The HR Forum

Hello everyone,

My organisation has recently completed an employee engagement survey for the first time in several years. The organisation is in the public sector with a hierarchical, uniformed culture. Employees work a variety of different shift patterns, widely dispersed across the county at different locations. Although many work in small established teams and departments, others can spend most of their day working independently.

One of the key findings of the survey is that many of our employees feel disconnected from decisions that are made and lack meaningful relationships with other parts of the organisation. We have established a working group to review how key messages are communicated to all staff, and determine the best ways that employees can become better connected at all levels.

I would be really interested to learn more about the experiences of others that have worked in organisations that have successfully improved connections between staff and how this has been achieved.

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Replies

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Really interesting post and it sounds like the organisation is suffering from working in isolated silo's which is a real challenge for many organisations that are widely dispersed and work different shifts etc.

    Whilst technology isn't the solution in isolation it is an enabler to bring groups or entire organisations together online to created networks and communities where people can connect with each other (a little like this community). 

    Have you had any conversations around this in the working group?

    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your response.  We are currently in the early stages of developing ideas to address the problems we have identified.  I feel that technology could be deployed more effectively at our organisation than it is at present.  Many employees use technology on an informal basis such as WhatsApp to stay in touch with those they work with, but this is not embedded within the organisation as a whole.  We also have an intranet site which is accessible to all employees, but is not used for networking.  Are there any technology solutions that you have experienced that have been particularly effectively in driving cultural change in the area of connecting with others?

      Jonathan

       

      • Absolutely - the key to making this happen is to work closely with your IT teams as they effectively hold the keys to any enterprise platforms and usually the budget. That said technology departments may not be looking at solutions from a people perspective and more from an infrastructure, efficiency and security perspective.

        HR and L&D have a big part to play in raising awareness and influencing our colleagues that these technologies can also be used to improve communication, collaboration and productivity. All of which are wrapped up and overlap each other - as people work more closely together they learn more, communicate more and essentially become more productive and engaged. Ideally you want to start fostering a greater sense of organisational community.

        I've been lucky enough to work with quite a few platforms - they all do similar things to be honest the key is HOW they are used and WHY they add value and help people do they jobs or help teams and individuals do their job better or support any initiative that focuses on employee engagement.

        Workplace by Facebook is one of the new breed of social tools that has gone from the public domain in to the enterprise space

        Slack is a great tool (and probably one that you IT team use)

        Yammer is now part of the Microsoft family and provided with Microsoft 365 Teams - including video conferences. With MS being in most office environments this may be an easier 'sell'

        Jive is another one that is quite established - excellent post here on Working Out Loud

        Which ever tool or technology remember it is people who will use it so you really need to be clear on it's purpose and the culture that sits around it. You could have the best social tools in the world today but if your people or organisation isn't social and doesn't share or collaborate openly already then it won't land properly. Senior management and leaders need to role model and set the tone for this way of working and the whole strategy needs to focus on people first , technology second.

        Hope this helps and happy to share anything I can to help you with this 

        Mike

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