When Barclays’ corporate social responsibility programme changed gear to become a Group-wide sustainability strategy, blue goose worked closely with the Group internal communications team to develop an employee engagement programme to help 130,000 employees worldwide understand why and how sustainability should be the ‘invisible hand’ directing every action of the business.
The sustainability strategy was driven by senior owners of the five sustainability themes – diversity, financial inclusion, global citizenship, customer focus and environmental impact – each with competing as well as complementary interests to promote. We brought them together to co-create a sustainability vision, messages and engagement plan based around different interests with a shared purpose. What resulted was unified thinking on how components of the sustainability strategy could be joined together for employees.
Reducing complexity, not dumbing-down
Given that employee understanding of ‘CSR ‘had gained traction in recent years the move to the broader, deeper and more complex platform of ‘sustainability’ presented a significant challenge. Our approach was to develop a simple and direct platform – This is sustainability – and a striking ‘message in context’ execution. We picked out messages around the key themes and amplified them in creative executions that showed how, as a sustainable bank, Barclays must marry its own interests with the needs of its customers.
An integrated campaign approach
Multi-channel communication activities and collateral were developed including a ‘sustainability’ microsite, 4,000 high impact poster slots, large scale poster installations, animated intranet banners and a sustainability ‘gallery’ installation.
Over 560 employees were surveyed after the first tranche campaign with almost 90% believing Barclays to be ‘committed’ or ‘very committed’ to sustainability. In qualitative feedback, employees cited issues relevant to all five themes of the sustainability strategy. They also understood this required long-term commitment.
One of the indirect benefits of the approach was the emergence of a sustainability ‘community’ with shared purpose, helping create the right culture and climate for a ‘joined-up’ approach.