How Great Places engaged the voices of their hardest to reach employees
Formerly known as the Manchester Methodist Housing Association (MMHA), Great Places is a housing association which currently manages more than 25,000 homes across the United Kingdom in the North West, South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire.
With a strong ethos dating back to the 1960’s, Great Places has a proud legacy and steadfast visions of the future. Their mission is to create successful and vibrant communities, through providing outstanding customer service and maximising investment in safe and sustainable homes – with a focus on supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Great Places is also a profit-for-purpose organisation that gives back to customers and community. By harnessing the success of their commercial activity, it allows them to do more for local communicates and charities – making them so much more than just a landlord, and instead improving the lives of their customers.
We’re happy to be sharing with you their successes using Stribe so far.
What’s the main purpose of Stribe within Great Places?
We wanted to introduce a tool that could give us the structure and ability to complete a pulse survey every six months and a full annual staff survey at the end of the year. It also needed to be accessible so it would reach all of our employees.
Before finding Stribe we had tried a number of ways to implement successful survey campaigns, however we could never find the right balance for our team and engagement was low. We were looking for something that would level us up and help us achieve great survey engagement – and that was Stribe.
How does Stribe contribute to the bigger picture at Great Places?
It’s all about engaging our employees better and in more meaningful ways. We are a dispersed workforce and not all our colleagues have laptops. Where we saw one of the greatest impacts was in our departments where staff are using tablets or their phones instead – we received a higher increase in survey engagement from those teams than ever before. It goes a long way in understanding the overall perspective of our teams when we can get everyone’s thoughts and feelings.
What other initiatives are you working on that contribute to the people strategy at Great Places?
Our main strategies are around improving recruitment, retention, reward and recognition. All of this is against the wider context in our sector and challenges we have faced – most recently including the impacts of the pandemic and repercussions of Brexit and the war in Ukraine. Fortunately, what we’re finding is that Stribe is positively influencing each of these areas that support our people, which is great to see.
What was your thinking behind forming survey questions?
For us it was two things. Firstly it was important to us to develop questions related to factors of engagement – things like leadership, managers, teams, wellbeing – so we could really get insights into what actions were going to help us move forward and get everyone feeling more motivated and satisfied with work.
The second thing was our KPIs and numbers – we needed to understand what needed to change to achieve better results, especially for retention and churn rate.
Armed with insights from Stribe, what’s next for Great Places?
We will continue to conduct surveys and create actions off-the-back of our findings. We’re approaching a large business merger and it’s going to be important for us to capture and manage employee expectations throughout that. We’ll be using Stribe to conduct a pre-merge survey to get initial feelings and opinions from both organisations involved to mitigate any concerns and alleviate pressure. And then we will produce a post-merger survey to capture how our teams experienced the change.
How have your employees enjoyed using Stribe?
People have loved using Stribe and the overall colleague perspective has been excellent. We had barely any feedback related to user issues and usability has been very high – so this tells us it worked really well for our team. Stribe is modern, it’s fresh, and it looks like what surveys should look like in 2023!
Have you got any favourite stories where Stribe has really worked within your team?
We’ve had plenty of successes with Stribe – it’s difficult to pick just one. But the most unique part for us is how mobile and tablet friendly it is – the accessibility is awesome, and we’ve been able to reach colleagues that haven’t engaged with these kinds of initiatives before.
We’ve also found that many of our colleagues who would like to share their thoughts and opinions – but may have struggled doing so in the past – are loving the Word Tiles feature. Whether it’s nerves or something else that has made them hesitant before we’re not sure, but this feature has been really special in helping those employees start valuable conversations with us. It’s given a voice to the voiceless.
Another thing we love with the tool is that people are able to be supported and responded to on an individual level. We can message back-and-forth to gain more information and detail, which has resulted in better supporting individual team members. Some people have even been comfortable to reveal their anonymity and have a conversation with leaders to make changes that support them.
How have you found working with the team at Stribe?
We couldn’t have asked for more, the team have been absolutely great. There were times we had to jump on calls at a moment’s notice and it was never a problem. No issue has ever been too big or small, the communication is great, and we were always given friendly helpful responses.
What do you think is the key to a happy team?
For us it’s all about respect and being real. What we mean by that is, if you imagine a spider diagram; with yourself, others, the opportunities you have, the company you work for and the customers you serve – you can imagine all the inner workings and operations involved to keep everyone involved happy. If we all work together with respect, and are really willing to help each other, the system works harmoniously.
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about taking on Stribe?
I’d flip the question back to workplace leaders and ask – have you considered what you’re going to do for your deskless colleagues if you don’t adopt Stribe? From our experience, we’re not sure there are many tools out there with this level of uniqueness, insight and accessibility. And we’re not just saying that because we’ve enjoyed working with Stribe – we’re saying that because it’s worked!