I passionately believe that your workforce is your most important audience. If you’re planning a project, or are managing an issue, employees should be the first group listed in the audience section of your comms plan.
Your employees can be your most powerful advocates. They can also be your fiercest critics. It might seem obvious, but it’s people that deliver projects. It’s people that achieve your milestones. It’s people that transform an organisation.
Today was our employee awards – the Wave Awards – ceremony. It’s usually an annual event. The pandemic meant it was eighteen months since we last gathered in a room to celebrate employee successes.
Despite the challenges, we knew the show must go on. Celebrating successes is writ large in our Manifesto, and it’s a behaviour we should all encourage.
Working in employee communications, it’s always one of the very best events of the year. And despite this one taking place virtually with fewer people gathered in a room, this was as true as ever.
So, there was no physical event. This meant fewer ill-fitting tuxedos and badly tied bowties. There were fewer awkward conversations with tablemates. No physical event meant people could relax in their own home or at their desk, and they could enjoy the event without any of the usual distractions.
Our virtual Wave Awards had more than 190 entries from all across our business. This meant almost two hundred examples of people going the extra mile. There were two hundred teams who felt their achievement was worth shouting about. Two hundred success stories to share.
And what stories they were.
• We heard of an employee who saved the life of a grandparent taken ill.
• We heard how our work has adapted and how we’d continued to deliver in the face of adversity.
• We heard how a team delivered a task considered impossible. They delivered an oil change in a highly radioactive environment, keeping mission moving.
• We heard how our IT department reacted to the pandemic to introduce remote working measures at a pace never seen before.
• We learned how we managed to introduce one of the first Covid-19 test facilities at an industrial site.
We even heard how the internal communications team quickly introduced new channels to keep everyone up to date in a pandemic.
At times people say that Sellafield moves too slowly, that we don’t collaborate and struggle to address our biggest challenges. Today’s awards proved this is far from the truth; that the opposite is true.
The common thread throughout the 190 entries, 40 shortlisted entries and 10 winners, was the pride from all those involved.
As a member of the organising committee for the last two years, I feel proud to have been able to do my bit – a small effort really – to celebrate our employees’ successes.
Because a workforce filled with pride is a workforce who deliver.
Well done to everyone who won awards at this year’s event.
Commiserations to those who missed out. Believe me when I say that the judges were proud of each and every one of you.