Going glocal: designing a global and local employee experience

A 60 minute Case Study by:

Abbie Walsh


James Deakin


Theme: Hacking the org: tales from the frontline

About this Case Study

Abbie Walsh, Fjord Group Director UK and Latin America, will walk you through how Fjord used service design principles to envision a world-class employee experience for a consumer goods giant.

She’ll look at how rich insights from interviews with a diverse set of employees fuelled the highly personalised concept. It knows each user, and gives easy access to HR, finance and IT content specific to their needs, fronted by a chatbot to support employees through the moments that matter.

Fjord’s brief was rife with challenges common to many large corporations, including global and local inconsistencies, and support staff’s time being dominated by dealing with easily-answered questions rather than higher value interactions.

True to our raison d’être, we sought to gain a full understanding of how the employees really felt. We conducted a qualitative study of one-to-one interviews with white and blue collar employees of all levels, across developing and developed markets, taking time to understand what mattered most to them, and how their current experience made them feel about working for the company.

Using this valuable insight, Fjord worked collaboratively with the client and with Accenture R&D to co-design our vision. Accenture’s long-standing relationship with the company brought a deep understanding of their business complexities, which, coupled with Fjord’s experience-led approach, enabled the co-creation of a groundbreaking, real vision built on what mattered most to the employees.

This vision took shape as a matrix of 8 interconnected components, fronted by a chatbot. These include:

  • a crowd-curated content source
  • a new tool to connect colleagues across the world
  • a way to facilitate peer-to-peer learning
  • a service that would proactively push pertinent information, alerts and options at the right moment based on each employee’s personal needs and broader context

Our approach is to test, assess and fine-tune throughout projects to ensure we deliver a best-in-class service. For this project, we delivered a proof of concept to test how people would feel about using chatbot technology powered by AI to answer day-to-day queries and rapidly test and develop the chatbot technology. We delivered a real, personalised, omni-channel experience focused on helping new recruits during their first few weeks. Using a process we refer to as a ‘Living Lab’, we listened, iterated and grew the chatbot’s capability using this constant stream of data harvested from real scenarios.


  • while remaining faithful to a global vision, the service is adaptable to country-specific nuances, including local HR policies, customs and laws
  • the proof of concept earned a rating of 4.6/5 and 85% employee satisfaction
  • the concept makes each employee feel valued and engaged with a personalised service that learns about them and champions moments that matter
  • the service liberates experts whose time had been dominated by easily resolved queries, enabling them to focus on higher value interactions

About the Speakers

Abbie Walsh

With 14 years of experience in service design, Abbie strives to capture and translate the authentic experience of time spent in 'real life' into her work at Fjord.

As Group Director, Abbie - who is also part of the global leadership team of the 900+ strong design and innovation agency - oversees Fjord’s activities in the UK and Latin America. She encourages her teams to share and present their passions so that inspiration permeates their design work, orchestrating a culture of openness across the studios. Under Abbie’s leadership, Fjord London has grown from 30 people to 100+ Fjordians since 2013.

Over the past 2 years, Abbie has been the driving force behind Fjord’s innovative capability, Living Business, which involves using design to accelerate fundamental changes to both the culture and processes within a business.


James Deakin

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