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Project: Cake DayCategory: INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONSummaryLeadership engagement is one of the most important factors of successful internalcommunication. However, 40% of employees of our company felt that there was alack of open communication between them and the company‟s leaders.Hence, the main objectives of campaign were to increase leadership engagement inemployee communication; find interactive, informal and fun communication way; andto increase inter departmental communication (as 49% of employees felt the lack ofcooperation between company‟s departments).Therefore, “Cake Day” – a monthly gathering of all employees – was decided to beimplemented. 20 strategic locations in all 7 regions were selected forgatherings. 21 top and middle managers were distinguished who on rotational basisvisited every strategic location each month, made formal presentations on topicalitiesand informally communicated with employees while everyone tasted a cake.The results according to set assessment criteria were really astonishing:management participation was from 85% to 100% while employee participation – 90% to 95% each month. 70% of employees said “Cake Day” encouraged opencommunication between them and management, 55% said that it encouragedcommunication between departments. Moreover, “Cake Day” became an inseparabletradition in company‟s life which is now adopted and implemented by the Group towhich company belongs.SituationOur company has around 700 employees. With offices situated in 10 differentcities and 7 different regions in the country top and middle management directcommunication with the employees is extremely difficult if not impossible:· Almost 40% (n=420) of company„s employees felt lack of open communicationbetween them and the management;
· Around 30% (n=420) of employees felt that managers did not encourage them totalk about the clients and their needs;· 49% (n=420) of employees felt that there was not enough of collaborationbetween company‟s departments.ObjectivesThe target audience of the initiative was all company’s employees:· Back office employees;· Front office employees;· Regional employees;· Top and middle management.The main goals of the campaign were:· Increase leadership engagement in employee communication;· Find interactive and informal communication way;· Find a way to effectively communicate corporate messages;· Guarantee fun for employees;· Increase inter departmental communication;· Make this campaign a tool towards becoming WCSC (world class servicecompany): collect insights from employees about clients‟ needs;· Change communication concept: not only HR and PR departments are responsiblefor communication.StrategyEmployees‟ research (see Situation section) indicated a need for informalcommunication platform with managers. Hence, employee and managementgatherings – “Cake Day” initiative – selected to be implemented:
· 20 strategic locations in all regions selected for gatherings;· “Cake day” announced a day just for employees (without meetings with outsidepartners);· Initiative implemented monthly to guarantee regularity;· All communication about initiative implemented on company‟s intranet because ofwidest reach – 450 unique daily visitors.Leadership engagement· 21 top and middle managers distinguished to participate in “Cake Day”;· On rotational basis managers visit every strategic location;· Formal presentations by managers based on topicalities.Employee engagement· Informal part: tasting a cake, networking, discussions;· Recipes for cake sent and selected by employees;· Managers and other departments can attend event in different locations.Assessment criteria· Management participation (percent);· Employee participation (percent);· Employees‟ evaluation of initiative.Execution
To implement “Cake Day” these actions are undertaken each month:Before “Cake Day”· Employees invited to send recipes for the cake;· Departments invite guest speakers;· Three weeks before “Cake Day” visits‟ map made due to busy managers‟schedules;· Employees choose cake from sent recipes through poll on the intranet.During “Cake Day”· Formal part: managers make topical presentations (financial results, etc.);· Informal part: open discussions, gathering insights from employees aboutclients needs‟;· Fun part: celebrating successful projects, tasting cake.After “Cake Day”· Messages about “Cake Day” communicated and presentation material availableon the intranet;· Surveys about managers‟ presentation skills implemented on the intranet.And more…· After half a year of “Cake Day” implementation “Hyde Park” was added tooriginal initiative;
· During “Hyde Park” well-known people (singers, actors) without any paymentcome for an hour of informal discussions with employees.Documented ResultsThe results of the “Cake Day” initiative according to the set assessment criteria werereally stunning:· From 85% to 100% top and middle management participation in the “Cake Day”;· From 90% to 95% employee participation in the “Cake Day”;We also conducted a survey to find out what employees thought about the “CakeDay”:· 70% of employees said “Cake Day” encouraged open communication betweenthem and management (n=123);· 55% of employees (n=123) said that “Cake Day” encouraged communicationbetween departments;· 88% of employees (n=123) overall very positively evaluated the “Cake Day”initiative.Moreover, “Cake Day” idea was adopted by the Group to which company belongsand is now being implemented internationally.At the end, “Cake Day” became an inseparable tradition in our company‟s life withoutwhich employees cannot imagine their last Thursdays of the month (when “Cake Day”takes place).