Taking Employee Pride from 0 to 88%
How London 2012 Engaged Our People Globally

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As a sponsor of London 2012 InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) unlocked the spirit of the Games through a series of athlete hosted experiential events targeted at engaging our employees globally. The events provided insight into performance, team work and results through focused planning. They also brought to life the Olympic and Paralympic spirit and helped inspire our people in hotel and corporate offices globally. The result was a growth of engagement and also employee pride which we measure annual via our employee survey.

The London 2012 Masterclass programme provided opportunities for interaction with world class athletes in an intimate, informal event. Participants met the athlete, heard about their personal journey to 2012 and were coached by the athlete in their sport. While the insight from the athlete’s personal stories provided natural parallels to our corporate mission and echoed our leadership competencies, the events brought the Olympic and Paralympic spirit to life outside of London driving word of mouth and employee engagement across our 5 regions. The net promoter score for the whole programme was 97% and our employee engagement score rose to 88%.

With limited budget we needed to view our product differently. It became a currency to barter with athletes in exchange for their appearance. By using our product in a new way we secured over 50 appearances from Olympic and Paralympic athletes globally and these appearances became the cornerstone of the London 2012 Masterclass Programme. These events provided our people with the opportunity to try an Olympic and Paralympic sport and to learn what it takes to become one of the best in your field from some of the best athletes in the world including Victoria Pendelton and Mo Farah.[/one_half_last]

We underestimated the value of our offer to athletes, resulting in too many appearances. Also negotiating with the representatives of the athletes to set the event schedule was complex which impacted timings. Also, the success of our programme relied on the power of internal communication to reach front-line staff. Non-delivery and blockages meant we had to find other ways to reach these people such as via other departments such as HR, Hotel Support and Owners Forums as well as through our external communications via PR.


These events helped us to reach our global employees driving pride as well as advocacy for our business and the sponsorship as a whole. Results are reflected in our global employee engagement score and also anecdotally in our year on year rank increase as one of the Best Places to Work in the UK. Not only did we give our people the chance at a once in a lifetime experience, we also gave them a reason to care about what the business was doing, how we were doing it and how it would benefit them.[/one_half_last] Speaker
Sacha Clark, Director Marketing London 2012 & UK&I, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG)

Sacha Clark was the Director Marketing London 2012 for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). Her role was to lead the activation of the Holiday Inn London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sponsorship to drive guest and employee engagement within the UK&I, as well as IHG globally. She has been with IHG for 5 years, previously working in Planning and Commercial Marketing roles; she has recently taken a role in the Global Strategy at IHG. Previous experience includes brand marketing roles in the UK and Australian FMCG’s. Her passion for sport continues post 2012 with her personal hobbies including cycling and swimming.