106 Communications

6th Sense

106 seconds with Tereza Urbankova, Head of Corporate Communications, Amec Foster Wheeler

March 2017 | 106 seconds

Tereza Urbankova is a PR, communications and marketing professional with proven success in delivering award-winning communications programmes for multinational companies operating in industries such as hospitality, retail, IT, defence, broadcast, logistics and engineering. For the past 10 years she has been living and working in London; currently, she is Head of Corporate Communications for Amec Foster Wheeler plc. Tereza also works as a freelance communications and PR consultant. Since 2015 she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Czech British Chamber of Commerce in the UK. She speaks Czech, English, Spanish and Russian.  Connect with her on LinkedIn.

When Amec and Foster Wheeler first came together, what was the biggest challenge?

To keep people motivated, engaged and energised about the change.  Although we were all excited about the new future and possibilities, there was a lot of work to be done in terms of integration. We used a clever digital solution to keep our people informed prior to, on and beyond our Day 1 that later developed into our digital workplace.

How did you drive the use of Yammer?  And what impact has this made?

I believe we relaunched it in a new company at the right time. When we merged, we didn’t have a common directory, so employees were keen to find out more about legacy companies, projects and capabilities, and how they could collaborate. At the same time, our key markets started pushing us towards more collaboration and innovation – Yammer is a perfect platform for that. In addition, we have been promoting Yammer and its value through use cases for a while so I think these were the three critical elements that made an impact on Yammer adoption.

On a daily basis, I can see it helps lot of people when they’re looking for skills, expertise, and knowledge. In general, Yammer is helping us change our culture and become more transparent and open.

What were the biggest challenges during this time? 

To prove the value of Yammer as a strategic business tool. It takes a long time as it’s also about trust. The benefits are enormous though.

If you could do all of this again, what would you do differently? 

Possibly gather more and stronger use cases of how Yammer helped the business, which may have accelerated adoption. In terms of our digital workplace, I would have also explored options outside the business instead of focusing only on how we could build it ourselves.

What’s your ultimate vision for the digital workplace at Amec Foster Wheeler?

I’d like it to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ integrating all tools, apps, resources and everything our people need to work efficiently. I’d like it to allow for a certain degree of customisation and personalisation. And, I’d like our employees to see real value in it and be able to use it for their work anytime and from anywhere.

You’re originally from the Czech Republic; what do you miss about home?

Proper four seasons with white winters and hot summers. Short distances – the whole country has the same number of inhabitants as London! And I miss Prague – I still think it’s the most picturesque, romantic and melancholic city I’ve ever seen (but I’m biased!).

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