Before working in the Internal Communications team at Carnival UK I wasn’t really sure what to expect: what kind of culture there was, what the team actually did and how they communicate with their staff. Since working in the People’s Department and within the Internal Comms team, I have been able to experience insight into lots of different projects that various people are working on and make contributions to the progress of these. The key focus in the Internal Comms team is their People Promise. The four-pillar strategy of the People team is designed around opportunities, people, support and pride. These form the basis for all of the communications to the staff and crew onshore and in the fleet.
What I have found impressive, is the logistics around communicating with seafarers and their many platforms which are used within their communication plan. For example, sharing information with the crew onboard a ship is not just as simple as uploading a story on the intranet, due to limitations with WiFi connections mostly. So, the staff here not only have to create content with consistent messaging, but they also have to ensure that everyone is getting the message. The internal comms team works very well with the teams onboard to ensure that senior management receive the correct information via online whilst also communicating where they can through paper copies of their quarterly magazine, and leaflets and flyers are received via cabin drops when the ships are docked in Southampton. Having an insight into the thought and planning that goes into every campaign and initiative to ensure that the same is happening on board is so valuable to me as someone aspiring to work in communications.
They also demonstrate the importance of liaising with the different staff/crew and how building rapport and relationships with the management onboard the ships will help to ensure that they are achieving their engagement with employees and creating a people centric environment across the board. During my placement I have found that employees at Carnival House are all very helpful, willing to support each other and celebrate each other’s achievements. One thing I got to experience was the ‘huddle’ where the entire People’s Team came together for a stand-up meeting to discuss key objectives and updates. I have found from my previous experiences that this is a great way to ensure that everyone is in sync, but also it was such a large group of people that they were able to thank a member of staff who was leaving in person which was a lovely addition to the atmosphere of the team.
It is clear that every member of staff is as valued as the next, from the management onshore to the hospitality crew on the ships. I think that the internal comms team have achieved their role in communicating a common goal and ensuring that each team are consistently demonstrating that they are passionate about ‘creating unforgettable holiday happiness’ at Carnival UK. This is shown through the stories shared on their staff site and how they are mostly about celebrating their employees and the successes of different teams.
One thing which has stood out to me is that there is a wellbeing officer in the team and so it is clear that the organisation is dedicated to ensuring that their staff are being looked after, but it doesn’t stop here. The events organised by internal comms are also people focussed, they ensure that there are activities and opportunities for their staff within all that they do. The organisation as a whole has a general vibe of caring for their staff with free fruit on a Monday morning, free hot and cold drinks and flexible working, it is evident that as an employer, Carnival UK look after their employees and value them. Feeling valued and appreciated is known to increase morale and flexible working allows parents and carers to work around their busy schedules. But this isn’t only in the office/onshore, it is also consistent across the fleet with wellbeing programmes being rolled out on the new ships to ensure that their crew are living in a comfortable environment and to support them on their adventures away from home.
I think that Carnival UK consistently show that they are an employer of choice because they have built a great community of employees that is diverse, caring and has a focus on wellbeing. They are certainly ahead of the game in terms of flexi working and a lot of the spaces are hot desks which encourages you to move around, but also to ensure you’re taking time away from the desk and having breaks is a key to an efficient and positive working environment. It is no wonder that there is a strong sense of pride that the staff Carnival UK feel when you ask them about their job and this is shown in their work and commitment to their guests.