Communicating values Open CPT

Communicating values - From posters on the wall to something we live

Communicating values Open CPT

 

Communicating values

From posters on the wall to something we live

By: Kristina Malther, Managing Director, Open CPT (August 8, 2018)

 

We recently did a Dialogue Matters session on Ethics and values that gave me an opportunity to gather a number of cases and examples - as well as my thoughts - on what really works when it comes to communicating values internally.

Why values matter

First off, corporate values are sometimes laughed at or dismissed as corporate b...s... but I must say, that I have seen many examples of values that truly work when it comes to:

  • Building a strong culture. Especially in large organisations with multiple geographies, demographics, businesses etc. Values act as the glue that ties it all together.
  • Helping people make the right choices on an everyday basis. When values work, they help us navigate effectively and make decisions in a complex world.
Iceberg model - Open CPT
Iceberg model

With free inspiration from Edgar Schein, I often use the iceberg model to illustrate how values are driving our behaviour on an often unconscious level - alongside our beliefs. In order to succeed with real behavioural change, we need to make sure that our values are in sync with the behaviour, we are trying to foster.

Another perspective, offered by Cynthia Schoeman from Ethics Monitor at our session, was this: when it comes to ethical behaviour, rules and regulations (compliance) is the stick, whereas values are the carrot. Values can proactively drive ethical behaviour when they are fully lived by employees.

Off the wall - and into our hearts and minds

Truth be told, there are many corporate values that never make it off the wall and into the hearts and minds of employees. And that is when they are shrugged at.

At Open, we have helped implement or revitalise corporate values in many organisations. And I can happily report, it's something that is only growing in importance and focus. Alongside the focus on compliance communication. Carrot and stick.

These are some of the things we know work well and help get the values off the wall and into the hearts and minds:

Get values off the wall and into the hearts and minds

Tip 1: Storytelling and authenticity

We need to tell real stories about the values and what they mean to people. Stories that are at eye-level with all employees - not just management - and stories that allow for imagination and interpretation. So less corporate lingo, less bullets, less instructions - more stories, more people, more authenticity.

And try to incorporate a storytelling element in your engagement activities e.g. bonfire talks where people share stories about how colleagues have truly exemplified and lived the values (I can promise you, that these can be some of the most heartwarming talks you'll ever hear in an organisational setting).

Tip 2: Engage and activate

And most importantly: instead of telling people too much about the values and how they must be understood, allow them to fill in the gaps themselves, reflecting on how they understand the values - and crucially - how they apply the values in their particular job. This can only be done in true, open dialogue, which is why every values roll-out must incorporate tools and templates to facilitate this at every level of the organisation.

If I am the cashier at Pick 'n Pay, I need a chance to figure out how 'We take individual responsibility' and how I translate that into everyday actions at the till. Dialogue tools and dilemma exercises in a team setting will help this process along - also in a large organisation.

Tip 3: Make it fun

It goes for most things: people are much more likely to engage with anything if it's fun and entertaining. And this doesn't mean silly or superficial. Use gamification: do a values quiz, create a values Black Jack card deck, or maybe a values charades game that will kick-start reflection and add a bit of team building at the same time.

And then show emotions and allow for real conversations to happen. People want to talk about people, and people want to talk about what matters to them. Values are a great opportunity to do just that.

Integrate values in the employee lifecycle

To stay top of mind, values must be an integral part of your onboarding of new people, your performance management, your strategy and your leadership communication to name a few.

It's a good idea to look at it from an employee lifecycle perspective: when and how should a prospective employee experience the values? How should the values be reflected in the ongoing development activities? How do the values come into play in the day-to-day operations?

Values must be activated and applied constantly to be relevant. And to become an integral part of your culture.

Finally, remember that living values doesn't happen overnight and with one campaign - it takes constant focus and activation at every possible opportunity.

Get in touch for more examples and ideas on how to communicate corporate values internally.

 

 

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Employee Experience Panel CPT

Employee Experience Panel - an exclusive network

Employee Experience Panel

Employee Experience Panel - an exclusive network

We're growing our network in Africa and invite professionals in the field of communications, HR and branding who work with, or are about to embark on, Employee Experience design to join our Employee Experience Panel.

Employee Experience is fast hitting the agenda as a way to link customer experience design, brand advocacy and employee engagement - but most organisations are just at the early stages and need to find ways to go about it.

The Employee Experience panel will be a curated network for exchanging insights and challenges on the topic - facilitated by Open CPT and in parallel with a similar panel in Copenhagen.

 

Open CPT Employee Experience Panel

The network is by invitation only. If you are interested in joining and think you fit the profile, get in touch or follow this link to let us know your interests and needs: https://bit.ly/2xYtyrW

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Guide Prototype - by CHCLT Design

Innovative communication in the healthcare sector

Innovative communication in the South African healthcare sector

Guide Prototype - by CHCLT Design
Guide Prototype - by CHCLT Design

We are excited to be part of the development of an innovative tool that supports healthcare workers. The tool assists in monitoring the growth of infants and toddlers. These tools aim to improve how growth data is captured and interpreted but, more importantly, enhance the way in which healthcare workers engage with caregivers through constructive dialogue.

Innovative Slide + Guide Workshop
Open CPT x CHCLT - Slide + Guide Workshop (April 2018)

Establishing meaningful conversations enables healthcare workers to establish rapport and learn more about the child and caregiver’s context, allowing for preventative intervention to take place when necessary. This fits into the broader movement in South Africa around empowering caregivers as the central figure to their child’s wellbeing.

Innovative Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018
Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018

Plotting growth trends correctly and conveying supportive, constructive messages to caregivers is an essential task for healthcare workers. It is also key to ensuring the healthy development of infants and toddlers. The tool is designed to be tactile, flexible and easy-to-use by health-care workers when plotting key measurements such as the baby’s weight and height on a chart during a consultation, and comparing these changes over time.

 

Innovative Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018
Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018

We will help revise and pilot the tool with health-care workers across greater Cape Town. This is to create the best possible tool, with the highest possible impact. The inception of the tool came about as a means to accompany the Road to Health Booklet. Pending a nationwide roll-out, it has the potential to reach every newborn child in South Africa. The tool is the brainchild of Innovation Edge and the Slide + Guide has been designed by CHCLT.

 

About Open CPT

The future of employee communication is design-driven, experiential, digital and engaging. ​We help organisations navigate the landscape.​​ We innovate; we rethink; we co-create. We inspire ; we act; we share. ​​And we build on a decade of experience working with some of Europe’s largest and most successful corporations. ​

Open CPT is an internal communication agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. ​​ We develop innovative ways of communicating with employees, leaders and stakeholders to drive engagement and create sustainable change. ​​

Open CPT is a subsidiary of leading European employee communication agency, Open, and rooted in Open’s principles of creativity, involvement and simplicity. ​​Drawing on a decade of experience from working with some of Europe’s largest corporations, we offer fresh as well as tried-and-tested approaches.


Dialogue Matters - Breakfast Sessions

 

Do you want to know about the latest topics in employee communications and connect with other communicators? 

The Dialogue Matters breakfast sessions are run 2 – 4 times a year between Cape Town and Johannesburg. These sessions offer insights, case studies and networking around the latest topics on the agenda in the field of corporate communications and reputation management. 

Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018
Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018

 

We run these sessions as a collaboration between Open Cape Town Reputation Matters, and Lisa Wannell (Specialist Search Consultant)

 

Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018
Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018

To get invitations and information about our sessions, please subscribe to our newsletter. 


Internal Communication - VR
Internal Communication - VR
Virtual reality (VR) is designed to give people extraordinary experiences, and that is exactly what we want to give employees, right? Let’s take a dive into why VR is the perfect fit for employee communication.
By: Andreas Ringsted, Creative Advisor (September 6, 2017)

 

You cannot flip through a communication site without stumbling upon at least a few articles about VR claiming: ‘VR, the next big thing’, or ‘Everything you need to know about VR’. Nonetheless, VR is still a new channel when counting how many are using it actively as a tool.

Especially when it comes to employee communication, VR is new, even though – if you ask me – everyone having employees as their target group should at least consider VR as a part of their communication mix. The major advantage of VR is giving people memorable and extraordinary experiences. And who doesn’t want to give that to their employees?

At Open, we have been working with integrating VR in employee communication. Based on our experiences, here are our thoughts on the big what, why, and how when considering VR as part of the employee communication framework.

Virtual reality

The Sensorama, the first 3D viewer from 1950

So, what is it?
First, let’s answer what VR actually is. It is about allowing your audiences to experience and interact with a virtual world by putting on VR goggles with input from a computer, or a smartphone.

VR can be either a linear or interactive story created as 360° video, or in a 3D environment. Together with stereo sound, this creates a rich, immersive and believable experience.

VR in employee communication
Besides being immersive, VR is exploratory. It gives your viewer a feeling of control. But most significantly, you have their undivided attention. This is the main argument for why VR is a perfect tool to activate and engage employees. Once donning the VR goggles, there are no bleeping phones, no nagging e-mails, and no disturbing colleagues to compete for attention. In a fast-paced work environment, this is a rare opportunity for the communicator.

This opens new opportunities in areas like onboarding, safety, and change communication. In global organizations, you can show corners of the company instead of sending employees on expensive trips. And in safety communication, you can give the audience a much better understanding, for example by letting them experience production before they set foot on the floor.

Moreover, with increased focus on the technology, VR devices have become much cheaper, and with a relatively small investment in gear, the company can push their VR videos out to the organization.

virtual reality employee communication

Hold on your hats and goggles. Just another day at the office getting everyone onboard in what VR actually is about, and what it can do.

Think big, execute small
When we first got the chance to use VR as part of an employee communication project, my storytelling sense was tingling. The narrative could not be complex enough.

However, we quickly discovered that the information delivered in a VR video needs to be even more straight to the point than in conventional video. In VR, the visual experience takes up so much of the viewer’s attention that it leaves little space for complex narration.

Also, we found out defining the why and what in detail is even more important in VR communication than in other formats. A few pointers for starting your new VR project:

Think big in the brainstorm process

  1. Involve relevant stakeholders early in the brainstorm process and give them a chance to experience VR in its various forms.
  2. Use for instance ‘How might we’ questions, known from design thinking to kick-start the innovative process and create exciting storytelling ideas.
  3. Use a mind-map to map the goal: ‘what should the viewer feel’, ‘what should they learn’, and ‘what are the primary and secondary topics’.

Execute small and precise

  1. Focus on one primary topic, and allow one or two secondary topics.
  2. Use short and precise narration.
  3. Keep the experience short, 3-4 minutes at the most.

Employee reactions say it all
Even though the implementation of VR in many digital distribution platforms, such as Valve Steam and Sony PlayStation, have made VR more common, many people have never tried it themselves. So, for many people, the experience itself will be an eye-opener.

Earlier this year, we created a VR video for a client as part of a large culture project. Project ambassadors travelled world-wide to have dialogues with employees about the project, using VR to fuel the dialogue. Besides an overwhelming positive response and incredible wow-factor, the VR video sparked curiosity, and we even experienced that people sought out more information about the project by themselves.

I truly believe VR is here to stay, simply because this kind of immersive storytelling is so powerful. Eventually virtual, augmented, and mixed reality will become an integrated part of our workspace. For now, let’s embrace VR as a new communication tool and use it to its full extent, creatively but practically.

–o0o–

Four facts about VR

  • Generation Z and Millennials are interested in trying virtual reality, but so is Baby Boomers. 64% of Baby Boomers have positive feelings about virtual reality.
  • +75% of the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands have created some form of virtual reality or augmented reality experience for customers or employees, or are themselves developing these technologies.
  • British travel group Thomas Cook reported a 190% increase in tours booked to New York City after offering a virtual reality experience of the city in their stores.
  • Amnesty International reported a 16% increase in direct-debit donations brought on by its VR campaign (source: youvisit.com).

 

This post is done in collaboration with Open - to go to the Open blog, click here.