For the first time in its 100-year history, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd (NIE Networks) entered into a competitive, open market environment in March 2018 – having previously held the monopoly on the local market as the only distribution network organisation that could connect homes, schools, hospitals and businesses to the electricity network in Northern Ireland.
This would bring about a mammoth change to the way in which the Connections division within NIE Networks structured its business and the service it offers to hundreds of thousands of customers across the province every year. This included a significant investment in modernising and digitising Connections’ systems and processes to make things much more streamlined and efficient for employees, and to improve the overall NIE Networks experience for the customer in today’s modern world.
Lanyon was engaged to provide internal communications and employee engagement support across the Programme to prepare NIE Networks for its new operating environment. A robust communications strategy was developed that ensured regular, consistent and informative communications to all employees throughout the 30-month duration of the Programme.
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employees attended conferences
focus group participants
whole brain thinking profiles created
We developed a bespoke campaign brand to ensure that all communications in relation to the Programme were clearly identifiable and fell under one consistent look and feel. With the bright, attractive ‘Connecting People’ brand came two separate brand drivers to mark two distinct phases of the campaign: ‘Our Year of Change’ and ‘The Future is Now’.
Development of content and collateral
Working with our appointed designer, Lanyon developed a large portfolio of branded assets to support the various stages of the Programme campaign – including a Behaviours Framework booklet which set out the mission, vision and values of Connections and the behaviours that would help the business achieve the objectives of the Programme.
Over the course of the campaign we worked with the senior management team and Programme Board in Connections to modernise and simplify their communications, ensuring that they were digital-friendly, engaging and easily digestible for employees. We steered away from text-heavy documents and presentations, instead introducing infographics as a much more clear, attractive and modern way of presenting information. Hundreds of infographics were developed in-house by Lanyon.
Throughout the Programme, the Connections business was required to communicate a wealth of important technical and legal information to its employees. To make this as easy to digest as possible, Lanyon developed a series of short, informative videos – all delivered by a wide range of employees at all levels within the business. These videos were played at employee briefings, were published on the internal intranet system and were also shown at the Connections employee engagement conferences.
Lanyon delivered two major employee engagement conferences for 300 employees in the business, at which the organisation’s directors and senior managers could set out its future and equip employees with crucially important information and training.
Lanyon undertook the end-to-end management of these events – including venue management (The Braid, Ballymena and The MAC, Belfast), catering, sound/AV and development of content/collateral. We also secured a range of high-profile motivational speakers for the events, including Mark Pollock, Chris Henry (Ulster & Ireland Rugby) and Armagh-born NASA space expert Sinead O’Sullivan.
Employee engagement focus groups
We worked with NIE Networks’ HR team to develop a programme of employee engagement focus groups, delivered by Lanyon across the organisation’s network of regional depots across Northern Ireland.