Implementing a new vision at Virgin Trains
A Virgin Trains case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Virgin Trains is known for running high quality, fast and reliable state-of-the-art trains, capable of speeds of up to 125 miles per hour. Virgin Trains operates the West Coast rail franchise with trains running along various routes including from Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham to London. The average journey time from Manchester to London today is just over two hours. Virgin Trains...
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Page 2: What is a vision?

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A vision enables an organisation to move forward with clarity. It links the business' specific objectives and targets with the core values that govern how the business will operate in order to meet those targets. It therefore goes further than a mission statement. A mission statement sets out the purpose of an organisation. For example, for Virgin Trains, this is to run a high quality...
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Page 3: Sharing the vision and values

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Purpose of the vision A key objective for Virgin Trains is to be a profit-making organisation. A good way of making a profit is to satisfy customers who will use services over and over again. To achieve this objective it is essential that Virgin Trains' staff deliver a first-class service. The company has therefore turned the traditional perspective of the organisation upside down and puts its...
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Page 4: From vision to culture

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In order to embed a vision into the organisation, it needs to become part of every aspect of work. At a practical level, the Virgin Trains vision is supported by clear Human Resource (HR) activities. These HR activities help to shape the culture of the organisation. People-focused initiatives at Virgin Trains recognise and reward high-performing employees. Team and individual awards are...
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Page 5: Reviewing the vision

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New principles of working are only effective if they work in practice. Virgin Trains sees the culture change programme as ongoing. It is important to review the whole process regularly in order to ensure that the change in culture is embedded and that it is helping to meet organisational objectives. The culture change programme is not just about engaging with passengers. It is also about...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Virgin Trains has a reputation for high quality service and modern practices. The company constantly seeks to develop competitive advantage over rivals. A key way of securing successful change is to involve employees in decision-making.  Employees who work directly with customers are best placed to come up with customer-focused improvement solutions. Virgin Trains' vision provides all...
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Related: National Express
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