#Hackathon: DVLA Engagement Rally Sets Pace For Their Journey Ahead 

DVLA is an agency that invests a lot of time to ensure that our “employee voice” is heard. We’re always keen to involve as many of our staff as possible, not only to improve our customer service but to also make our agency a great place for us all to work.

In the fast moving times that we live in it’s sometimes difficult to come up with new and innovative ways to engage staff. We’ve done ‘Hacks’- I recently blogged about one on this website!

So what’s the next ‘big thing’? How could we create a fresh, exciting and inclusive environment that would enable our people to come together to safely critique our CSPS engagement scores?

Putting our heads together we came up with the answer – an “Engagement Rally”.

What Exactly Is A Rally?

engagement rally

The Oxford Dictionary definition is…A group of people coming together to support a common cause – what more could we ask for? Perfect!

Adding a bit of a mechanical (and apt) theme to the event, our branding became a ‘Formula 1’ theme and our five key areas of focus for the day became our ‘Pit Stops’.

Our Creatives department did a fantastic job designing bespoke branding for the event that was carried through all posters, banners etc. Helping to create a consistent message and a great atmosphere.


Our Pit Stops looked at:

  • Leadership and accountability
  • Change- involved and valued
  • Learning and development
  • Pay and benefits
  • Reward and recognition

The rally was an opportunity for our staff to step into a Pit Stop and bring forward their suggestions and ideas on how to make improvements in these key areas…and they did just that!”

Event Planning

Our Rally was to be a full day’s event. We had to accommodate and feed 80 people in one open space, yes- we knew this was going to be a challenge!

We had a working party (or should I say a rally team) who were highly motivated and we all had a clear vision of how the day would look. The rally took a good 2 months of planning. We had regular once/twice weekly meetings and used Trello as a tool to keep on top of our action planning.

As a team we worked together to listen to as many people as possible so that we had a clear picture of what the key trends were across our large operational area (4000 staff). These trends/key priorities became our Pit Stops for the rally.

We ordered pizza for lunch, easy for us to set up and eat without any cutlery or washing up!

On team we had a fantastic lady who was known to be a great shopper. She had some great deals for us so we also had plenty of sugary snacks and fruit to keep up energy levels throughout the day.

How Did We Keep Everyone Focused Throughout The Day?

Communication and Engagement Managers were assigned to each Pit Stop, Anne Wilsdon and David Crossman from Engage for Success, senior managers from DVLA and visitors from Her Majesty’s Passport Office were all on hand to provide support and keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Wow! What a day! The levels of energy were high all day; the place was buzzing- electric. We had an amazing amount of suggestions for improvement put forward and another plus was that as we had people brought together from different areas of our operational directorate we had lots of sharing of ideas and best practice.

 “I was very impressed by the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the Engagement Rally. The process really embraced and championed the “Employee Voice” and “Organisational Integrity” enablers of engagement and is an innovative way to involve your people in shaping and influencing your response to the people survey results” Anne Wilsdon, Engage for Success.

“It was great to see so many people actively working on issues that matter to them personally and to the DVLA. An example of engagement in action” David Crossman, Engage for Success.

We now have in place a directorate Engagement plan, with senior sponsors helping to drive each area of improvement. What’s also great to see is the continued enthusiasm from our volunteers at our rally to continue to help us drive our actions and promote awareness across our business areas.

You can view the video below.

We’re already starting to think about what we can do different next time. If anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear from you.


Anne Wilson, Engage  For Success

Image courtesy of Anne Wilsdon, Engagement Leader
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