Celebrating an anniversary is always fun, and your 75th anniversary really shouldn't go unnoticed. "We need to celebrate it with lots of fun initiatives, all year round, both for our employees and for our customers" was the motto at the start of 2020. And so we rolled up our sleeves and went back to the drawing board: the campaign "SD Worx 75 – Let's Make Sparks Fly" was born!
Throughout the entire anniversary year of 2020, SD Worx invited 4,600 employees and 68,000 customers worldwide to collect 'sparks' through remarkable collaborations, heart-warming initiatives and great stories for charity. If we managed to collect 75,000 sparks, SD Worx would donate €150,000 spread across 75 charities.
Michael Custers, Chief Marketing Officer at SD Worx: "What led us to choose sparks? Because they make things shine. They bring people together, connect, provide chemistry and warmth and ultimately, create fireworks. And that's what we've been doing at SD Worx for 75 years – both within our own organisation and for our customers. Because those who come to work for us are given room to learn, the flexibility to develop and the chance to enjoy themselves. We pass on this passion, knowledge and job satisfaction to our customers and their employees, enabling these companies to achieve inspiring results. That's how we stimulate growth in each other. Let's support each other through thick and thin, and let's make sparks fly."Und dass wir bei SD Worx diese
That we can make sparks fly at SD Worx isn't in any doubt. Click here to see us in action.
To start with, we built a platform (www.sdworx75.com) to promote all initiatives and, of course, count the sparks. This platform formed the basis of the entire campaign, and we knew how many sparks had been collected at any time. In addition, anyone who wanted to share a heart-warming story could do so on the platform, following the same principle as on Instagram and Facebook. Each story also resulted in extra sparks, too.
Once the concept and the platform, logo and branding had been created, we started working on the various initiatives that we would organise throughout the year to celebrate our anniversary and collect sparks. And these were highly specific plans: couch surfing with colleagues, organising after-work parties for our SME customers, an exclusive customer event in Paris for our LE customers, and more. We had big plans.
All of this was scheduled to start in early March. However, over the course of February, reports started trickling in about avoiding contact, cancelling parties, potential lockdowns, and more. What first seemed like strange news from far away suddenly became a reality, as coronavirus ravaged across the world. This forced us to rethink our entire campaign, without knowing how long the situation would last. Initiatives involving physical contact were temporarily put on hold in the hope that we could launch them at a later date. From then on, we focused on our digital initiatives, breathing new life into the campaign and giving it a digital spin.
One of our most successful initiatives was the e-card tool. The platform allowed you to choose a nice e-card with a heart-felt message and send it to a colleague, customer, family member or friend. New designs were also added to the list of e-cards on a regular basis, and each e-card sent generated three sparks. This tool was widely used: colleagues sent great messages to each other, customers were put in the spotlight digitally and also used the tool themselves, as it was accessible to everyone. In short, this was a very successful initiative. No less than 10,516 e-cards have made someone happy!
SD Worx employees were also able to nominate charities or organisations close to their hearts using the platform. These included charities from all over the world and with all sorts of aims: institutions that help the sick, disadvantaged, animals in need, children who need extra care, the elderly, science and, of course, charities related to Covid-19. Everyone who nominated a charity had their own personal reasons for doing so – and that's what makes this initiative so unique. We then selected 75 organisations from the nominations and collected as many sparks as possible to support them.
SD Worx now has around 4,600 employees in more than 10 countries. Getting to know your colleagues in an informal way isn't always easy, but it is essential and valuable. That's why we organised a number of digital speed dates. Everyone was able to register via the platform and was connected to two other colleagues at random so they could have a chat and get to know each other. After 10 minutes, the speed date ended and participants could move onto their next chat room, where they were able to meet two more colleagues. Registering for one of the speed-dating sessions also generated 50 sparks. This initiative also proved very popular as more than 670 colleagues took part in one or more speed-dating sessions, and we're still being asked to organise these in the future on a regular basis!
The end goal of all of these initiatives was to collect 75,000 sparks so we could donate €2,000 to each of the 75 charities selected. We hoped to reach that magical number by the end of December, but it soon became clear that Covid-19 was here to stay for the rest of the year and that digital initiatives were our only option. This meant we suddenly had to cancel our other ideas, casting significant doubt and uncertainty on whether we'd make it or not. But SD Worx is not just any company – as we've been there for our customers and for each other for 75 years now. Even in these uncertain and gloomy times, we were able to count on the enthusiasm and support of our staff and customers, as the 75,000th spark suddenly appeared on the counter at the start of October. We did it – and three months faster than expected. What a great achievement!
It goes without saying that we were unable to hold the anniversary party, so we still have that to look forward to. But such a well-organised campaign shouldn't be forgotten. So on 15 January 2021, the day on which our big anniversary party was scheduled to take place, we added one final digital touch – a whole day of SD Worx Radio and an enjoyable webcast for all our staff as the icing on the cake. During this webcast, we were able to show videos (specially created for us) from the charities as a way to say thank you for the badly-needed financial support, especially this year. It was a beautiful gesture to mark a very unique year.
For 75 years, SD Worx has been a great, welcoming company, where people are always ready to help and support each other and their customers. In 2020, we went one step further and all we can say is: we're ready for the next 75 years. We made sparks fly in 2020 and beyond...
Cathy Janssens -