Havebury Housing Partnership Achieve Their Internal Comms Aims with Oak Engage | Oak Engage
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Havebury Housing Partnership Achieve Their Internal Comms Aims

Not-for-profit housing association, Havebury Housing Partnership partnered with Oak Engage in 2022 with the aim of implementing  their new and improved internal comms strategy. Within six months of implementation, their intranet ‘The Hive’ has completely evolved the way they communicate, both internally and externally, helping them realise their vision. 

Communications Manager, Hayley Lambert and Internal Communications Advisor, Kathryn Rowland took us through their journey with Oak.

Industry: Non-profit | No. of users: 500 | Area: UK

Results with Oak Engage

97% quarterly engagement rate

A central communication point

90% fortnightly engagement

The Challenge

Bringing communications into one place

With an outdated intranet and employees relying on fortnightly newsletters for important updates, Havebury Housing Partnership needed a platform to bring communications into one place. 

As part of their internal comms strategy, Havebury wanted to shift the culture towards making everyone in the business a communicator and fostering two-way communication. This was impossible to do on their old platform. But they also wanted the platform to be led by comms and not have to rely on IT to maintain and configure, as they previously had to. 

Before searching for an intranet, the comms team at Havebury devised a strategy to help streamline and improve communication across the organisation. The aims of their strategy were:

  • Consult with the wider business to develop an intranet 
  • Incorporate a social media platform into comms
  • Produce engaging content to drive proactive comms across the business
  • Make everyone in the business a ‘communicator’

To ensure they implemented an intranet that would achieve this, Havebury involved employees throughout the process, from an intranet ‘wish list’ to participating in demos.

The Solution

Transformed communications with mobile app

Putting the Foundations in Place

Oak stood out to Havebury ahead of the other providers, and they were particularly impressed with how easy it was to configure and customise the site themselves. 

Kathryn said: “When we were going through the tender process, Oak ticked all the boxes. We saw how easy it was to be able to customise ourselves and not rely on our IT team.“

Building a Platform Fit for Havebury 

It was important to Havebury that their new site reinforced brand values and also helped to align internal and external comms.

With information hosted on team pages and the intuitive search functionality, employees can easily find branding and tone of voice guidelines, as well as other collateral. Havebury were also able to call on Oak’s design team to develop a site that embodies their brand. 

Kathryn said: “We have streamlined our branding. When people are doing their own comms, they know what we want to replicate internally and externally. Oak’s design team captured that.”

By aligning communications they have increased self-sufficiency within teams. Less reliance on internal comms to review content means more time can be spent on ‘big picture’ projects.

A ‘One-Stop Shop’ for ALL Comms

To ensure their objectives were realistic, they wanted to utilise their intranet as a ‘one-stop shop’ for comms. With everything on a single platform, good communication processes have become part and parcel of the working day across the business. 

Kathryn said: “With information on their team's pages, email traffic is reduced and stops those common requests for documents- it’s the first port of call.” 

As a result of improved content engagement on The Hive, team members have also become willing content creators of their own. This has been utilised externally too-achieving their objective of creating communicators within the organisation. 

Hayley added: “We may see a business update from another member of the team and think ‘our tenants would like to see that’. Oak helps with external communication and streamlines comms as a whole.” 

Oak has enabled Havebury to be more strategic when it comes to comms: Hayley said: “The Hive gives us a one-stop shop for all of our comms. Before it was erratic and we were firefighting a lot of the time. It’s helped us to be more strategic in our comms because we have that tool that does everything.”

The Impact of Hive 

The first part of Havebury’s journey with Oak has been a resounding success, having achieved the aims they set out at the beginning. 

Hayley said: “I think we can say that we’ve achieved our strategy. It has exceeded everyone’s expectations. People are surprised about how good the system is and what we have been able to create.” 

The Hive has also enabled a cultural shift within Havebury, by facilitating employees' roles as communicators. By streamlining timely processes, Kathryn no longer needs to spend all of her time on reactive tasks. They can schedule news stories and updates, meaning our news is more timely and impactful.

Kathryn stated: “The big thing is that it's not just a new intranet, it's a big culture change having a platform that can create that two-way conversation.”

Havebury made sure that employees were involved from the beginning. Hayley commented: “We made sure we consulted with everyone, we invited feedback, everyone knew what we were doing before launch. If you feel like you’re part of the process from the get-go, you’re already invested.” 

Employee Feedback

“The Hive really has become a central communication point for the business since it was launched!”  

“The Hive makes the policies and procedures so accessible and the search function using tags makes it even more user friendly.”

“The organisational chart on The Hive is another reason why it is always an open tab on my laptop. If you need to speak to another team member but you are not 100% of their full name or even who their line manager is, welcome to the org chart. Everyone in the business with full contact details shown to you at a click of a button, again I have not had to disturb anyone to find this information out.” 

“If I was a new starter, The Hive would provide me with a debrief of what the business has been working on and completed in the months before me starting. What a great way to get up to date, like we all do most mornings when scrolling on our phones! “ 

“The big thing is that it's not just a new intranet, it's a big culture change having a platform that can create that two-way conversation.”

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