With over 200 people working at these sites, many of whom are not desk-based, a combination of meetings, emails and text messaging was proving an ineffective way for team members to engage with one another and with management. Staff absences and delays in responding to messages meant communication was sluggish.
This presented a particular problem when documents such as new safeguarding policies, operational procedures updates and risk assessments needed to be delivered promptly, requiring confirmation of receipt or a signature. It was also an issue when trying to arrange staff cover at short notice to facilitate classes running as advertised.
The need to improve communication channels, delivering relevant information to the right people in a timely manner, was an issue continually being raised by staff.
How we helped
When the council’s management team was shown a demonstration of the OurPeople platform, they could see its potential to bring its staff communications bang up to date.
Sarah Longstaff, Booking and Events Officer at Hartlepool Borough Council, says: “In particular, the idea of ditching old-fashioned phone, email and paper-based systems for sharing documents and confirming staff cover was very appealing.
“We were impressed by the way OurPeople provides a simple means of workforce communication. With instant messaging, management and frontline teams can have real-time conversations. Unlike with some messaging apps, it’s possible to control access to company information to guarantee it is only seen by intended recipients.”
The App’s cover functionality is a huge draw for health clubs and leisure centres with a high volume of classes. With OurPeople, instructors who need cover can send a broadcast to all appropriately qualified colleagues. It’s quick and easy for anyone available to register their interest in taking their class. This ultimately helps ensure service to customers is maintained with fewer people disappointed by cancelled classes.
Sarah says: “Covering shifts when a staff member is on holiday or off sick has become incredibly simple. It’s also a much smoother process to send out documents to staff securely and quickly and receive their electronic signature by return.”
During a five-month trial of OurPeople, its benefits quickly became clear. Sarah explains: “The App saves us time and effort and makes it much easier to keep in touch with staff.”
The OurPeople platform has been a hit with the staff who are using it too. Sarah adds: “Everyone loves the system, we’ve had positive feedback on how well it is going.”
Sarah says: “We haven’t explored everything OurPeople can do for our teams yet. We are looking forward to using the ‘Learn’ section to provide our frontline workforce with the tools and resources they need to deliver outstanding customer service.
“Even with the elements of the platform we’ve used to date, we’ve had such a positive experience that we are discussing council-wide adoption of this tool.”