Welcome to our weekly profile about who's who in internal comms.
If you'd like to be featured, just complete the online template and send your favourite photo. If there's someone you'd love to know more about, let us know and we'll do the rest!
Communication and Engagement Manager
Time with company
Nearly 2.5 years
Connect with Louise
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A teacher or a vet.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I don't have a favourite place as such - but my best ever holiday has to be a week's safari in Tanzania for my honeymoon 11 years ago.
If you could be a fictional character, what would it be?
Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (all will become clear in the next question!)
If you could have any super power what would you choose?
Tele-transportation - just click my heels and I'd be where I needed to be.
What’s the one thing not many people know about you?
I only learnt to ride a bike two years ago!
Tell us a bit about your role:
Anchor is England's largest not-for-profit of housing and care for the over-55s. We provide services to more than 40,000 older people, with over 1,100 locations, including care homes, housing locations and offices for over 9,000 colleagues.
I'm the internal comms business partner for our Housing operation and core Support Service teams, such as HR and Property. Like any internal comms professional, I get involved with a whole host of activities and each day I have to spin many different plates. I can be working on a comms and engagement plan announcing business change one minute, to then writing directors' blogs or dealing with requests for intranet changes the next.
What’s on your internal comms agenda right now?
My priorities at the moment are:
• After a successful launch, encouraging more colleagues to use Workplace by Facebook and use the network to collaborate with each other.
• Working with line managers to make sure their colleague engagement action plans are a living document and they implement changes locally and then shout about them.
• I'm at the beginning of a two-year change programme, which has 27 different projects which sit underneath. Having created the engagement strategy, it's now a matter of implementing it and creating a Champions Network.
Who or what has had the biggest impact on internal comms in your organisation in the past year?
Without a doubt it has to be the introduction of Workplace by Facebook, as we’re now able to reach 6,500 frontline colleagues, giving everyone in the organisation a voice.
Working with the team at Facebook, we had a rapid roll-out plan, made possible through our a team of champions.
What’s your proudest achievement or best day in your current role?
The successful launch of Workplace. We’re seeing more and more colleagues registering and using the site to share news with each other, ask each other questions, interact with our senior leaders and put forward suggestions for change, which then go on to be implemented.
We now hold live broadcasts with our Executive Board members, where anyone can ask one of our directors a question and get an immediate response. It's a great way of being able to connect colleagues with each other. And we've started an organisation-wide conversation that’s changing our culture and meeting our challenges.
We launched to everyone on 1 March 2017 and by the end of October, 52% of our employees had activated their Workplace account. More significantly, 71% of users are active on a weekly basis.
In June alone, our community added:
• 2790 posts
• 5230 comments on posts
• 14,760 reactions to posts (Likes)
We’ve done all this at virtually zero cost, although we did buy some balloons for launch day! With a team of four, we’ve produced every piece of collateral, poster, flyer, guide and video ourselves.
Because of the nature of our partnership with Facebook, we had to move incredibly quickly. From signing the contracts to full roll-out to over 8,000 people in less than two months.
And as internal communications specialists we’ve had to completely relearn our role within the organisation.
How would you advise someone considering a career in internal comms?
Develop an enquiring mind, ask lots of questions.
Join one of the professional bodies - IOIC or CIPR.
Put your hand up for new projects and show an interest in developing new knowledge and skills.
What do you think are the top trends in internal communications to watch out for in 2018?
Increasing use of employee sourced content and increasing use of enterprise social networks/digital solutions to comms challenges.