Local Authorities are all about a sense of community - with many councils making decision for future planning to encourage sustainable connections and improving the quality of life for everyone who lives within that area. So, a sense of community within the workplace should be as equally important for your employees.
Some Local Authority employees can have limited access to resources – with many 'outdoor' employees having no access to a desktop or company email. At Meath County Council, 35% of employees had no regular access to work emails or a desktop. Along with the current challenges presented by COVID-19, enhancing communication and promoting employee engagement was essential for the organisation.
Another challenge is communication – not only with members of the public but internally. Communication is the key to success, especially with various people across different departments and locations.
At Thrive, we have detailed four key tips for enhancing communication and uplifting employee engagement within your local authority: employee feedback; company culture; employee connection to their roles; and digitalisation for the promotion of engagement & communication.
#1 Employee Feedback
One way to uplift employee engagement is through constructive feedback - in a frequent and personalised matter. Employees today want to know their individual contributions are recognised, noticed and appreciated. They also want to be able to share their opinions and get a sense their voice is being listened to and they are contributing to positive change. Look for opportunities to add questions and answer sessions, feedback and peer-to-peer recognition daily.
#2 Company Culture
At its heart, culture is often described as a shared set of values that encourages community. Engaged employees recognise culture manifesting itself in the form of:
- Trusted leadership
- Supportive management
- A positive work environment
- Opportunities for growth
Employee communication that engages employees from the perspective of culture should focus not just on publicising these values, but also on encouraging feedback and recognising value-centric actions and behaviours.
#3 Employee Connection to Their Roles
This can be tricky to do in a work environment that can be isolating – with remote working, distributed teams, social distancing or working from home: from Administrative work to Tenancy Management to Support workers to Front-line workers – there is a wide variety of roles within local authority.
So, how can you get employees to care on an emotional level about these kinds of jobs?
To feel connected to your organisation, employees need to know what their responsibilities are and how they play into the greater vision and purpose of the company. The employee should believe their work is meaningful and making a real impact. When that is communicated effectively to employees, they feel elevated from a “cog in the wheel” position, and their sense of value within the organisation increases.
It's also human nature to want to feel connected socially with other people, this can be challenging when teams are dispersed, and even more challenging with the current effects of Covid-19.
Encouraging employees to share their stories and creating a more personal, social culture reaps great benefits and true engagement for everyone.
#4 Digitalisation for Engagement & Communication
It's great to see many Local Authorities adopting new technologies that will better the customer experience. Investing in technologies that improve efficiency throughout automated processes, better the employee experience and improve employee communication also. It is important for local authority employees to be able to access information 24/7 on a real-time basis - particularly as different departments will work in different locations.
Digital tools, such as employee apps, can be used for many things such as;
- Sharing critical health and safety information to everyone at the same time.
- Posting and updating company news.
- Sharing video updates or messages of encouragement from senior leaders.
- Promoting peer-to-peer recognition.
- Running charity events.
- Organising internal events such as training, town halls, seminars, wellbeing sessions.
- Integrated payroll and rota.
- Empowering employee-generated feedback and ideas.
- Sharing policies or procedures.
This list of content is entirely up to you and your organisation and most importantly your employees.
Whether you manage Internal Communications, HR, Operations, Health and Safety or the CEO, implementing these suggestions can help you increase engagement — and, therefore, productivity, innovation and success.
Contact our team today for more information on how we can enhance your communications and employee engagements as well as streamlining your operations.
You may also want to read Meath County Council's full success story below...