During 2019-20 business planning, AWA digital agreed to a new goal. To make AWA a great place to work. They were already using annual employee engagement surveys to monitor and measure team sentiment, and, although scores were good, they were stagnant. Action taken on the findings was limited as there was no-one accountable for these tasks.

AWA knew that in order to show commitment to their new goal, they needed to do more. They planned to supplement the annual employee surveys with regular ‘pulse’ surveys. And, in order to drive change, they gave ownership of making AWA a great place to work to Lynne – their employee at the time.


Historically, AWA had worked towards financially focused goals, so ‘people’ was a new area of focus for them. Therefore getting organisational buy-in early on was key. As was regular communication sharing insight and detailing the changes taking place.

An additional challenge was AWA’s complex team set up. Their workforce, as of mid-2020 looked like:

This meant that proposed recommendations had to satisfy a number of criteria including being:

  • beneficial to both those who were (at least part) office based and those who were fully remote
  • deliverable to both those living in the UK and those in South Africa
  • IR35 compliant – or, an acceptance that the freelancers to whom the legislation applied wouldn’t feel penalised by not receiving it

What Lynne did

The primary purpose of this work was to:

  • Implement OfficeVibe to send pulse surveys
  • Monitor and measure employee engagement metrics and respond to written feedback
  • Report on results and draw insights from the data
  • Make cost-effective recommendations for change in light of the team’s responses
  • Monitor the impact of these changes and other team engagement activities

During this work, it became clear that a holistic view of employee experience was required
With AWA going through a period of recruitment due to company growth, it was quickly understood that candidate experience played an important role in employee engagement. So running and acting on onboarding and offboarding surveys also became part of the service.

Benefit to AWA’s employees and team

Changes to the employee experience were made as a result of what the team were saying

Actions made as a direct result of insights from OfficeVibe included:

  • A ‘Results to Shout About’ channel was added to Slack where anyone could share their recognition-worthy moments with the team who could then provide timely, peer-to-peer recognition. (Based on the insight that the team were happy with the quality of the recognition they received but not the frequency due to a lack of visibility of achievements across the team.)
  • A review of AWA’s benefits compared with similar organisations was conducted and presented to the board. Leading to a review of employee bonuses and annual leave entitlement. (Based on the insight that the team were less satisfied with ‘compensation’ than other satisfaction sub-metrics)

The team’s voices were heard at board level

Employee engagement insight, issues and recommendations were discussed with both the CEO and COO at each monthly board meeting. This made sure that changes were agreed and implemented in a timely manner and recommendations were to the benefit of all team members whether they work remotely or hybrid, on a permanent or freelance basis.

Knowing that Lynne presented and discussed employee feedback at monthly board meetings gave me confidence that the business was committed to understanding and addressing employee happiness.

Nicole M, AWA digital employee

New starters had an improved experience

Having learnt that the contract and related new starter paperwork wasn’t consistent with the candidate’s brand perception during the hiring process, the employment contract was rewritten and the employee handbook was overhauled.

Benefit to AWA

Increased levels of engagement

Over the course of this work, OfficeVibe metrics went up across the board, with peaks and increases correlating with activity.

Real-time, two-way communication across the team

Having already begun the transition from a profit-first business to one which prioritised people and profit equally, AWA were able, from the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, to be very responsive to collecting team sentiment, understanding and responding to their needs and implementing change.

Increased satisfaction scores for the recruitment and onboarding process

New starters were increasingly scoring AWA’s onboarding process better and making references to changes implemented based on previous feedback.

From day one, Lynne brought enthusiasm in helping us to make AWA a great place to work. I love the fact that Lynne is driven by the numbers part of employee engagement as well as the momentum she created in taking action.
Her efforts have paid off in so many ways.

Dan Croxen-John, CEO, AWA digital
Interested in learning more about how Ferris Wheel People Experience Agency can help you?

We specialise in embedding a Communicate > Listen > Understand > Act mindset in agencies to help them understand and improve their employees’ experiences. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch today.

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Don’t be a stranger, connect with Lynne on LinkedIn to receive regular insight about how agencies can engage, retain and attract talented employees.

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