Jill Murray is the CMO at Arcadis, a global civil engineering firm. We spoke to her about how a C-level executive at a global enterprise company looks at well-being, what kinds of results her team is getting with Quan, and how a pilot with the marketing management team is now expanding.
Hi Jill! Can you tell us a little about Arcadis and your role?
Hi! I'm the global CMO for Arcadis, a leading firm in design and engineering, with more than 36,000 employees globally. As a company, we are in the business of improving the quality of life for people in very tangible ways, such as looking at solutions to make cities more sustainable and better places to live. It’s a fascinating space to be in and I love being part of it. In this role I feel privileged to lead on brand and marketing, with a team of 150 people.
What originally triggered you to start working with Quan for well-being?
When I began in this role four years ago, one of the first big shifts was to move the marketing function from a support service to a more strategic value creator. In parallel, across the broader organization there were new strategies and different ways of working being introduced. So I realized quite early on that I was going to be driving a lot of change, and that it would be really important to support our people and keep an eye on the way we were managing workloads. Not long after that, Covid hit, which made the task more urgent.
At that time there were a lot of online seminars on the topic of well-being, which were great to raise awareness and start conversations. However I realized that while the focus on understanding well-being would be very valuable to our team, we also needed something tangible that we could use in a more actionable way. I was really inspired to hear about Quan and the work you are doing to ‘create a movement’ where well-being is top of mind for businesses.
What did your original initiative around well-being look like?
I felt very strongly that the well-being of our marketing team was going to be very important through the organizational changes and the pandemic, and was very interested in the concept of how to measure and manage this with Quan. However, it was really important to me to test it out with a smaller group first.
For the initial rollout, we worked with the marketing leadership team, which is a group of around 30-40 people. This very diverse team includes different nationalities, ages, genders, and disciplines, across all our marketing functions. And the other positive was that since they are all leaders, they would also have a view on whether or not this would work for their individual teams. It was the ideal group to test out the concept.
Great! And what was the response and uptake like?
It worked incredibly well. I was actually a little surprised at how many people jumped into the pilot. We made it opt-in, but we had pretty much 100% uptake from day one, and it has kick-started some very valuable conversations within the team.
Can you talk us a little through what changes you have seen as a result of working with Quan?
There has been a wide range of knock-on effects, including everything from improving one-on-ones, with people being more open about their challenges, to how we do demand generation and how we manage the workloads coming into the team. For other leaders out there I think it is very important to note that well-being is not a topic that sits in isolation, but is deeply connected to how you work day-to-day. Furthermore, how much work you put into your teams and what you expect them to deliver is also closely linked to well-being.
It is very important to note that well-being is not a topic that sits in isolation, but is deeply connected to how you work day-to-day.
Beyond these kinds of tangible discussions and changes, you also see people willing to be much more vulnerable about sharing stories if they think it will help others. We are in a very corporate environment so I think that is really good to see.
Based on the success of the initial pilot we decided to roll it out across the whole team. And it was very encouraging to see that within a couple of weeks of kicking off our first Quan cycle, we had an 89% assessment completion rate. We have used the results to have team discussions about what we can do to address issues raised and it helps our teams understand that they can drive the outcomes and activities we take forward to address well-being.
Within a couple of weeks of kicking off our first Quan cycle, we had an 89% assessment completion rate.
Since it is a far larger group, do you have any different goals or expectations with regards to rolling out Quan to the larger marketing team?
Yes, certainly. Managing large teams remotely and across markets and cultures is always a challenge. As a leader I want to make sure people feel supported, because when they feel supported, they also feel that they belong, and that’s important from a culture perspective. With Quan, teams are enabled with data and insights about underlying well-being topics impacting the group, and the system guides them to have a structured and meaningful discussion, deep-dive into certain topics and come up with rituals to make measurable improvements.
As a leader I want to make sure people feel supported, because when they feel supported, they also feel that they belong, and that’s important from a culture perspective.
Beyond these reasons though, Quan data is very valuable to the leadership team to learn more about what people want, and use it to inform plans and operational decisions. For example, we are seeing a lot in the news recently about companies asking employees to return to the office. For our teams, we look to encourage hybrid ways of working with a combination of face-to-face and office based work where possible. And everything centered around employee flexibility. When we bring people together it’s about checking in with each other, creating connections, keeping an eye on wellbeing and collaboration.
Quan provides us with a way to continuously measure and manage well-being. It removes the guesswork and empowers our teams to identify and inform what they need the most.