BT - 'The Difference is You'

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BT – ‘The Difference is You’


BT was the official communications partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. They also have an ongoing relationship with a number of Olympic athletes who act as their Ambassadors. 

BT approached Lane4 as they wanted to change employee behaviour and performance, while driving connection with their Olympic partnership and Ambassador athletes. We worked together to design 'The Difference is You' (TDIY) to:

  • Drive key engagement and customer service metrics
  • Inspire pride and create a working environment where people can fulfil their potential


We worked closely with the different areas of the business (BT Retail, BT Operate and BT Wholesale) to make sure the programme met their particular objectives. Over 4000 managers across the three business areas attended 94 sessions between January 2009 and June 2010. 

TDIY drew on athlete stories and performance psychology to explore lessons from the Olympics. Hearing the experiences of Olympians, sport psychologists and Performance Directors firsthand had a powerful impact on the delegates and Lane4 facilitators drew out relevant learning for the delegates’ working lives. Content included Olympic goal-setting strategies, handling pressure, maintaining focus, motivation and building belief.

In order for TDIY to reach deeper into the organisation, we produced creative tools (such as videos and workbooks) for the managers to take the insights back into their teams. This was supported by a strong internal branding campaign which reached across various channels.  


TDIY has either directly or indirectly touched at least 40,000 employees. 

BT, in partnership with Lane4, won an European Sponsorship Association award in the Business to Employee category in 2010.  The judges were particularly impressed by the tangible employee and customer benefits that TDIY programme achieved.  These included:

In BT Retail: 
  • Delegates’ performances two weeks/four weeks/three months after TDIY showed Right First Time rates (a key measure) increased from 80 to 88.7%
  • Matched control sites did not improve over the same period
  • Transfer Rates from customers leaving to join competitors decreased and remained flat over the time period for participating versus non-participating call centres (where Transfer Rates increased)
In BT Operate: 
  • The value of incremental employee engagement was conservatively estimated at 3-5% in the early stages of the programme. This was achieved despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty and ongoing organisational change

It’s not easy to value employee engagement benefits in terms of concrete return. But taking the ‘right first time’ performance improvements from the initial programme in BT Retail and extrapolating these across our UK customer service operations, the step change equates to a multi-million GBP cost efficiency - on top of the employee engagement gains. This alone is equivalent to a return many times the investment in the programme (based on our Ambassador rights fees and activation spend). Our business case for London 2012 rights valued the employee engagement uplift potential from the Olympic Games at over £25m, and TDIY has helped us realise a significant part of that benefit with more than two years to go.’
Richard Lloyd - Head of People, Culture and Brand, BT