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How Kent built an authentic company culture with Workvivo

Uniting every single voice across a global enterprise on one central platform

40,000

Likes on Workvivo by Kent staff

Zero

Posts removed since launching Workvivo

25

Workvivo TV dashboards, and counting

Global leader in integrated energy services

 

When Kent, a leading company in integrated energy services, acquired another firm and took on 7,000 additional employees – bringing its total headcount up to 12,500 – it embraced the challenge head on and treated it as an opportunity to create a brand new work environment. 

All with the help of Workvivo.

People

12,500

Industry

Integrated Energy Services

Location

Global (HQ in Dubai)

Category

Enterprise

Elevating the employee voice

Kent’s acquisition of SNC-Lavalin’s Oil & Gas business gave the company a blank slate on which to map out its new approach to employee experience. With Workvivo by its side, Kent wanted to prioritize one thing: what its employees actually wanted.

We recognized that we didn’t want to absorb 7,000 people into an existing business,” Kent Director of Internal Communications, Mandy McDermott, told us recently. “We wanted to start with a blank piece of paper, and we knew that we didn’t want to define a new culture by just locking a bunch of suits in a boardroom and have them come up with a bunch of stuff.

The employee voice was absolutely the most important aspect of measuring and understanding what we needed to do next – and Workvivo sat right at the center of this for us.

Mandy and her team ran a 12-week ‘listening campaign’ in which they heard from every single one of their employees, holding workshops, surveys, and more through Workvivo.

Workvivo was the primary space where people would engage with that experience. And we did it all in a style that’s quite unique to us: complete transparency, complete openness – just building as much trust as we possibly could.Workvivo was the primary space where people would engage with that experience. And we did it all in a style that’s quite unique to us: complete transparency, complete openness – just building as much trust as we possibly could.

Mandy described the experience as a “massive cultural shock” for Kent’s new colleagues. We were bringing them into an organization that was far more open, less bureaucratic, less hierarchical – and Workvivo totally represented that. They were quite astounded by it.

Workvivo was not only a tool for us, but it completely represented what we were all about. And the output was that we defined our entire core belief system, which is now four core beliefs that were decided by those 10,000-plus people, which I think is pretty cool.

The employee voice was absolutely the most important aspect of measuring and understanding what we needed to do next – and Workvivo sat right at the center of this for us.

Mandy McDermott

Director of Internal Communications at Kent

The Workvivo impact

“We absolutely know that overall performance has improved; the bottom line has improved for us. We had great retention before but even that has improved, too.”**

In 2022, Kent’s Workvivo platform saw a total of 40,464 likes, 1,445 posts, 593 shoutouts, and 4,685 comments.

Mandy’s team places emphasis on anecdotal evidence of employee satisfaction, and shared some highlights:

Supercharging with Workvivo

Workvivo has energized Kent’s internal communications, and in 2022 alone, Kent’s Workvivo platform saw some amazing return on their investment
40,464

Likes on posts shared on Workvivo

1,445

posts, including updates, videos and more

593

shoutouts celebrating team and individual wins

4,685

comments helping colleagues keep in touch

Shifting to an open communications model
Mandy’s team were determined to create as open and authentic a Workvivo environment as possible, but she knows some leaders might deem this a risky approach.

Before, we had that quite traditional thinking, but we’ve massively transformed. There was loads of doubt; we had a fear-driven mindset at the time.

Now, Kent encourages its employees to use their voice on Workvivo. If someone has an issue that’s taking ages to resolve, for example, they can use the platform to draw attention to it.

Obviously, we are all supposed to speak to our line manager and there’s a defined route to resolve any difficulties,” Mandy shared. “But if you’re not getting a resolution, just take it to Workvivo. And our CEO absolutely encourages that. I don’t think we’ve ever deleted a post on Workvivo.

Workvivo was the primary space where people would engage with that experience. And we did it all in a style that’s quite unique to us: complete transparency, complete openness – just building as much trust as we possibly could.

Embracing open comms with Workvivo has helped Kent connect its people like never before, particularly during times of unprecedented organizational change.

We’re an organization across so many different countries, so you may have been sitting in Kuwait doing exactly the same job as somebody sitting in Kazakhstan, but you’d never met each other. You wouldn’t know that you shared issues, challenges, or solutions.

Our frontline workers can also sometimes feel lost or that maybe their problems get a little bit lost in the enormous scale of the business.

Workvivo has connected our people to each other with their stories, experiences, challenges, and celebrations. People feel involved and part of something.

Even during uncertain times, such as the pandemic, Workvivo helped Kent communicate to its staff with honesty and transparency. It helped the CEO feel comfortable in saying “we don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we know”.

When you’re doing it in a human way, on a platform like Workvivo that already has a fairly humanized experience to it, you immediately break down the barriers between the delivery of the message and the audience,” Mandy explained. “The whole delivery method, such as video or livestream, supports you being authentic and genuine.

We genuinely place Workvivo at the center of the real cultural transformation that we’ve had.

Core beliefs - more celebrations and recognition

We also talk openly about that value on the platform and hold ourselves accountable for it. We do as much as we possibly can to celebrate it. As we win awards with clients, they’re shared and celebrated on Workvivo.

When we win projects, we typically aren’t allowed to talk about them externally. So there’s an awful lot of celebration that happens internally; celebration of the hard work and performance it’s taken for us to get there.

That’s where ‘Wow Moments’ come in; our recognition program which has an entire Space on Workvivo dedicated to it. Anybody can give anybody else a Wow Moment for anything, big or small; you might have pulled off the company’s biggest project in history or you might have helped out a colleague when times were tough for them.” “Our culture also says that we ‘Thrive on Emotional Agility’ and Workvivo gives our people a platform to celebrate that. They share the births of their children, pictures of their pets’ antics, their shared determination to raise funds for great meaningful causes, and support for each other in the work they do.

Advice to other comms leaders
What advice would Mandy give to other communications leaders on the fence about an employee communications app like Workvivo?

Do it, first of all. Don’t even think about it.

And once you’ve made your decision, “Don’t police it. Don’t think of traditional software solutions that you’re implementing, that need training material and guidance and that you want to put rules and regulations around. It’s such an organic solution and people will receive it in that way.

If you’re an organization that has trust and openness at its core, none of that should be needed. You might learn an awful lot if you just throw the doors open to something like Workvivo that enables you to hear your employee’s voice.

Remember that culture aligns with profitability. If you are not already creating a safe community space for your people to engage with each other, with the business – up and down and sideways and in and out – then you’re probably not fulfilling your potential to be a profitable, high-performing business.

It’s a complete no-brainer to us to recognize that people, especially after the last few years, will perform better with a sense of connectedness to each other; to other humans, to other parts of the world, to business values and organizational goals. We know now that these things matter.

And so if you don’t have a solution that’s doing that already, think deeply about doing it now.

Customer Stories

Keyloop Unlocked the Power of Open Comms With Workvivo
Keyloop shifted to an open comms model with Workvivo and has reaped the benefits culturally and financially since.
Staffordshire University’s Internal Comms Graduated Top-of-Class with Workvivo
Putting Workvivo at the heart of the digital transformation journey
How CluneTech’s Employee Retention Rate Jumped 30% with Workvivo
CluneTech transformed their culture, and evolved in a way they didn’t even know was possible!