IC HUB

Case study: how Vodafone makes internal comms relevant

February 9, 2017

Being a globally recognised brand doesn’t make an organisation immune to the challenges of internal communication.

In fact, it can amplify them. We spoke to Libby Kearsley, Senior Internal Communications Manager at Vodafone, to find out how her organisation is maximising the reach and relevance of its internal comms.

“How can you expect your employees to sell you as a business if they don’t understand you as a business?”

Libby Kearsley

The question posed by Libby is more than just managerial rhetoric. It’s what is fuelling her company’s mission to engage with as many of its employees as possible – not just the ones that are easy to reach.

Vodafone employs approximately 13,000 people directly and a further 8,000 through outsourced partners.

Naturally, some are trickier to engage than others.

“It’s a massively diverse workforce – not just across different functions but in terms of age range, the way people work and how they’re connected to our systems,” Libby explained.

“The majority of our employees are UK-based but we do have some offshore contact centres. Cultural differences are a big thing for us.”

Vodafone uses a variety of IC channels to reach out to its people, including intranet hubs weekly newsletters and environmental branding via posters and screens.

While they’ve had great success in many areas, internal research found some employees were proving difficult to reach.

Team members in customer-facing roles – especially those who work for outsourced partners – were particularly challenging to connect with, as the nature of their roles can prevent them from being reached through conventional channels.

Libby said: “Our frontline people are the ones who are talking to our customers and representing Vodafone to the public every single day. Of any audience, they’re the most important. They’re who we actually need to get the messages out to.

“We wanted to give people something easy; something they can just connect with in a quick and straightforward way.”

The solution for Vodafone – and one being adopted by a growing number of organisations – was an app. In November, the company completed a three-month pilot of a mobile and desktop app, with the aim of increasing engagement among frontline staff.

The app features separate sections for personal and corporate messaging. It supports rich media, while existing text-based content has been repurposed to be shorter and more digestible.

The results? Vodafone has found that 50 per cent of contact centre staff have become active users.

Vodafone

About 30-40 per cent are active every day, generating approximately 8,000 daily page views.

Libby said: “The feedback has been very positive. Everyone is finding the content engaging and useful.

“It’s not just that people are using it because they have to get some information – they actually want to engage with it.”

Libby’s tips on going digital

• Understand your audience – not just what job they do but what content they like to receive, what format they want to receive it in, and in what tone of voice.
• Think about how people will engage with the content. Do employees have access to work-provided mobile phones, or are you expecting them to download to their own device? If so, what’s the driver for them to do that?
• Good internal communication is about engaging people – not just giving them information. By making it relevant to the audience, it becomes more engaging.