A video to raise awareness of Helvetas' new code of conduct
Helvetas asked: "How can we communicate our new code of conduct to our staff around the world, and ensure they understand and adhere to it?" Find out how cinfo answered and which creative solutions proved successful.
"Finding measures that work"
Helvetas employs about 1,400 employees, of which about 1,250 work in Africa, Asia, Middle and South America, and Eastern Europe. At the beginning of last year, we completely revised our code of conduct. This process was part of a general effort to update our various standards and regulations, ranging from corruption, fraud and conflict of interest, to bullying, sexual harassment and abuse of power, to child protection and our policy on whistle-blowing.
While these documents are indispensable, they can also be seen as just a ‘pile of paper’. Rather than having them gathering dust in the back of drawers, we wanted all Helvetas staff to take note of them and stick to them. But how to proceed? That's how we came up with the idea of contacting cinfo.
In 2018 cinfo organised a series of webinars for us, with the goal of informing employees at headquarters and in the field about the new personnel development policy. After this outstanding cooperation, choosing cinfo to implement our new awareness campaign was a natural decision.
After the first meeting in March, cinfo suggested producing an informative, participatory video, in which employees are invited to do some exercises while watching. cinfo produced this practical video in a short period of time. It includes interviews with employees, both at headquarters and in the field, in which they explain the meaning of the Code of Conduct and regulations, and how they apply these in their daily work.
The video includes interviews with employees, both at headquarters and in the field.
Today, the video is not only available on the Helvetas intranet in English, Spanish and French, it is also used in introductory courses for new employees in our organisation. In addition, the video helps us to ask the right questions, which are then discussed in special workshops on the Code of Conduct and regulations.
"Supporting Helvetas in their awareness-raising efforts"
cinfo, Daniel Glinz
Things developed very quickly. At the end of February 2019, Erich Wigger from Helvetas called me with the question: “How can we inform our 1,400 employees about the new Code and Rules of Conduct? And above all, how do we ensure that employees understand and follow the rules?" Since Helvetas does not have its own learning platform, producing an awareness raising video was a possible solution.
A week later we met in Bern to clarify the Helvetas’ needs and discuss cinfo’s proposal: Helvetas is interested in a tutorial! The video should be no longer than 40 minutes and include explanations on applying the regulations, statements from field staff, and recordings of exercises and reflections. I insisted that the case studies came from Helvetas staff – information is much better processed when it comes from colleagues. At the same time, these inputs were not intended as a lecture for those watching the video.
Information is much better processed when it comes from colleagues.
The deadline for delivery was 15 May and the project budget was modest. Despite these limitations, I was well aware that my counterparts at Helvetas expected a certain quality; if not carefully crafted, there was little chance that the staff would believe in the video’s messages.
My colleague, Gabriela, was the ideal person for the role of moderator. She is very communicative and speaks good English, without a British accent, which is incomprehensible for most local staff in the field. She is also fluent in Spanish and French – the languages in which the video would be translated.
It was time for me to start writing the script and visual aids – a PowerPoint presentation summarising the most important messages. After that, the content would be adapted to the corporate design of Helvetas, which they were revising at the same time. This timeframe required a certain amount of flexibility on our part, and on the part of Maud Aspart – a freelancer I hired to edit the video.
In mid-May we gave Helvetas a prototype in English, which they were very satisfied with. This initial experience allowed us to fine-tune the process and distribution of tasks between Helvetas and ourselves. We could then continue with the subtitles and production of the French and Spanish versions.
All in all, this was a very worthwhile project, and we can be proud of the results.