Employee Engagement in the Driving Seat
Jardine Motors operates 56 dealerships throughout the United Kingdom (UK), and is responsible for such brands as BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi. Jardine Motors Group (JMG) is owned by Jardine Matheson, a diversified Asian-based business group, with a storied history.
Head of Communications and Engagement Amanda Mogan-Wilson was tasked with bringing together the dealerships, office staff and skilled craftspeople (like master mechanics). “It’s a disparate group,” Amanda notes. “There are differences in ways of working and location, as well as multiple career paths, from long-established apprentice programmes to office workers and dealership salespeople.”
There were over 100 systems and platforms in place for operations, with an outmoded – and hardly used – intranet. Internal communications were driven by emails and face-to-face meetings. The objective Amanda set herself was to create a compelling, seamless, and powerful internal communications platform that would offer a single front-end experience across the business and be enticing and engaging for all her colleagues.
Leveraging the company’s strong listening culture, Amanda created focus groups to establish what JMG colleagues would respond to and what could be developed to improve interaction and feedback, knowledge sharing and corporate information flow. Of particular concern was connecting the field professionals, the talented engineers who worked on cars and didn’t sit at desks. Many of the more senior members of the technical staff had been at JMG for some time and were not typically online, thus creating barriers to communications that could only be overcome by face-to-face meetings through line managers. This made a mobile-first solution essential, along with a focus on personalized and targeted channels to show, in the words of Amanda, “hyperlocal was the way to go.”
JMG came to LiveTiles for LiveTiles Intranet, an enterprise-strength platform that is highly configurable and personable, encourages collaboration, and integrates seamlessly with third-party applications. LiveTiles Intranet also has a rich Directory module, which automatically keeps staff profiles and skillsets up to date. The Directory also allows communicators to target relevant information and topics to colleagues based on profile properties such as location, role, job and interests.
Using Microsoft 365 as the colleague-facing delivery platform the company valued Livetiles’ intranet governance, the ability to connect with correct information immediately and multiple comms sources from group-wide policies and procedures manuals to Yammer conversations, and the future-proofed LiveTiles development roadmap.
Master mechanics are the most experienced and most in-demand colleagues on the ground at JMG. Their extensive apprenticeships are known to build a loyalty to their craft beyond a loyalty to their dealership. They were, therefore, a challenging group for Amanda’s drive to improved internal communications.
During the recent pandemic, while many of JMGs colleagues were furloughed (temporarily laid-off on paid leave), several repair teams were retained for emergencies. They could not, however, travel or collaborate in their usual way, troubleshooting issues with the bonnet up and the toolkit at hand. They started using Teams to communicate with each other and troubleshoot remotely to share their expertise.
This was an entirely organic initiative, but Amanda has set it as a benchmark for future development as it provides a key indicator of how easy-to-use digital workplace tools can drive great grassroots collaboration. She is also encouraging the senior managers of the dealerships to own ‘their’ news and information channels to drive internal learning and communications at a local level which increases engagement and knowledge sharing across the sites.
Driving forward, JMG plan to leverage the LiveTiles platform for innovations such as chatbots and enhanced analytics for more data-driven decision making. While employees work from home, their work schedules are often not the ‘traditional’ ones, and so Amanda believes that giving them the ability to connect, get information and solve issues anytime, anywhere will further cement connections and communications within the company.
Amanda Mogan-Wilson, currently training for an Ironman challenge to raise funds for Breast Cancer, understands that communications at the company is a marathon, not a sprint, but strongly supported by the management team, she continues to develop the system’s capabilities and focus on its successful implementation across Jardine Motors. Internal comms and more engaged colleagues are now firmly in the driving seat with eyes fully focused on the thrilling journey ahead.