LM Wind Power Center of Excellence

Onboard employees through the voices of peers

LM Wind Power Center of Excellence
LM Wind Power Center of Excellence

Onboard employees through the voices of peers

How do you welcome new employees to your training centers using video as a tool, when you are not allowed to film the facilities? You engage the employees to tell their personal experiences.

By: Simon Charles Quintal, Senior Creative Advisor & Video Specialist (April 18, 2018)

Creating impactful employee films that talk directly to peoples’ hearts and minds requires… yes, people. The right people and their stories. It is the people who give the human touch, add the personal angle, and make the viewer feel.

This was in the back of our minds, when LM Wind Power asked for our help for a film to welcome new people to their training centers, Center of Excellence. There was just one challenge; we were not allowed to film the locations from the inside due to confidentiality.

Creating authenticity through the unpredictable
The result was an emotional and powerful state-of-mind-film told from the employees’ perspective rather than a story about buildings and rooms; One long film and three short versions of the one for use on SoMe.

What we experience as the main challenge in this type of production is trust. In traditional corporate communication, the messages need to be very clear and correct. But when asking employees to speak from the heart it becomes hard to control all the variables. From a client’s perspective, that can be difficult to buy into.

Yet, the biggest benefit is without a doubt the honesty of the final production. If you trust the employees to deliver a message that they believe in and to tell it in their own words, it becomes much more credible and powerful. And by leaving room for the unexpected, you also get a sense of the people and their reality – such as Gabi in one of the films helping her daughter study. None of that is scripted.

Watch the three films below. We hope you like them.
You can read more about our view on films here, here and here.

Building people before blades: Gabi’s story

Building people before blades: Carlos’ story

Building people before blades: Luis’ story

Make your strategy personal with video

video in strategy
video in strategy

Make your strategy personal with video

We bet you have seen a good film about people. But have you seen a good film about strategy? This is where you need your employees to keep it real and personal.

By: Anna Porko, Communication Advisor, & Lars Wittrock, Senior Creative Advisor & Video Specialist (April 10, 2018)

An organizational strategy is often an advanced document with facts, figures, buzzwords and high-level business jargon. And it needs to be: It is the realm of net profit margins and compound annual growth rates, of five-year goals, efficiency optimization and market shares. A good strategy gives direction for the journey to come, and it acts like an umbrella under which every employee has their place.

In turn, employees want to know where they are, and where they are going to – personally. They want to have an answer to the question: What does that mean to me? This means that for rolling out and communicating the strategy, the main goals are to answer that question and to make people feel like: ‘I want to be a part of that journey’. Even when it is hard.

This is not easy to do. People relate to people, to authenticity, to struggle, to humanity. That is not the language of strategy.

Make it personal with video
We bet you have seen a good film about people. But have you seen a good film about strategy?

This is where video comes in. It is a language of its own. With video you can build soundscapes and landscapes, tell stories, connect. You can make it count for somebody. You can use film to evoke emotion in people and through emotion you can create commitment and engagement.

The classical strategy video is an explainer, going into details on what is to come and how it affects the organization. Instead, make sure to answer the why. Leaning on your vision and mission, this video is all about why you are on the journey of your new strategy. It is close to branding, and the aim is to make your people feel like they want to be a part of that journey.

Make time for the process – it is essential
It takes time and countless brainstorming sessions to write a good manuscript for a video that personalizes something as unemotional as strategy. Writing a story that is honest, personal and relatable based on a strategy document is hard, but worth it. At its best it creates trust, it can comfort, give a sense of belonging, and evoke pride.

The jump to a more personal, storytelling style on strategy can be big and difficult to make for most organizations.

So, one thing to reflect on: How would you feel if your strategy video made your people proud enough to want to show it at home too, saying: ‘This is what I am a part of’.


Five tips of the trade

The strategy might change over time, but the longer journey remains. If you remember this in your communication production – in your strategy film – it is easier to be true to the larger organizational context and keeping it relatable. These five tips can help you along the way:

  1. Keep it real and personal
    Experiment with first person telling and use real people and let them use their voice. Remember that people relate to people.
  2. Know your people
    Research and use storytelling methods.
  3. Be honest, authentic and believable
    Avoid jargon and nonsensical phrases.
  4. Include adversity, difficulty or challenge
    Overt positivism is easily perceived as false.
  5. Speak to the hearts
    Make it count.

On the Mic: Susanne Biltoft from Alm. Brand

On the Mic Susanne Biltoft
On the Mic Susanne Biltoft

On the Mic: Susanne Biltoft from Alm. Brand

We're so glad to have Susanne Biltoft, Head of Communication & Investor Relations at Alm. Brand, sharing what she sees as key when engaging employees.

By: Solrun Sigfusdottir Øfjord, Senior Communication Advisor (March 28, 2018)

Why do you find it exciting to work with employee communication?
Because it makes all the difference for successful implementation of new or moderated ideas, plans, and means.

What was your latest success, and what made it successful?
To successfully communicate the acquisition of Saxo Privatbank. It was successful because the story we created and communicated about it was correct, short, and precise, but also with broad prospects. This created pride in the whole organization.

What challenges do we face as employee communicators in the coming years?
The need of being able to communicate in more digital ways – meaning that the intranet article is on its way out while videos, chatrooms, brief articles, and podcasts are on their way in. Most importantly, these will be used in a well-orchestrated mix in the future. This is also what I would like to pursue next.

What is best tip to other employee communicators?
To understand your subject, be precise, and create an interesting story that appeals to the world and interests of your receiver. In other words: Create value.

‘On the Mic’ is a series of blog posts that invite internal communication professionals to share their take on employee communication, their view on trends within the field and what rocks their boat. Feel free to send us tips on who should be ‘On the Mic’ next.


On the Mic: Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen from LM Wind Power


On the Mic: Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen from LM Wind Power

We're so glad to have Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen, Senior Manager, Communications & Sustainability at LM Wind Power, sharing what she sees as key when communicating sustainability and carbon neutrality.

By: Betina Sørensen, Senior Creative Advisor (March 4, 2018)

What’s on the top of your employee communication agenda right now?
Strategy execution, GE integration, and sustainability with our carbon neutrality program #CleanLM at the very top!

What was your latest success and what made it a success?
Recently, we did an interactive workshop session for the top 130 global leaders of the company, challenging them to play a huge cardboard game: Go Carbon Neutral in 30 mins.

It was their first in-depth experience with our ambitious sustainability program and it worked brilliantly because the format and game design dynamics compelled our leaders to learn about the concept and methods to go carbon neutral. To be able to finish the game they had to collaborate, negotiate, and agree. It made them reflect on the challenge and daunting task we as a business have taken upon us by setting this ambitious goal.

It was a very effective way of creating awareness and ambassadors who now are able to articulate what we are doing to their teams and other stakeholders, helping to foster further interest, support, and hopefully inspiration so more colleagues get engaged.

Why is it important to communicate your carbon neutrality pledge internally?
Many LM Wind Power employees have taken what we call ‘the green pill’! They genuinely care about the fact that they work in a green company and make a positive difference every day.

#CleanLM gives them another reason to be proud and it is absolutely crucial to ensure they are aware of this pledge, so they are able to engage in the delivery of the program or in the communication about it to their networks.

I think it is fair to say that they are the most important stakeholders and key enablers for us as an organization to achieve the target but also the reputation benefit that comes by being a pioneer. Just imagine the impact if we manage to engage 10,000 people as green ambassadors inspiring others to follow our lead!

What did you learn during the process?
In this process we were quite concerned about the level of detail and complexity of our game would be too advanced for the limited time we had available. The audience was the top leaders in the business, so stakes were high – as would be the exposure if we failed.

We spent a LOT of energy on wording and simplifying the concept and content over several iterations until we were satisfied. It was a matter of finding that delicate balance where the audience is intrigued and challenged but not overwhelmed while maintaining some of the complexity from real life in the game.

This experience actually reflects one of the most important lessons I have learned on my 10+ years in corporate communications. When you have really invested that extra thought and care into your content and campaign you can create something with long durability and relevance which ultimately becomes a recognized franchise in the company’s communications mix.

When people start adopting and adapting it to their own communications purposes, you have really succeeded. We have done that with our first sustainability campaign featuring four mascots – The Sustainables – which were introduced five years ago but still going strong and even getting new family members from time to time. With #CleanLM we aim to create a strong internal franchise again but this time, the potential for using it externally has been considered almost equally important. We are on to something greater than ourselves and inspiring others is a huge part of measuring our success.

What is your best advice/tip to other employee communicators?
Take your audience seriously and invest the necessary time and care in learning what works with them. Do pilots, focus groups, or test runs with small samples of employees and be ready to adjust according to what you learn. Then dare to challenge and tweak to surprise and inspire! And finally, consider how you measure success already when you start designing your campaign. We all want to be able to show that our work made the intended difference.

You can read more about Lene’s activating leaders and employees in the carbon neutral agenda in her LinkedIn blog post: Watch 130 leaders go carbon neutral in 30 minutes! (LinkedIn, February 23, 2018)

‘On the Mic’ is a series of blog posts that invite internal communication professionals to share their take on employee communication, their view on trends within the field and what rocks their boat. Feel free to send us tips on who should be ‘On the Mic’ next.

video smartphone employee communication

Make great corporate videos with your smartphone

Video smartphone employee communication
Video smartphone employee communication

Make great corporate videos with your smartphone

Video series: No more dark and blurry smartphone videos. Here are seven simple tips to create excellent employee videos with your smartphone.

By:  Simon Quintal, Senior Creative Advisor & Video Specialist (February 25,  2017)

You are probably already creating short videos with your smartphone to share on the intranet or other platforms. Then you know that the authenticity of the smartphone footage is a major advantage of the media, but it indeed needs to be dozed right. Bad light-setting, background noice, and unflattering angles always set authenticity at a risk.

Fortunately, it is quite easy to get basics in place. Here are seven tips from Open’s video team to make sure the basics are in place the next time

1. Show excitement
The best recordings are those showing real excitement. Feel free to smile, laugh, and have fun in the shots – and try not to read from a script when you are speaking to the camera.

2. Cover footage
Get a lot of cover footage and avoid loooong takes of someone talking. Cover footage makes it easier to edit the video so it becomes more dynamic – and ultimately a better story. Long takes can end up as boring, and mostly it also requires a lot of editing.

3. Keep the camera rolling
When your shot is over keep recording for an extra 3-5 seconds. It makes it much easier to edit afterwards. Remember, you can always cut away, but never add.

4. Clear sound
Stay close to the camera, but no more than 1.5 meters. Speak clearly and be aware of not speaking too fast or with a low voice. Make sure there is no background noise in interview scenes, e.g. avoid outside recordings that have wind or car noise.

5. Background
Any background will do but feel free to be creative. For maximum depth stand a few meters away from the background. And of course, be aware not to show any confidential information.

6. Light
Make sure there is enough light in the person’s face – if the face is too dark, the shot is – with all respect – useless. Also, try to avoid direct sunlight in the person’s eyes and never film directly against the sun (e.g. towards a window).

7. Angle of smartphone
Finally, always hold your smartphone horizontally (wide screen), and steady when recording.

video smartphone recording employee communication

Now, you are ready to make your next engaging employee video. Have fun!

Video is more than a tool and pressing the right buttons. Video is visual storytelling. In the next weeks, we have a special focus on corporate video and the impact videos can have on your employee communication. This article is the second in this series. Stay tuned.

Creative shower: A quick guide to the creative process


Jump into the creative shower: A quick guide to the creative process

Have you ever been asked to ‘think out of the box’ and your only thought was: How? Then you are not alone. Great news: Use these four steps and become creative too.

By: Betina Sørensen, Senior Creative Advisor (February 18, 2018)

Some people are born creatives. Mozart, Picasso, Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerberg, you name it (or this is at least how we like to think of their innovative abilities). But most of us are not (though Rasmus definitely is). Luckily for those of us struggling to think out of that comfortable, familiar, and sometimes annoying box, creativity is a skill you can train to master. Just like every other skill.

There are a variety of techniques and methods that can help you practice your creativity.

In this infographic, we have collected a few methods on how to come up with ideas and refine them. It is kind of like stepping into a shower; once you turn on your creativity you will experience a true shower of ideas that all call for grooming.

And once you are at it, why not print the infographic and hang it somewhere to remind you and your colleagues of training your ‘being a little creative here’-skills.


Power of video in employee communication

Add true power to your next 'talking head' or event video

Power of video in employee communication
Power of video in employee communication

How to add true power to your next event video or 'talking head'

Video series: The power of video lies in the content, intention, and delivery, not in the tool itself. If you are new to shooting videos these tips can help you make your next ‘talking head’ or event video more engaging.

By: Simon Charles Quintal, Senior Creative Advisor & Video Specialist (February 9, 2018)

To many, video production feels like something reserved for digital natives or professional production houses. However, you can tap into tried and tested knowledge behind this elusive craft or art form that can help you to understand and utilize the power of video in your corporate communication.

Video is just a technology as a pen is a tool. You can point a camera at a blank wall and call it a video but that does not make it interesting in itself. The video is not interesting. Content, intention, and delivery is what makes it worth your audiences’ time. Done right, corporate video can communicate more than just information. The sum of the whole is so much more than each part on its own. But it requires preparation, ideas, and a dose of risk-taking.

Create memorable and impactful moments

Chances are that your first ventures into video are recording an in-house event such as a company day, conference, or staff meeting. Something you want to remember and be able to share afterward. Just like that video of your 4-year-old interpreting songs from The Lion King.

The other video production you likely will be involved with is ‘the talking head’. A form of an interview, maybe with your CEO, that delivers a message to be shared with the organization. Something that should have an impact and a feeling of passion for the message. Just like The Lord of the Rings, produced by 4,000 people working on it for two years full time – a beast of technology, story, drama, and effects. Almost.

Both video formats are safe because they do not necessarily require any real consideration of style, story, or packaging. But you should always take a moment and think about if that is what you really want. Does it have the impact you wanted? Is it memorable? Does it encourage your organization to engage with the message and maybe even be moved so much to take action?

1) The event video

Okay, your next project might be to document an event or a meeting. The word document means to record everything and keep it for later. But the novelty wears off very quickly and from a technical stand video takes up a lot of space on a hard drive. Sorting through hours of footage can be daunting. In a corporate setting, there might be limited value in communicating look-at-what-happened in a 1:1 ratio. When was the last time you spent your evening watching a two-hour staff meeting filmed with a stationary camera?

So, add layers, context, voices, questions, and critique to the mix, and boil the entire video down to 3-5 minutes. There is a good chance that the viewer might have questions or reservations about the subject matter. Your audience cannot ask the questions to the event. It is your job to ask the questions in the video through interviews, a host, or graphics added afterward. The crux of the matter is that the video needs to be thought of as video utilizing the strengths instead of the limitations. Again, we connect with people, with intention, story, honesty, authenticity, and delivery. Make the five minutes count.

2) The talking head

Reality often plays out like this: You are recording a ‘talking head’ with your CEO. She received a script a few minutes in advance – written by someone in communication. She changes the wording a bit to make it hers, but in essence, she is rehashing a corporate message created by someone else. If making a video is a new venture, then just seeing the CEO in front of a camera might be interesting but lack of training and commitment makes it a disengaging experience for the audience. Or even worse, it becomes awkward and cringeworthy.

Where video and messaging shines is when you feel the person in front of the camera, when the spoken words and the body language are soaked in honesty, intention, and focus. Sure, being very articulate helps but it is far from being the most important element to a good talking head video.

A talking head video can be really powerful because of its intimacy. For a few minutes, you have the audiences’ undivided attention. Think about how powerful that is. Two minutes to deliver a message so important that it was worth the money and time to produce. Encourage storytelling, putting a personal spin on it, personal experiences, examples and most importantly, talk about something that matters. It is not easy and it requires practice. But it is worth it when the viewer has a feeling of being told something important by someone who cares about the message.

Next level after event videos and ‘talking heads’

If your organization is responding well to video, the next level is to actively use video as a way of communicating stories about the company and its employees. Examples of this could be a core story video and impact videos featuring employees and customers. It could be small interviews, portrait films, or animation.

If video, or rather the people making it, communicate with authenticity, commitment, and a true intention to share an important message, then video can be an exceptionally powerful way of reaching employees and be the glue that binds your communication efforts together.

More about this in the next article in our series about impactful videos.

Video is more than a tool and pressing the right buttons. Video is visual storytelling. In the next weeks, we have a special focus on corporate video and the impact videos can have on your employee communication. This article is the first in this series. Stay tuned.


On the Mic: Steffen Støvelbæk from Nilfisk


On the Mic: Steffen Støvelbæk from Nilfisk

Recently, Nilfisk was listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange – an exciting event both internally and externally. We're so glad to have Steffen Støvelbæk, Head of Communications at Nilfisk, sharing what he sees as key when communicating a stock exchange listing internally.

By: Kristina Malther, Associated Partner & Senior Communication Advisor (16 January 2018)

Why do you find it exciting to work with employee communication?
Because it is about people! And about interacting with people and the interaction between people. Effective employee communication is the glue that connects people with the company and the strategy. I find contributing to creating this alignment and a bigger purpose and adding value for everyone a big privilege. I am responsible for both external and internal communication globally across Nilfisk. However, it becomes harder and harder to distinguish between these two disciplines, as messages, of course, need to be fully aligned and transparent across all channels.

What was your latest success and what made it a success?
Recently, Nilfisk was listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. A listing process mainly targets investors, analysts, and other external stakeholders but we also wanted to make this an internal event. We managed to turn the listing into a successful internal celebration of a milestone in the history of Nilfisk. I think that was a great achievement and something that has left a positive mark on the company.

Why was it important to communicate the Nilfisk Stock exchange listing internally?
These types of events are not often communicated internally because of their strong financial scope and at Nilfisk, a lot of the employees outside of Denmark didn’t care when we communicated about the listing plans. Most of them found it irrelevant to them. We decided to use the listing as an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of all Nilfisk employees in making this happen and to create a sense of excitement, pride, and unity around it; across all our 60+ locations worldwide. Technically, this was a demerger from Nilfisk’s former owners NKT, and we also wanted to make sure that this was seen as something positive, and not as a threat.

What did you learn during the process?
I learned that it pays off to make an event like this a people-centered celebration, paying tribute to the employees and what they have created together – instead of only focusing on finances and investors. It is also important to get the managers on board as early as possible in the process to support local communication activities across all sites. We used a mix of live webcasts, prerecorded videos and interviews, and Q&A’s. The unity it created across our many different locations was great.

What were your greatest communication successes in communicating internally about the listing?
We succeeded in encouraging employees across the world to use social media and share their celebrations locally. This created a nice vibe on the different SoMe platforms and a strong sense of unity internally. We saw that aligning and bridging internal and external messages supported our employee promise and brand.

What is your best advice/tip to other employee communicators facing a Stock exchange listing?
Remember to celebrate! With the busy day-to-day grind, we often forget to celebrate and mark our achievements and successes. As human beings, we all like and need that, and a listing is a great opportunity to do this. The bottom line is that the employees have all contributed to and created the company that now is financially strong enough to be listed and attract investors. That’s something to celebrate, isn’t it?

‘On the Mic’ is a series of blog posts that invite internal communication professionals to share their take on employee communication, their view on trends within the field and what rocks their boat. Feel free to send us tips on who should be ‘On the Mic’ next.


Purpose and planning are key to digital workplace adoption

digital Digital_workplace_adoption_intranet_employee_communication
digital Digital_workplace_adoption_intranet_employee_communication

Purpose and planning are key to digital workplace adoption

The road to digital workplace adoption does not need to be a winding one. In seven steps, you can get your own, tailored roadmap to get you well on your way to successful digital workplace adoption.

By: Solrun Sigfusdottir Øfjord, Senior Communication Advisor (December 7, 2017)

Adoption of a new digital workplace does not happen over-night. You are probably nodding already if you have been in the epi-center of implementing such. It requires a clear purpose, well-planned communication tactics, the right competencies and tailored engagement.

Here, the Digital Workplace Adoption Roadmap Tool can come in handy. The Digital Workplace Adoption Roadmap Tool consists of seven steps that come with reflection exercises and practical advice to help drive adoption. The tool is for everyone working with employee communication, and those to embark on the journey towards a new digital workplace.

We developed the tool as part of the event ‘Roadmap to Digital Workplace Adoption’ which Open co-hosted together with BrightStarr.

You can also read live tweets from the event at #digitalworkplacedk on Twitter.

We have written more about the topic of digital workplaces and you can read our other posts here and here.

Power up your employee communication with personas


Power up your employee communication with personas

People – your employees – respond differently to different messages and situations. How to respond to these differences is where personas come in as the perfect gift from service design to employee communication.

By: Anna Porko Hansen, Communication Advisor (October 4, 2017)

Employee communication is a part of the greater employee experience. It is the magical ingredient that engages, empowers, and activates employees. Due to many parallels, employee experience design can draw numerous lessons from the world of service design – the field of people centricity – including several tools and methods established for customer experience design.

Potentially, the most essential take-away for employee communication is that of personas. Personas are about understanding people as people, not as statistics, numbers, or segments. They will help you engage people as people.

People behave in different ways, respond differently to any given situation, are motivated by different things, and have different goals and values. So, different groups of employees will also receive communication campaigns differently. They respond to different channels and different messages in different ways. This means that to reach them, you need to be able to choose the correct approach and channel.

Knowing your employees’ preferences on a deeper level will help you deliver your communications in a way that your employees can access, understand, and relate to. Personas can help you do exactly that.

What is a persona?
Simply put, a persona is a description of a person who represents a group of people. In the case of employee communication, a persona represents a group of employees who share some key characteristics. A persona is fictional, but needs to be built on solid, factual information. You can get this information from HR records, surveys and interviews, web and intranet analytics, personality tests, or anywhere that you can find data on your employees, their preferences, and behaviors.

A persona is not the same as a segment, or a demographic, although they do share traits. A persona represents a person, and is written and visualized as a person. This person has a name, we know how old they are, we know about their family and interests, and we know about their habits and motivation. Let me exemplify this through Maria.

service design employee communication

Example: Maria Anderson
Maria is 35 years old. She lives in a semi-detached house in the suburbs with her husband and two children. The boys are aged 7 and 3. She reads the news on her tablet in the morning with a cup of tea, and has her mobile close at hand all day. Maria drives an estate car to work every day. She and her husband take turns dropping the kids off and picking them up from day care and school.

Maria works in a specialist position, as part of a team of specialist knowledge workers. Most of her work is relationship and computer based. She is proficient in the use of modern technology. She follows the world around her regularly through several digital channels, including the company intranet, but she does not actively post on social media. Maria is relatively private and likes to keep some boundaries between work and personal life.

Maria enjoys the social aspect of her work and is very good with clients and colleagues. She participates in most company events as she feels it builds a better atmosphere and working environment. She is receptive to in person communication like CEO-presentations at company events. Maria can be activated to be a part of change communications, as long as it is through physical meetings or team-based activities.

Using personas in your work
Personas, like Maria here, need to be good and accurate representations of your employees. If you can’t recognize a Maria, or several Marias in fact, in your employees, then the persona(s) need to be adjusted. As an approximation, you should build a minimum of three personas, around five should do the trick. Too few and you will not get sufficient leverage out of them, too many and they will end up complicating and hindering your decision-making process.

Once you have arrived at a good number of personas that you feel represent your employees accurately, evaluate your campaign design and plans. Consider Maria again. A campaign calling for active participation though one or more SoMe channels would not work for someone like her. Maria would feel pressured to use social media in ways she is not comfortable with, especially if the campaign asked her to use private accounts for work related tasks. It would likely cause a negative reaction. Even sharing something through intranet channels might cross a line for Maria.

Considering for example a digital campaign, you would need to remember that for the Marias among your employees, inactive participation is key. They will be receptive to many forms or mediums of communication, from text and images to video, as long as they can receive and observe. There are bound to be other types of personas among your employees who will love to participate actively, to share and interact with your content and those who will be keen to create their own, relevant content. It is worth considering these differences, as a campaign that targets different personas through their preferred methods will be more rewarding for you and for your employees.

Your personas will help you answer questions on which aspects of a campaign are most likely to reach whom? Ask questions like which personas will receive your communication through intranet? Who will only receive written communications, who will watch all your videos, and who will read the posters? What do the different personas care about, and how can you move them?

Having answers to these questions and others, and creating a campaign with your personas in mind will result in a more strategic approach and a better reach among your employees. It will engage, empower, and activate.