CorpComms Awards

Best internal event

Winner 2021
AkzoNobel UK and Ireland
Agency: Democracy PR

AkzoNobel UK and Ireland is a coatings business, with a portfolio of brands including Dulux and Polycell, which employs 3,500 colleagues across 15 locations, split between offices, factories, stores and drivers, making it difficult to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to engagement.

Approaching lockdown for the third time, it became apparent that employees were struggling with a mixture of the mental impact of remote working, juggling childcare responsibilities, working on the front line of the construction industry and providing essential manufacturing and retail services.

Recognising that there needed to be a greater focus on wellbeing, while recognising that wellbeing means different things to different people, the AkzoNobel communications team approached Democracy PR to collaborate on an initiative to support colleagues.

The result was Wellfest, a virtual wellbeing festival held across March 2021, which was structured to support the health and wellbeing of colleagues and to engage their families to feel part of the wider AkzoNobel family.

Across the month, Wellfest featured 110 feelgood workshops organised across seven themed ‘tents’, including health, activity, kids and mental wellbeing, with a cross section of activities designed to meet the needs of every colleague.

Virtual breakfasts with senior management introduced new colleagues recruited through lockdown and offered everybody the chance to ask questions in an informal setting.

There were fitness classes, cocktail making and cookery masterclasses and an informal ‘meet and greet’ for families to meet the current Dulux dog, eight-year-old Madison, an Old English Sheepdog who lives in Lincolnshire and was once seen riding a skateboard in an advert for the paint.

The Main Stage featured special guests, including ex-Special Forces soldier Jason Fox, polar adventurer Victoria Humphries and broadcaster Fearne Cotton, and a talk from Prostate Cancer UK.

The events were designed to be easily accessible, using Microsoft Teams and an Eventbrite booking system, and the content was delivered at different times of the day to allow for shift patterns. Interactivity was encouraged through Yammer. Every event was available on-demand for those unable to attend live.

More than 86 per cent of AkzoNobel’s colleagues took part in a Wellfest session, which was promoted internally through pre-existing communications channels and digital and onsite posters. In total, there were 2,388 visits to AkzoNobel’s Yammer channel and 63,000 messages. Such was the success of the init