XPO Logistics is a global transport and logistics company ranked top 10 globally with more than 95,000 employees, or “colleagues”, worldwide. 17,500 of these are employed by XPO’s supply chain unit in the UK at over 140 locations, providing warehousing and transport solutions for many reputable brands. In 2015, XPO underwent a change when it acquired Norbert Dentressangle, a family-owned logistics company with a European heritage of almost 40 years and 33,000 employees of their own. The UK HR team needed to quickly get to grips with the changes faced and take a leading role in involving colleagues, existing and new, in understanding and shaping their future.
"'Our Difference' has fundamentally shaped business culture, generating a shared sense of purpose across a newly formed company"
Engagement in the brand, purpose and values was necessary from the entire workforce, and the team involved everyone in shaping these and ensuring they could relate meaningfully with them, via an interactive feedback app. Following discussion workshops, they developed a strategic narrative about the ‘new’ organisation called #WeAreXPO. A key element of this was a 10 minute film starring XPO’s colleagues, which was used to engage employees with the organisation, as well as bring it to life for customers; the foundation for meeting ambitious growth targets.
"A strong customer engagement plan enables XPO to be increasingly proactive and specifically tailor to future solutions"
Based on business-wide input, the engagement brand ‘Our Difference’ was developed, along with a recognisable logo. The underpinning attributes of this were that: people are the company’s most valuable asset, and collaborative effort makes the difference to success. Our Difference Steering Groups were set up to foster a strong community of colleagues, with Champions at every site. A menu of engagement-maximising activities was available at all locations through ‘Our Difference Pathway’, providing inspiration and practical help for leaders to engage their teams along with an internal recognition programme. Key initiatives launched included a plan to support colleagues’ mental, physical and financial wellbeing; ‘Our Voice’ which facilitated two-way feedback and collaboration; and ‘Our Difference Awards’ which were created to celebrate successes and generate healthy competition between sites.
XPO’s initiatives have proven hugely successful. The interactive feedback app saw over 1,800 hits and feedback comments over a two-week period, and provided much-needed insight from colleagues. ‘Our Difference’ has fundamentally shaped XPO Logistics’ business culture, generating a shared sense of purpose across the newly formed company and increasing engagement, with scores on an upward trajectory. In the last 2 years, XPO’s supply chain unit’s turnover has seen double digit growth and many new contracts with top brands have been secured. Recent customer testimonials underline the success of their strategy: “Their people strategy, their expertise and the quality of their workforce underpins an extremely reliable operation which consistently achieves the highest levels of service". “[XPO’s] willingness to immerse themselves in our business and culture via a strong engagement plan enables them to be increasingly proactive and specifically tailor to future solutions.” XPO Logistics have experienced the most successful 18 months in their history, with a purposeful culture at the heart of this success.