When the Digital Team was first created last November, one of the first things that we did was release an internal digital capability survey. The aim was to understand the main needs of people across departments and regions and address them.
As well as a number of other things, the above was a strong theme that we felt needed addressing. As you will know, with the rate of technology development in peoples home lives happening at the speed it is, as an organisation we need to catch up. We need to enable Barnardo’s people to communicate and collaborate as easily as they do in their private lives so they can ultimately deliver better outcomes for more children
Key challenge for internal communications at Barnardo’s is the make-up / structure of our organisation. To put this into context - 9,000 staff - Based all across the country, with very few in desk-based roles. Children’s services (out and about with service users, priority is looking after the individuals they support). Often aren’t sat in front of computers nor have the luxury of time. Retail - On shop floor all day or sorting stock...and one computer in the back room. Then have support functions based within offices across the regions.There is a clear accessibility issue. Due to the way our staff work - they need to be able to access our systems more easily, from a range of devices. We’ve also got over 20,000 volunteers - Currently have no Barnardo’s email address or login - therefore no access to our intranet or anything we do. There is a disconnect. Volunteers do so much for us, and want to feel more part of the Barnardo’s community… but they can’t access our networks. An internal communications team of 2…. So our idea is to open up our communications. Make our internal information easily accessible for staff AND for volunteers - no matter their role.
Ran a discovery phase over May/June with a representative sample of the Barnardo’s workforce about the challenges they experience with the internal communication, their expectations for it. Broadly we learned that people want to save time, they want a more personalised experience and their work, want to connect with one another (As they value eachother’s knowledge and experience - and want to access it easier), and generally want less friction in accessing our information. These user needs remain at the forefront of our minds throughout all our testing. We measure every tool against how successfully they meet these specific user needs.
Emma- Following from discovery we decided on two pilots for Alpha. One of these is Workplace (some of you may know it as Facebook for Work) with a very similar look and feel to the Facebook that you may already be familiar with and an Intranet without Walls, or an intranet that is open by default.
By putting content on the web, we remove much of the friction in accessing it – opening it up to those without access, and making it quicker and easier for everyone. We want to make our content open by default, but supported by simple, usable private ways of communicating and collaborating where needed.
Used on their own, each tool appears to effectively meet some of our core user needs - but not all.. Combination of both channels being used in conjunction with one another that we are interested in testing further - as together they are a potential solution for meeting the needs we have identified. Staff want simpler processes - to know what channel to access, for what type of information. Workplace is where they go to make ‘better connections’, feel part of the ‘bigger story’ and share expertise and learn from one another. The open intranet is everything else - news, forms, policies. Ideally personalised to an individual, and with a less cluttered interface.
Emma- Throughout alpha we have been exploring
Intranet- A single source of truth.
Emma: Through content workshops with Internal Comms team and with other content creators, we determined what absolutely must go online. It’s worth noting that no details of commissioners or people that we work with goes on here and neither does any protected information from HR. These all sit on different servers.
But there is a place for private information, information that only staff need to see. We will be creating a password protected area. You can see the grey boxes where information is filtered. The next step for sharing information will be the social platforms. If you’re familiar with FB you have the choice of what groups are open, closed and secret- allowing you to customize what can be shared. It is a great place for members of staff to share internally and we exploring opening this up to our volunteers to create a great sense of community, awareness and advocacy of our work. Finally as we move to the far side we can see where the benefits of opening up will be most seen. We will be opening up to people, more accountable and more accessible than ever.
Maybe mentioned A/B testing we’ll be doing with Wales?
Annie: Things like HR process changes, sensitive news stories, commissioning criteria will be keeping private. These Types of information will be password protected and for Barnardo’s staff only. Anything relating to personal information (client, staff) for example
Annie: Everything else however will be ‘open’ by default - and accessible to everyone - from staff and volunteers to SUs, commissioners and general members of the public. We can share successes and stories. We can open up to people that we are keen to work with but also make life easier for many of our hard working staff who only have 5 minutes a day to catch up on local news.
Emma: And this is an example of where we start to open up to volunteers and staff on the go. Things can be share on the open intranet where it can be access then shared onto the social platform to generate discussion or linked to people that have questions about forms, policy etc. This material could also be shared with employees social networks to allow employees to be digital ambassadors for barnardo’s.
Emma: Similarly an example of how Jade’s network has been broadened with the introduction of Workplace. Allowing her to connect with people she never has before, including our Retail Director, Roy. Open enough for her to share and collaborate with various levels of privacy. If at some point, Jade shares an amazing success story on Workplace, we, with her permission, could choose to share this on our open intranet, sharing our success with not only Barnardo’s staff and volunteers, but also giving other people the opportunity to see more than ever before about the amazing work that people at Barnardo’s do.
Annie: This week we are bringing the whole Welsh region of Barnardo’s and 6 other retail areas onboard. Once we have given them chance to get signed on and their profiles created we can then start our research (in 2 weeks and runs for about 2 weeks)
Transforming internal communications - Emma Peagam and Anwen Gardner
Digital TeamAnwen Gardner - @Annie_Gardner
Emma Peagam - @EmmaPeagam
Enable Barnardo’s people to
communicate and collaborate as easily as
they do in their private lives so that they
can deliver better outcomes for more
1. Simpler processes
2. Easier connections
3. Saving time
5. Single source of truth
6. Feel part of a bigger story
(Facebook for work)
Intranet without walls
Creating our channel
Mapping comms spaces
Image for private