”For me as CEO of Elfa, Symbal were extremely valuable as both strategic and operational support in our major change journey. The work of bringing the 40-50 leaders on the train in building common values and consensus around long-term goals and business strategy were a challenge. Symbal were both important coaches/sounding board and came up with many communication solutions to easily disseminate info and get involved. Capturing video and bringing success and change out into the organization was one of the more powerful tools. The new intranet made it possible to actively keep the process alive with both new stories and input from management.”
ONE ELFA | CUSTOMER: ELFA
Elfa is a company of Swedish origin selling storage solutions for more than 70 years. In 2015 the company had grown substantially through increased sales and acquisitions of manufacturing companies in Europe. In order to bond the “new” and larger international Elfa together, there was a growing need for a common corporate culture. New core values were developed which were called ONE Elfa. Symbal was hired to conduct long-term strategic communication work around ONE Elfa in order to get the employees to understand and adapt and behave according to the new core values. The assignment included continuous communication efforts, closely linked to the company’s overall goals and vision, to strengthen its position in the market.
Symbal and Elfa, HR and communication specialist, worked closely together to develop the change communication. We continuously collaborated and aligned ideas to move the change journey forward. Symbal created different types of communication support and activities over a three-year time period.
Throughout the assignment, Symbal has had the opportunity to interview Elfa employees to get a deeper understanding of the target groups and how the core values may affect their daily work. Symbal worked out communication concepts and material and tested it before usage – something we generally consider to be an effective way to improve and develop. After each major communication effort, all the customer’s employees have been invited to evaluate and give feedback. The results of the evaluations have been analysed, compiled and presented to the customer. In workshops with the management team, the feedback has been the basis for prioritizing the next step in the communication plan, with the aim of achieving the company’s goals.
The customer has been very receptive to suggestions on how this feedback should be handled, and acted accordingly, which was a core contributing factor for the implementation’s success.
The solutions mainly include the following concepts and materials:
- Communication from HR and CEO with inspiration about ONE Elfa work and its status and results. This is partly through film, and partly through text and image material (posters, information booklet) published on the intranet.
- The concept of ONE Elfa Stories was developed; films with co-workers who talk about how they have taken advantage of the values to solve different situations, and asked their colleagues to do the same.
- Symbal also developed a concept and ready-made kit for an annual playful and engaging employee workshop day focusing on culture and values, with a new theme and content each year. The biggest challenge was to find a format that suited all target groups and countries.
At the company’s 70th anniversary, Symbal produced a book, film and newsletter about the company’s innovation ability, starting with the cultural work.
The communication efforts received very good feedback from the employees who afterwards claimed that they had gotten a good knowledge of the values and how to make use of them naturally in their daily work. The client has expressly appreciated the creativity within the budget and has given Symbal continued communication assignments after this. The CEO at Elfa describes the cooperation with Symbal like this (see quote at left):