Refreshing a workforce
South East Water supplies 565 million litres of drinking water every day to 2.1 million customers in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. Many of their 800 employees work remotely, with others based at satellite offices and the headquarters in Snodland, Kent. They maintain enough pipes to go 74 times around the M25!
We worked with South East Water’s communications team to develop an internal brand, supporting employee engagement and delivering their strategic change programme. The strategy was centred on the organisation’s five commitments and its vision and values, culminating in the official launch of ‘Count me in’ in June 2015, which all employees were invited to.
We were asked to:
" …I also thought the new branding was very strong and clearly marked a step change in the vision and values of the business "
- Bring the ‘five commitments’ to the fore
- Make business objectives meaningful
- Create impact and energy around the new vision and values
- Develop an overarching theme for the internal brand - ‘Count me in’
- Help employees understand what it means to them
- Present performance updates in a visually refreshing and engaging way
We had the unique opportunity to interview people from across the business, understanding how they felt about being part of the organisation. We heard stories of personal development and career progression, teamwork, support and job satisfaction, capturing the essence of life at South East Water.
- Internal brand creation - ‘Count me in’
- Employee guide to vision, values and commitments
- Employee video planning and production
- Monthly performance updates/dashboard
- ‘Count me in’ launch materials
- Character development
- Office and wall graphics
- Desk drops
- Pull-up banners
The materials we produced were fresh, engaging and personal, using natural imagery and telling the South East Water story, straight from the mouths of its employees.
Following the launch event the Communications Team sent out a quick survey to ask for feedback. More than 96% of responses said the presentation was clear or very clear and 100% saying they were aware of the plans for the future. Here are just a few of the comments:
‘I liked the video which gave an insight into the views of people from across different areas the business. I also thought the new branding was very strong and clearly marked a step change in the vision and values of the business.’
‘Good mix of formal briefing and informal conversation. Use of films excellent.’
‘It was positive and really sold the idea of South East Water through positivity. I think it was convincing in the message that this is a great company to work for and making it clear what we do. The videos and 'human touch' was also really good.’
‘Very professional with the new background and videos. Far more engaging.’
‘The video of all the staff was really great – made me a bit weepy and proud.’
Feedback for the guide that was handed out at the end of the sessions, included:
‘Bright, colourful, clear and good real life examples.’
‘I like that it features real staff members. I also like the case study cards.’
‘A good reminder. Send it out to all our customers.’
Jo Osborn, Head of Communications said:
‘It was really exciting to work with Alive on ‘Count me in’ – when we first started to talk to them about our hopes for refreshing the vision and values they quickly came up with some bright new ideas that we felt really brought to life what South East Water is all about. Seeing the feedback we’ve received from people right across the organisation following the launch made me so happy. In particular the number of suggestions sent to us from colleagues for keeping the messages going in their teams shows they’ve really taken it to heart which is the most important thing.’
We’re looking forward to working on many more exciting projects with the comms team, and getting to know the employees of this top organisation!