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Social media/internal communications Survey 2012

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Title: Social media/internal communications Survey 2012

Social media/internal communications Survey 2012
  • This survey focuses on the use of social media as
    a communications tool at Torbay Council

Social media survey 2012
  • This survey was carried out online throughout
    December 2011.
  • Regular all staff e-mails were sent with links to
    the survey to inform and remind staff that the
    consultation was taking place.
  • 126 responses were received (approximately 9 of
    council staff)

Have you signed up to Yammer?
If no what are the main reasons for not signing
As an existing member of Yammer do you like it?
Do you think Yammer has allowed you to
communicate better with other members of staff
within the council?
Which of the following do you use Yammer for?
Approximately how many times do you use Yammer
per week?
Will you continue to use Yammer as a way of
communicating with members of staff?
Do you think it is a good idea to allow staff
access to Facebook and Twitter at lunchtimes?
Have you used Facebook and Twitter from your desk
since the trial was introduced?
If yes, what do you use it for most?
From a business point of view has it helped you
to communicate with your customers in a different
Do you think the council should continue to allow
access to Facebookand Twitter, during
lunchtimes, on a permanent basis?
Do you feel that the council should be looking at
making more use of social media in order to
communicate better with staff/customers?
Do you think internal communications has improved
over the last 12 months, since the introduction
of Its Good to Talk, including Team Talks, all
staff emails, Hidden Hero and the Info staff
Up by 1 from Jan 2011
I am kept informed about what is going on in the
council as a whole?
To what extent do you agree with the following
Down by nearly 20 on Jan 2011
I know what is going on in my department?
  • Appendix A
  • Summary of additional comments
  • Yammer

  • because it is good to talk
  • the layout is so similar to Facebook that it is
    easy use it in a 'non-professional' way!
  • I believe it could provide additional useful
    communications mechanism if used appropriately.
  • I do really like Yammer, it's easy to navigate
    around and a great way to gain a better insight
    into what goes on throughout the council.
  • I haven't posted anything on it but I check it to
    see if anything new has been posted.
  • I like being able to post things about my
    specific subject areas, I like being able to
    praise colleagues, the poll seems good too and I
    can see where this may be of use for my area
    although I havent used it yet.
  • I think it's getting better but will take a while
    for members to get a feel for how to use it to
    its best advantage
  • I think Yammer is still in its 'early days' but
    is a great way to communicate with staff across
    the council.
  • It has been a really useful and productive site.
    Networking doesn't have to wait until you are at
    a conference. It isn't a gamble that you'll end
    up talking to the right person (as with
    conferences) This is a great way to tackle
    duplication we just need to promote it more.
  • It is a very easy and informal way of
    communicating with other colleagues.
  • It will increase communication between
  • It's a good opportunity to catch up on new and
    recent developments from other Departments and
    builds team morale.
  • It's a more slightly informal means of
    communicating where everyone is heard equally I
    feel. All different grades of staff can have a
    voice. You can spend as long or as little time on
    it to get what you need. Can learn about other
    areas, team up with diff departments on projects
    so there is no crossover, e.g. combining
    leaflets, bulk print ordering etc
  • It's naturally more limited than FB but a
    positive step to take the public sector into the
    21st Century.
  • Some useful information has been posted so far.
  • this is a useful tool for communicating across
    the organisation in a less formal way. it's also
    a good way of sharing questions and issues and
    getting resolutions.
  • Useful tool to let colleagues know about projects
    I am working on which could be of interest to
    them and also to find out about other activities
    happening in the Bay.
  • Yammer is good for communication to fellow
    colleagues to what we doing within our roles and
    getting ideas etc
  • Most services only communicate with their own
    teams, own networks so Yammer is a great way to
    broaden that out.

  • I am much more aware of what is going on
    council-wide now.
  • I have had improved communications with various
    departments and have found out a lot of what's
    going on in the council through this medium, more
    so than with the traditional communication
  • It appears staff have been able to post ideas etc
    which has been welcomed and useful to other
  • It keeps me up to date with things that are going
    on in other areas that I may not have heard about
  • It's a great way to communicate, unlike personal
    emails anyone on yammer can see what's posted,
    it's good to have a comment function so other
    people can add suggestions/advice. It's an
    excellent opportunity to make contacts who you
    perhaps wouldn't have known about.
  • Yammer has allowed me to communicate with other
    members of staff that I didn't realise existed.
  • people I would not normally have any
    communication with I have because of Yammer
  • I use it to provide information on ongoing issues
    and developments within IT and respond to any
    general IT queries that users may have.
  • I use it to provide information about my role
    within the council
  • I use it to raise awareness of campaigns,
    websites, etc.
  • Yammer allows me to see if anything has changed
    or questions answered whilst out of the office,
    any time day or night from my mobile.
  • I use it to tell people of progress in an area
    where much of what we do is totally opaque
  • could be more useful if enough people join
  • Early days but should be continued with
  • Fantastic tool - the more ways we can communicate
    with each other the better.
  • found it useful to know what is happening Also
    nice to see photos of people to put names to
  • I haven't posted myself yet - have been using it
    more to find out info. Would use it to promote
    library events etc
  • I think having something like Yammer is an
    excellent system to implement within the council.
    I think a lot of resources can be shared and it
    could potentially save duplicated work across
    departments. It's a good opportunity to discuss
  • I think the trial period was a little short I
    didn't get chance to experiment its potential,
    but I know from a colleague's experience that it
    helped them publicise a children's event and gain
    extra participants. It's also a good way of
    keeping in touch

Not so good
  • A waste of time and some colleagues seem to have
    too much time to post dross.
  • As a short term event it provided no added value
    and became a distraction, clogging my in tray
    with pointless material.
  • Counter productive in the workplace. Already had
    an inappropriate remark about HR.
  • I don't find any of the stuff on there
    interesting and it doesn't help me do my job any
  • I don't think it is a necessary way of
    communicating in the work place.
  • I have not had the time to use it and apart from
    the odd few comments that were interesting I was
    not really interested in anything that was posted
    so it just took up email space
  • I have not really had time to play with it. I
    turned all the notifications off because I get
    too many emails as it is.
  • I haven't found it to be particularly useful. The
    desktop client app appears to be quite buggy and
    so I do not keep it running, hence I can only see
    updates when I log into the web site, which I
    never do.
  • I withdrew because I felt it was time consuming
    with messages received that were unimportant, not
  • It seems to be nothing more than yet another way
    the council can pat itself on the back. People
    don't "communicate" with it, they advertise.
  • too invasive with daily updates
  • Waste of time, so I deleted my account
  • At the moment it appears to be of limited use,
    and the Desktop client is difficult to maintain
    so we can't deploy it Council-wide. Also it seems
    like nobody has spent any time setting it up
  • Haven't really used it since signing up.
  • Haven't used it and have been put off by the way
    some are using it
  • I am still getting used to it, At current there
    is the same people on there all the time and
    although getting some useful information i think
    it could do better - maybe team news once a month
  • I don't do social media and this has not
    encouraged me to take it up.
  • Frankly, I haven't had time to use it much.
    However, our use policy prevents setting up
    groups with users outside the network. The
    opportunity is therefore being lost. I think we
    would be better off adopting proper collaboration
    software rather than trying to do it through
    social networking. I have used Alfresco and
    Huddle outside of work to work with people. I
    realise that this would mean there is data
    outside our network, but a similar solution
    would be very helpful.

Not so good
  • I dont think a month has been long enough of a
    trial. I also feel that it should be used to
    communicate events and things that departments
    are doing rather than for random status updates
    thats what Facebook is for.
  • I joined to see what it was like, however found
    it rather annoying getting daily reminders. I
    changed the setting to weekly which is better. To
    be honest though I do not have time to read
    Yammer or log in I barely get time for lunch or
    comfort breaks.
  • I quite like it, but it means another raft of
    emails to get through. Also some people use it so
    tell you what they had for lunch. I think as a
    professional tool it ought to be a bit more
    disciplined than that! It would be nice to know
    how it is intended to help us and how it differs
    from twitter. Using Linkedin might be better.
  • I'm not sure how it will assist me - also as TEDC
    employees it set up a separate area so we are
    unable to connect with Council staff which would
    be more useful in terms of partnership working
    and collaboration.
  • It is OK and i have picked up a couple of things
    from it ...however, it can also be quite
    irritating when people post non-work related
  • not sure if the regularity and irrelevance of
    some of the messages are too time consuming for
  • The content is a bit dull, so I wouldn't miss it.
    The concept is good though, but I think people
    are scared to put on anything that isn't the
    latest dull campaign.
  • unsure whether it will be particularly useful to
  • Being undirected it relies on someone who knows
    what you are talking about responding. With the
    time pressures we are under monitoring for this
    wastes time. Email is much more specific and
    works faster.
  • Full of stuff that was irrelevant to my job and
    would have resulted in time wasted searching for
    interesting content. I have now closed my
  • I think I already contact those I need to.
    Yammer didn't improve things.
  • It is full of people congratulating each other. I
    have learnt little of any use from Yammer.
  • Just too busy to update it and it can seem like
    one is trying to justify ones job by posting
    things there.
  • Only a few used it and some over used it.
  • The take up appears to be patchy and the same
    groups of people are posting messages. This is
    not a forum for debate in its current form.
    Didn't help that you cant install the streaming
    tool either. So - good idea, but not as currently
  • To communicate with other members of the Council
    email is far more professional, and probably

Not so good
  • I advertised one event on Yammer and not appear
    to get any interest from other posters so I'm
    unsure at this stage.
  • The idea is good but communication needs to be
    more useful, i.e. staff introducing themselves as
    to who they are, where they work, what they do,
    the service they provide etc.
  • It wastes time I cannot afford to lose.
  • I do not have time to communicate on the yammer
    system, I have a busy work schedule and no spare
  • I don't see the need for this form of
    communication it just stops me doing my job when
    updates that have absolutely nothing to do with
    me come through via email
  • I have not found a use for it. I do not use
    facebook anymore either as I have moved on to
  • It was not what I was expecting it to be.
  • Only used by a minority
  • The notifications are annoying.
  • We already have Insight and I find Yammer a
    complete irritant. You have to plough through
    loads of dross to find out that there was nothing
    of interest there in the first place.
  • Clearly some individuals did use Yammer to post
    information to other Yammer members, however, my
    own observation of Yammer that is was not really
    being used as an informative business tool and a
    lot of the comments were just passing the time of
  • Difficult with large number of Staff and Agencies
    to take in information received along with
    everyday workload. Felt it was clogging the
    system with non essential information.
  • Don't ban email - ban Yammer and associated
    social media sites. It is noticeable that the
    same old faces seem to be posting messages on
    Yammer - suggesting that they don't have anything
    better to do. These sites are known to be
  • I had hoped it might be used more constructively
    but it hasn't seemed so far.
  • I think there are plenty of methods to
    communicate with staff without using Yammer
  • I'm not really a fan of social communication
    forums unless they have a clear purpose ... maybe
    it would be good if there were clear terms of
    reference about how to get the best out of this
    method of communication?
  • It could become just a way to fill in time
    without being in the least productive.
  • Many of the postings are jokey and irrelevant,
    though I do think we should be using it, I think
    there should be guidelines

  • Appendix B
  • Summary of additional comments
  • Twitter and Facebook

  • As a Targeted Youth Support Worker if facebook
    was accessible from work we would be able to have
    a TYS page to allow our young people to
    communicate with us in a media they are familiar
  • Have used it a couple of times to raise awareness
    but I believe the Council as a whole generally
    under uses social media, particularly when you
    look at what other authorities are doing.
  • I am involved in a project with external
    consultants who have a facebook page and I have
    been able to log in and support it at lunchtime,
    also I use my personal page to post links to our
    website or paper articles which promote projects
    I work on, as inevitably some of my social
    contacts will have an interest in these projects
    so it helps to spread the word in a different way
    to conventional council/TDA press releases
  • I have many contacts on my own personal Facebook
    page who I know/use for work purposes. Facebook
    is now a much quicker way to contact people. I
    would also like a Council page in order to keep
    up to date with national groups and initiatives
    such as Change for Life rather than having to use
    my personal profile.
  • I use it to generate followers for TDA activities
    and to generate awareness about Torbay and raise
    its profile amongst the business community
  • If my area of work had their own Facebook page it
    would be hugely beneficial.
  • It allowed me to advertise what I am doing within
    the community and to get ideas / views from
    friends and colleagues in what we are doing.
  • It has enabled me to check the facebook page set
    up by our advisory board and respond to comments
    in work time, also would be very useful for when
    we get our own facebook page
  • Social media is the future in business, it is a
    free form of networking and is an extremely
    powerful tool
  • The Library's own Facebook site undoubtedly helps
    publicise events and hopefully drives traffic
    back to the council website.
  • The trial has enabled us to post on the Torbay
    facebook page. We have extended the range of
    information we would now consider putting on
    social media sites.
  • there is a misunderstanding about social media
    being and traditional social interaction with
    customers (email, websites, posters, caravan,
    newsletters, meetings) being an either or choice
    when it is not - social media is not an option
    any more its a necessity for any business as it
    is where your audience is and therefore where you
    must got to reach them.
  • We are an attraction (Torre Abbey) so we have to
  • We have access anyway due to our business profile

  • With the loss of the daily Herald Express, it is
    now the main way to receive up to date
    information on a regular basis.
  • As long as staff don't abuse the privilege I feel
    continued access would show a gesture of goodwill
    - in addition it makes you take a physical break
    from work which many of us wouldn't generally do.
  • As the Council already allow limited personal
    internet access at specific times, I don't see
    why facebook and Twitter should be any different,
    if people are going to abuse this perk, they
    already have the ability to do so as limited
    personal internet use is already allowed.
  • As there are limited facilities to spend time
    away from your desk at lunch times etc having
    social networking sites available can give some
    light relief away from the hectic work schedule
  • especially during winter when lunchtimes are
    spent more indoors as long as sit is used
    properly to peoples advantage
  • I do think it is a good stress reliever and sets
    you up for the afternoon and it is nice to be
    able to communicate with colleagues at work that
    do not have the IT infrastructure at home. I
    cannot comment on Twitter as I am not a user.
  • I don't see why we shouldnt continue with
    access, if you're on your lunch break. Most
    people use their phones though I would think.
  • I found myself actually taking more 'relaxation
    time' by checking my personal facebook and
    Twitter feeds during lunchtime instead of working
    through as I often do when sat at my desk all
  • I personally have no interest in it. But as long
    as it doesn't interfere with work commitments,
    then it may be a good idea - as much for
    improving morale amongst (some) staff, as
    anything else.
  • I think it a mainstream form of communication now
    and therefore valuable for receiving info.
    Example - I knew we had a fire at the Conway
    Hotel because I saw it on Facebook - it was not
    on Ceefax at the time.
  • I think staff should be able to spend their lunch
    hour persuing which ever activities they desire.
  • Perhaps some info can be given on what council
    pages/groups are available on facebook or twitter
    (sorry if they're really obvious to find, I've
    just not seen or heard of them before!).
  • If access is not continued it will prevent
    contact with others and also stop the instant
    access to information.
  • Increasingly, they are used alongside or instead
    of email. So as long as people use them
    sensibly, having access at work should be
  • It is a form of communication just like any
    other, staff should be allowed to communicate
    with customers using this media.
  • it is all about staff care. If it is accessed in
    lunch times, it is good staff care. It also shows
    that the organisation trusts its staff.
  • It is only on for a limited time so enables you
    to catch up in your lunch hour. Also enables you
    to look up business facebook pages i.e. the
    Council, Parkfield etc which wouldn't normally be

  • people will only access it at other times via
    their phones if not allowed
  • Social media in an increasingly important medium
    for promotion and is cost effective. Everyone in
    an organisation needs to be an ambassador for
    their work, and by using social media we can
    increase profile free of charge.
  • Staff are our biggest asset and whilst there are
    risks with using social media in the work place,
    I think we should give staff the trust and
    freedom to use social media. Local Authorities
    have always operated in their own way but the
    world is moving at a fast pace and social media
    is a big part of that. We cannot expect to fully
    embrace social media in terms of communicating
    with our customers, if we can't do it in-house.
  • We can already access other sites such as news,
    shopping and other games sites that we can use at
    lunch time so adding Facebook and Twitter isn't
    that different.
  • We cannot ignore social media and should be
    embracing it and making it part of our daily
  • We rely heavily on public support and keeping the
    community informed. In planning public opinion is
    so important. Our current means of communication
    do not engage a large part of the community.
  • Why not? It is outside of work time and adds to
    the employees enjoyment / satisfaction if he /
    she can organise social / personal life during
    their own free time.
  • Yes, in this climate of cut backs and recession
    we need something positive, it doesn't cost
    anything and makes us all very happy. A happy
    staff member is a productive one
  • Also consider using web casts for Council
    meetings etc, Liverpool are a good example of how
    this can be used.
  • I think it is already good that meeting dates and
    consultations plus important news like roadworks
    and weather warnings are published on the Council
    facebook page, but I think more can be done by
    setting up project pages and allowing staff
    access to be admins for these pages. It can be a
    good way of publicising a project that has
    community or business interest, and sometimes it
    would be useful to do this slightly separate to
    the council or TDA banner, as that can deter
    people from getting involved. For example if a
    special interest group was set up for an issue
    which is slightly contentious, if it was branded
    'save ...' or 'what should be done with ...' e.g.
    the Banjo/seafront/Oldway/Schools etc, then I
    think people would join and share their views
    more than if it was a post on the council's
    facebook page, where people will go just to have
    a moan or complain, rather than be constructive.
  • I think it's a good idea for the Council to
    communicate more with social media as social
    media is massive and it would be good to keep
    pace with that, especially a way to communicate
    to younger people how have there phones
    permanently attached to there hands.
  • I think social media is the way to communicate
    with many under represented groups and should be
    used a professional communication tool.

  • It is the present and will be part of the future.
    The council cannot afford to lag behind.
  • Like e-mail social media is a form of
    communication, it will become as common as email
    in the future in business practice.
  • Many local authorities have found that using
    social media in terms of 'promoting' services
    doesn't work. That's not the purpose of social
    media. Some have found that by using 'hooks' such
    as tweeting the locations/routes of gritters
    during winter etc, is a great way to engage with
    residents. Social media is fantastic but has to
    be viewed from a two-way perspective, i.e. what
    messages do we want to issue, but more
    importantly what messages do our customers want
    to hear!
  • Our current consultations with the community
    involve those who have the time or money to
    engage. With the need for Neighbourhood Planning,
    social media has the potential to reach large
    parts of the community young and old who don't
    buy the Herald and want information in small
    snippits. The recycling roll out last year would
    have been so much easier if we where giving
    information on a daily basis on what was
    happening and which communities where doing best.
  • Our customers use social media and expect to find
    out information and engage with us through it. I
    am not sure whether all staff should be able to
    engage in this way, or limit it to only certain
    departments such as our customer contact teams.
    Probably the latter makes more sense. The use
    during lunchtimes is more for individual social
    use, and if it helps staff to communicate with
    each other then it can be a good thing.
    Otherwise I don't really think it is any
    different to allowing other private web use
    during lunchtime as long as it is done on the
    employees time.
  • Social media is becoming more and more important
    so I think it would be a great to look at
    training up more staff in the basics and
    embracing it more fully to improve communication
    across the council and with our customers
  • Social media is going to become more and more
    useful in the future so the sooner we embrace it
    the better
  • Social media is the only way to communicate with
    customers. Posters and fliers do not work
    anymore. Most people have a social web page link
    on there phones and check them on a daily basis,
    there is no other type of media that reaches so
    many people instantly.
  • Social Media is the way that communication is
    going, whether for social purposes or for
    business. The Council does therefore need to
    accommodate this. However, the Council's current
    IT infrastructure just isn't 'man enough' for the
    job and will require upgrading to enable the use
    of social media without impacting work
  • Some private companies, especially those in IT,
    research and information gathering (all Council
    tasks) have already stopped using email and use
    SM instead. Although we don't need to go that far
    yet I think this will come eventually as it
    covers the best of both worlds - instant response
    without having to go and "see" someone which may
    be inefficient.

  • The world is changing less people read newspapers
    and even news sites, it will enable us to reach
    far wider than before.
  • There's no point ignoring it. But again, I think
    people would benefit from knowing how to use it
    in the context of work issues.
  • I think most people are familiar with how social
    media works (through things like facebook and
    twitter) so we should be making the most of this.
    Having a social networking sight to share
    business ideas and developments can only be a
    good thing, we can discover examples of best
    practice, explore different methods of working
    and share invaluable knowledge.
  • To be honest, why waste officer time and money on
    this survey? Why doesn't somebody simply make a
    justified decision? I would be amazed if private
    companies would engage is this frivolous
    exercise. I would respectfully suggest that the
    management decide to allow access to facebook etc
    during lunch time hours. Why? Well, why not? It's
    outside of core hours and keeps the staff happy.
    I don't think the extra broadband usage would
    cost the council any more money. It's a win-win,
    at no cost, and to be frank, this did not need an
    all staff survey. What we need is solid
    leadership and direction.
  • We could have more control over the admin of
    council pages. Allowing better use of the
    internet to promote our wonderful organisation.
    For community engagement the internet is a useful
    and modern tool.
  • We should move with the times, so many people use
    social media now it is taking over previous forms
    of communication!
  • We also need to rephrase this and stop calling it
    social media - its just social and for any
    council department thinking of interacting with
    residents and visitors social online is the place
    every strategy should start as its the most cost
    effective, cleanest (green) and effective way of
    reaching an audience - not at the expense of
    other ways of working but as central to strategy.
    As long as staff are trained it will be no
    problem there is an easy rule of thumb - 'never
    put anything online in a work capacity which you
    would not say to someone face to face or in an
  • Young people communicate in a very different way
    than has ever been popular before and working
    with young people can be made more difficult if
    we cannot communicate with them as they
    communicate with each other. For these reasons
    (rather than personal reasons) I advocate the use
    of Facebook access, although it would be more
    convenient if this was not for a limited time
    each day.

Not so good
  • there should be a distinction between social and
    business messages. These can blur that line and
    result in inappropriate comments being published
    to a large audience.
  • Haven't used it. Our "customers" are claimants,
    so I think it would be totally inappropriate
  • I do not think its a good idea to allow social
    media sites in the lunchtime because who is
    actually monitoring that individuals are not
    using the sites and then going out to lunch.
  • Staff need to be here to work, no temptations in
    the way.
  • Unfortunately, it has made the internet far
    slower to use over the lunchtime period which can
    be really frustrating when I'm actually trying to
    use the internet for work.
  • Was in initial stages of exploring if facebook
    would be feasible to promote our services but due
    to short pilot not enough time to get it up and
  • We have a couple of facilities in the modern
    office workspace called telephones and email. We
    already spend a considerable amount of taxpayer
    money on these facilities and they are perfectly
    suitable to allow colleagues to communicate
    effectively and work together. I can see no
    justifiable reason to spend more money on a
    system that will give us nothing extra than we
    already have. I think the general public would
    agree with this viewpoint.
  • "Lunchtime" is 12 noon to 2pm and some will take
    advantage. Also, accessing these sites and
    obtaining information about friends/family could
    lead to a distraction from work for the rest of
    the day.
  • easy way to be pulled up for saying the wrong
    thing or data protection breaching
  • facebook can be accessed on phones and it will be
    difficult to manage time for some people I am not
    confident that everyone will use it responsibly
  • I previously managed a team (not any longer) and
    I think there are enough distractions in an
    office with email and internet access without
    opening this up. With a lot of people also
    having smart phones I think if they want to
    access these sites they already can. It's just
    creating another issue for managers.
  • I think it is appropriate to use the existing
    corporate Facebook and Twitter sites but do not
    think it is necessary for council staff to be
    accessing their own personal accounts through
    council hardware (they can do this if they so
    wish through their own personal IT e.g. smart
    phones, tablets, etc. in their own time).

Not so good
  • It is a useful tool to reach some groups, I know
    the street wardens use it to chat with the junior
    street wardens. The problem is that as the
    council's use of it as a communication channel
    grows, its utility for the individual reduces
    because it becomes an irritation. When I did use
    Facebook, I would not follow any company, brand
    or organisation on principal.
  • There is very little productivity benefit and a
    great potential for abuse, both intentional and
    unintentional, with regards to use of Social
    Networking within the organisation. There is
    space for Facebook and Twitter in communicating
    the Council's intentions but this should be
    limited to those who need it. The open nature and
    lack of accountability that Social Networking
    provides can only harm the council if this
    facility remains.
  • as a team that is busy we felt that if someone
    had time to look at social media during their
    lunchtime it was insulting to us as we work very
  • In my opinion, Social Media is a personal animal.
    I realise that commerce is increasingly using it
    for marketing and sales, but I do not see how it
    is relevant to a local authority. I suppose it
    could be useful for customers to communicate with
    the organisation, but not for internal
    communications. Email and intranet take care of
    that very well, not to mention telephones and
    even, heaven forbid, face to face contact!
  • Targeted communications should be used - we are
    bombarded with general emails etc. and social
    media sites just give access to even more
    generalised information that, when the time taken
    to read it is taken into consideration, wastes an
    inordinate amount of time for very little gain.
  • The Council already has many ways to communicate.
    From what I understand about social media, it is
    a way of communicating to lots of people. I am
    concerned that if the Council puts out too much
    on social media and then, for some reason, has a
    change of policy, the information already widely
    distributed in the public domain will be used for
    legal challenges against the Council. Social
    Media is OK for, for example, advising the public
    of how to contact the Council for various issues,
    stating general policies, but not for specifics
    or individual cases.
  • Social media has advantages, however, it is time
    consuming Working with children it caused a lot
    of problems with on line bullying and harassment
    The only use I would want to see is for nominated
    people to be able to look at face book in
    relation to CP issues
  • Social media only works if there is already an
    established culture of good communication. Torbay
    needs to improve communication across the board
    and encourage challenge and views of dissent, not
    just positive.
  • Whilst i do feel that there are some
    circumstances in which it is a good idea to use
    social networks I also feel that social networks
    require moderation to ensure that anything posted
    is appropriate

  • Appendix C
  • Additional comments on internal
  • communications across the council

How can we improve internal communications?
  • 1) More briefing sessions with staff. 2) Senior
    managers being seen...the old fashioned walk the
    floor occasionally. 3) Each department to have a
    news letter. 4) All changes should have a fully
    argued report not just structure charts and job
    descriptions, bad example of this in the
    Childrens Services Business Support review. 5)
    Manager briefing sessions so managers can manage
    staff. Example of when this didn't happen and
    caused real problems...Essential car allowance
  • Although communication has improved, much
    information still comes via the Herald etc and
    department communication is still relatively
  • I think generally communication internally works
    well but my impression is that the flow down is
    better than up and across. How about some cross
    department forums or something. I suppose that
    was what Yammer is about its just I have not had
    time to use it.
  • clearer messages, including clear "do's and
    don'ts" less jargon some of the internal
    communication is still quite high on jargon,
    particularly communication relating to the
    strategic direction of the council / budget, etc.
  • Continue with the news bulletins.
  • Co-operation from the News and Communications
    team is good. But this needs to keep improving so
    that staff needing to communicate out important
    information Council wide, are confident in the
    current internal communication options and
    continue to use them as appropriate.
  • Daily news is a valuable way of communication as
    we used to get lots of spurious emails,
    condensing them into one is good. Some form of
    chat facility would be good as it would enable
    multi tasking and keep phone lines free
  • Don't over promise under deliver. If you say
    you are going to make team meetings compulsory
    then why are you not doing something about those
    managers that dont have them!
  • Encourage departments to have as much relevant
    information as possible on their intranet pages.
    We are starting to do this and it is already
    proving useful.
  • Ensure Team meetings take place on a regular
    basis. I haven't had a team meeting for years!
  • Face to face, walking the floors, using various
    media forms to get across the important messages.
    Improve two way communication
  • Fewer "strategies" and more real, face to face
  • Get the Chief Exec and Mayor back and engaging
    with the work force as they did 18 months ago. It
    was very useful and gave those that wanted it a
    chance to help to address Torbay's problems.
  • I always look forward to these emails/info/newslet
    ters, they are both interesting and informative.
    Definitely keep this up, I feel I have a much
    better insight into what goes on elsewhere within
    the council. I think we receive them often
    enough so for the moment I can't think of any
  • I believe internal communications are good. As
    for knowing what is going on in my department, I
    am involved in certain meetings that I Minute so
    am aware, however, my colleagues may disagree.

How can we improve internal communications?
  • I think internal communications has completely
    revolutionised, especially over the last 12
    months. At the moment, I'm not sure what else
    could be added to the internal communications
    strategy. I feel that there are more than
    adequate measures in place for staff to feel
    informed, and to take responsibility for their
    own internal comms.
  • I think it would be really good if the council
    created a 'chill out' room for staff to
    congregate at lunch times, perhaps you could have
    a few PCs in there with access to Facebook etc
    and maybe a TV. It would be nice to have some
    where to go to eat my lunch away from my desk
    without having to leave the building. Also, I
    would get to meet people who I do not usually
    work with, therefore promoting good working
    relationships and a more social atmosphere rather
    than passing strangers in the corridors. I think
    this would inevitably improve comms.
  • I think the internal communication has been a
    great improvement, putting all the news into one
    shot at the end of the day is much better.
  • I think the news emails should have a bit more
    news on them. On days where there is nothing but
    the jobs update, perhaps the FM updates can go on
    there, as quite often there will be nothing in
    news apart from jobs so it gets instantly
    deleted, but there may be important 'other news'
    on the intranet. I know that it is not always
    relevant to everyone which is why it has been
    done this way, but I think as there is only one
    email per day, it would be good to have more on
    it. I also think if the news emails could put
    each story within a box it would be easier to
    read than the bulleted list way it is done at the
    moment as some of the stories are quite long and
    then smaller ones can be missed.
  • I think you're doing a good job.
  • In any large organisation it is impossible and
    unnecessary to keep everyone appraised of every
    development all the time, and with everyone's
    busy workloads, there will always be the
    occasional 'breakdown of communications'. It's
    just one of those things that you have to keep
    tweaking, but I think the Council's own
    procedures are very good and probably puts many
    authorities internal communications mechanisms to
  • In terms of work, wherever possible integrate
    reporting mechanisms. We use Flare, Highways use
    Mayrise and there are others. If information were
    to be shared using a common system, problems we
    all probably deal with separately would be
    flagged up and officers would speak to each other
    without any concerted effort.
  • Instill the idea that everyone has shared
    responsibility for internal and external
    communications, regardless of their job.
  • It would be helpful if access problems were part
    of the News as is lift maintenance now.
  • It would be nice to know a bit more about the
    Council in general and what areas are covered by
    each department, with all the recent moves and
    name changes to depts it has gotten a bit
    confusing to be honest!
  • Managers need to filter down more directly
    changes in policy and consult more before
    changing There seems to be a policy of sending
    lots of information out and the expectation that
    staff can read it all For example significant and
    numerous changes to HR policies, procedure and
    recent legislation means that you can only read
    so much otherwise you spend more time reading
    then actually doing your core job. Solution any
    change in police or procedure at all levels
    should have an executive summary or key points
    bullet points to enable a quick read and then if
    required further reading if relevant.

How can we improve internal communications?
  • More departments get involved with the newsletter
    to explain what they do etc.
  • Only tell us what we need to know and merely give
    us a brief description and point us in the
    direction of sites which give us information that
    we may need to know.
  • Partnership projects are the way forward
    cross/cutting schemes whereby we work together
    and departments add value to each others schemes.
  • Provide more information in an easier format on
    the intranet in one known/obvious place.
  • staff should have a friendly approach to each
    other in all departments and this is what needs
    to be worked on - depts working better together
    face to face not over a computer all the time.
  • Team talks were introduced some time ago but I
    have only received one in the last 9 months. Our
    team has been split between buildings and floors
    and invitations to others team talks have been
    taken away. Although communication across the
    Council seems to be improving within our
    department it is at an all time low.
  • The daily news update is just deleted by a large
    number of staff - too frequent, too difficult to
    access the information. A simple weekly
    newsletter with everything available on that
    newsletter without consulting other sites is much
    more readily accessed and absorbed, and such a
    newsletter was more widely read, so staff were
    better informed.
  • The emails, although informative, can often be
    ignored simply because of the workload that many
    users experience within their email. Outlook
    includes the ability to manage RSS feeds. If the
    info was changed to an RSS feed then it would
    separate it from email, which could be focused
    around work, and be provided in a much more
    manageable way.
  • The end of the day email is a great idea and I
    always read it. Unfortunately it doesn't give
    enough information. I still never know what is on
    and where! I don't listen to local radio or read
    a local newspaper therefore social media is the
    only way I find out what is going on and at the
    moment I never do! Team talk is waste of time. It
    only gives information that we had through the
    grapevine weeks before. We're adults, you can
    tell us that something MAY be happening and we
    understand that. It gives us information around
    management structure and changes and there is not
    enough information about things that affect
    frontline staff.
  • The use of SM is a step in the right direction.
  • There is a disparity of communications depending
    upon who the Commissioner/Executive Head/Manager
    is - some have different communication styles.,
    which means that information is selectively
    passed on and others have no communication skills
    meaning that there is no information passed down
    at all. There are others that pass information on
    very well, of course, but it will depend what
    information they have themselves received as to
    whether that is a true and accurate picture.
    I do not see how this can be improved by a change
    in Council policy, for example. This is more to
    do with the attitudes and behaviour of
    individuals which is more difficult to tackle and

How can we improve internal communications?
  • These are difficult times. Restructuring and
    reorganisations are all too common and it is rare
    that the necessary business case is made openly
    available beyond the need to save money. More
    explicit detail would help people understand and
    appreciate why they are likely to lose their jobs
    and longer lead in periods would mean that making
    alternative arrangements was facilitated. So,
    publish long term plans in more detail and at
    least give the appearance that the comments made
    in response are valued and not ignored.
  • Whilst It's Good To Talk has improved general
    communications it still misses the detail that
    most people are interested in. There is still a
    widely-held belief that trying to get useful
    information out of senior management about
    consultations and directions they are taking is a
    futile task. Now we have adopted Yammer it
    would be useful to have an open group set up for
    each staff consultation and allow free discussion
    with input from the consultation
    commissioners/advisors. Staff could then
    subscribe to updates on any consultation that was
    of interest to them and it would encourage more
    open discussion and a feeling that the exercises
    where not simply ticking boxes before the
    organisation does what it always intended to do
  • Would be nice to have a smile and hello day
    through out the council as people pass you by
    and not even mention hi or good morning I just
    think it would be polite Not all people are
    included in this observation