Virgin Trains

Transforming Conversations

Improving organisational, one conversation at a time

Virgin Trains employs 3,400 people, operates 17 stations and over 1,264 kilometres of route. The way we communicate in the workplace is changing. Virgin Trains equipped its leaders with the skills to transform conversations within its business.

Standardising effective communication

There were inconsistencies in the conversational patterns across the company and in the way leaders and their teams spoke to each other. These inconsistencies spread beyond face-to-face communication and into non-verbal forms of communication, including Yammer.

We delivered a transformational programme that included six steps. We:

  • Assessed the current state of conversations
  • Designed the programme using the 5 Super-Skills that underpin all conversations
  • Got executive-level buy-in
  • Turned it into a ‘Virgin’ programme and trained the trainer
  • Delivered to the management population
  • Measured and embedded the programme


There has been a renewed focus on leadership visibility, and evidence of managers getting out and talking to colleagues more — suggesting they are feeling assured about how to communicate effectively.

Virgin Trains is also using the content of the programme to drive conversations to support the launch of its new performance management process. This will enable the business to measure the success of conversational leadership in the future.

Changing the conversations that occur in workplaces requires a change in mindset and behaviour.

Dik Veenman, Founder of The Right Conversation