voluntary meetings and the team voted to name itself “The Green Team” in a nod to our green brand color. And so began the story of the MKP Green Team!

After setting up some basic ground rules (e.g. the team will try to meet once a month, we’ll always assign a voluntary notetaker at the beginning of each meeting, et cetera), we got down to brass tacks, discussing what it was we wanted the Green Team to take on. We drafted an Official Charter, including a mission statement for the team: “To establish and cultivate MKP’s brand identity, values and culture for the purpose of: defining our brand graphically and how we portray ourselves, attracting new business, and promoting a work environment that empowers employees and encourages an open exchange of ideas that foster improvement in support of the ongoing evolution of MKP.”

The Charter also included the Purpose of the group: “To foster collaboration, innovation, and camaraderie among MKP employees in the pursuit of making MKP a better company for employees, for clients, and for the world; to protect and grow the special character that makes MKP unique and fun; to serve as a forum within which MKP employees have a voice to express their hopes and dreams for, and constructive criticism of, the company.”

In addition to laying out the Mission and Purpose of the Green Team, the Charter covered the format that meetings should take, the way the Green Team could break out into “Working Groups,” and the means by which the Charter could be amended.

In those initial meetings, the team landed on three areas of focus that everyone agreed could benefit the company and our employees: (1) Brand Voice and Visual Identity, (2) Employee Engagement, and (3) Thought Leadership, Content Development and Social Media. So, Working Groups were established to focus on each of these three areas.

The Working Groups started meeting regularly and, in just a few short months, we’ve had some great results. Some highlights include:

Brand Voice and Visual Identity

  • Developed a formal framework for critically examining the MKP brand
  • Articulated key Brand Attributes
  • Drafted core Values

Employee Engagement

  • Created new and different activities and events for employees:
    • Surprise of the Month program (has yielded sweet treats and even a visit from a mariachi band!)
    • Team Lunches
    • Employee Anniversary, Birthday, and other celebrations
    • Trivia Days
    • Periodic post-work Whiskey (or “Whatever”) Wednesday tastings

Thought Leadership, Content Development and Social Media

  • Launched a new process for content planning and creation
  • Developed a shared calendar to coordinate MKP’s social media, content creation and outreach
  • Formalized team members’ ownership of the company’s digital channels

The idea behind the Green Team was to build a forum and process for our employees to take action on what’s important to them. As far as this goal goes, we’ve made significant headway, and we’re excited to see where the journey takes us next!