This post is part of the People’s Insights monthly briefs issue of March 2014.
What comes to your mind when someone utters the word ‘plumber’? Prior to 2011, this was just a term that was used to refer to a person who fits and repairs pipes, fittings, and other apparatus of water supply, sanitation or heating system. But what happens when you put together thousands of plumbers? They join hands to serve a bigger purpose!
Following an internal survey, Sweden based VVS-franchise Comfort realized it needed to strengthen the feeling of unity amongst its thousands of plumbers.
But how do you unite a franchise made up of loosely connected companies and at the same time, boost pride among plumbers? It’s not like they save lives every day, or do they?
Purpose without Borders
Comfort conceived a campaign that would encourage its plumbers to serve a bigger purpose. Research concluded that on a daily basis, over 4000 children lose their lives due to unhygienic drinking water. So it was clear that Comfort had an unsung hero to make public and at the same time, unite the franchise. To make this happen, Comfort gave birth to ‘Plumbers Without Borders’ (PWB).
In association with NGO SOS-Kinderdorf, Comfort initiated a long-term project designed to secure safe water for the people who deserve it most. A custom water purification plant was shipped and installed in Benin. It was a project where the employees of Comfort could prove to themselves that they do contribute to a greater good, that their work makes an impact.
Within months, the project started gaining momentum and the media started catching up with every development. External media reach was estimated to 2.2 million. Also, the Royal Queen of Sweden highlighted the project at the annual World Child and Youth Forum which garnered all the more traction to the project.
Most importantly, employees found that they can indeed make a difference, while they also discovered a new self-image, which in turn unified them as a franchise.
The project increased over 53% awareness among employees, social responsibility saw a rise in 50% and employees starting taking pride in being a part of Comfort.