106 Employee Experience Workshop – ‘what went down…’

22 March 2019

When we think about building a great culture, companies have often focused on the concept of employee engagement – in part, because then they can run an engagement survey and plot out some actions.  Job done.

But in truth, employee engagement has long been a measure – and a measure of the experience of employees.

So isn’t it time for organisations to focus much more on the experience they provide, than the survey itself?  We think so; hence, our latest 106 Employee Experience Workshop.

Henry Davies, Founder of 106, talked about the foundation of Employee Experience – Belonging.  Without Belonging, without that sense you are welcomed, heard, respected, included, encouraged to speak up and able to fail without fear, no amount of ping-pong tables, free lunches, bean bags and recognition programmes are going to help create the right environment for people to thrive.

You can read more about this here.

Amy Sawbridge, most recently of Virgin Group, focused on how to build a People Promise that comes directly from the employee experience. She has worked with iconic brands across aviation, fashion and healthcare. She led the Employee Experience function as part of the Global Brand team at Virgin.

Virgin is a complex company because it doesn’t necessarily own a lot of the Virgin businesses.  So how do you build a People Promise across a range of businesses where you don’t necessarily have direct impact on the business? For Virgin, it was all about linking it to the overriding Virgin differentiator – customer service.  If people aren’t engaged, they won’t deliver the service the brand is renowned for – and that will cost!

We’d already seen Virgin Media do a great piece of work where they had calculated that a poor candidate experience was costing up to £4million – because if you had a poor customer experience, you were likely to drop your Virgin Media subscription afterwards.

Here are some of the key takeaways from Amy’s talk:

  • Consumer brand and employer brand are two sides of the same coin. It’s important to think like this in any strategy you are devising.
  • Map out your employee experience – to see where there are things you need to improve.For Virgin, onboarding was one of the key areas to improve.
  • Values – make them mean something right across the organisation.
  • Think about your entire workforce, permanent and contractors. In this world of work, it’s more important than ever to make people feel part of the same organisation and be advocates for the brand – whether they are working there for a few weeks or years.

Finally up stepped Hayley Brooksbank,Head of Communciations and Brand, who discussed the importance of video in shaping communications at Osborne Clarke – both internally and externally.  She has pioneered in-house film studios to enable them to transform the way they use video, to share insights, communicate messages and build the brand.

All in all, a great event. If you’d like to come along to one of our events in the future, check out our events page or sign up to our newsletter below.  Alternatively if you’ve got a great story to tell about Comms and Engagement, talk to Henry about speaking at one of our future events.



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