How an airline used Workplace to keep their culture alive through challenging times

Australia | Travel | 10000+

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The background

Enablo and Workplace from Meta
Part of the world-renowned Virgin Group, Virgin Australia Group has become one of Australia’s most iconic brands. Made up of Virgin Australia Airlines, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA), their cargo and Velocity divisions, and TigerAir, 70% of the Group’s employees are out on the front line.

With COVID-19 causing the closure of international and state borders in March 2020, the Group was forced to stand down 80% of its workforce. Despite this, their culture has remained strong, something the team attributes, in part, to launching Workplace from Meta at the height of the pandemic.

We had the chance to catch up with Emma Mehaffey, GM Culture and Employee Experience, and Luke Evans, Leader Employee Experience, to hear all about how the Group has amplified its culture with Workplace. Watch the video and read the additional Q&A below.

Workplace Results

92%

employees claimed their account

85%

employees active on monthly basis

100%

employees engaged on most posts

“We have over 92% of people who have claimed their account and 85% of those are active on Workplace on a monthly basis. Depending on the type of content, we can have up to a 100% of total views for that content too. We’re actually reaching our people for the first time ever.”

Luke Evans – Leader Employee Experience at Virgin Australia Group

The results

Tell us about Virgin’s culture

Emma: I’ve been at Virgin for 15 years, so I feel like I’m equipped to say that we have the most incredible culture. Our workforce is passionate about what they do. We work in aviation, it’s an incredibly exciting industry to work in, and people genuinely come to work every day because they love what they do. I’ve never known a workforce to have such a desire to go above and beyond.

What was the decision behind rolling out Workplace, what pain points were you trying to solve?

Emma: We’ve grown a lot from the Virgin Blue days, when we were a smaller carrier with fewer staff. Back then we were able to connect better because we were located together and it was easier to interact. As we grew and diversified, we also spread geographically to America and Bali, and soon to be Japan. It became harder for us to connect and get information across, and people started feeling siloed. Our inboxes were just cluttered with emails. One day I was talking to a pilot when I was traveling around the network and he said to me, what time do we get to check these thousands of emails? We needed to find a better way to connect with our people.

Luke: Emma and I spent a lot of time advocating for the platform because we truly believed it would be able to show that amazing culture that Virgin has. And it’s only continued to prove us right in a variety of ways. It’s been a platform that has allowed our people to express themselves creatively, to be the social bunch that they are, and remain connected with each other.

What was the launch process like with Enablo?

Luke: Rolling out a program like this around COVID was a blessing in disguise. It was also really challenging, so we had to be agile. We had to rethink our program very quickly. We also were really lucky to work with people like Enablo and also a great project team internally who were able to move with us at that pace.

Emma: From the moment that we made the decision to work with Enablo and implement Workplace from Meta, we had a great experience. It’s like two positive cultures came together. Enablo very quickly understood the kind of business we are and that we work fast.

“From the moment that we made the decision to work with Enablo and implement Workplace from Meta, we had a great experience. It’s like two positive cultures came together. Enablo very quickly understood the business we are and that we work fast.”

Emma Mehaffey – GM Culture and Employee Experience, Virgin Australia Group

The future

What do you see as the future trends for technology at work?

Emma: There is a simplicity in Workplace, there is beauty in simplicity. Sometimes we can get caught up with a lot of complex ideas and frameworks and fancy ways of doing things when actually it’s about being a good human it’s about connecting with your people, talking real language. With Workplace, you can’t throw in too many big words when you’re typing quick responses to people. I think the future is about being agile and quick to respond to things.

What does the future of Workplace look like at Virgin?

Emma: We see it becoming more than just a communication tool, integrating into the business and changing the way that we do work and approach the challenges we have. We know that there are other carriers who use it for full operational standpoint. We know the capability, we see it.

“From the moment that we made the decision to work with Enablo and implement Workplace from Meta, we had a great experience. It’s like two positive cultures came together. Enablo very quickly understood the kind of business we are and that we work fast.”

Emma Mehaffey – GM Culture and Employee Experience, Virgin Australia Group

How Enablo can help your organization

Find out how you can bring Workplace to your organization and help build the ultimate employee experience by partnering with Enablo.

As your digital employee experience partner, consider us an extension of your team. We bring a time-tested methodology, custom solutions, and person-to-person support to ensure your organization’s ongoing success.

Talk to us to find out how we can help your organization today!