What happens when two employees, with totally different professions, swap jobs for a day? That is the question asked in the film series Volvo Cars Job Swap.
Volvo Cars is continuously striving to be at the forefront when it comes to disruptive technologies, such as electrification, self-driving cars and connectivity services. The automotive industry is on the verge of a paradigm shift and Volvo Cars wants to be one of the key players when it comes to driving development forward. That is the question asked in the film series Volvo Cars Job Swap – a concept and production by the Swedish content agency OTW
Internal communication at Volvo Cars is very much about getting employees to feel positive about the ongoing change. The timing is critical from an internal communication perspective – getting employees to understand and be positive to the strategy is crucial for the success of the new direction the company is taking. At the same time, the ground rules for internal communication are changing. People are fed with a massive information flow on a daily basis and it is getting tougher for companies to reach out with their messages – even to their own employees.
The target group is all of Volvo Cars’ employees around the world, both at offices and manufacturing plants on three continents. Reaching out to a diverse group of employees and a large variety of professions has its challenges, for example creating content that appeals to both a factory worker in Charleston and an engineer in Shanghai.
To follow Volvo Cars’ new direction, the internal communication has to be effective to reach the target – making people aware of the way forward and creating engagement. At the same time, it has to have a global approach, making everyone feel included and give a true picture of the company where all parts of the organisation are described.
In order to meet the need for strategic communication that speaks to a broad target group, Job Swap – a film series where two employees with completely different professions change jobs for a day – was developed. All employees at the company were invited to apply. In 18 episodes, Job Swap takes the viewer to a number of different workplaces around Volvo Cars’ universe in China, USA and Europe and describes a great variety of professions.
Job Swap’s goal is to contribute to the open corporate culture where everyone has a voice – a modern and attractive workplace. The series’ aim is to convey pride in working in a global organisation and provide an understanding and respect for all jobs within the company.
To reach as many as possible in the target group, the internal content was published externally. The series was distributed on several channels in addition to the intranet: the content hub Global Stories, YouTube, LinkedIn and the Chinese platforms WeChat and Youku. The episodes were supported by trailers, in-depth articles and printed film posters. Sharing the internal content with friends and family was even encouraged, making it possible for employees to share stories that made them proud of working at Volvo Cars.
Volvo Cars Job Swap is a great example of successful inter-company engagement because the communication concept managed to reach a difficult target group in a disruptive time period, with a strategically important message.
The simple idea of letting people swap jobs for a day worked well worldwide. Viewers could see the charm in letting a beginner try out a new job, guided by a proud employee. The employees watching the show learned about professions they would never encounter in their everyday work life. The series conveyed important values for Volvo Cars, such as quality, solidarity and openness.
The series’ high quality and broad appeal made it useful for employer branding and attracted external viewers. In 2019, Volvo Cars was named Employer Branding Company of the year as well as second most attractive employer in Sweden. A true statement that well executed internal communication matters.
As a cornerstone in Volvo Cars’ internal communication during the year, Job Swap provided insight into Volvo Cars’ core values and the way forward.
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