We were honoured to be invited to join the Virgin Trains team for the 2016 UK & Ireland Employee Engagement Awards event – and delighted when Virgin Trains won the ‘Best Use of Technology’ award!

The annual Employee Engagement Awards celebrate companies that put workforce engagement at the heart of their business strategy. The event, held at Wembley Stadium on 26 January at Wembley Stadium, was hosted by Colin Murray and featured a range of categories designed to recognise excellence in engagement, inspire action and drive the industry and the employee experience forward.

Virgin Trains entered two categories. The first, the Best Use of Technology Award, “recognises the use of technology to support and drive employee engagement and will be looking for a people-first approach to using technology effectively rather than a technology-first approach.”

From a strong field of entrants, including First Group and Lloyds Banking Group, Virgin Trains came out on top as the winner. The judges said it was a “Fantastic example of using cost effective cloud-based technology…..Good examples of engaging with ‘Company Councils’ to support the implementation of change and excellent use of video that is relevant to colleagues.”

Betterworking’s Chris Copland and Constantine join Colin Murray and the Virgin Trains team on stage to collect the Best Use of Technology Award

Betterworking has been with Virgin Trains since the start of their Yammer journey in late 2014.

We helped build the business case and strategy for Yammer, and supported the Virgin Trains internal communication and technology teams with the deployment of Yammer to their entire workforce, together with Azure cloud identities and Office 365 email to all frontline colleagues.

Yammer has since developed into an incredibly powerful and indispensable internal communication and engagement platform for Virgin Trains’ largely mobile workforce.

It supports a huge number of communities spanning operational matters, company news, health & wellbeing, social activities and more – and enables effective dialogue peer-to-peer and between the Exec and the frontline. More recently Yammer is being used as an innovation and crowdsourcing platform, generating actionable ideas on topics ranging from revenue generating and money saving ideas to operational improvements in areas such as cleaning and handling of customer luggage.

We’ve been with Virgin Trains at every step of their Yammer journey, providing advice and support to the internal comms team who look after the Yammer community every day and the technology who support it.

We’ve helped bring in new solutions to extend and improve Yammer, including a 3rd party video hosting platform providing tight integration and strong analytics to support their employee video channel VTTV. We’ve introduced a 3rd party analytics solutions to track and report on adoption and usage, and more recently we’ve introduced a social network analysis solution to help Virgin Trains leverage the incredible network that Yammer now supports.

Beyond Yammer itself, we’ve helped Virgin Trains develop the strategy and supporting adoption & change plan for their ‘Smarter Working’ IT transformation programme. This builds on the success of the Yammer and Office 365 email project to provide additional Office 365 capabilities to the Virgin Trains workforce, alongside Box for file storage, an app portal hosted in Azure, and ServiceNow for IT support.

Back at the awards event, the night went from good to great when Virgin Trains also picked up the top award – Employee Engagement Company of the Year.

This award recognises the organisation that demonstrates the most compelling and holistic approach to their strategy for engaging their workforce. Virgin Trains’ smart use of technology was again highlighted, combined with their focus on dialogue, listening and giving employees a voice.

Congratulations to Virgin Trains for a very successful awards night – two categories entered, winners in both!

Interview with Best Use of Technology Award winner: Virgin Trains

Posted by The Employee Engagement Awards on Thursday, 26 January 2017

Virgin Trains Internal Communications & Engagement Manager Den Carter explains the factors that helped to win The Best Use of Technology Award.

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