CovidComms Awards

A Day in the Life of Schroders

Winner: Best use of employee-generated content
CovidComms Awards 2020

Schroders prides itself on its people-first culture and the internal communications team was determined this should not be impacted when its 5,000-strong workforce, located across 32 countries, were forced to work remotely as a result of Covid-19.

The team strove to deliver the inclusive culture to which Schroders’ people were accustomed while providing moral support during uncertain times, that demonstrated an understanding of the other things going on in their lives and that there had been a blending of home life and office life. But it also wanted to create a campaign that encapsulated that sense of belonging and pride while engaging people from across the regions.

The solution was to use employee-generated content to introduce everybody’s new ‘working’ environments and address the challenges that colleagues faced in a fun and inclusive way. But employee-generated content was also a new concept for the fund management group which, as a regulated financial services organisation, has always enjoyed a more formal approach to communications.

When the internal communications team asked colleagues for photographs of their working environments, it was overwhelmed by how keen people were to share their stories. This prompted a Not remotely our usual set up video, a montage of photos set to music, ranging from unusual working arrangements to new working ‘colleagues’, such as children and pets – which highlighted the international nature of the business. (British colleagues shared images of cats and dogs, while a colleague in Bermuda petted his African grey parrot!)

The three-minute Day in the Life video included a montage of short films, offering a taste of different colleagues’ lifestyles around the world from the moment they woke up at 7.30am, when they shared their morning ablutions and breakfast routines, to starting work, taking exercise, engaging in group calls to logging off and relaxing, with family dinners, hobbies and other activities until 11pm. Fast cuts brought a feeling of momentum which emphasised that Schroders was still functioning and, indeed, as productive and connected as ever.

So much content was shared with the internal communications team that it was able to create two additional videos, Our new co-workers, featuring a montage of Schroders’ colleagues interacting with their children, pets and house plants, and New skills, a one-minute round up of fun activities, such as baking, cooking, growing vegetables, yoga and woodwork, that they have embraced during lockdown.

More than 70 colleagues from 11 countries shared their stories and local customs, including the fact that the 29th of every month is gnocchi day in Argentina, for the videos. Historically, internal videos on Schroders’ intranet attract, on average, about 500 views and eight comments, but each one of this quartet attracted at least 1,200 views with a Day in the Life viewed in excess of 2,300 times. And each video attracted an average of 22 comments.