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Internal communication ‘key ingredient in Crossrail success’

Internal communication 'key ingredient in Crossrail success'

March 10, 2015

Crossrail will change the way people travel across London. Completion of the ground-breaking infrastructure project will see the capital’s rail capacity boosted by 10 per cent – the largest one-off increase since the Second World War.

And a focused internal communication strategy has played a key role in the project’s success, according to CEO Andrew Wolstenholme.

With a workforce of more than 10,000 working on 50 sites to create the 100km route, the challenges of succinctly communicating Crossrail’s values with employees are obvious.

Crossrail tackled this with a holistic approach to communication. And as a result it was recognised by IC industry experts at the CIPR Inside awards for its multi-faceted approach to employee engagement.

At its core is a successful IC programme.

Wolstenholme told HR Magazine that the challenge was to make the organisation’s values “meaningful for everyone”.

He said: “[How can you ensure] messages are infused into the frontline? The communications bit is important to me.”

Engaging thousands of employees working on the £14.8 billion project – which has included the creation of 26 miles of brand new tunnels beneath London’s streets – required a systematic and logical approach.

Crossrail responded by concentrating on delivering a comprehensive cross-channel mixture of comms.

This includes:

* A weekly online newsletter

* A monthly tabloid newspaper

* Crossrail’s intranet including a regularly updated leadership blog

* Video update with stunning time lapse footage

* Weekly chats focused on health & safety

* Monthly team briefings.

To accompany the extensive communication programme, the organisation’s senior leadership have been visible – and importantly accessible – to the workforce, attending team meetings and briefings on a monthly basis as well taking part in regular question and answer sessions.

“It has been thought through holistically to make sure we know what people are thinking,” added Wolstenholme.