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Six years of insights that drive action at GWR
Culture & Insights
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In a nutshell

Creating communications that captivate colleagues comes from knowing what your people want, what they need and how they feel. That’s how you’ll make the biggest impact – and doing so demands proof.

Over the last six years with GWR, we’ve unearthed the data and insights to make communications cut through. Since our very first audit together, how colleagues perceive GWR across its channels – both in terms of content and IC – and their focused engagement scores continue to rise.

That means the data-driven decisions the comms team is making are working – and those changes are landing, despite the increasingly tough workplace climate.

Over half a decade of research has proven that, for GWR:

Authenticity in communications trumps all else. In sharing good and bad alike, colleagues trust the messages they receive and are encouraged to learn more about the business.
Frontline colleagues are five times more likely to prefer printed materials to their desk-based counterparts.
GWR colleagues know the purpose of each channel and – when a message deviates from that purpose – engagement in that channel dropped.

The brief

GWR’s IC team is strategic and focused, with a pragmatic approach to communications. But the team also knows the power of acting upon insights.

The challenge is keeping on top of those insights as the world of work continues to evolve – and making sure the platforms and practices adopted by the team are landing with diverse groups of colleagues across the vast rail network and beyond.

It's why – over the last six years – we’ve been helping the team better understand the needs and preferences of its audience.

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Our response and delivery

Our first annual IC audit with the team was a temperature check: diving into channels, messaging, formats, leader perception and engagement scores.

Our approach isn’t just a one-and done report, nor a shallow interrogation of colleagues. Instead, we start by looking at the strategy, using it to inform our question set and explore enough topics to paint a clear picture of the business – without the audit becoming too much of a burden for colleagues – helping them understand what we’d do with the insights we may unearth.

With qualitative and quantitative data discovered, we discuss the findings with the team and workshop the recommendations, agreeing key priorities to focus on for the coming year.

8602 GWR IC Audit alongside response

The impact

Six audits later, perception across channels, content and IC – and the team’s focused engagement scores – continue to rise, all in a challenging operating environment for colleagues and the business alike.

We know what content works and what to steer clear of. We use that understanding when we need to make critical communications land with a certain audience segment. And with six years of insights, we’re now bringing the audit full circle, using those findings to inform the IC team and anticipate colleagues’ future needs.

Now, we have a clear, sustainable cycle of progress that sets the team apart and offers a greater understanding of colleagues needs and desires – and a clear picture of how we can deliver against them.

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“As comms professionals, we always have an idea of how to drive engagement, but the key is knowing that our actions align with what colleagues want and need to do their job, so they can deliver the company objectives. An annual audit of what colleagues think of our internal communications is a key part of our focus on delivering for our colleagues and the business.”
Rhian Moore, Head of Internal Communications at GWR
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