How to connect, recognise and support employees during times of uncertainty: Navigating the coronavirus for HR leaders
CultureNL were established in 2013 as an arms-length organisation of North Lanarkshire Council to better support the local community. They have a diverse workforce who work marginally more offline and have 820 employees covering 117 locations.
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CultureNL was established as an arm's length organisation of North Lanarkshire Council and they’ve been keen to create their own identity which emphasises the role they play in delivering a wide range of initiatives to their local community. They also manage almost all functions within these initiatives from catering to cleaning, right through to caretaking, providing a richly diverse workforce as a result.
As a charity, the HR Team were looking for cost-effective ways to increase employee engagement and satisfaction whilst, at the same time, reinforcing their organisational identity. The team were also aware of organisational changes and efficiency savings on the horizon which would impact staff morale and motivation. To achieve the first and avoid the latter, CultureNL sought a benefit initiative which would particularly help the employees on lower salaries and those working part-time hours – and who would typically spend a larger proportion of their income on daily essentials.
With over 110 locations and over half of their workforce offline during working hours, CultureNL found difficulty in communicating to everyone and making the employees feel as though they all work under the same umbrella. The team also only had team meetings and notice boards as their main communication channels, which meant they needed a new approach to highlight and distribute relevant information to their staff.
CultureNL’s team saw the opportunity to use Reward Gateway’s employee engagement platform to bring all of their benefits into one central place, and allow offline employees access on their own time through a device of their choosing. The team called their new platform Culture Vultures and chose a cartoon vulture as their logo to match. They also partnered with Reward Gateway’s in-house Design Team to create a hub which was fun, quirky, emphasised a positive message, and matched the colours of CultureNL’s logo.
With the Culture Vultures platform being launched two days before 14th February, the team took the opportunity to match the launch and communication pieces to a Valentine’s theme, whilst at the same time promoting it as something new and exclusive to CultureNL staff. The team captured this by giving out a postcard to each employee and pinning more than 150 posters in key staff areas. To further encourage employee participation, CultureNL ran a competition for staff to find a name for their new cartoon vulture, resulting in him now being known as Calvin the Culture Vulture.
Shortly after launch, the team moved away from the Valentine theme and distributed further promotion materials – ensuring the picture of Calvin and various bird references were used. They also utilised the instant nature of their employee engagement hub to update information, highlight specific benefits – such as their new Cycle to Work programme – and ensure that the content displayed is easy to read, relevant, and easily accessible.
Prior to the launch of Culture Vultures, CultureNL had no employee benefits programme in place and this marked the launch of a brand new initiative. Within the first 30 days, Culture Vultures became recognised throughout all parts of the organisation and 141 employees had registered.
The team are using this momentum by continuing to work closely with Reward Gateway to maintain Culture Vultures as their core communication tool, with regular updates and new features to keep it fresh. They are also recruiting internal champions to act as advocates for their platform by looking at the readily available data to identify and focus on areas of the organisation where uptake can be improved.
And as far as results go, nothing says it better than those using the offering:
“I‘ve used Culture Vultures for everything from my weekly shop to booking my holiday abroad and getting a better broadband deal. So far I’ve saved £197 and got £140 Cashback in 3 months, which is amazing!”
“Culture Vultures is brilliant – I’ve saved money on my weekly shops, furnishing my home and garden and trips to the cinema. Delighted that our employer provides this rewards scheme!”
employees registered within first 30 days
Core to improving employee communications