EXCLUSIVE: Wilson James Group adapted digital engagement strategy due to Covid-19

Employee Benefits Reset 2020: Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wilson James Group had started on a journey of digital engagement in order to keep in regular contact with employees.

Speaking as part of the Employee Benefits Reset 2020 online conference series, Samantha Rope, former HR director at Wilson James Group, explained that when the pandemic hit followed y the subsequent lockdown, the employer quickly adapted its digital communication strategy in order to provide employees with real-time information on health and safety relating to the virus, as well as updates on what the organisation was doing.

Wilson James has 5,500 employees spread across hundreds of UK locations, so it had to find multiple digital channels through which to engage employees.

“Trying to find a solution to engage digitally with a workforce that is so diverse, certainly gave us some challenges,” said Rope.

The organisation had started to work on its digital transformation agenda, but had to dramatically improve the speed at which it could communicate with employees during the pandemic.

Rope said: “The complexity of the information that we needed to share with our employees was greater than ever: to help them understand what was happening from a UK perspective with Covid, but actually how we were translating that in the workplace as well.”

Wilson James used multiple digital channels to reach its dispersed workforce, including Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Facebook and virtual townhalls. It also transformed its learning hub into a mental health and wellbeing platform with resources and tools to support staff.

The hub has seen a 134% increase in access and 4,980 hits a month from different employees. To further support employee wellbeing, senior managers took a temporary pay cut, and the savings were invested into more mental health and wellbeing initiatives for all employees at Wilson James.