Enhancing customer and colleague experience with employee feedback
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, every time!”
Danielle Chan, Head of Communications and Engagement, Community Integrated Care
Introducing a people-first partnership
Community Integrated Care is a national social care charity, providing a wide range of care and support to over 3,500 people across the UK.
The not-for-profit employs over 6,000 colleagues—with roles ranging from frontline care and support workers to catering and business support—and is completely committed to the Power of Three: their Colleagues, Customers and Communities.
2021 Hive Project Objectives
- Measure employee engagement; driving leadership priorities
- Recognise colleagues and become a recognised great place to work
- Give colleagues the tools, skills and opportunity to succeed
- Explore diversity and inclusion; create a community where everyone can be themselves
Say Hello to our Hive Project Team Lead
Danielle Chan is the Head of Communications and Engagement at Community Integrated Care. She leads a team of seven, who just happen to be named the 2020 ‘Best In-House Team’ for the North & Central region by the Institute of Internal Communications!
An influential member of the senior leadership team, over the past three years Danielle has worked alongside CEO Mark Adams and Chief People Officer, Teresa Exelby, who joined the charity in January 2020, to implement a mission-led, five-year organisational strategy, including their Culture Project—which is where Hive comes in!
During the 2020 pandemic, as the whole nation took to their doorsteps to clap for carers, the inspiring internal communications team at Community Integrated Care were getting ready for the timely launch of their newest employee voice initiative.
Now official Hive partners, we spoke to department head and Hive Project Lead, Danielle Chan, to find out how her team got employee feedback firmly onto the strategic agenda and designed an employee engagement index that links to three core People objectives.
Hey Danielle! Can you start by telling us a bit about the Culture Project that you’re leading at Community Integrated Care?
“When our new CEO started back in August 2017, one of the first things he did was create our brand new 5 year strategy, WE DARE. As part of this, I was given the responsibility for our Culture Project. Our CEO and our People Director at the time knew that if we didn’t get the culture bit right, the strategy wouldn’t work; it’s like that saying, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast, every time!’
One of the big objectives for our Culture Project was to support our organisational ambition to be a recognised great place to work. I knew the first thing my team and I had to do was to get real buy-in for the concept of colleague engagement and experience at a senior level. As an organisation, a lot of what we do is about the lives of the people we support, but we needed leaders and managers to start making the link between better colleague experiences and better customer experiences.
The first step we took was to really define our new Employee Values Proposition (EVP) or ‘The Deal’ as it came to be known: what should it feel like for colleagues to be part of our charity, what should they expect from us, and importantly, what would we expect in return. As part of our organisational strategy launch—which was a series of massive roadshows across all six of our divisions—we took our new EVP statements out to all colleagues and they definitely resonated with people and galvanized them.”
Fantastic efforts! So how did you then convince stakeholders on the value of employee feedback and a platform like Hive? Any tips for people looking to do the same?
“Once we had that buy-in for the concept of colleague engagement and experience, introducing an employee voice enabler like Hive was easier and almost the natural next step in the strategy.
We had to engage a wide audience on the benefits of employee feedback and get everyone talking about Hive at an influential level. Having employee engagement data to measure and improve on was a huge one of those benefits, because for a highly regulated industry, we had no way of measuring and benchmarking employee satisfaction levels, or engagement KPIs for that matter—even though we knew the importance.
I also had to prove that Hive was a problem-solving solution for everyone, not just an internal communications project. Working alongside Theo (Hive’s Head of Sales), we made sure to get in front of all the right people, selling the right benefits to them. This meant that when we needed sign-off on the Hive project, everyone knew what problems Hive was going to solve for them—from our MDs to our managers to our employee forum. And people across the organisation started to get really excited about Hive!”
That's what we like to hear! Tell us a bit about the thinking and process behind building your first survey? And how’s it been working with Hive’s People Science team?
“There were a couple of things we really wanted to achieve with our first survey: we wanted data on the drivers of employee engagement at our organisation, exploring Diversity and Inclusion as a topic within that; and we also wanted to check how our EVP statements were resonating with our people. Hive has given us the opportunity to do all of that…
Obviously, you guys have your own employee engagement index and question sets and I was worried that meant it would be prescriptive, but it’s been amazing being able to adapt and include questions in our measurement index that also link to our five EVP statements: Changing Lives, A Purpose with Passion, A Place I Belong, Dare to be the Best, and Better Together. Now we’ve got our very own validated employee engagement index that gives us the data we need.
It’s been a brilliant experience getting our first survey live—a genuinely collaborative and iterative process throughout to get the questions right and everybody happy with them. I’ve loved working with Jen (Hive’s Lead People Scientist) because I can see how her brain works and why she’s approached certain questions in certain ways—especially with the Diversity and Inclusion questions—which has been great for building my own knowledge!
Soon, we’ll be looking at the results from the first survey and deep-diving into certain feedback themes and populations, and then the next big thing for us is to work out the overarching survey strategy for 2021 with Jen. But to be honest, with everything that has happened this year, I’m also interested in using the platform in a fluid, responsive way too.”
Sounds like a great idea, now let’s talk metrics; what reporting metrics are you most interested in?
“Metrics-wise, I’m super interested in the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), particularly as having this data will help us work towards and evidence our objective of becoming a top three employer in the care sector and it’s a tangible KPI for our leaders to improve against. The fact Hive lets you segment data also means I can give divisional eNPS to our COO and MDs and team eNPS to our managers, which is huge, so every manager will now have accountability for improving the score within their teams.
And that’s the beauty of this product (Hive)—the segmentation. Rather than getting a huge load of data to sift through and forward on, I absolutely love that we can drill down and go granular into different subsets, demographics, topics, and so on. It’s honestly going to be massive. In fact, when I presented the reporting features to our CEO Mark Adams recently, he said,“Wow, this is going to be a real game-changer!”
Love that! So you’ve already run a few pilot surveys to particular subsets of your organisation; how have people enjoyed using their Hive voice?
“We did a number of pilot surveys to a number of different groups to test things like different question sets, and different audience types and all were really successful. I definitely wasn’t expecting things to run as smoothly as they did, that’s for sure!
The tech worked beautifully, we had no issues there, plus people definitely appreciated the sense of assurance around being able to share what they think in confidence. And the way people have used Hive Fives (Hive’s Peer Recognition feature) has really made me smile. We are a caring bunch at Community Integrated Care, so I expected people would embrace the chance to give those little electronic well dones, but never like this! At the end of week one of the survey we had 550 Hives Fives!
We’ve actually got loads of well-used recognition schemes, but Hive Fives just works because it’s instantaneous; it doesn’t rely on anyone else and, actually, the most important thing is you can use it strategically. The anecdotal data collected can be used in manager one-to-ones, in that a manager can look at how many Hive Fives a person has got and why, or a colleague can bring theirs to the table and use it as a performance indicator.”
Win-win! Finally, we have to ask, why Hive?
“As a business we are quite technically advanced for the sector, and while Hive felt leading and super fresh, the user experience was simple for everyone—my team, our leaders, our managers and, of course, our colleagues.
The partnership also just felt like a good fit right from the start. I love the people at Hive and I can’t fault the team since we signed our contract; technically it’s been so smooth, which we’ve needed. We launched our Hive project in the middle of the second wave of a pandemic that’s been massively affecting our organisation and sector, and you’ve been an absolute dream to work with—so supportive, so flexible, so responsive, and a proper extension of our team!”