Intro Team are responsible for internal comms, publications, design and social media – as well as proofing, editing and plain English services. The cross over between internal communication and social media is an interesting one and raises some exciting possibilities as well as some cultutral change issues and risks.
highlight another communication channel -an external one. Our new site goes live today - more modern look Improved search 8000 pages of rewritten content, making it easier to understand and more user friendly Based on huge amount of research and has undergone and will continue to be user tested This is only phase one, few new tools like RSS feeds but mainly better content and search Phases 2 & 3 will introduce more tools E-newsletters Advanced search to include partner agenices Use of personas and personalisation for presentation User polls Rate this page/ site Blogs Wikis Comments facility Intergration of pic n mix? :
We have central, organisation wide communication channels which are great for disseminating information and getting feedback on issues which affect most staff. But we are, to an extent,restricted by our structure Most of the communication takes place, quite rightly, at team and unit level, This is the most sensible place for it to happen. But how do interested parties outside our teams and units know what we’re up to? Or what challenges we are facing? It’s hard to break out of our silos. In a way that doesn’t start “spamming” people with what we think is important about our work. Due to the hugely varying types of work we do there are very different cultures in each directorate. Again, this is to be expected but mans that one communication approach will never suit all. There is a LOT of knowledge out there held in those silos. Although the projects and work we are all doing may be vastly different, there are undoubtedly cross overs and transferable skills.
Staff surveys show that internal communication is often cited as an area that could be improved. However questions around the amount of communication people receive show they do not think the quantity they receive is wrong. It is often the ability to feedback that is said to be lacking.
Due to the current financial climate, there are many pressures, not just on KCC but on public sector budgets. We were already looking at many ways of transforming the way we work but the budgetary pressures have bought these into sharp focus. All of these changes require some changes to culture. And all of them must be underpinned by changes to the way we communicate if they are to succeed. A lso office based workforce need a more connected communication network. To be more productive for less cost we need to make sure that we give the staff closest to the services the ability to influence how those services are delivered. We also need to make sure that the knowledge held around the organisation is being shared as effectively as possible, avoiding the all too common situation where one unit duplicate the work, research or testing of another unit, simply because they were unaware that it had been done before.
So, we’ve had a look at our current internal communication situation and it is fairly easy to see that a lot of the benefits that can be attributed to social media would meet some of the needs we have identified. It is essential that we strengthen existing communities of people who are working on the same or similar projects, particularly if they are no longer necessarily based in the same rooms or offices. It is also important that we create new communities around However, we should always remember that these are just tools, new opportunites and channels. We should only ever think about introducing social media if there is a defined need. It will not work for everybody, in the case of internal communications at KCC a large percentage of our workforce do not work at a desk or even have much access to a pc – online tools are not the complete solution but can be another, additional way.
These are our current communication channels Our “corporate” channels predominantly push information out although there are feedback channels in team briefing and via email. The directorate wide channels tend to do the same It is at the lower level on this diagram that much of the value and energy is being created people feel able to really be involved and engaged. We need to find a way to harness this energy and value and make sure that it is feeding back into the top of the cycle to allow people to contribute to the whole process, feel more involved and take ownership of internal communcations – after all, internal comms is not the job of one person or one department, it is everybody's role.
Plans for intranet Starts to be scoped in the New year Redeveloped on the same platform as the website Obviously hard to tell what it will look like at the moment but should include more collaboration tools and interactivity (forums, comment, polls, etc) E-newsletter software will change the way we manage one of our channels, extramail. Currently we send up to 2 email each day on everything from business critical information and unified communications –presence, chat, follow me number etc
My KCC idea uses a piece of software developed by Talk Freely. The software is essentially a database for idea generation. Staff suggestion schemes are notoriously hard to administer. Often, when dealing with old style paper or email systems this meant receiving 1000 ideas, 900 of which would essentially be the same with the other 100 being about coffee. The time to process those ideas and then feedback to all the staff who gave them was laborious. This meant that feedback is often missed altogether, disengaging the staff who made the suggestions as they feel that their contributions were not listened to and are therefore unlikely to speak up again. Using My KCC Idea The organisation can set themes It then allows staff to make suggestions around those themes. Other people can then log in to view the suggestions, rate them and comment on them Because of the comment capability the ideas become more fully formed and workable as they are not the initial germs of an idea by the end of their time live on the board but have been collaborated around to develop them as fully as possible. Managers are then able to consider a more thought out idea The software prompts the feedback cycle, allowing people to track the progress of their ideas as well as prompting the assigned manager to respond to them.
We piloted My KCC idea in the Community Cultural Services unit. This unit encompasses Adult Education, Arts development, libraries archives and museums, sports Leisure and Olympics. Their management team decided three themes: Our customers and communities Reducing our environmental impact The Cultural Olympiad in Kent Staff were then invited to submit their ideas on those themes and promised that the management team would look at the top three each month in their senior management meetings. Ideas were submitted on a range of things, from rotating legal books around prison libraries to modernising the look of adult education centres. As a tool for staff engagement and allowing some of that “value” to move aruond the organisation more widely this could be a great tool We hope to extend the trail next year.
Communities of Practice are a platform developed by the IDEA (Improvement and Development agency) There are hundreds of communities with thousands of users from all over the country. You can search for a community that you are interested in and request to join or start your own. They are a great tool to use in partnerships as everyone will have access to the website. However, you can also use them for purely internal purposes as you can restrict who is able to join and everyone that requests to needs to be approved.
This is a home page from a community. You can see the some of the tools highlighted in green. We have been using Communities of Practice in certain parts of KCC for over two years now but there are still people who could benefit from them and again, free some of the value that is often hidden in “offline” conversations. Some of the KCC communities are well used – The greenhouse group for younger staff is a good example. But often people underestimate the time and resources that go into making an platofrm like this valuable.
Not all about online. There will aways be a place and a need for offline communications and going back to the taff survey statistics we must never forget that the way most people like to hear information is face to face, from their manager. Searchab ilit – audiences getting more and more information (Amercian stats) . Expecting to be able to manage that information. People more discerning, will not read what they have no interest in just because it’s sent to then,. Much more clever about marketing, searchable content, enagaing content
We have to acknowledge the barriers we face but should never allow them to stop us.
Less duplication Less bureaucracy More accountability / responsibility Increased engagement – people give their ideas happily, knowing they will be credited and acknowledged for them.
How can we create even more value from our organisations? Hollie Snelson Internal communication manager
allows people to discuss ideas and plans in an informal way
provides an easily accessible way to collaborate
It’s cheap (in terms of budget, not resource)
Directorate magazines Team newsletters Communication networks Learning lunches Roles and relationships Yammer Team meetings One to ones Private networks Intranet Team Briefing First magazine ExtraMails