In 2017 customer complaints at warranty provider Domestic & General were at an all-time high and employee engagement, especially among call centre staff, was falling fast, dropping to 3.5/5 on the Gallup rating. Siloed working, fatigue and lack of shared focus was evident across the business. The company’s values were simply collecting dust on posters on the wall. The 100 year old business needed to be rebooted to become truly customer obsessed – and culture was central to this strategy.
"HR, Marketing and Customer Experience collaborated for the first time on a cross-business initiative"
It developed a culture programme called Ignite, focusing on living the values and putting the customer at the heart of everything. Partnering with businessfourzero, D&G brought together a cross-functional group, Team Ignite, to co-create a set of values and behaviours to guide better decisions and performance and to help it towards its vision and mission. HR, Marketing and Customer Experience collaborated for the first time on a cross-business initiative.
Following a discovery phrase, people from across the business were brought into the fold to form a group of ‘Firelighters’ – a network of change champions to model the values and speak up when something was stifling progress. Firelighters choose their own ‘Sparks’ to help embed the culture and new ways of working - the result being that someone was wearing the cultural hat in every meeting. A single narrative using everyday language was developed and a visual blueprint created that employees could use as a tool in their day-to-day. An Ignite event featured an amphitheatre-style set up (the agora) where everyone was eye-to-eye, creating the environment for real argument and debate.
Through the Firelighters and Sparks, the culture change built momentum from bottom up. Since launch employee engagement has jumped from the 15th to 28th percentile, there has been a 40% increase in D&G’s Glassdoor score and a 12 point increase in net promoter score.