CorpComms Magazine named our employee communication strategy as the winner in the ‘most effective essential worker communications’ category at a virtual ceremony this week.
The Awards this year were designed to recognise and record the amazing work that communicators have achieved under the most challenging of circumstances.
The Communications Team’s activity included creating a ‘coronavirus information hub’ on the staff intranet (known as the Green Room), making it accessible from mobile and desktop computers, and keeping messages as clear as possible by issuing a daily email bulletin identifying which information was relevant to which group of staff.
A staff Facebook group was set up as a place for staff to post questions, start discussions and view ‘live’ Q&A sessions with senior management. The Executive Leadership Committee was briefed daily following news conferences from government, highlighting changes that impacted staff or patients.
The Green Room coronavirus hub received almost 30,000 views during the first peak of the pandemic and the Facebook group gained over 1,700 followers in its first few months.
There was a focus on sharing positive and uplifting messages, celebrating staff efforts on social media and through new ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ and ‘Feel Good Friday’ bulletins. As a thank you, more than 8,000 personalised letters and postcards were sent out to colleagues and their children, recognising the support they were giving to each other and to patients during this challenging time.
Judges were particularly impressed with the ‘Beard off’ campaign, using staff ‘influencers’ to promote clean-shaven facial skin to help with the correct usage of PPE and support the trust’s fit testing programme.
Julie Treharne, Head of Communications and Engagement said “While working in a particularly turbulent and worrying time during the height of the pandemic, we wanted to ensure our colleagues and volunteers were well supported and informed of the latest clinical, operational and HR guidance and were able to ask questions and find answers.
“We were pleased to see that in response staff told us in a survey that communications was one of the top five ‘aspects of our response to COVID-19 to have worked well’ and the majority of staff rated communication as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
“And as these uncertain times continue, this work doesn’t stop and we will continue to develop our strategy in support of staff and patients.
“I am incredibly proud of the whole team’s contribution to this. These types of awards give us tremendous validation of the work we do, in a category which included competition from national private and public sector companies, all of which are also doing excellent work to support their essential workers.”