Case Studies

The Guardian

Sector: Media

Headquarters: UK

Scope: UK

Number of Employees: c.1200

Business Performance: is the UK’s most popular newspaper site, and has regularly been voted the world’s best newspaper site at the Webby awards – the Oscars of the online world.

What's special about Guardian News and Media?

Guardian News and Media continues to holds true to the founding values of the Scott Trust created in 1936 to safeguard the editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity, and champion freedom of the press in the UK and abroad. Every year it publishes a ‘Living our Values’ Sustainability report focusing on the key question: ‘Do we live up to our values”, in which the annual employee survey plays an important role.

Scope of PiB engagement: Annual employee research survey

Example Attribute: Courage

Signature Experience: Kings Place (new headquarters building)

Viv Taylor — Head of Organisational Development

“The relationship has gone from strength to strength. PiB make it their business to really understand the business / culture / personalities / complexities of the organisation. This has enabled us to develop the survey to meet the changing needs of the business. They challenge us and provoke healthy debates, pushing back if we try and cut corners – which ultimately saves us from making mistakes. As well as being a custodian of good practice, they’ve helped us stay true to our values”.

Sector: Retail

Headquarters: UK

Scope: UK

Number of Employees: c.20,000

Business Performance: Double digit sales growth every year since 2006.

What's special about Iceland?

When Malcolm Walker, the entrepreneur who founded Iceland was asked to stand down in 2001 the company ran into serious financial difficulties, but since his return to head the company in 2005, the company has returned to significant growth.

Scope of PiB engagement: Development of a new EVP to support their growth through acquisition of a large number of ex- Woolworth’s stores in 2009. Once this proposition was developed, we supported them in translating it into their people management policies, practices and communication channels, including their career site and assessment centers for new store openings.

Example Attribute: Feels Like Family

Signature Experience: Taking all 800 managers to Disney World in Florida.

Rachael Harvey — Resourcing Manager

“I especially valued the way PiB worked together with me to make it relevant for our managers who are particularly cynical. I needed to show them that PiB weren’t a recruitment ad agency but a consultancy with expert knowledge on what we need to do as an employer”.
John Lewis Partnership

Sector: Retail

Headquarters: UK

Scope: UK

Number of Employees: 60,000

Business Performance: John Lewis was recently voted overall and retail (non-food) winner, and Waitrose top in the retail (food) category, at the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) Customer Satisfaction Awards.

What's special about John Lewis?

The John Lewis Partnership is the country’s largest example of worker co-ownership, with every permanent member of staff a Partner in the business. It believes that the commitment of Partners to the business is a unique source of competitive advantage which has fuelled 75 years of profitable growth and a reputation amongst customers and suppliers unparalleled in the UK retail industry.

Example Attribute: Real influence over our working lives

Signature Experience: Management accountability to Partners

Paul Backhouse — Head of Employment Strategy

“PiB helped us in a major diagnostic to understand the key drivers of Partner engagement and how we could best articulate our distinct employer brand for the workforce of the future. We have worked with PiB for several years on a number of other projects, including design of our Partner opinion survey, so they have an excellent insight of our unique business. This is combined with their external perspective to challenge and stretch our thinking. We were delighted with the outcome”.

Sector: Toy Manufacturing

Headquarters: Denmark

Scope: Present in 130 countries

Number of Employees: c.7000

Business Performance: LEGO is one of the few toy manufacturers to have delivered significant revenue growth through the recession.

What's special about LEGO?

In 2000, LEGO was named “Toy of the Century” by Fortune magazine, beating such classics as the teddy bear and Mattel’s Barbie. The fanatic loyalty inspired by the brand often last well into adulthood. Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who built their first server casing out of LEGO, are a classic example of LEGO’s mission to “inspire the builders of tomorrow”.

Scope of PiB engagement: Development of a new global EVP / ‘People Promise’ that captured the unique spirit and culture of the LEGO Group, and provided a common platform for leadership behaviours, and ‘signature’ LEGO people management processes.

Example Attribute: Systematic Creativity

Signature Experience: Providing personalized, mini-figure, business cards.

Troels Wendelbro — Director, Corporate HR

“PiB provided world-class thought leadership, excellent facilitation and a profound strategic perspective throughout our process of formulating, embedding and bringing to life a coherent LEGO Brand Framework and People Promise… We’re confident that our ongoing partnership will offer key contribution to the ongoing success of the LEGO Group. Highest recommendations!”.

Sector: Bio Technology

Headquarters: Denmark

Scope: UK

Number of Employees: c.5000

Business Performance: Average annual organic sales growth of more than 10%.

What's special about Novozymes?

Novozymes is a world leader in bio-innovation, and was recently recognized at the World Economic Forum as one of the top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.

Scope of PiB engagement: Development of an EVP that would support the rapid growth of the business, and a growing shift in the organisation’s centre of gravity from Europe / North America to Asia.

Example Attribute: Tribe of Trust

Signature Experience: Self Managed Teams

Karen Walker Adamson — Group OD Manager

“PiB provided much needed structuring to our approach, expertise throughout the project, and an extremely helpful, global “reality check” when it came time to identify what makes working for Novozymes distinctive. Our “spot-on” attributes brought tears to the CEO’s eyes when he first heard them”.

Sector: Travel

Headquarters: France

Scope: France/ Europe

Number of Employees: 210 000

What's special about SNCF?

SNCF, the French rail organisation, has an outstanding record of technical performance. In 2007 it’s ‘TGV’ locomotive set the world record for the fastest conventional train in the world at 574Km/h.

Scope of PiB engagement: Development of an EVP that would define the “core” SNCF promise, allowing enough flexibility for different Business Groups to articulate their own offerings within that framework

Example Attribute: Technical leadership

Signature Experience: Training investment

Beatrice Lafaurie — Head of Recruitment Communication

“We liked the fact that PiB were both an agency & a consultancy. The HR consultancies we approached were too process heavy- but the agencies we saw fell short on understanding the detail of internal processes. PiB offered the right balance between the two”.

Sector: Pharmaceuticals

Headquarters: Israel

Scope: 60 countries

Number of Employees: 35,000

Business Performance: In 2008 sales of $11,085 m were 18% up, net income at $2,374m up 22%. Synergies on the Barr acquisition exceeded $400m versus a forecast of $300m. Total market for generics is forecast to rise from $80bn to $135-150bn by 2015.

What's special about TEVA?

Teva is the global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and is the largest volume producer of medication in the world. It is also the creator of major branded pharmaceuticals such as Copaxone (No.1in the treatment of multiple sclerosis). Teva is Israel’s largest multinational company founded in Jerusalem in 1901.

Scope of PiB engagement: 2009 development of a new global Employee Value Proposition based on extensive qualitative research in North America, Europe and Israel following several acquisitions most recently that of Barr Pharmaceuticals in 2008.

Example Attribute: Confidence in themselves. Assertive, self reliant and challenging

Signature Experience: Humility in the service of millions of patients

Rachel Yehazkel — Global Internal Communications Manager

“PiB were very professional, great at drilling down to the detail, as well as demonstrating a great understanding of TEVA’s organizational dynamics and complexities. They also made a very good connection with the Executive team which ultimately helped us deliver a proposition that resonated with both leadership and employees”.

Sector: FMCG

Headquarters: UK

Scope: Global

Number of Employees: c.170,000

Business Performance: Unilever returned to strong revenue growth in 2009 with 13 global brands exceeding €1bn in sales.

What's special about Unilever?

Unilever has been sector leader of the Dow Sustainability Index for 11 years and 160 million times a day, someone somewhere chooses a Unilever product.

Scope of PiB engagement: Development of a global EVP that reflected both the new corporate brand vision and ambition of Unilever to shape a more performance driven culture.

Example Attribute: Making a bigger difference

Signature Experience: Employee commitment to high performance brands with a strong social purpose

Stephane Le Camus — Former Global HR Branding Director

“PiB were a perfect match for us as they share the same understanding of employer brands as we do. The EVP/ EB they developed for us is more than communication, but a platform for ensuring the total employment experience reflects our desired brand proposition and helps us attract, engage and retain the kind of talent we need to make our business win”.

Sector: Multiple

Headquarters: UK

Scope: Global

Number of Employees: c.50,000 employees

Business Performance: Virgin’s global brand footprint has grown significantly over recent years with 200 businesses in 29 countries and a global annual revenues for Virgin branded businesses exceeding £11 billion.

What's special about Virgin?

Virgin companies form part of a family rather than a hierarchy. They are empowered to run their own affairs, yet the companies also share a strong common sense of identity, purpose and entrepreneurial flair which has continued to mark them out as one of the most prominent ‘passion brands’ loved by customer and employees alike.

Scope of PiB engagement: Review of Virgin employer brand status and strategy for Virgin Management, the central holding company for all businesses carrying the Virgin brand name.

Example Attribute: Work hard, play hard

Signature Experience: Importance of personality and attitude in Virgin recruitment

Sam Unger — Group People Manager - Talent and Leadership

“We found the review session PiB ran for us very useful in refreshing our employer brand strategy. The quality of their insights and recommendations on best practice helped us to align our marketing, HR and talent agendas in a highly effective way”.

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