Keeping employee engagement and motivation levels as high as possible have been key drivers for managers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not only that, it’s well established that a highly engaged workforce leads to a high performing business. Employee engagement as a concept covers a lot of ground, such as internal communications, job satisfaction, and a balanced working life. So when all of those aspects come together, they create positive employee experiences that ultimately generate positive business outcomes, like increased revenue and performance. So improving employee engagement across the company should always be high on the agenda – pandemic or not.
Indeed, engaging for success was a top priority for our customers at Apprenticeship Connect, a UK-based training provider who specialise in connecting individuals to businesses and apprenticeship programs. They chose Claromentis as their intranet provider back in 2018 to centralise collaboration and team communication across their distributed teams.
Since then, Apprenticeship Connect have utilised every aspect of our software to build an employee engagement strategy that’s completely transformed their organisation. From improving awareness of diversity and inclusion to creating a fully-featured internal recruitment portal, our business platform has empowered them to do it all.
We caught up with Olivia Doyle, Business & IT Analyst at Apprenticeship Connect, to see how the company kept their staff engaged throughout the pandemic and beyond:
Improved internal communication strategies
Pre-pandemic, Apprenticeship Connect had a mix of home and office workers. Now, of course, everyone is working remotely.
It was because our software had already bedded into the organisation that Apprenticeship Connect were able to help people feel connected and included at the height of lockdown. “We wanted to replicate the camaraderie that people were getting in the office,” said Olivia, and it was by using a variety of communication tools that they could make this happen.
Teams created their own ‘staff rooms’ and ‘project rooms’ using our collaboration software, which allowed them to segment communications per role, such as for teaching staff and HR. This dramatically reduced waiting time for communicating updates, and empowered employees to share positive news, fast, such as apprentice success stories or when internal staff were promoted.
These rooms have also been key for promoting activities such as raffles, step-count challenges, and Christmas Jumper days. Uplifting updates like these generated a lot of engagement via ‘likes’ and comments – something never before seen in the past when email was the primary communication method. “We hardly ever use email for mass communication now”, said Olivia, “our intranet is the hub that brings everything together”.
Increased awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion
The teams at Apprenticeship Connect regularly host ‘takeover themes’ to celebrate key dates in their Equality & Diversity calendar, such as LGBT+ History and Black History Month, in order to promote awareness and to create a forum for discussion about these topics. This wasn’t possible prior to working with Claromentis; in the past, updates and news took the form of a static monthly newsletter, which didn’t exactly inspire the levels of employee engagement the teams were aiming for.
Since using our software, it’s given Apprenticeship Connect the creative license to brand their entire intranet in celebration of that month’s takeover theme. Our intranet design tools and content management system have enabled teams to utilise their intranet as a vector for reinforcing their culture and values, by creating customised designs that promote the important issues raised by each takeover.
Thanks to the move from a static newsletter to a branded and interactive intranet, staff are now engaging with company news and updates much more.
The biggest compliment that we could give about Claromentis’ product is that it feels like our own, it is thoroughly embedded into our business culture, way of working, and we can’t imagine work without it.
Rafiq Adebambo, Director at Apprenticeship Connect
Better ways of working thanks to e-forms and workflows
One particular app that has made an immeasurable impact on everyday working life is our e-forms and workflows software, which automates paper-based processes to save time, improve workstreams, and ultimately enhance employee satisfaction.
Our software has enabled the teams at Apprenticeship Connect to replace every single internal form with an online workflow, helping them track entire processes from beginning to end, such as data breach reporting, onboarding, and funding. “It’s essential to all our operations, and it’s made things possible that weren’t before,” said Olivia.
In fact, the company has been able to build an entire internal recruitment portal using our e-forms and workflows software, allowing them to “streamline previously complex processes that involve multiple stakeholders, departments and systems”.
Prospective employees can submit an application directly within the intranet, where they also have access to a selection of useful resources such as policies, benefits, and company structure, and can upload any required onboarding documents. HR staff and line managers can then track all aspects of the interview and selection process, from initial application and screening, through to job offer and contract signing. “It’s transformed our processes enormously – we can’t imagine Apprenticeship Connect without Claromentis!” said Olivia.