PRM Consulting Group

Case Study: RockTenn Listens


RockTenn is one of North America’s  premier manufacturers of packaging products and merchandising displays.  Its 9,000 employees focus on three core values: being a low-cost leader, satisfying customers and bringing innovation to the marketplace – and RockTenn expects no less from its benefits program.

So when RockTenn wanted to think strategically about benefits – and recognized that employee opinions are a critical factor – the company asked PRM to conduct employee research through focus groups that would help shape future benefits and communication.


PRM worked with RockTenn to (1) achieve representative employee participation, (2) identify the benefits that employees value the most, (3) identify opportunities for Rock-Tenn to improve services or value, and (4) contribute to the company’s understanding of employee preferences that could/should impact strategic planning.

Project planning. PRM helped develop communication that announced the project to the entire workforce, as well as personalized invitations to employees who were invited to participate based on demographics. We also prepared a detailed discussion handbook to help guide the meetings and ensure consistency in administering the project.

On the road. PRM consultants facilitated each focus group discussion, covering the company’s five major divisions and headquarters. The discussions were for 60 minutes each. Average attendance was nine employees, though the size of focus groups ranged from four people to as many as 17.

Following through. PRM compiled results and presented findings to RockTenn management, who then worked to implement a number of ‘quick wins’ and incorporate the results into their strategic planning process. We also prepared a special report to employees on findings and follow-up actions from the project – which was mailed to employees’ homes.


RockTenn’s benefits focus groups hit the mark. More than 75% of invited employees participated, identifying medical and 401(k) benefits as the most valuable, and pinpointing program strengths and weaknesses that became part of short- and long-term action plans.


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