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Keeping the "Human" in HR

GMR is proud to have earned a 2016 HR Award from the Milwaukee Business Journal. The award was created "to recognize the important work individuals, companies and organizations do in the field of human resources" to make workplaces successful.

In an industry where our people are EVERYTHING, our leadership has been intentional about ensuring a great employee experience across both major elements of agency culture—quality of life and career growth. 

“We love informal face-to-face interactions. We’re not a big process-heavy company."

-Tom Slaski, VP Global HR

A People-Centric Approach

Beginning in early 2015, our HR team undertook an extensive effort to evaluate and overhaul our employee review/development system. But unlike many companies, we didn’t look for a tool, software, or methodology that we would try to mold our agency around, with detailed trainings, mandated schedules, and formulaic protocols, tools and scores.

Instead, we looked hard at the agency itself: who we are, how we work, and what makes our culture distinct. We decided that performance management and review should be a natural, every day part of our culture, not a separate process. ‘Process’ would no longer be at the center. Our people would be. Taking great care of our employees is simply how we work.

We walked away from traditional HR paradigms and followed our people. Here’s where it led us:

  • Real-time coaching featuring informal, honest conversations that provide employees feedback on a day-to-day, project-by-project basis.
  • Regular one-on-one meetings in which employees set the schedule and the agenda, and drive the conversation with supervisors.
  • Career development discussions based on the needs and goals of the employee and helping them grow within their team or the agency at large.
  • Agency-wide talent reviews twice a year, in which HR connects with every director to discuss career direction within GMR to retain and develop GMR’s talent.
  • GMR University prepares employees for their next step at the company, from classes for newcomers to an executive development program to online, customized training.
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