Open-access content 25th October 2010
A common vision for better communication has broken down barriers between partners AXA and Carillion and raised the profile of FM service throughout the UK.
Winner: AXA and carillion
By Natalie Li
28 October 2010
How do you go about breaking down communication barriers, engaging with your customer and creating a united front? This was the challenge facing both AXA and Carillion as they worked to develop a revitalised approach to communications and service excellence in the delivery of FM services to AXA.
With the FM delivery team made up of a diverse group of employees from AXA UK Group Property, Carillion and various supplier partners, there are more than 300 team members to communicate to, from housekeepers, security officers and engineers through to property management professionals as well as the end users.
In 2008 Carillion was awarded a five-year contract with AXA, renewing an eight-year partnership between their respective companies. As part of the new contract, an FM Transformation programme was developed – designed to support the delivery of AXA’s strategic goals.
In the first instance, the AXA and Carillion property delivery team was re-branded to Workplace Solutions in September 2008. It was a brand which aimed to bridge the divide between hard and soft services, contractor and supplier, service partners and client.
The concept behind the Workplace Solutions brand emphasises the importance of service delivery and the importance of the each customer and individual team member to the business. The logo – the public identity of the team – continues with the theme of each individual being part of a jigsaw which Carillion describe as “painting a bigger picture of mutual dependency and integration”.
A mission statement swiftly followed: “Our vision is to be a team of customer focused service professionals working together in the heart of AXA to set new standards of excellence and pride in the workplace.”
Over the course of two years the team pushed ahead with promoting the Workplace Solutions brand through a variety of channels. A ‘One Team’ launch event kicked off proceedings and team events now take place several times a year to engage the team and management and improve relationships. In addition, a re-branded uniform for front line team members has reinforced team identity and demonstrated professionalism. Crucially, it identifies facilities staff to building users – so a helping hand is never far away.
Keeping staff updated features highly on the communications agenda and with this in mind bi-monthly newsletters are circulated, a Workplace Solutions intranet was set up and regular team meetings take place.
The annual Workplace Solutions Awards enables the team to nominate their peers for exceptional service which goes above and beyond the call of duty. There may have been a palpable sense of pride and ownership within the teams but truly measuring success came in the form of an annual workplace survey – respondents were asked to complete the survey over a two week period.
The survey, which was hosted on the Workplace Solutions Intranet, reviewed the effectiveness and productivity of workplaces at AXA. Overall 54 per cent of people said that they were aware of their local Workplace Solutions team and the role they play in the office they work in, while 73 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with their working environment.
Jason Ruehland, account director for Carillion and AXA’s Workplace Solutions team says: “It’s vital to us to be able to demonstrate to our customer that we are adding value to their workplace. On a contract like this where Carillion has now partnered AXA for many years, there shouldn’t be any ‘quick wins’ left, and that’s when innovation and fresh solutions become an even more vital part of your currency, so that you can keep on making a difference, exceeding your customer’s expectations and transforming their service delivery. And that’s how Workplace Solutions, its brand identity, its values and its vision was born.”
The Romec brand refresh has helped to give the company a strong identity in the marketplace with a clear focus on customer service. It was launched using every aspect of marketing including vehicle livery, website and signage. Employees were engaged throughout the process by a new magazine, roadshows and competitions.