The Danish Communication Association (Dansk Kommunikationsforening) has nominated five projects for the Danish Communication Award 2011. One of them is ’Bus drivers with character’, a project that was initiated and executed by Stagis. The project integrates efforts in the fields of organizational culture, corporate branding and corporate communication in order to create more ”character”, pride, appreciation and job satisfaction for the bus drivers and managers in Greater Copenhagen. The ultimate aim is to deliver a higher level of service and create a better experience for the bus passengers and get more copenhageners to use public transportation.
Three years ago we set out on this wonderful journey with a test project that proved it was possible to change attitudes and pride within the bus companies that participate. During the past year the project has been supported by the Danish Transport Authority which has made it possible to bring the project to a higher level. Almost 7.000 bus passengers have sent their stories about ”Good Moments” to the bus driver website www.buschaffor.dk, the bus drivers have been in the media with positive stories every month, a group of bus drivers are making ”bus driver TV”, the training program ”Movia Akademi” is on it’s way to be integrated into the regular bus industry training institutions and on September 2nd the bus driver of the year was announced at a great event in central Copenhagen. There has been lots and lots of other activities to help everyone make the bus experience better.
On November 9th the Danish Communication Association is hosting Communication Day 2011 (Kom-dag’11) and we are happy to be one of the five nominated projects. The criteria for professional communication is defined as:
– Target managed (clear goals)
– Involves management
– Target audience oriented
– Multi-pronged and integrated (several integrated activities)
– Return-oriented (return more than invested)
We try to make all our projects live up to these criteria (and more!) and Bus drivers with character is no exception. It has an extreme degree of integration and especially in the first two years lots of people from all sides of the project asked me if I thought it was possible. We were trying to get seven private bus companies, one public company and the union to work together in order to change culture and attitudes within a group of 4.500 employees and 200 managers across 20-odd work places. And to begin with there was no funding. Everyone involved had to find a way to fund the activities. Why didn’t I give up when things are so complex and difficult? I always thought it was possible – I just didn’t know exactly what the obstacles where. And today it’s paying off. When I meet bus drivers Lars or Rene or Linda, just three of several hundred bus drivers I’ve met, they tell me it’s made a huge difference in their lives, beyond and above their work hours.
I’m really excited about the award. There is an award given by the professional jury and another award given by the audience on the day. I will be there on the day together with my colleague Louise Kramer who is the project manager of the activities we are running and Maja Nellemann, executive of the project and representative of the public transportation authority Movia. Keep your fingers crossed!