Kyivstar is the №1 service provider in the mobile market, one of the best brands in Ukraine, and one of the most attractive companies in the Ukrainian labor market (Ernst & Young rating for 2013). The company’s staff includes about 4,500 professionals who work in all regions of Ukraine. Accordingly, the leading enterprises in the telecom sector and in other areas compete at the level of the employer brand to attract and retain the best staff.
Arranging effective communication among the staff of a national scale company is a strategic objective in the area of internal communication. It is important to establish, maintain and develop contacts among employees who are geographically far apart and most of them have never met.
In communication for employees, Kyivstar focuses on the format of a national company created by Ukrainians for Ukrainians, pays great attention to social responsibility and contribution to the development of independent Ukraine. Kyivstar seeks success in business but only in a way that would benefit the Ukrainian society and strengthen its foundations. Not only the result of work is important, but also the manner in which it was achieved.
It was important to distinguish and rally employees around a common idea and values of the brand. The digital channel was identified as the main communication channel that makes it possible to remotely unite and engage the maximum number of people across Ukraine. At the same time, the audience of the company employees has virtually no pronounced core in terms of age or any other parameters, therefore the campaign idea should be simple and understandable for both young employees and experienced professionals with a long record of work.
The company regularly holds a variety of uniting activities. Until 2013, the most successful team engagement project had been considered the biggest personal customer service event “Thinking of you”. Back then, 1,300 Kyivstar employees made up a “live” star on the main square of Kyiv, and the campaign itself due to its scale was included in the “Ukrainian Book of Records”.
In fact, we had a benchmark in the extent of team engagement to look up to in developing the concept and efficient mechanics.
Tasks: 1. Rallying employees around a common idea, strengthening of the team spirit of the company. 2. Promoting the principles of knowledge and love for Ukraine. 3. Reaching or exceeding the current company benchmark of engaging 1300 people in one campaign.
Since 2005, on the last business day before the Independence Day of Ukraine, Kyivstar has kept a tradition to celebrate the “Vyshyvanka (Embroidered Shirt) Day” in the team. On that day, employees come to work in embroidered shirts, proving that it is not only cultural heritage but also beautiful and comfortable clothing.
The “Vyshyvanka Day” as a corporate event has become a tradition established at the personal initiative of employees. That is, people would prepare for this event in advance; they chose their vyshyvanka and came to office in it along with their colleagues. However, it should be kept in mind that the company development and its scale suggest permanent staff rotation. New employees come unaware of corporate traditions, and word of mouth may simply fail to give them the right information in time.
This is why we decided to tell you about the “Vyshyvanka Day” and regularize it as a corporate tradition. In this way, we would be able to involve all employees, regardless of their seniority within the company and territorial location.
Everyone who works in Kyivstar has a personality expressed in their profession, interests, and clothing. However, if people do not communicate and do not see each other, they do not know about the features and uniqueness of their colleagues. Meanwhile, corporate values of the company and cultural values of Ukrainians always remain common / uniting.
We decided to rally employees around these values and to give everyone the opportunity to express themselves through the traditional clothing that historically unites all Ukrainians, i.e. vyshyvanka.
Using vyshyvanka constructor, every employee can create their own pattern and embroidery, share it with colleagues and friends, and if his/her work turns out to be the most popular, s/he will get a custom tailored shirt with the developed design.
Vyshyvanka constructor is an interactive website where each employee can develop their own design by combining Ukrainian folk patterns as well as creating personal unique patterns. From descriptions of classic folk ornaments, users could find more information about the origin of each of them, specific features of their use and combination depending on the region of origin.
The main motivating factor was the chance to get a real vyshyvanka embroidered by Lviv masters. For this purpose, it was necessary to create and upload your vyshyvanka design in the competition gallery, where all the staff chose 10 winners through internal voting.
To enhance the effect and motivation to participate, we arranged a photo session with top managers of the company wearing vyshyvankas and their pictures were posted on the main project page of the site. The competition became a rallying point for people who could get to know each other better through their common interest in history. Since it was a private corporate project aimed at employee engagement and unification, only the internal resources of the company and their own media (e-mail, internal portal) were used for promotion without resorting to paid promotions.
According to the results of the implemented campaign, we managed to dramatically exceed the pre-existing data on employee engagement in the project, as well as set new records both within the company and in the internal communications industry:
- During the campaign, more than 90% of ** Kyivstar employees were involved in the project. - More than 600 unique designs of embroidered shirts were created. - It took users on average 5 to 20 minutes to create each shirt. - More than 6,500 votes were cast for shirts, which attests to the high degree of employee engagement in the project.
Employees from Kyivstar offices located in different parts of Ukraine could communicate with each other, discuss and vote for ready vyshyvanka models, which is also a result of a good viral effect within the company.
The idea and the format of the project attracted the attention of many media in Ukraine and abroad, providing dozens of publications on embroidery, its use in the company’s internal communications and engagement results. We managed to set a trend; and the “Vyshyvanka” project and experience of using traditions in the company’s corporate culture were described on Trendhunter resource home page, etc.
KIEV, 01032, UKRAINE