Citizen Housing Intranet Case StudyCam Symons2023-12-07T13:30:58+00:00
Intranet Case Study
How Citizen transformed their internal communications with Engage intranet
How Citizen transformed their internal communica-
tions with Engage intranet
Based in the West Midlands, Citizen is one of the largest housing providers in the country. They have over 1,000 staff spread across their head office and remote teams in local communities offering client services.
Citizen owns and manages over 30,000 homes across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Birmingham, Coventry and the wider West Midlands, from urban tower blocks to rural villages and towns to support diverse communities finding a home.
Citizen wanted the new updated intranet to become their main source of internal communication going forward, with an increase of communication going out and a higher percentage of engagement and interaction. To achieve this, the mission was to update the current Engage intranet to support Citizen’s rebrand and amalgamation of five subsidiary organisations.
The journey started with a simple but powerful Sorce Engage intranet which brought together in a central location several separate organisations within Citizen; the intranet was aptly named Oneplace. Oneplace was designed to be accessed anywhere from any device using Engage’s dynamic features such as microblogs, contact search and document management.
User engagement had been suffering due to a lack of governance and few compelling reasons to keep visiting the site. To support a restructuring of the business and rebranding exercise Citizen underwent an internal communications transformation. Citizen took the chance to rethink how they could maximize the potential of their intranet and how it could support their recent growth and new company image. This led to relaunching their intranet with improved features and a whole new look.
“You have to have an intranet. If you do not have that platform to guide people to go to everyday, it’s a real struggle.”
Steve Hayes Head of Communications
Citizen’s communications function needed to be enhanced to support the needs of a growing company. With the restructuring of the company, Citizen had to think carefully about how they would communicate important updates to their staff. The challenge was to make everyone aware of what was going on, but not to overcommunicate messages to the same group of people.
A solution was found by creating a new page on their intranet labelled, ‘Transformation’. This page is solely about their rebrand project and restructuring updates to inform staff what was coming next, and why. The page also has a specific news section for brand and restructure updates. A tab directs staff to a project page where everyone can see the latest status of recently announced projects and what progress has been made.
Citizen created excitement over the new brand by launching their new colour palette, company message and designs throughout their intranet, immediately attracting attention and bringing a lot more traffic. By doing so Citizen was able to show staff this was the place to go to moving forwards for internal messages and updates.
“It’s become a place to be in our organisation. People go on to Oneplace every day because they want to see what’s going on, the latest news across the organisation and what’s going on in people’s lives. Without it, we could not have driven our transformation forward.”
Laura Picket Communications Manager
Citizen have over 400 remote staff who previously did not have ways to readily access the intranet. Without a large part of the workforce using the intranet, staff were being left in the dark about future updates.
Citizen wanted to change this so everyone could access company information and gain the benefits of their intranet no matter where they were and what job they were doingBy using the Engage mobile app, staff members were able to have full functionality of Oneplace on their mobile devices. This made a big difference for the maintenance team who could easily find documents needed to complete jobs via their phone. This created increased interaction with the intranet as the whole company was now able to access it from anywhere. It was especially important to encourage new staff members joining the company to adopt and continue this level of engagement.
A regularly used feature by Citizen is their rebranded employee recognition feature called ‘You smashed it!’. This appears on the homepage and lets staff members write a nomination for a fellow colleague based on their work performance which is then presented for everyone to see.
“It’s given us a huge amount of content for external communication as individuals want to tell you about their and other’s success.”
Steve Hayes Head of Communications
Citizen wanted to make sure their intranet would become a critical function for everyday use to reduce the number of emails they send daily, as well as making tasks easier to complete.
Document Management is a critical application that has greatly improved efficiency at Citizen. Digital files are stored in a central location to which everyone has access. Files are easy to sort, search for, edit and redistribute. Documents can also be searched for by filename, title, category, department or by keywords within the body of the document.
Citizen upped the quality and regularity of the updates using the news function on their homepage managed by the comms team. Microblogging within Oneplace is being used widely throughout Citizen and has proved to be a great success. The ‘share something’ microblog allows staff across disparate locations to gain access to company updates, interesting content, and observations in real-time.
The easy creation on new pages has also been used to great success by bringing physical events into the virtual.
Yearly, Citizen hosts their own ‘Excellence Awards’ where members of staff can choose between the nominated staff member who they think should win each award.
An interactive page was created with a video promoting the event and using the polls functionality to allow staff to select their winners. Photos were also uploaded to promote the winners and promotions displayed on the intranet homepage to direct people to the awards page.
The intranet has effectively communicated the new brand and structuring of Citizen, launching them into the next stage as a business.
With the introduction of new features, their intranet has seen an increase of engagement, with double the number of staff regularly logging in.
It is a dynamic, well organised site which is used by everyone as a central location to store company information as well as a place for sharing news, up to date information and ideas. This has been helped by focusing more attention on their remote workers who can now access the Oneplace using the app.
“We saw an immediate increase in engagement in Oneplace as people started to see it as a place they could showcase the work they do daily.”
Steve Hayes Head of Digital
Download the full Citizen Housing case study
Sorce Limited, The Pavilion, Newbury Business Park, London Road, Newbury, RG14 2PZ, United Kingdom