South Liverpool Housing Group has jumped from a zero-star rating with ‘uncertain prospects for improvement’ to two stars and a promising future, with the organisation’s new intranet playing a pivotal role in the transformation.
SLH received a zero-star rating from the Audit Commission against a background of merger rumours which led to a lack of stability, poor reputation and low staff morale. SLH realised that improving internal communications and company processes, alongside cost reductions, were the key to turning the organisation around.
In the past SLH’s processes were very paper-based, while its decentralised infrastructure meant that company information was often stored on local network drives. This resulted in duplication across teams and departments, little or no version control for documents and no cross-organisation search facility. SLH recognised that an intranet would solve these difficulties.
SLH’s intranet selection process was rigorous. Having created a cross-department project team, they created a scorecard against which to measure solutions from external technology suppliers, including criteria such as intranet features, capital and maintenance costs, ease of use and customer recommendations. Interact was chosen from the short-listed suppliers as it matched the selection criteria best and offered a partnership approach.
Having selected Interact, SLH understood that the intranet could not exist in isolation and it would need to engage the staff in its ongoing development. To achieve this, content management was delegated to representatives from each department, a launch event was staged, training was given to all staff, and new intranet applications added frequently.
Colin Arnold, head of ICT, South Liverpool Housing Group, said, “Interact has had a very positive impact on our organisation by improving communication and streamlining processes.”
The intranet, as a ‘one-stop shop’ for company and departmental information, has improved internal communication which was vital for the audit inspection, reduced the HR workload and improved staff morale.