Ripping up the policy rulebook with Thales.

The outline.

Thales is a multinational company providing technology solutions to the aerospace, defence, transportation and security industries. With 80,000 employees and operations in 68 countries, they help protect the national security interests of countries around the globe.

We helped revolutionise Thales’ policy documents to convey important information with clarity, compassion and inclusivity.

The challenge.

Policy documents. It’s not a phrase that sets pulses racing. And if you’re thinking dry, formal, distant and confusing, well, as far as Thales were concerned, you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. For a proudly inclusive company, policy documents filled with jargon and impenetrable legalese created an unacceptable barrier to people engaging with important information.

Building on the Tone of Voice (TOV) guidelines that we created together with Thales, we took on the challenge of transforming what a policy document should and could look like. The aim was to fully reflect changing workplace policies in the way they were presented, and break the truism that legally compliant docs = deathly dull reading.

The solution.

We reviewed existing policy documents as part of our earlier TOV review and found a mixed bag of impersonal, inconsistent, inaccessible material. Stripping away jargon and highlighting clear headline information was a first step. We then modeled imaginative approaches for future policy writing, and created a toolkit to help ensure that inclusivity and accessibility sits at the centre of the process.

Our design team produced impactful creative frames for the documents, considering the full range of people and needs that they served. It’s no good implementing inclusive policies, but communicating them in a way that excludes visually impaired or neurodivergent people, for example. We also redesigned the HR portal, introducing clear signposting and consistent policy presentation, and creating a home for our policy writing toolkit.

The results.

Thales’ open approach allowed us to work closely with their HR and Legal teams and employees across the business to make dramatic improvements that met both the accessibility needs and aspirations of the company.

The new policy documents are easy to find, easy to read and easy to engage with for everyone at Thales. They play an important part in shaping the culture of the company and are ready to influence future policy writing and presentation.