Sainsbury’s annual colleague conference is a great day out, a brilliant get-together and a motivating step-up for 5,000 employees from across the business. But with over 160,000 colleagues in differing roles and shift patterns how do you share that experience and ensure that important insight and information gets to everyone? Sainsbury’s asked us for help.
A community of 'storytellers'
Our solution was to re-cast conference attendees as a community of ‘storytellers’ with a critical mission: to help connect colleagues with the business strategy, to unite the whole business with a shared purpose and celebrate business success at a local level.
Success rooted in process
We devised a five-step communication planning model – prime, capture, compose, share and assess – to manage all aspects of the campaign. First we defined the Storyteller role, then supported Store Managers to ‘recruit’ conference attendees. Once we had our community of storytellers we supported them to plan for the conference, including how to pick strategically the threads of the story they would take back to the business and how best to bring that story to life.
Structured but flexible
Ensuring that our storytellers brought their own personality and experiences in to the process was critical so our ‘storyteller pack’ equipped them with structured yet flexible tools, techniques and skills to help them bring the story of the business back ‘home’ in their own way.
And our ‘The Storyteller’ magazine – one of several key campaign activations – told the story behind the conference, providing tips and guidance to storytellers and bringing key messages to life in engaging and inspiring ways.
Equipping and enabling colleagues
In the two weeks after the conference, Storytellers shared their stories of day with their colleagues. We equipped them with resources – everything from film clips of the key note speakers and moments from the conference to branded collateral, presentation materials through to product samples – and let them put their storytelling skills to work.
A final issue of ‘The Storyteller’ showcased the level of commitment and enthusiasm achieved as our Storytellers embraced the challenge and delivered local events that engaged and inspired thousands of colleagues across the country.