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Our Client:

Have you ever noticed that people in your organisation avoid difficult conversations, believing them to be confrontational? It’s a common occurrence in organisational life, yet can hold back potential as people leave views, opinions, and concerns unsaid that can be constructive for everybody when aired.

Moonpig (alongside its sister company Greetz in the Netherlands) saw the opportunity to boost their own culture of openness by encouraging fearless self-expression. With the help of The Oxford Group, the award-winning ‘Brave Conversations’ programme now empowers employees within more inclusive environments.

Our client’s needs:

Moonpig and Greetz believed that the essential behaviours for inclusive thinking, itself a catalyst of innovation, frequently involve difficult conversations. The difficulties had to be removed so that such conversations could become a bridge to greater all-round engagement, helping people discard their inhibitions when discussing subjects such as skills they may lack/tasks they fear.

The ‘Brave Conversations’ programme set out to:

  • Build trusting relationships framed by clear expectations and boundaries.
  • Give and receive honest feedback for continuous improvement.
  • Reduce attrition where internal relationships were cited as a reason for leaving.

Achieving these outcomes required the Group Executive Leadership Team (GELT) and senior managers be brave themselves, acquiring new skills and leading by example.

Our solution

It was important to create a programme which would not cause participation issues for the GELT and could easily be assimilated with their ongoing schedules. Change, after all, should not result in business disruption. To allow time to reflect and absorb the approaches and techniques imparted within the programme, a modular approach was rolled out to the GELT and manager populations over a four-month period.

The programme, included a ‘train-the-trainer’ component, to transfer ongoing ownership from The Oxford Group to both Moonpig and Greetz. A bespoke programme was designed for business leaders to adopt ‘Brave Conversations’ within the organisation and impart the skills necessary to bring it to life.

Participant teams were split into 16-delegate ‘cohorts’, undertaking short-burst two-hour, weekly/fortnightly sessions. Having addressed the requirements of senior managers and the HR function, programme roll-out now involves train-the-trainer participants in cascading ‘Brave Conversations’ through the wider organisation.

Moonpig - Solution

The outcome

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Post-programme evaluation has shown an increase in the scores given by learners for their ability across all the desired outcomes. From ‘giving honest feedback’ (increasing from 6.67 to 8.00), to ‘Having an open mindset when receiving feedback’ (7.00 to 8.33), to ‘asking critical questions’ (7.33 to 8.33), and ‘challenging opinions with positive intent’ (7.33 to 8.67)

In terms of business impact, there was a marked decline in the proportion of leavers citing relationship issues as a reason for their departure. Additionally, the annual employee survey has seen all scores relating to feedback sharing and internal relationships show notable improvements. This clearly shows how a change in culture has now begun to take effect.

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