Whitepaper 1.1 – Collaborator Perspectives Part 5
Steven Murgatroyd, Internal Communications Manager, AXA UK & Ireland
AXA UK & Ireland is part of a French multinational insurance firm that engages in global insurance, investment management and other financial services.
During June, AXA UK&I planned to re-open 5 of their offices to a smaller number of employees, 300 in total. It was especially important for those who had joined the company since the beginning of lockdown and still required vital face-to-face training to properly fulfil their role. To conduct these training sessions, the employees attended the office for half a day and then left to continue working from home.
“The business is running as well as it possibly can be with everyone working from home so there’s no rush in bringing people back. We made a commitment early on that anyone who is unable to work from home will continue to receive full-pay and we didn’t furlough any employees.
“We have found that some people are desperate to come back, and some people are happy to continue working from home for the foreseeable future.”
“We assigned a senior manager to each office and classified them as the site lead. They became the main point of communication. Emails were sent to these employees around how they could support employees in the office. We also created ‘Welcome Back’ packs which included images on all the changes such as designated desks and routes. These were created on a local level for each individual office.
Aside from these, we also created an online L&D training module for everyone who’s going back into the office so they are aware of all the new rules and how to follow them. It explains what we will be doing as an employer and what is expected of employees.”
“Every two or three days we have a crisis call with the Health & Safety team and HR team where we map out key areas and receive updates on where they are and what they have been working on. At the same time, the Management Committee met two/three times a week to discuss a broad range of things.”
The team created a clear strategy around which channels would be used for each type of communication, below are the core channels that were chosen.
- Email – Emails were predominately used for big announcements.
“One of our recent announcements was that we gave everyone 10 extra holiday days to use for volunteering. We chose email as the engagement level is slightly higher.”
- Sharepoint Site – They developed a central Sharepoint site that hosted all relevant and updated information.
“We’ve got around 8,500 employees who can access out Intranet and over 7,000 have interacted with the site.”
“Our greatest success in terms of channel we’ve used is video. So, we started to create vlogs with the CEO. They’ve gone down really well with employees because they get to see the CEO in his own space and understand and connect with them bit more because suddenly, they are in the house. It was more of a general update around what he had been doing that week, such as the meetings he’d attended and anything related to wellbeing including some impromptu interruptions from his daughter!”
- Wellbeing App – The company has released a wellbeing app over the course of this crisis, approved by the NHS. They have also given all employees access to an app which allows appointments with a doctor at any time over video. Employees had an unlimited number of appointments they could use over a specific time period.