Electric ambitions to spark a culture of recognition
Dixons had a clear ambition: to feature in the Sunday Times Top 100 Places to work. As Europe’s largest specialist electrical retailing and services company, it’s also the only UK high street retailer of its kind left. Their main competition is online – so they know that personal service is their strongest asset. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, face-to-face advice. Shining after sales care. A helpful voice at the end of the phone.
Dixons’ power lies in their people – and they wanted to amp it up through recognition.
They wanted to shine a spotlight on the great work their colleagues do every day. But their Annual Employee Research Survey had highlighted that their multiple existing recognition schemes had a lot of room for improvement.
The fragmented approach wasn’t working. They needed a memorable, cohesive framework that all their employees would identify with. From their people in store to the spares and repairs teams behind the scenes; from their central Support Centre to their delivery drivers, they all needed to be motivated in the same way. Dixons wanted something people would actually care about. Something that would create a buzz and quickly spread throughout the business. Something truly electric…
So they came to Home. They asked us to help them spark a culture of recognition, so that recognising and rewarding great work would become a natural, genuine, every day part of working at Dixons.
This was all about Dixons’ people, so we wanted to include them throughout – plugging into their experience, ideas and opinions so that it really meant something to them.
We started by holding workshops with managers and colleagues to help us write the brief, so that people at all divisions of the business felt connected with the campaign before it went live. At every stage, we tested the creative routes and framework with frontline staff to make sure it rang true. Over 200 colleagues and managers contributed, with the support of a business steering group to help shape and refine the strategy, brand and communications.
Some managers were already recognising their people well. We asked them to tell us how they were doing it – then channelled their insight into the communications we were creating, so that everyone could learn from them. For those who were less comfortable with recognition, we armed them with the information and tools they needed to feel confident recognising their colleagues’ achievements.
Switching on the electric
These conversations told us that if recognition was going to become a part of Dixons’ everyday culture, it had to become more natural and genuine.
We created a new brand, You’re Electric, to encompass all Dixons’ recognition activities. It’s underpinned by four Electric Principles – the behaviours that show how Dixons does business best.
The recognition framework now has three-tier structure, to recognise the Electric Principles in action:
Peer-to-peer: colleagues thanking colleagues needed tools to make it quick, easy and fun.
Manager and customer nominated awards: enables managers to allocate points to people for their performance (exchangeable for reward vouchers).
Quarterly and annual awards: formal awards for truly outstanding examples of the Electric Principles in action.
At Home, we believe that internal campaigns should be every bit as creative and clever as your external advertising. With You’re Electric, we wanted to create something that shined bright with an infectious energy. So we commissioned an illustrator to create the letters in all their 3D glory – you can almost hear them buzzing. The brand is lively, exciting and inherently Dixons, fundamentally wired in to who they are and what they do.
Within the first three days, 4,000 people – almost a quarter of Dixons’ UK workforce – had voluntarily signed up. We used a mixture of online and offline materials throughout the campaign, due to limited internet access, but colleagues wanted to be part of You’re Electric so much that over 3,000 signed up using their personal email addresses. After three months over half of Dixons’ UK workforce has signed up and sent over 10,000 thank yous. The launch had a real impact, and Dixons’ people are still glowing with the recognition.