Vision, values and their influence on business strategy
A National Express case study

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Page 3: Vision and Values

National Express 19 2A business such as National Express Coach needs a core vision that remains constant while its business strategies and practices continuously adapt to a changing world. In an increasingly competitive global environment, without a clear vision a business will lack direction and may not survive. A vision should be both aspirational and inspirational for stakeholders.

The Vision and Values were launched in 2011 as a fundamental statement of who National Express is as a business and how they operate.

It originates from the conviction of the Company that National Express wants to be.    The way National Express acts as a business embodies these Vision and Values. In National Express' view being a good and successful company should be - and are - synonymous.

The Vision is: To earn the lifetime loyalty of our customers by consistently delivering frequent, high performing public transport services which offer excellent value.

The Values underpin the Vision an organisation's values are the guiding principles that influence its activities across the business. Values show how the company expects everyone within the business to behave.

The Values are:

Excellence – We constantly strive to be excellent in all that we do

Safety – We only do what is safe and stop any unsafe behaviour.

Customers – We place them at the heart of our business and relentlessly meet their expectations

People – We develop the talents, reward the exceptional performance and respect the rights of all our employees

Community – We are active in the communities we serve to generate economic, social and environmental value.

For example, under the Safety Value the National Express ‘Driving Out Harm’ programme encourages staff to make sure that their workplace is safe and ensures that the safety of customers and colleagues is put first at all times.

The ‘Driving Out Harm’ programme has been running since 2011 and is supported by training and internal marketing activity including posters, pledge cards, training booklets and brochures. It has its own brand for use at internal events and training programmes. Every member of staff pledges to follow the golden rules’ of safety. There are role specific golden rules for different jobs. For example, the golden rules for bus and coach drivers include putting the safety of passengers first, checking of vehicles to ensure they are safe to drive as well as driving safely.

Under the Community Value and following the success of its Military Covenant the coach business wanted to explore other important and current issues, so the Youth Promise was developed and launched in 2014.

The Military Covenant is a ground-breaking pledge to support the Armed Forces their families and veterans, which National Express was selected as the first company to sign in 2013. As part of its Military Covenant, National Express Coach offers guaranteed job interviews for people leaving the forces with relevant qualifications.

Running alongside the guaranteed interviews, discounted travel for service personnel, veterans, reservists and spouses also forms part of the agreement. November 2016 saw the useage of the discount reach a hundred thousand journeys equating to savings made by the Armed Forces community well in excess of one million pounds.

Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel Mark Lancaster said: “National Express was the very first company to commit to a fairer deal for the Service Community and this remarkable milestone demonstrates how the Armed Forces Covenant is helping thousands of Servicemen and women across the UK in practical ways every day. This, alongside the other commitments National Express has made, means our Armed Forces feel the weight of Great British businesses behind them.”

The Youth Promise initiative is made up of five commitments and recognises the challenges facing the 16-26 age range in terms of education, unemployment and social engagement, enabling National Express to have a positive, responsible and meaningful influence on young people.

The five commitments in the National Express Youth Promise are:

  1. We will offer great value travel for young people
  2. We will work with the young people in the communities we serve
  3. We will help young people into work and education
  4. We will deliver the most accessible public transport network for young people
  5. We will showcase youth talent.

To enable the Youth Promise to be bought to life, National Express has partnered with four national youth organisations: The Prince’s Trust, The Scouts Association, Whizz Kidz and the Girl Guiding Association. Each of the Youth Promise partnerships is unique, focusing on the needs of each organisations young people, with support ranging from discounted/gifted travel, through to work placements and the opportunity to shape the vehicles and coach stations of the future.

Examples of other Youth Promise projects include: competitions, ad-hoc sponsorship and support of young photographers and athletes. Alongside engagement pieces with local colleges and universities to provide work placements, internships and job skills training.     All of this activity is lead by the Youth and Community Co-ordinator, a new role for the business which has been in place since August 2015.

National Express | Vision, values and their influence on business strategy