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Shepherd Construction Audit
Transcript of Shepherd Construction Audit
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
We started our interviews
at Shepherd's head office
Face to face
We visited two York sites, to achieve a insight of both office and site based employees
Speaking to four members of the divisional office brought our total of interviews to 15
Manchester operated its own internal comms
lead by key members of the its team
Other cultural differences between the regional offices we found were;
Manchester presented a strong independent and focused staff force
York had a corporate atmosphere
Leeds had a sense of community considering the Darlington as an extension
Whilst visiting Leeds we had the opportunity to interview an employee from Darlington.
We also conducted video conferencing to the London and Birmingham offices, we valued the chance to VC for the first time.
Via VC we conducted two one hour focus groups to the London and Birmingham offices.
9 employees participated in the focus groups
The reasons we chose this research method;
Creates a relaxed setting
Opportunity to interview numerous employees at once
"I actually find these kind of magazines quite interesting to read so I probably would sit and read through it all"
"They used to have a little sheet in it as well that used to be like, leavers and new starters, that was quite good, because sometimes you do get someone new at the company and no-one knows who they are and what they do"
"We are obviously made aware of the marketing items that are going on all the time, that’s quite clear on the intranet. On most other items in Shepherd, there is not a lot of internal communication"
“Well I can’t say that I’ve noticed that it’s a monthly thing
I do recall seeing a few, a couple of them.”
“We’re got a new Chief Executive and he’s started off well with communicating to us and so I think all staff appreciate finding out the thoughts of what’s happening at higher levels in the company and getting a bit of feedback."
"I think that can be supplemented with the Localnet or some kind of tool."
“It would make it more united, we are far too isolated at times.”
"It gave you something to strive for...it gives people sort of a bit of morale I think."
“Everyone’s always talking about sharing best practice."
"It just adds another dimension to it doesn’t it, adds some more personal interest.”
“What you have to bear in mind is that the technology we have within the business is possibly lacking behind, what everyone has out there in the big bad world. So we need to catch up a bit.”
73% preferred hardcopy, out of these people 64% of them thought it was a good idea to have both options available
“Ultimately at the end of the day
you need both.”
“If it was on something like Facebook, I think it’d be so watered down, because it’s not secure is it? And whatever you print…they’d be so conscious writing anything because if they’d said something, it’s always there on the internet so anyone can read or anyone can get back to it.”
• Work flow
• Rebuilding the company
The forum had a constructive atmosphere, which had a positive effect on staff that attended, answering their concerns and solving issues raised. Staff felt more connected with managerial positions and agreed it was an excellent form of direct internal communication
Other companies methods include:
In-house quarterly magazines
Staff emails sent to everyone within the company
Personal performance reviews
Aim: To develop a communications medium to ensure everyone in the company is kept informed and up to date with internal communications.
To assess whether people in the company want internal communications to be improved?
To establish the medium for this communication – magazine? Online format? And if so, establish the content and design that attracts most people.
To establish how often people want this communication; i.e. monthly or quarterly? And establish how to utilize a feedback option.
To evaluate other businesses internal communications.
“Shepherd Construction is a national business, with approximately 440 employees, who work across 6 offices, 25 sites and at our hire centre. We have employees who are office based, site-based and those who travel between each.”
Those who travel between
60 Seconds With…
but no divisional news
Readable summary with full stories available
"Small and often rather than large and infrequent."
Summary of Findings
The previous employee newsletter was liked; the majority of staff found the
layout and design out of date.
Current internal communications is found to be marketing based.
CEO emails are not regularly received; those that do receive emails praise them.
Staff agree with the need of family structure to be highlighted in internal communications.
Majority of employee's address the need for both a hardcopy newsletter and an electronic based form of communication.
Social Media is not the way forward; however improvement on the Localnet is.
Staff recognise Application as possibility; but is not needed at present.
Modernised style and layout to incorporate the design of Shepherd's brand.
Specific features balanced between business and personal.
Long term activity, to implement within the next 6 months
Divisional news should be published, with accurate information coming from a local source.
Brief current stories to be transferred or held back for Newsletter.
Localnet and Newsletter should complement each other.
Long term activity, with immediate changes
Column on Localnet updated whenever there is information to share instead of generic monthly updates
3 month change over period
A measurable feedback column
On going project, wth revised location implemented with new Localnet
Interactive app with location centric news downloaded to smart phones
Utilising existing investment, moving forward with technology
Received Shepherd Brief
Initial Visit to Head Office
Attended the CEO forum
Outline Proposal Sign-off
Manchester + Site
With Shirley, Leeds Met
Communications Audit Report
Sparrow PR's team has experience in designing and constructing internal newsletters
We interviewed a further four staff for 10-15 minutes at the Leeds office.