I worked for Ferranti as their Marketing Manager for nearly 10 years and within that time was also responsible for supporting internal communications directed at employees. Instrumental in setting up the company's internal engagement committee 'Engage' and delivering a number of social, charity and employee focused activities over the years.
One of my major challenges was to communicate the company's Mission, Vision and Values and embed the behaviours necessary to achieve them.
Being from a marketing background I approached this as if an employee was my target audience, so first having to understand what makes them tick. Carrying out an internal audit to find out what general employee opinion was, was the first step to establish areas of weakness to improve upon.
I generated a value proposition through the development of key messaging around the businesses values and developed an internal colour palette that was flown through all the materials I produced. Key to the messaging was the subtle use of colour to plant a seed in the employees minds.
Once all the core messages were created, I carefully and systematically included them in as much communication material as possible. It was present in newsletters, on noticeboards and on the new Intranet which I also designed.
But we needed something more, something to reach employees on a more interactive level. Everything so far was reliant on people reading what was written and understanding it. We needed a way to get people to realise the messages for themselves and discover they were in there all along.
What followed was a series of workshops developed to create opportunities for cross-departmental communication, create a problem solving environment, help people understand the values and how to live them and create opportunities for employees to feedback their views and opinions.
The insight that was achieved was priceless, almost like carrying out a live employee survey on a weekly basis. With that level of insight the business was able to identify what the issues were and how to fix them. It also generated a sense of drive amongst employees, wanting to do more and deliver real change. The tangible impact of that was seen across the company metrics.
The biggest sense of achievement for me came from seeing some of the negative people come around to the idea over the course of the sessions. People started to look forward to attending and appreciated the benefit it was bringing. New starters were impressed by the approach the business was taking and it gave them a great first impression.