Nationwide (research project)

The challenge

There were five core elements to this research project. We wanted to better understand:

  • overall reactions to communications
  • the sources that employees were receiving their information from
  • how the different channels were working
  • the topics that employees wanted to know more about
  • the approach and style that employees respond to.

Answering these questions would allow us to build a picture of comms within Nationwide and to make practical recommendations for future activity.

The solution

This project utilised both quantitative and qualitative data. In the first phase, employees were invited to hour-long discussions, based on a topic guide, at seven different locations across the UK and Ireland. We also carried out one-to-one interviews with 12 key stakeholders from around the organisation.

As a second stage, an online questionnaire focusing on channels, topics, style and approach was made available to all employees.

We used our findings, together with our knowledge of best practice, to write a report that outlined our conclusions, recommendations for a way forward, and the latest thinking in the internal comms industry.

The value

The project proved particularly useful to the Nationwide Communications team, as it took place at around the same time as a new Chief Executive arrived to lead the organisation. This meant the team had robust research to help shape a new direction.

For instance, as well as covering the effectiveness of existing comms channels – both overall, and by division, grade and role – in our report, we were also able to split the audience into three distinct groups. This understanding allowed us to make recommendations for reaching each more effectively.

The Comms team has since put this knowledge into practice, by refining some channels, stopping others, and starting some new ones. Our client said afterwards: “Thank you for your work on the project – we’ve shared it with our Comms colleagues and it’s all gone down very well.”