The West Ham United Foundation is the football club’s award-winning social and community outreach organisation. It provides life-changing opportunities to up to 50,000 residents in East London, Essex and beyond through its inclusive breadth of health, sports and education initiatives.
The majority of the Foundation’s staff, including coaches, mentors, youth workers and teachers, are mobile, working across many venues and locations. This predominantly deskless workforce doesn’t have access to computers to monitor and respond to emails.
The Foundation identified this as an obstacle to building a connected work culture and began actively searching for a user-friendly tool that could deliver real-time messages directly to team members’ smartphones. It considered various options, choosing OurPeople because it is purpose-built for delivering simple internal communications.
Positive results from the get-go
Wayne Maxwell, Head of Operations at The West Ham United Foundation, says: “OurPeople seemed to be the ideal platform to connect our geographically fragmented team. We liked the use of ‘cards’ to share content via an App and could see the potential to keep employees in the loop, while also broadening their knowledge of our organisation.”
The Foundation began using OurPeople in September 2019. All 130 staff were on-boarded to the App and, within the first few months, many were enjoying positive effects. Wayne says: “Through better communications, we are fostering a greater sense of ‘working together’ on The Foundation’s important work. Staff are benefiting from feeling included and gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the organisation as a whole.”
Relevance drives engagement
The Foundation has explored many ways to use the App’s features to enhance team camaraderie and productivity. Managers send ‘cards’ to employees in a range of compelling formats, including text, photos, videos, surveys and quizzes. They receive notifications about who has received, opened and engaged with their messages.
Wayne says: “We have used cards in many ways to share educational content on our strategy, code of conduct, safeguarding and commitment to wellbeing. It’s also been a great way to circulate inspiring case studies that create a sense of pride in what we’re achieving.
“By using smart tags, we have been able to tailor communications for different groups. This has helped reduce unwanted noise, while increasing the relevance of our messages. Perhaps because of this, we are seeing better engagement and responsiveness. We’ve also found the survey feature useful to gain valuable feedback from staff.”
Inspirational internal communications
In a short space of time, using OurPeople has helped to organise, inspire and engage the frontline workers at the Foundation. There are plans to make even more use of the App’s functionality, using the ‘learn’ feature to create an onboarding module for staff and further training modules for staff to complete on a range of important topics.