Royal Dutch Shell

Employee engagement soars as Shell energizes internal communication with Office 365

Royal Dutch Shell is an international energy company that strives to deliver more and cleaner energy solutions for its customers around the world. To help engage and unite its 84,000 employees to achieve this goal, Shell deployed Microsoft Office 365 and used Microsoft Stream, Yammer, and SharePoint Online to communicate with employees in a more personalized and collaborative way, grow thriving internal communities, and revitalize its intranet. These changes empower staff to generate interactive, impactful communications that drive corporate allegiance, productivity, and innovation.  

When Ben van Beurden assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Royal Dutch Shell, Shell employees around the world were introduced to him through an informal video chat program called Table Talk. This popular Shell series provides a casual forum for discussion and lighthearted personal anecdotes that offer an authentic, relatable impression of high-level executives for employees. Table Talk epitomizes the corporate communication strategy at Shell where, according to David Harrington, Vice President of Internal Communications, the company is moving from mass communications to a more personal, conversational approach: “We want employees to be able to have conversations with their supervisors and with their peers in ways that are very intentional. We find that video is an extremely important and impactful medium.” 

So, for example, once a year on Safety Day, Shell employees reflect on safety in their workplace by creating and watching videos that express Shell values and milestones in the field. In addition to using video to promote safety, employees regularly publish “how to” videos, such as “How to Create a Business Continuity Plan,” or use their smartphones to film best practices, such as using a new tool at a worksite, and upload them to Yammer. Employees also use Yammer to share a successes story and acknowledge colleagues. 

Business case for engaging communications

Corporate conversations are flourishing among 84,000 Shell employees since the company deployed Microsoft Office 365 and began updating its digital communications platform. To modernize its communication channels, Shell uses three integrated Office 365 communication apps: Microsoft Stream, an enterprise video service; SharePoint Online, a content collaboration repository; and Yammer, a corporate social network. The result is a better informed, cohesive organization where employees feel more connected with their colleagues and with Shell business goals, strategies, and priorities. 

“The more we use tools like Microsoft Stream, Yammer, and SharePoint Online, the better we can harness the collective power of our global talent,” says Harrington. “These communication channels help to drive engagement and productivity to improve customer service and help provide more and cleaner energy solutions. Our top priority is to ensure that all employees are aligned with our strategy and that they understand what their unique contribution is to that strategy.” 

Shell deployed Microsoft Office 365 in July 2017 to introduce a modern workplace that’s more integrated, agile, and mobile. With business verticals that cover every aspect of the energy industry, Shell employees can be found working in more than 70 countries—in offices, on oil rigs, research centers, and retail stations. Deploying a standard suite of cloud productivity services to corporate and Firstline Workers everywhere creates a foundation for collaboration and productivity. “Office 365 provides a suite of integrated tools,” says Lainie Forde, IT Business Analyst at Shell. “The fact that Office 365 includes productivity tools like Stream and Yammer means we can provide solutions that the business needs in a more cost-effective and holistic way, without the need for customization.” 

Cindy Vosselman, Internal Communications Advisor at Shell, includes among the company’s core communication channels: a corporate intranet, news publishing tool, content management system, and video platform. “Internal communications are crucial for supporting the delivery of Shell business goals, priorities, and strategies,” she says. “The more our communications engage our workforce, the more successful we will be as a company. Stream and Yammer present a great opportunity for us to further drive engagement.”

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