How the Workplace Pioneers are using Workplace to transform their organizations
by Amy Simpson
Workplace Pioneer Steve Clarke was an integral part of the successful Workplace deployment at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. We find out more in our new Workplace Pioneers video interview.
#WorkplacePioneers are the most sophisticated and forward-thinking Chief Workplace Officers in the world. In this new series, we’ll learn why they chose Workplace and the impact it’s having on their organizations.
First up, is Steve Clark – Senior Manager, Communication Channels, at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays.
Understanding the challenge. Deploying a solution
Knowing that your organization faces a particular communication challenge is just the first step. Identifying, deploying and maintaining the adoption of the chosen solution comes next.
And that part becomes a lot easier when you have someone like Steve and his team on board.
Steve had already led the Workplace rollout and adoption strategy at RBS. And, as an expert in wider digital strategies for other large digital programs including Sharepoint, he had a clear understanding of the steps he’d need to take to make the Virgin deployment a success. Watch the video to find out more.
Connecting the frontline workers
One of the main drivers behind the Workplace deployment at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays was the need to improve communications with frontline workers. Engineers. Pilots. Cabin crew.
One of the main drivers was the need to improve communications with frontline workers
Steve knew they needed the right tools that enabled these essential but disparate workers to keep in touch with each other – and the wider business.
As with the RBS Workplace deployment, Steve recognized that Workplace was that solution. But how to launch it as successfully as possible?
Buy-in and feedback: How Steve and his team made the Workplace deployment fly
“Get your leaders bought in,” says Steve. “That’s massive. With their endorsement, you can really help the system grow.”
Steve and his team led by example. They on-boarded the whole management team a month before launch. They also made sure that teams from across the business had representatives at senior levels from the very beginning of the pilot.
They on-boarded the whole management team to Workplace a month before launch
Next, Steve made sure they spent time in the business asking people on the ground what they were looking for in the platform.
“We got teams to feedback,” says Steve. “About structure. The groups they wanted. How they would use Workplace in their areas.”
This helped make the potential of Workplace more tangible for the people they talked to. And by making Workplace specific and relevant for the people who use it, Steve’s team was able to achieve better and deeper adoption levels.
The impact of Workplace
The Workplace effect at Virgin Atlantic has been impressive. As Don Langford, Virgin Atlantic CIO, has said, “Workplace does a fantastic job with communications and engagement, especially if you have a remote or disparate workforce.”
And Steve agrees. “One of the really big impacts we achieved was leadership visibility.”
“People felt more – and were more – connected to the leaders. They had clear and easy ways through groups to ask questions.”
“One of the really big impacts we achieved was leadership visibility. People felt more – and were more – connected to the leaders”
Better ways of working
More importantly, these are now two-way conversations, not ‘top-down.’
“People suggest ideas or propose solutions to problems. Through groups and News Feed there’s clear visibility on how these issues get resolved.”
And that’s critical, “It makes the organization work better,” Steve concludes, “and that gives better results to our customers…”
“One of my top priorities is to make the employee experience as amazing as our customer experience.”
“Especially in a fast-growing organization with more than 70 offices around the world, and several hundred employees who don’t even attach to an office, we have to really consider how we engage them and give them a real sense of community.”
But that’s easier said than done. Now is the time for companies to explore new technology and how they can implement it.
“Real-time dialogue, transparent discussion, and groups that create camaraderie around important topics have really brought people together.”
“Any process that’s clunky. That involves multiple systems and steps. We’re going to simplify those using Workplace integrations.”
“We’re looking at ways to make complex processes simple,” he says. “Any process that’s clunky. That involves multiple systems and steps. We’re going to simplify those using Workplace integrations and bots.”
And, luckily for Virgin Atlantic – they have Steve and his teams’ skills to guide them – so people can use these integrations to find even more new ways to work better together.