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Bringing a bold business plan to life: an IoIC Awards case study

We're on cloud nine after being announced the winners for Best Employee Event alongside our clients Anchor Hanover at the IoIC virtual Awards 2020. To celebrate, we are sharing the details of how we worked with our creative clients at Anchor Hanover to bring their bold new business plan to life.

The annual Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) Awards seek to recognise and celebrate the best in industry – those who make a difference to the working lives of employees.

Although we couldn’t celebrate in person, the H&H team still managed to raise a virtual glass and recognise the individuals and teams who have well and truly worked their socks off in this incredibly difficult year.

Our H&Hers slipped on their glad rags (florescent green wigs, of course) and ventured to their living rooms for an evening of celebrations.

H&H in their green wigs

We were honoured and delighted to be named as winners for Best Employee Event alongside Anchor Hanover. So much so that a few of us had a tipple to celebrate! 

But what, exactly, has been getting the judges whispering? Here’s a sneak preview into what we’ve been up to!

Achieving More Together: a bold new business plan

Anchor Hanover is a new organisation transforming housing and care so more people in later life have a home where they love living. As a not-for-profit organisation, their 8,000 employees are devoted to putting the needs and aspirations of their customers first.

The team at Anchor Hanover approached us to help them craft a powerful internal communications programme to engage and inspire their colleagues across the business.

The key challenge at hand was to bring the employees of the recently merged Anchor and Hanover businesses together behind a joint purpose and ambition.

Not only bringing a bold new business plan to life – ensuring everyone was connected with the new ways of working and were crystal clear on the role they played. But also to simultaneously develop a distinctive employer brand.

With a very ambitious deadline there was lots to be done.

And this proved no problem for our innovative, strategic bunch who love doing what they do. We threw all our collective energy, knowledge and creativity into making it happen.

Our key focus was to build an engagement programme that was visually immersive and easy-to-understand. Our creative crew designed a visual feast for the eyes to fully engage employees across the organisation and get them marching to the beat of the same drum.

The story was brought to life with a simple strategic narrative that was shared across the organisation in an engaging 90-second animation that summarised the entire plan.

Alongside this beautifully crafted animation, we designed an incredibly detailed business plan landscape that was developed into four distinct areas we formed with Anchor’s executive board – from sea to space – each one exploring one of the ‘four mores’.

And it doesn’t stop there…

Anchor Hanover launched 13 leader-led events off the back of the materials to build excitement and interest through experiential and interactive activities in unusual venues. These were a hit with employees across the organisation and encouraged people to talk focusing on the importance of an experience rather than an overload of information sharing.

Here’s just some of the buzz from people who attended these events:

“I found the event inspiring. It has made me want to learn more and also develop my career even further within this company. I found the talks very interesting and interactive. The event was well structured and the questions section great to have Directors personally answer them.”

“The whole venue and vibe was very positive, and I felt that the senior team answered questions very honestly and openly discussed each step we were all at. I also felt that from that day forward we were officially Anchor Hanover and felt very reassured. I am looking forward to the future – exciting times ahead.”

The importance of this project was to keep the conversations going long after the big launch.

So, Anchor Hanover continued to reinforce the messaging using the visual identity  we created, from creating phone covers, real-life stories on the intranet, weekly blogs from the CEO and monthly ‘team talks’.

Colleagues were encouraged to make use of their digital platforms to share, collaborate, keep up with conversations from across the business and spread the interest.

For a recently merged organisation, it was a great engagement piece built on established communication and engagement principles:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Do something that stands out
  3. Get people talking
  4. Keep the conversation going

And the results speak for themselves…

Anchor Hanover business case study results graphic

In terms of activity around the business plan on Workplace, they saw high levels of engagement online– with comments, likes and shares exceeding those seen from previous corporate communication.

And pleasingly, the programme got great endorsement from Anchor Hanover’s Chief Executive Jane Ashcroft who said:

“Communications is a strategic function at the heart of the organisation. The team enthused colleagues and delivered tangible benefits for the older people we serve by cutting through complexity with imaginative, engaging and truly outstanding work.”

Thanks Jane, we think so too! And we’re very proud of the collaborative effort put into this project.

Once again, we want to say a humongous congratulations to all those involved in making IoIC’s virtual event one to remember! 

Delighting our clients is our number-one aim but bagging a much-coveted prize always gives us that warm fuzzy feeling.

We’re very proud of our achievements we’ve picked up as an agency. Check them out here, or get in touch to discuss how we can help you!

Meet the author

Danae Gardner

The best thing about H&H is that we dig deep into how IC can really help organisations to achieve better results. We focus resolutely on the role internal comms plays in improving employee engagement, productivity and performance, and translate this understanding into IC programmes that always leave our clients beaming. That's what gets me up in the morning: because happy employees lead to equally happy customers, and at H&H I've got a unique chance to really make a difference to employees across the globe. Who wouldn't be happy about that?Speaking of communication, I'm not just adept at talking to people - I'm a trained in classical opera! When I'm not obsessing over internal comms, you'll likely find me on the road travelling around Europe, getting up close and personal with nature, or browsing supermarket aisles (don't ask - food and wine takes up a lot of my time).