Exploring Reckitt’s future of work strategy

Marketing director shares why the consumer healthcare company is devising a new future of work approach and what marketers must to lead the way

With the Covid-19 crisis accelerating future ways of working while presenting unique leadership challenges to navigate, one organisation that’s been spending time and effort to build out its future of work approach is Reckitt.

The consumer healthcare company recently unveiled its new future of work strategy, devised off the back of research into how employees would prefer to work in this next normal and beyond. The strategy also sets out the vision for its headquarters in Sydney.

Employee research identified five themes. The first was the prioritisation of work/life balance, while the second was ownership over the role, career and ongoing learning. A third was the need to foster collaboration, while two other drivers are a sense of feeling nurtured and respected and playing a positive role in the wider community.

Using these insights, Reckitt has outlined four contemporary working practices: Ongoing hybrid work; simplified and richer technology experiences; people-centric workplaces; and integrated workspaces and technology. The strategy was created in partnership with consultancy, Tignum and Hinsta.

Reckitt health marketing director, Henry Turgoose, says the company has always emphasised output over presenteeism. “That said, it was deeply ingrained in the culture that people were in the office give or take five days per week,” he tells CMO.

Building a simple framework to explain how Reckitt approaches going back to the office is vital to finding a future way of working that’s constructive for employees as well as the company.

Turgoose says feedback showed people appreciated working from home but that it was highly individualised. What’s more, while many tasks can be done remotely, there are reasons for continuing physical connection in an office environment.

Four 4Cs are being used to guide Reckitt’s hybrid approach: Coach, collaborate, connect and create.

In getting this strategy rolled out, communication has been critical, Turgoose says, adding there was a lot of nervousness and questions around expectations of being back in the office.

“What we had to keep repeating was that you as an employee are certainly empowered and have the freedom to shape your working day as you see best,” Turgoose says. “We thought it was quite a simple message. But actually the questions we got back, across functions and the leadership team, showed people were asking for permission and what’s appropriate.

“The extent we needed to communicate that we all have the freedom to shape how we approach our working day was substantial.”  

Reckitt’s marketing function has also played a practical role by modelling a hybrid approach.

“We’ve been through the planning process for 2022, and that required us to pull in functions such as regulations, sales, trade marketing. Through the collaboration entailed in that process, marketing has been a driving force behind the return to the office and we’ve probably been quicker to find preferred ways of doing things on an individual level,” Turgoose says. 

Physically, the office has adapted to suit a hybrid model through hot desking and new technologies that seamlessly connect in-person and virtual teams.

For Turgoose, the ultimate role of marketing is spearheading moments of collaboration through an organisation. As Reckitt looks to find its future way of working, this role is even more critical.

“Driving cross-functional engagement and effort is so essential to a healthy company culture,” he says. “We have empowered people to shape how they want to work. But if we’re talking about coming back to the office to collaborate and connect, it’s often marketing’s role to initiate those moments of collaboration across the business more broadly.” 

As to his leadership approach, Turgoose’s focus is making sure the right level of communications exists. He’s initiated skip-level meetings with people across different functions, while other staff, such as the head of Dettol, have met with other brand teams to foster connection.

“You can’t do everything over Microsoft Teams or Google Meets,” Turgoose adds. “It takes us back to the framework and why it’s been useful to say there is a role for the office, using those 4Cs – and let’s live that.” 

This article originally appeared in CMO magazine Issue 1, 2021. To access your free copy of our latest magazine edition digitally, simply click here, register or sign into our CMO member system for free, and read away!

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here. 

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Canva's mission is to empower people with the ability to design anything they want. To do this, They've had to balance experimentation an...

Digital Davaoena

xx - CMO Australia

Read more

Thanks for your feedback, Rabi. While we introduced the ROO concept using a marketing example, I also believe that it is pertinent to man...

Iggy Pintado

Introducing Return on Outcome (ROO) - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Thanks for your insight, Philip. Return On Outcome (ROO) requires balanced thinking with the focus on outcomes as opposed to returns.

Iggy Pintado

Introducing Return on Outcome (ROO) - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Beautiful article.

Hodlbaba

15 brands jumping into NFTs

Read more

"Blue" is really gorgeous and perfectly imitates a human customer support operator. Personally, I won't order a chatbot development for m...

Nate Ginsburg

Why the newest member of BT’s contact centre is a chatbot

Read more

Blog Posts

How the pandemic revealed the antidote to marketing’s image problem

What does marketing truly ‘own’ in most organisations? Brand and campaigns, definitely. Customer experience? That remains contested ground.

Murray Howe

Founder, The Markitects

Still pursuing a 360-degree view of the customer?

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” It may have been true in 1993 when this caption to a Peter Steiner cartoon appeared in the New Yorker. But after 30 years online, it’s no longer the case.

Agility in 2022

Only the agile will survive and thrive in this environment and that’s why in 2022, agility will need to be a whole-business priority.

Sam McConnell

Melbourne bureau chief, Alpha Digital

Sign in