Essex County Council

Autumn 2015-Winter 2016

The challenge

Essex County Council (ECC) were undergoing a period of fast-paced transformative change. The communications team were tasked with keeping staff informed and engaged, as well as supporting behaviour change. The need for excellent, effective internal communication in this context was paramount. TCC were commissioned to undertake a review of existing internal communications channels and a Values Modes analysis of staff, making recommendations to support the team and the Council communicate in a way that reaches and resonates with their audiences and successfully achieve strategic objectives.

How we approached it

Over 50 focus groups and interviews were conducted across the Council’s staff, from frontline to senior leaders, to understand their current experience of channels and communications culture and views on how it may be improved. In tandem, a survey of all staff provided a reliable picture of communication practices and preferences. The primary research and understanding of staff Values Modes was combined with secondary research on industry best practice to inform recommendations to improve ECC’s internal communications. The insight was consulted on with the team who also received training and one-on-one ‘values surgeries’ on how to apply Values Modes to improve communication.

What happened

The recommendations were discussed with ECC, who were aiming to change their communications team from a ‘production centre’ to an ‘expertise centre’. The impact of the changes will be evaluated by TCC a year on from implementation, using an agreed set of outcome-focussed metrics.