Generating Bayernwerk Enthusiasm Through Employee Branding

Keeping the Lights On

You might not have heard of Bayernwerk, but if you are one of over 12.5 million Germans living in Bavaria, southeastern Germany, the odds are you have enjoyed its services. Bayernwerk supplies electricity, gas, and heat to 41% of the population in the region. In 2001, Bayernwerk was acquired by energy multinational E.ON and renamed E.ON Bayern, only to be renamed Bayernwerk a little over a decade later as part of a regulator-enforced unbundling. This was the latest of many restructurings that had taken place within the E.ON organization in the years since the company had absorbed Bayernwerk. The perceived organizational volatility and poor employee branding had bred uncertainty and dissatisfaction among the company’s 3000 employees and 2.3 million customers, tarnishing the organization’s long-held and long-cherished reputation as an attractive employer. This damage was further compounded by a very public debate about the group’s corporate strategy.

The workshops are just the beginning of a sustainable change management initiative. Vivaldi Partners has impressed us with not only a powerful concept and strong content, but in particular, how they inspired our employees on our journey towards greater customer-centricity.

Reimund Gotzel, Chairman of the Board, Bayernwerk

Re-Energizing Energy

Bayernwerk enlisted Vivaldi Partners to bolster the brand internally and reinforce the company’s attractiveness as an employer, in order to better serve the nearly 1200 municipalities and more than two million households who rely on Bayernwerk for utilities. The Vivaldi Partners team orchestrated a massive employee engagement program, in order to co-create quick-win action items, as well as identify long-term measures.

Activities included everything from traditional workshop exercises to group activities and communal meals to ensure that the workshop programs were more than just descriptive and informative. In addition to creating and conducting a workshop series, the Vivaldi Partners team engaged with more than 500 participants who developed over 2000 ideas for next steps via internal newsletters, the company intranet, and in-person sharing. These immersive programs allowed employees at all levels to truly live the brand experience, and created a genuinely customer-first organization that truly lives up to its promise to “improve people’s lives.”

Collaborating with the Bayernwerk executive team, Vivaldi Partners brought to life Bayernwerk’s company vision and activated it, reaching all 2800 of Bayernwerk’s employees with the employer branding campaign.

A critical success factor was the excellent collaboration with our colleagues at Bayernwerk, from the core team to the top executives, in their roles as 'ambassadors' to open the workshop.

Markus Zinnbauer, Partner, Vivaldi Partners

Powering a Customer-Centric Organization

The workshops were extremely successful: 96% of surveyed employees said the initiative paid off, with 86% rating the workshops as good or very good. We also asked participants to rate their understanding of the Bayernwerk brand vision before and after the workshop. On average, workshop participants rated themselves four points higher, on a 1-10 scale, after the workshop than they did prior to the workshops. The results of the workshop were communicated throughout the organization via channels including a digital platform developed for interactive exchange and the internal magazine and newsletter.

Through the close cooperation between the Vivaldi Partners team and Bayernwerk, our focus on emotions and motivations as well as content, the involvement of employees at all levels, and the transparent process, we executed an effective internal brand engagement program that was later recognized with the 2014 QUEB Employer Branding Award. In addition, Bayernwerk extended this work into a broader initiative to re-focus the business around customers.

Meet The Expert

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Dr. Markus Zinnbauer

Senior Partner

Markus Zinnbauer is a Senior Partner and the head of Vivaldi’s analytics practice. He brings deep and practical expertise in quantitative methods and brand management strategy.