Coast & Country HousingCCH have many successful communication strategies in place for upward and downward communication between senior managers and the workforce. Leadership, management, fairness, company ethos, and staff personal development were all highlighted by employees as positive factors in working for CCH. However, existing strategies did not encompass all the communication paths necessary. Whilst CCH had anonymous feedback tools, both managers and employees were sometimes frustrated by the inability to directly respond.

SpeakInConfidence offered the perfect solution – a platform for confidential, secure two-way communication. CCH recognised that with 500 staff, open communication with the 4 members of the leadership team could often be difficult. “Our staff surveys highlight this disconnect and we are hoping SpeakInConfidence will help us improve scores for ‘do you feel able to engage with the leadership team’. SpeakInConfidence will allow any employee of CCH to directly send a message to any of the leadership team, who in turn are committed to respond to each and every one.“ Esme Flounders, Communications Manager.

Many CCH employees are ex-local authority and CCH were keen to provide a solution to empower employees to raise emotive comments related to pension change consultations and potential group structure changes. Although for some anonymous feedback, it was possible to generate a company-wide response by way of a newsletter or other downward communication, some questions were so personal or specific that this was not appropriate. “SpeakInConfidence will provide a confidential platform for employees to voice any concerns they have, whilst providing senior managers with the ability to respond specifically, yet anonymously. As communication continues, the employee can choose to remain anonymous, or can step forward and have the continued conversation 1-to-1.” continued Flounders.

It was important that any new service provision was available to all CCH employees. About half of CCH employees are field based and do not have access to the intranet, or even have a CCH email address – a web based, mobile solution was critical. “We reviewed solutions which could be used with our intranet, however, we believe a third party web based anonymous platform would encourage more staff to speak out about issues that mattered.” explained Flounders. “We have many existing communication systems available to staff, for example, anonymous paper based feedback, however, it was not always accessible to all employees or provide the ability to respond to a specific comment.” The new service for employees will be publicised using existing lines of communication such as the intranet, weekly brief, team meetings, company-wide tv screens and a launch countdown.

CCH take their commitment to employee engagement very seriously, seizing any opportunity for improvement and look forward to the next steps with SpeakInConfidence. “People lie at the very heart of everything at Coast & Country; from our employees, who play a vital role in the running of the business, to the residents who are involved in all that we do to improve our services in the many communities that we work in. Our strategy is to continue putting career development at the top of the agenda, equipping our staff with the knowledge, confidence and tools to do an efficient job as well as treating them with respect, and providing a healthy work-life balance.” Iain Sim, Chief Executive.