At BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, we believe that clear communication throughout all areas of our business drives company culture, creates stronger teams and ultimately leads to business success.
Our Change Maker programme was introduced to keep communication flowing across our Solihull and Belfast teams, and encourage consistency of messaging at all levels.
We sat down with our Internal Communications Manager, Tina Taylor, and Sarah Murphy, Director of Brand and Communications, to find out what being a Change Maker entails, and how the programme has been used to launch our new company values.
So, what is a Change Maker?
Tina explains: “Our Change Makers are volunteers from all of the key business areas who are passionate about life at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK.
“The role of these advocates is to help senior management communicate messages to the wider business, so they can gain insight into how the messaging is being received.
“As part of our mission to make BNP Paribas Personal Finance a great place to work, they’re also able to input into ideas for driving company culture and colleague engagement.”
Change Maker meetings are held every fortnight, where these passionate volunteers can meet with the senior team and discuss business updates.
Sarah says: “It’s a powerful tool when we have an important message to deliver, and the programme helps us to connect with our colleagues and get a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings on key issues.”
Having advocates from various parts of the business has also been key in helping our colleagues stay connected during these uncertain times, and the Change Makers have played an important role in preparing our colleagues for a new way of working as part of Project GROW (Gradual Return to Work).
Tina comments: “The programme has been an essential tool as the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve.
“Naturally, people have felt anxious about the changing government guidelines, and our Change Makers have helped us to reassure staff by communicating higher messaging in a clear and consistent way – as well as feeding back questions and voicing any concerns our colleagues might have.”
Not only do the Change Makers play a vital role in communicating important messages, but they’re also valuable in helping to embed new internal business ideas. For example, the newly launched ‘Communities’ (used for digital networking within the business) were tried and tested by the volunteers before being launched.
In addition, previously underutilised company benefits such ‘Health Shield’ (which allows staff to claim back some of the cost of wellbeing treatments) have seen a huge uplift in popularity due to our Change Makers spreading the word and sharing their first-hand experiences of how to use these benefits with their colleagues.
As well as utilising these volunteers to filter messages down through the business, our programme coordinators quite often ask Change Makers to gather thoughts from their teams which are then fed back up to senior management.
The fact that this relationship works both ways ensures a steady flow of communication throughout the business and allows our colleagues at all levels to have an influence on everything from company culture to future policies.
Sarah says: ‘It’s a really valuable opportunity to retrieve feedback on recent comms activities that we wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”
More recently, the Change Makers were also involved in the development and integration of our new business values – ‘We’re positive. We’re brave. We own it’.
Tina says: “Their insight into what each of these values means to them helped us to shape the wording we used in our internal comms and ensure that this reflected the company culture.”
As well as playing a key role in communicating business messages, for the Change Makers themselves, the programme is an excellent networking opportunity to connect with colleagues across the business.
Sarah says: ‘If you can develop a company culture that works for your colleagues and your business, it will inevitably lead to increased employee satisfaction and, ultimately, business success.”
To find out more about life at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, visit https://www.bnpparibas-pf.co.uk/careers/