Internal Communications Review and Implementation for UWE
With 30,000 students, the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol is consistently one of Britain’s leading new universities for quality in teaching.
Like many other universities, UWE faces major challenges in order to prosper in the new world where students are paying up to £9000 in fees. Effective communications with their 3500 employees is critical to meeting these challenges and Head of Marketing Communications Development Julia Weston selected TYL to provide some help in this area.
“Internal communications is a key area of focus for us here at UWE Bristol as we are going through significant change. When we invited TYL to help us last October, we knew that we needed to improve. We asked TYL to help us understand the issues so that we could make sure we made the right changes”
We completed a comprehensive Internal Communications Review consisting of:
- Interviews with more than 25 senior stakeholders.
- An online employee communications survey of all staff
- 14 focus groups to get underneath the survey results
- Specific questionnaires to enable us to analyse UWE’s current internal communications infrastructure
We presented our key findings and recommendations to the Executive team in January 2012.
“While there were no big surprises” says Julia, “seeing the impact of our previous internal communications approach played back to us in black and white strengthened our determination to make improvements. It was reassuring, however to hear from Jos that many other organisations in both the public and private sectors face similar issues.”
A key recommendation was for UWE to boot their internal communications resources starting with the appointment of an experienced professional Head of Internal Communications. With the recruitment process (which we were actively involved in) taking a few months it was important to get things moving and we provided extensive support in the first half of 2012 to begin implementing some of our key recommendations.
“TYL helped us put a suite of new communication channels in place,” says Julia “including a revamped employee facing magazine, a monthly Ezine for managers designed to engage them in UWE’s key issues, performance and progress and encourage them to do the same with their people in regular team meetings, a weekly e-news summary, and improved leadership communications. Our email overload problem has begun to shrink and managers feel better equipped to share and discuss relevant information with their teams. TYL also provided support to deliver an innovative conference for 300 managers and respond effectively to the results of a recent staff engagement survey.”
But of course this is only the start of a long journey for UWE Bristol. A new Head of Internal Communications is now in post, building on the initial foundations we’ve helped UWE to put in place.
“TYL’s work has made a real difference” says Julia. “They have set us on the road to much improved internal communications. Lynne, Larraine and Jos have all been keen to pass on their knowledge, skills and experience during the project and it’s been great to work with them.”
If you would like to talk to us about having a cost-effective internal communications review done for your organisation, do get in touch.