17 December 2015

How ODEON is using employer brand

Our director Gemma McGrattan took to the stage recently at the PR Week Strategic Internal Communications conference…

…to give the audience a peek behind-the-scenes of how we’re helping ODEON & UCI Cinemas establish its new employer brand.

  If you couldn’t make it, have no fear! Here’s what you missed.  


  2015 has been the year of cinema, with huge blockbusters including 50 Shades of Grey, Hunger Games, Bond and Star Wars hitting the big screen. ODEON & UCI Cinemas’ business is bigger than ever, but competition is still fierce; there are other cinema chains to contend with, along with home streaming services and other leisure activities, all vying for our attention.   ODEON knew that to make the most of the opportunity it needed to go even further.   This was no longer just about the movies themselves, this was about creating ‘inspiring entertainment experiences for every guest’.  

  • First, ODEON & UCI Cinemas launched its new vision and values. The campaign was rolled out to over 8,500 employees across Europe. The success of this has resulted in an increase in engagement and several awards as well!
  • With vision and values firmly embedded, it was time to start the process of establishing an employer brand


But what is employer branding?

  As our client, Kathryn Pritchard, group chief people officer, says: “People perform best when there’s a clear deal, and when we keep our side of the bargain. If that’s employer branding, I say bring it on.”


Here’s how we’re helping ODEON & UCI Cinemas to make this vision a reality.


Step One: Research

  Research is the most important step – don’t miss it out, no matter how tempted you are! Use a mix on quantitative and qualitative measurement; ODEON & UCI Cinemas used employee surveys, focus groups, manager feedback, informal comments, OHI scores and pulse surveys. Meanwhile, our team headed to the cinemas to do their own shifts and see what it’s really like to work as an ODEON & UCI employee. After all, how can you craft a meaningful employer brand if it doesn’t reflect the real experience of working there?  

Step Two: Define and establish your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

  Your EVP is a truthful statement that outlines what you expect of your employees and exactly what they can expect from you in return. It should be completely honest and written in a tone that is unique to you. This is where all that research comes in! Use your research to craft an EVP that really resonates with employees. Remember, you may not share this statement externally but it will shape the messages and tone of voice of all of your employee communications in the future.  

Step Three: Get Creative

  Now it’s time for the fun part! Create a striking creative design theme that holds everything together. And we’re not just talking about a logo. This is an entire look and feel that can be rolled out across all employee communications touchpoints. It needs to be impactful, so that employees recognise it and is aligned to the external brand.  

Step Four: Map the employee journey

  So, you’ve got the messaging and you’ve got the look and feel. Now what do you do? It’s time to map your employee journey. Look at every single step your employees go through, from attraction and recruitment to interview, onboarding, induction, reward and recognition, training and even exit.  

  • Ask, does the experience and communications at every stage match your EVP?
  • Ask, what can we do better?
  • Ask, how can we make it more unique and fun

  When you’ve mapped your journey it’s time to prioritise projects and workstream and start to improve each of those touchpoints.   For ODEON & UCI Cinemas, the first elements to be brought into the new employer brand style are a brand new careers website, the launch of a new reward and recognition programme and a programme called Brand Heroes in early 2016.   To make it all work you’ll need to collaborate with your other teams; learning and development, reward etc.  

Step five: Measure results

  Make sure you measure results. Do regular staff surveys; get anecdotal feedback and monitor OHI and Net Promoter scores. Liaise with other teams in your business so you can devise models to show the impact of engaged employees on customer experience and bottom line profit if possible.   Results talk for themselves. It’s only early days for ODEON’s employer brand so far, yet OHI scores have increased by 25%, Net Promoter score is up and most importantly, profits are beating those posted by competitors.  

Now that’s what we call a blockbuster!


Would you like a copy of the presentation?


Get in touch with Brooke Nolan on brooke@mccannsynergy.com.uk or call 0117 962 1534.  

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