Healthcare at Home is Highly Commended at the Employee Engagement Awards in Association with People Insight
Healthcare at Home is one of Europe’s leading providers of clinical care in the home, with a talented, 1,500-strong team. They came Highly Commended for their work on internal communications to engage their employees. Here’s how they did it.
Prior to 2015, we’d had major business challenges which significantly impacted employee morale, and despite being market leaders, we needed a more commercially effective business plan. Following these challenges to the business, a new executive team was put in place and there were significant changes made to our strategy, leadership and ways of working.
Having prioritised the important structural changes to the business, we needed to focus on our people; ensuring we brought them on a journey to:
- Understand and feel involved in the new company strategy.
- To get to know leaders better.
- Feel invigorated and engaged again in the business.
We had a big internal communications task on our hands. We wanted people to feel consulted and part of the change. We planned an in-depth staff survey to fully understand what people were feeling, and what they wanted from their company. We used the findings as a basis for innovative change and ongoing communications.
Involving our people in the process from day 1
We felt it was critical to get our people involved from the start, for example, by inviting them to name the survey in a competition. Says Kim Greenhill head of OD at Healthcare at Home,
To build trust and confidence, we planned to make the whole process transparent. We would use the external provider People Insight, and generate anticipation for the survey pre-launch with a broad range of communications; senior and line manager briefings, desktop wallpapers and poster campaigns to promote the importance of taking part.
It was key to help our people get to know the Leadership Team, who many hadn’t even met. Developing animated characters of the leaders for all the communications, we felt would give them an approachable identity.
To help people feel more engaged in the business, we focused on how we would act on the survey feedback and share visibly what was being done; with feedback sessions, cascades and action planning sessions focused on driving improvement.
A visual action plan was planned to act as a central, visible, sharable plan, to be developed with our people translating priorities into realistic, manageable local actions.
Many innovative comms channels were used successfully
Our CEO and Leadership Team had key roles to play. We’ve been able to develop a significant number and variety of communications, weaving together helping people understand and feel involved in the new strategy, and responding to the survey feedback. Communication activities have included:
- CEO’s video updates – a personal approach to business updates and post-survey actions.
- Vision 2020 conference – the entire leadership team had a frank Q&A session covering issues identified in the survey and were honest however difficult the question.
- Monthly performance snapshots –infographics shared to show how Healthcare at Home was performing against the new objectives.
- The Big Conversations – informal sessions hosted by a member of the leadership team answering questions in person.
- Yearbook – recognising achievements of the year and re-communicating what happened as a result of the survey.
- Action Stamp – a tangible mark put on any document completing an action as a result of the survey or Vision 2020 Q&A session, showing people across the business that their input was leading directly to positive change.
Employees were immersed in the activities
Our employees were immersed in the survey project – naming it, responding to it, receiving all the results, and then contributing to the action plans that resulted.
Healthcare at Home now has four powerful strategic objectives, shaped by all of our employees. We have quarterly briefings where every department feeds back on the progress of key initiatives, including the commitments made to our people in the post-survey action plans.
The communication activities identified above were purposefully two-way communication opportunities – the Vision 2020 Q&A and the Big Conversations in particular, so that leaders could listen, check to buy-in, and take actions forward.
Learnings from the project
At a time of significant change, perhaps we tried to do too much; perhaps next time we’ll try to do a couple of things really well rather than overwhelm people with change.
It is important to give people time to absorb all the changes and embed new processes.
Another important consideration is to keep a record of all the activities and initiatives along the way, so you remember all the achievements, big and small, rather than trying to recall everything at the end of the project.
Find out more about the EE Awards winners here.
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