Virgin

Opening new horizons for Virgin with smarter technology and teamwork

Industry

Airline

Company size

10,000

Region

Global

In the three decades since Virgin Atlantic made its maiden voyage from Gatwick airport in 1984, the company's iconic red and white planes have put the style back into air travel. Its sister company, Virgin Holidays, was founded in 1985 on the Virgin principles of excellent customer service, value, reliability, responsibility and a sense of fun.

Today, the Virgin Atlantic Group employs more than 10,000 employees worldwide. Among these employees are the head office and retail staff, back end teams, engineers, cabin crew and flight crew who call Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays home.

For Virgin, the road to Workplace began in 2016 when an internal survey revealed that a large number of employees felt disengaged and disconnected from one another. It became clear that there were three fundamental needs that were not being met. These were for people to be able to: 1. Collaborate more freely with their colleagues, 2. Receive more transparent communications from company leaders, and 3. Have access to a mobile-centric tool that made working away from the desk a breeze.

Results

81%adoption rate

75%monthly mobile adoption

65%weekly active users

How Workplace helped

Smarter staff benefits with a bot

One of Virgin's most popular staff benefits is free travel. Traditionally, to book a seat on an upcoming flight, employees first had to log in to Virgin's intranet from a desktop, navigate through various pages and check the availability or 'load' of the flight.

With Workplace, Virgin Atlantic has completely reimagined this process.

Virgin Atlantic's Instant Load Checker bot is the brainchild of their in-house development team, and it automates the entire process. Now, people simply open a new Workplace Chat window and ask the bot how many seats are available on an upcoming flight. The bot replies instantly with load capacity information. Intuitive and mobile-friendly, Instant Load Checker has made it possible to book flights on the go.

Taking teamwork to new heights

Once teams started using Workplace, real-time problem solving and collaboration started springing up in every corner of the business.

Suddenly, flight crews could address passenger requests by communicating freely with teams on the ground via a shared group. Cabin crew could easily manage last-minute shift swapping with colleagues through Workplace Chat. CEO Craig Kreeger started to hear ideas and feedback from people in the business who he had never spoken with before via an open group called 'Ask Craig'.

Getting on board with better communication and culture

For Virgin, Workplace has become the central hub of communication and the beating heart of company culture. The secret to their success has been a well-planned and well executed deployment strategy.

The Internal Communications team launched a campaign called #GetOnBoard to generate awareness and excitement about Workplace four weeks ahead of the launch. The campaign featured educational material, such as Workplace info guides, as well as a fun launch video, prizes for teams who showed off the best Workplace spirit, and other Workplace-branded material to boost engagement, including selfie banners and cupcakes. The campaign showed people how easy it is to come together with Workplace and achieved a 70% adoption rate just eight weeks after deployment.

"With Workplace, the ease of use and the ease of communication actually started new connections that didn't exist before, which fostered further new connections within the business."

Don Langford

Don Langford

CIO at Virgin Atlantic

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