We were approached by a leading UK pet care company, who wanted to achieve two key things:
We started by talking to people. To everyone, in fact. To employees at head office and in the factories. To customers, key stakeholders, pet owner groups – everyone. To find out what people really thought about the business and, in particular, how much they trusted them.
We then ran two conferences, where we engaged the business around what we had heard. Our conversations had told us that there was a need:
Working with the conference attendees, we asked them what they needed to do to ‘go beyond the words’ and make the vision real by building on its current values. So they told us, and The Spirit was created.
The Spirit was a series of six projects, run by employees and linked to an internal communications strategy that would instil a new way of working that would indeed take everyone beyond the words and make the vision a reality.
Having created the Spirit, we then launched it into the business, getting people to sign up for each of the Spirit elements and supporting them in delivering real and tangible actions that would make these new ways of working a reality.
So what difference did it make? An enormous amount is the simple answer.
The vision stopped being owned by the senior managers and was picked up and owned by the whole business, with teams of volunteers driving The Spirit forward to transform the business – driving collaboration, creating timeout thinking spaces and upping levels of honesty and straight talking.
Ways of working changed and the gaps we had identified started to be closed, with collaboration improving across the business.And employee engagement climbed.