Ennismore creating a culture of connectivity and learning
Ennismore is one of the world’s leading hospitality groups. Their aim is to create hospitality brands that inspire discovery. We recently sat down with Marcos Eleftheriou, Head of Culture and Internal Communications for Ennismore. Our work for the brand has involved connecting their people to Ennismore’s Learning and Development platform and empowering them through ease of system access.
Hi Marcos, it’s great to talk to you today. Tell us a little about how you started at Ennismore?
Hi! I joined over two years ago, and it’s been a fun ride ever since. I work as part of the People Team. My role is global, I oversee all of the Ennismore brands. Part is focusing on driving engagement and culture, and the other part is internal comms and how we connect the team.
When you sat down with us first, what were your main priorities?
Essentially, it was “How do we give 2,000 people who don’t have email addresses, access to a platform [Flow, a third party learning platform] where we don’t want to use their personal emails. Then we wanted to know how we can give our team access to Flow through a Bot.
Then from our People side, was ensuring that our people data was consistent. Slight differences in data entry was causing havoc with our people sets, but also with how we were grouping people together with our reporting.
Connecting email-less teams
OK, first things first, how did you go about getting your teams onto Flow without emails?
The majority of our people are desk-less, and email-less front-line team members. We didn’t want to use personal emails, and wanted to keep all communication about L&D and from Flow through Workplace.
Cocentric came to us and said “We have Connect for that”. Connect would provision an account in Flow using their Workplace ID. It would do this back-end work, but also make sure our titles, departments and locations were all streamlined and correct, so then it made life easier across the board.
What are the benefits of Connect?
We were working with a brand new product, doing something with Workplace which no-one else has done before – using their Workplace credentials to create and access a third-party account – I believe we are the first people to do that, and Connect got us there.
Our People Team no longer has to manage another system from a user perspective – it’s completely taken care of, and we didn’t have to use people’s personal email addresses.
What I love about the integration with Workplace is that our data is more consistently correct. Connect helped us create that consistency. That in itself has saved a huge amount of work.
Your employees no doubt will have received benefits from Connect that they don’t necessarily see themselves, what benefits do they get with Connect vs. it not being there?
Completely. I think it is quicker user experience, a quicker sign-up to Flow.
Being able to seamlessly claim their account without having to put a long code in has helped. The fact they don’t see that anymore, and now remember their username and password because that is the thing, they created has made their lives easier.
Also being able to send password reminders from this end is much easier as well, so you don’t have to pass something to them. Much better security from our perspective that there aren’t loads of codes flying around.
Plus, it has created a behavior change. How do we remind people about their Flow training, well that’s on Workplace.
How many of your team are active on Workplace then?
We currently have nearly 2,500 people across 15 locations between the US and Europe on Workplace. We have an activation rate of 93%, and of these activated accounts, we have 100% monthly active users.
Using a Bot to simplify learning
When did the Flow Bot come into conversation?
We wanted the Flow Bot to automate the process around reminding our people to complete their training. You’ll receive a prompt if we’re expecting you to complete a course, or follow-up training, which is all done on Flow.
We also wanted to use Flow Bot for reviews. A message would go out to say “it’s time for your review, make sure you complete it” and it is based around a time period, making sure people have completed their tasks before they check in with their manager.
And from a teams perspective, how did you spread the word it was coming about?
It was very much a word-of-mouth campaign. Gearing up to the launch, the Head of L&D would go in and hold face-to-face with groups of people across all our sites – show them Flow, how to log in via Workplace and some Bot videos showing them how to use it. We also did a Workplace campaign and print campaigns, giving everyone a little booklet, and printed posters everywhere.
You have various Bots at Ennismore, how would you say Flow Bot fits in to your landscape?
I think it’s fitted in perfectly. It does one of a few things that we want all our bots to do – make people’s life easier, make things a bit more fun and create a whole ecosystem for employees – a one stop shop for all things people-related. It completely fits within that.
The benefits of our work
And benefits for your business?
The Bot has really helped increase engagement in Workplace, because people knew they had to be on Flow to do some of the non-negotiables such as compliance and induction.
It also helped create some healthy competition from the GMs [General Managers] in terms of how many modules had been completed, and how many people signed up to Workplace, so that had a knock-on effect which was really good. Overall its increased engagement on Workplace which was a plus for me, but for the L&D manager it was good because everyone was getting the training they needed to Flow.
Overall, what was it like working with the Cocentric team?
The team is really lovely, down to earth, and spent a lot of time understanding our challenges, understanding our businesses which was great, and what we were trying to solve.
I think you guys were very open to the idea of what was possible, we were working with two platforms that had never done this anyway, so there was always going to be lots of learnings.
Would you recommend us?
Of course I would, yes. You’re innovative, focused, forward thinking, you clearly like a bit of a challenge, and you listen as well. I don’t think you’re a typical tech company where they’re like “no you can’t do that” when really you know they can probably try, so that is refreshing. You’re a company with good values and morals.
And finally, can you describe Cocentric in three words?
Innovative, forward-thinking, responsive.