Internal Communications Audit - results and recommendations
Thank you for engaging with our internal communications audit earlier this year. We know how busy colleagues are and we greatly appreciate the time and energy that went into helping us understand the complexities you deal with each day and how communications can best support our individual and collective efforts.
The passion and enthusiasm colleagues have for their work and the University was clear, as was the importance of communications to everyone whether it be receiving information or sharing it.
Here we summarise the highlights from the audit, but you can also download the Audit report which, whilst it does not cover every bit of feedback we received, it goes into more detail on the key themes and recommendations.
You can also get involved in the future of our internal communications and a range of reviews / projects which we are beginning to look at as a result of the audit feedback.
Our audit was conducted between April and July 2022. We attended many divisional, School and Faculty meetings to discuss internal communications and conducted individual interviews with leadership, management and colleagues across the Faculty who volunteered their views. We heard from people across all areas of work and the insight we have gained reflects that diverse input.
Our audit included:
- Reviewing feedback from staff surveys carried out across the Faculty and University in the last 3 years
- Attending School leadership and Divisional leadership meetings for group discussion
- Individual meetings with senior leaders and a cross section of the Faculty including both academics and PS staff.
- In depth discussionswith Divisional and School Operations Managers
- Providing opportunities for staff to provide feedback as part of existing Faculty communication activity
- Insights gathered as part of everyday interactions with and requests for support from the Internal Communications team
- Data and analytics available from our communication tools as well as specific tracking input into communications activity carried out during the period of March 2022 – July 2022
We sought feedback and insights on all aspects of internal communications including:
- Volume of communications
- Technology and systems
- Policy and Processes
- Training and guidance needs
- Channel and content mix
- Data, tracking and analytics
- Perceptions, sentiment and satisfaction
Audit Results and Recommendations
The communications landscape shifted dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. New channels were added to the mix, in-person activity was no longer possible, and communications rightly focussed on urgent, operational messages. However, as staff adapt to a ‘new normal’ it is right that we review our communications and engagement activity to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the Faculty and reflect our priorities in 2022 and beyond.
We had an abundance of feedback, both general perceptions and specific ideas. We were able to collate all this feedback and identify three key themes:
In a large, complex Faculty where much of the work is collaborative and across Divisions, Schools, Faculties, and partner organisations there is a real need for clarity in our communications.
Staff need to be able to easily identify and differentiate information as well as find and share information quickly.
Independence and unity are both valued, and communications must reflect and support both.
Our Faculty communications are facilitated by an Announcement System, Spotler for email newsletters and our Faculty intranet. All three of these systems present challenges for the Internal Communications team and Faculty colleagues but do also bring us many benefits that we would not wish to lose.
The audit recommendations focus on how we can update and work with our systems for a sustainable approach to communications that works for everyone now and in future.
Our communications have focussed heavily on operational news because of the pandemic. As we now adapt to a new normal it is clear in the feedback that colleagues want to see more variety in our communications and events, bringing back a sense of positivity and optimism as well as representing a range of voices from across the Faculty.
The Annual Celebration Event in July 2022 highlighted the breadth of disciplines across our Faculty and the enthusiasm and appreciation staff feel for their colleagues. The audit recommendations look at how we can reflect the values, passions and work of colleagues across the entire Faculty.
Download the full audit report to see the feedback from our colleagues and your recommendations.
Thank you to every individual and team who contributed to the audit process and provided valuable insights.
As a result of the audit, we are now beginning a number of critical review processes and projects including a look at our Faculty Intranet, a review and update for our Faculty induction material as well as establishing an internal communications network to help gather stories and disseminate critical information.
Internal Communications Team