Strategy and delivery support for Wonga Group
Wonga is a UK brand with a high profile but less well known is that it’s an international Group with other businesses of varying sizes in South Africa, Canada, Spain and Germany. The leading player in the short term loans industry, Wonga has been on a rollercoaster journey but having acknowledged past mistakes – and compensated customers for them – it’s now firmly establishing itself as a principled, fair and transparent lender to customers not provided for by traditional lenders, re-launching in 2015 under the banner of ‘Credit for the Real World’.
Wonga approached us in the Summer of 2015 with a two-pronged brief:
- To lead on the development and delivery of the first major employee event since the business set out on its transformation, for the company’s 250 UK employees plus senior leaders from the International businesses
- To conduct a strategic review of internal communications across Wonga and make recommendations for a new internal communications strategy and programme
A third element was added once we were on board – detailed communications planning for a new employee proposition.
Step 1 – Wonga Connect Event
Internal Comms Team MD Jos Harrison saw the event as an opportunity to give people clarity on Wonga’s journey and generate confidence in a sustainable, brighter future for Wonga. The event was highly interactive, generating feedback comments such as “It was a huge departure from previous events…I loved it!” 94% of attendees agreed they felt more positive about Wonga’s future following the event.
Step 2 – Internal Comms Review
Hot on the heels of Wonga Connect, Jos undertook the review of internal communications using our tried and trusted process which we tailor to each client. In Wonga this comprised:
- 10 senior stakeholder interviews
- A survey to Wonga’s UK and international employees
- Workshops with the Wonga Values Champions
- An audit of existing channels
It was clear that Wonga Connect had tapped into a big appetite for regular face-to-face communications, a drumbeat of communications and involvement, and connectivity with the leadership team. As well as an enhanced, diarised face to face programme the new strategy recommended by Jos included reinvigorating Jostle – the employee intranet – as the communications hub – and a new regular ezine to tell the people stories from across the Group, all delivered by a new Internal Communications Manager with Jos leading on the recruitment to ensure a hire capable of delivering the new strategy.
Step 3 – Delivering the employee proposition
With work underway to improve communications, Wonga’s Group HR Director Tara Tapper was keen to move quickly with announcing the new employee proposition Working@Wonga. ICT core team member Sarah Sheasby was enlisted to provide fast, flexible and expert project support. In a three week period leading into December, announcements were successfully made to colleagues in the UK, Cape Town and Spain.
Tara said: “Jos’s internal communications expertise was invaluable in helping us set a way forward for our internal communications and Sarah’s hands on support with the planning and delivery of communications for Working@Wonga was really helpful at a very busy time for the HR team.
It felt like Jos was part of our team so we’re delighted that he’s staying involved with monthly review sessions with our new Internal Communications Manager to monitor progress with the strategy.”