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Merlin Entertainments, a global leisure business, wanted to rejuvenate and re-communicate its employer brand, which centers around company values – The Merlin Way.

The Merlin Way had been integral to the business since its conception, and following an IPO, the team felt the values needed to be refreshed, as they were a key factor impacting employee engagement.

They began by asking themselves, what makes Merlin different? What makes Merlin special? What makes Merlin  well, Merlin? Looking at competitors, the company found its standout was its FUN element, which led to the development of the concept of for the love of fun (FTLOF). Said Emma James, Group Employee Engagement Manager,

We have always been incredibly focused on delivering memorable experiences for our guests. Developing upon FTLOF gave us the perfect way to support our Team Merlin members in having the chance to have memorable days every single day they are at work.



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The Play

The FTLOF campaign was both creative and comprehensive, fully embedding the company's values throughout the entire employee life cycle. They ditched corporate formal jargon, and injected informality, humor and of course FUN in everything the company did to bring the values to life.

A variety of tools were created to achieve this objective, including FUN goggles and a FUN’O’METER. The goggles were used to illustrate how employees needed to look at their business by looking into a FUN new world. The FUN’O’METER’ was created as a way to encourage and embrace FUN, aiming to achieve a higher FUN score by behaving against their values. Scores ranged from a low “mouth twitch” to a high “real tears,” with other fun categories including a “wide smile” and “belly laugh.”

Together, these tools and their new approach had a positive impact on Merlin’s business, with individual locations finding creative ways of injecting FUN and living company values. It also had a positive impact on employee engagement, helping it remain consistently between 88 - 90% year on year.


In Practice

  • Although values are a serious topic, we still can (and should) put a bit of fun into how we talk about and live them if we want them to drive engagement.
  • Find ways, especially at key business stages, to refresh how you talk and live your values, don’t just assume they’ll continue ticking along without a bit of fuss made to them.
Find more plays like this one in "The Rebel Playbook" 

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