ROLE MODELS OF EXCELLENCE
The IC Brilliance Awards champion the vital role that Internal Communications plays in the success of any organisation. Winning an IC Brilliance Award is affirmation of excellence amongst employees, colleagues and industry peers. It can also help to assure clients and suppliers that your organisation is innovative and efficient.
We believe that those who enter the awards, and of course, those who ultimately win the awards, are role models of excellence that inspire all of us to be the best that we can be. Their successes provide showcases and inspiration for us all.
This report on the BOC IC Brilliance Awards is not only a celebration of outstanding performance, it is also a guidebook on what it takes to be extraordinary. It contains lessons for all of us who are curious enough, and ambitious enough, to look for them.
To help harness these lessons we have put in place a set of judging criteria that together create a model of excellence against which we can judge, reward, learn and share.
The Role Models of Excellence criteria:
- Clarity of Purpose – A crystal clear vision of exactly what is to be achieved with the campaign.
- Focussed Intent – The clarity of strategic thinking from the outsetand the ability to stay true to that strategy.
- Creative Flexibility – The quality of the initial ideas and their execution, but also the agility to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges that arise along the way.
- Resourcefulness – The efficient use of an allocated budget and the creative harnessing of other resources.
- Effectiveness – Did the activity, team or individual achieve its objectives and in what way was the investment of time, money and resources positively beneficial?
- Cultural Value – Did the activity, team or individual have a positive impact on the organisation, the target audience and everyone it touched?
Brilliance in Innovative Use of Internal Communication
Innovation and renewal has become a new imperative for communications professionals as the role of Internal Communications and its remit, continues to change. The three winning entries demonstrate qualities and attributes that enable them to play a key strategic role for their organisationin ways that facilitate new business dynamics byrespond to the increasingly complex functional demands of employees for greater mobility, knowledge and influence.
Brilliance Award Winner: Nationwide Building Society
- Agency: Good Relations
As part of a far-sighted five-year plan that began in 2017, the aim of this initiative is to inspire employees to create their own solutions, break down silos and empower individuals to take action. The first year’s focus was on driving efficiency through collaborative action.
The innovative solution was to find a role model from within Nationwide who possesses all of the attributes and qualities they desire to inspire in others. They found that in Arthur Webb, a leadership figure of 50-years standing on the Board, who led the Society through both World Wars. . The fun use of Arthur’s iconic moustache adds humour and accessibility to an already outstanding creative idea.
Judges felt that this campaign had tremendous clarity of focus as well as beingfantastically creative. They particularly admired the use of a role model from within the business as the driving creative theme as not only does this amplify relevance and effectiveness, it iss also the very personification of consistent cultural values.
Gold Award Winner: Nissan Europe
This programme spreads its IC wings to embrace Mobile Apps as its primary communication channel. The large scale, geographic spread and multiple languages of its 10,000 plus userbase, speaks for itself in terms of effective communications penetration. The App has been integrated on users’ personal devices and has become a part of their daily routine. It has contributed to a 300% increase in employee engagement borne out by ‘real time’ analysis of that engagement.
Judges particularly liked the execution of such a dynamic change of communication channel and were impressed by the ‘learn-onthe-go’ flexibility it enables and demonstrates.
Silver Award Winner: Robert Bosch GmbH
Their highly personalised central hub for internal communications on the internet for around 400,000 employees is very impressive. It enables the rapid spread of news to a large audienceand integrates a workflow though a ‘My Workspace’ area while also giving voice to individual sharing through its ‘My Story’ space.
Judges thought that this was an impressive and innovative one-month old live platform that will doubtless go on to prove its sustained effectiveness and spawn more uses over time.
Brilliance in Employee Engagement
Authentic engagement is achieved when you engage with people at their view of the world and then create an alignment between that and what you are seeking to achieve collectively. The winners demonstrate behaviour-based examples of where they used this as their starting point and how they then successfully aligned employees behind a shared strategy.
Brilliance Award Winnert: Odeon Cinemas Group
- Campaign: V&V Fest ’17. Turn it Up!
The vision, and what we call ‘focussed Intent’, of this campaign was truly impressive from the outset , especially in light of the team’s starting point of having no shared vision or consistent values as revealed in the 2014 Organisational Health Index Survey (OHI). By showing tremendous clarity of purpose the team began to turn things aroundand in the2016 McKinsey OHI they achieved a 96% response rate to a score of 76. This score placed them in the top 15% of global companies and was the greatest increase in performance that McKinsey had ever seen in a two-year period.
The creative flexibility shown in V&V Fest ’17 built on the previous year’ssuccess, with festival packs and lots of engagement material. Again, the impact is clear in the numbers: this time a 97% response rate in the OHI and a score of 78, resulting in an elevation to the top 10% of global companies. Commercial indices such as Net Promoter Score and staff turnover also showed significant improvement from this step change in engagement with NPR going up from 5% to 20% and urnover reducing by 5%. All of this clearly demonstrates that ‘effectiveness’ is not just a measure of past achievement; it is a building block of future success too.
Judges particularly admired both the creativity of the campaign and the tenacity of its execution.
Gold Award Winner : PPG
- Campaign: PPG People
This communications initiative, started as a proof-of-concept for transitioning a printed magazine onto a digital platform. It was a challenge that required the integration of multiple new platforms and the simultaneous delivery of the digital magazine in 31 countries. Its effectiveness at engaging a diverse audience is beginning to bear fruit with 12,000 page views in the first month and 164 blog posts from across EMEA.
Judges commented on how smoothly the transition from print to digital had been executed.
Silver Award Winner: Nissan Europe
- Campaign: Nissan Insider Mobile App
This campaign uses a mobile app to engage a difficult to reach and diverse audience working on the frontline of the business, not all of whom were connected to the internal email system. In doing so it created a single platform that united both corporate and frontline users in one coordinated and consistent space. It surpasses the constraints of the desktop, putting information in the hands of everyone who needs to know,in a creative and highly effective way.
Judges felt that that quality of the execution was particularly impressive.
IC Team of the Year
Helping others to be the best that they can be is fundamental to tachieving extraordinary things in organisations. This Award recognises the teams inthe IC community that have shown themselves to be role models of excellence in doingthis over the previous 12 months. The award winners demonstrate that they have made a major contribution to the development of innovative strategies and tools that have improved business growth, and in so doing, have encouraged others to do the same.
Brilliance Award Winner: Schneider Electric
“It’s your people that make you memorable to your customers” was the Schneider Electric team’s first statement on their awards submission. It spoke volumes! As a team they recognise that they are at their most effective when their work is so seamless and integrated into the natural running of the business that it is not noticeable.. No ego or hubris here!
The word they use to describe who they are and what they do is Hub, calling themselves the ‘IC Business Partnership Hub’. They describe the core features of their role as a communications hub to be that of reducing communications noise and to enable Schneider Electric employees to become role models for the business (or ambassadors as they call them).
The impact of what we call Focussed Intent really shines through in the way they created a highly focussed approach to the results of the employee survey. Their approach of creating working groups around specific areas of improvementproved so effective that they are replicating it going forward. Through the Hub they are also able to amplify the effectiveness of the teams’ resources by leveraging individual and specific skills to match the right people with the right job.
From an effectiveness perspective the statistics speak for themselves with employee engagement up 15 points to well above the industry average at 79%. Their measures on collaboration and learning have also seen significant 16 point risesand their effectiveness measure performed even better than that, with a dramatic increase of 23 points.
The teams’ work on projects like the Global Family Leave Policy, the Marathon de Paris amongst others, has shown just how impactful culturally congruent, values-based communications can be. One notable example of this was the increase of their Yammer readership by a staggering 326%.
The judges considered this team to be a wonderful role model of what becomes possible when one’s focus is on helping others to be the best that they can be.
Gold Award Winner: Infineum
Infineum is a tremendous role model of teamwork based on using the best resources that each member has to offer as their contribution to the success of the whole team. As a small global team they had to find ways to work closely and effectively together. This was achieved by their shared pursuit of a common goal; to find innovative ways to connect with an extremely diverse global audience.
For the judges, the collaboration and collective responsibility they showed was a major factor in them winning the Gold Award.
Silver Award Winner: Socar Turkey
After a period of major transition, including senior leadership changes and organisational restructuring, the new Internal Communications team faced significant challenges. At both strategic and tactical level they had to bring people together around a shared company culture in a way that inspires them to become brand ambassadors themselves. The resourcefulness of this brand new team, has been borne out by the 30 plus IC activities they have put in place in just six months.
Judges were particularly impressed with the ‘Well-Being’ programme, representing, as it does, a very direct way of helping others to be the best that they can be.
Internal Communications Campaign
The winners in this category are excellent role models for how on-going strategic communications can effectively engage all stakeholders, no matter how directly or indirectly they relate to the organisation.
Brilliance Award Winner: CYBG PLC
- Campaign: Full Year Results 2017 – A truly remarkable year
The campaign showed real clarity of purpose, not just by articulating what they want their audience to know, but also by what they want them to feel and do as a result of knowing. Their focussed alignment with business goals and cultural values demonstrates how internal communications at its best, is an accelerant for business strategy.
The FY17 Campaign’s creative flexibility was impressive with a diverse range of initiatives coherently funnelled into a week-long communications strategy. The coordination of this strategy demonstrated a depth of resourcefulness and effectiveness, particularly given the ‘risk and governance’ imperatives that also pertained.
Creative and executional flexibility was evident in the collaborative way in which individual elements had to be passed through several layers of diverse stakeholder and compliance issues, and then sequenced in a highly time-sensitive and legally-compliant way. All of these challenges only served to bring out the diligent resourcefulness of the team.
The efficiency and effectiveness the campaign was, in the opinion of the judges, greatly enhanced by the layering and scaling of messaging, – from impactful headlines, to the in-depth telling of the stories that lay behind the numbers.
The campaign’s effectiveness was further endorsed by the data, something that the judges feel sets a high standard. The reach of the campaign was a full 17 points ahead of industry benchmarks, with a 95% ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ rating for the CEO’s remarks. The effectiveness was also sustainable:in the post-campaign evaluation; notable amongst many great results, was that 81% of respondents said that they were excited to play an active role in the bank’s transformation, surely the very definition of a brilliant internal communications campaign.
Gold Award Winner: Nationwide Building Society
- Agency: Good Relations
- Campaign: The Arthur Webb Challenge Cup, for Nationwide Building Society
This campaign took the idea of role modelling within an organisation to the next level, not only amplifying desired behaviours and values, but doing so in a way that was fun, engaging and ultimately highly effective.
A wonderfully diverse set of initiatives showed a creative flexibility and depth of resourcefulness that the judges were really impressed by.
Silver Award Winner: Inchcape
- Campaign: The Colla-bear-ator Challenge
The success of this Campaign to be tenaciously focussed on their objective of ‘Collaboration’, was evident immediately. Inchcape used the idea of role modelling ‘Collaboration’ in diverse and creative ways. They shared this across 107 sites nationwide and 11 different car brands, showing that it can not only make the difference, but it can also be the difference.
The added creative twist of focussing that collaboration on helping others through charity really stood out for the judges.
IC Consultancy of the Year
Brilliance Award Winner: Sequel Group
Through this award we celebrate in the winner, the kind of pro-activity that comes to life as performance-based services. The winner demonstrates that the true measure of success is what you actually do for your clients rather than what you say about what you do. Within the framework of the judging criteria, judges were impressed by the outcomes delivered in terms of meeting client needs, of user feedbackand the exposition of a wide range of services and projects.
Here is a brief review, laid out in accordance with our judging criteria, of why Sequel Group is such a worthy winner of the IC Consultancy of the Year Award:
Clarity of Purpose – Sequel Group know who they are and why they exist, and they have an account services structure that makes sure that they have exactly the same clarity about their clients. It is fundamental to the success they have achieved as a business.
Focussed Intent – The importance Sequel Group give to supporting their diversified creative team and to delivering exactly what they promise to deliver, is evidenced not just by their ISO 9001 accreditation, but also in the robustness of the systems and processes that they have put in place to handle such a wide range of projects.
Creative Flexibility – A highly integrated team of 30 diversely talented people are capable of bringing the best of their different skill sets together in the focussed pursuit of a shared ambition to deliver for their clients.
Resourcefulness – When Bupa moved to a new building, the Internal cCommunications team found themselves with the huge task of branding the entire place just 8 weeks before the big move. Sequel Group demonstrated great resourcefulness in not just getting the job done, but in also doing it in a way that leveraged their detailed understanding of the client, their business, their people and their goals.
Effectiveness – A project that particularly impressed the judges when looking at communication effectiveness was the way in which Sequel Group took a multitude of tactical Event Apps (that quickly became redundant and out-dated) from their client and integrated them into one consistent Event App that opens up even greater communication opportunities beyond each specific event.
Cultural Value – Of huge importance to Sequel Group is not just the way in which they work together, but how they develop togetherand how each individual contributes and supports the growth and development of each other.
One final insight that the judges found particularly impressive in the submission was the following statement:
“The most common mistake we see businesses making is giving employees what they think they want, rather than what they actually need.”
Surely this is the very definition of the purpose and value that all consultancies should aspire to.
Save the date for 2019 IC Brilliance Awards: 29th March 2019.