Work Happy Podcast: Episode 8

Communication is a vital part of any business, but within the nation’s largest telecommunications provider it presents a whole host of challenges and opportunities. 

Our guest this week, BT’s Lauren Tiller, is a Communications and Engagement Manager in IT, and has been helping to lead a transformation in the tools used, liaising with comms teams and ‘Digital Champions’ to help implement them most effectively. 

Joining us on this week’s episode of the Work Happy podcast, she delves into the positive impact that video has brought to BT’s internal communications and training, how their Digital Champions have helped them to identify the ideal tech solutions through early access trials, and how BT stay ahead of the game in offering mental health and wellbeing support to staff.

This episode covers

  • Encouraging a gradual shift from traditional platforms towards new comms solutions
  • The rise of video, an information delivery format here to stay
  • BT’s tech champions leading the team’s uptake of new platforms
  • How BT tracks and uses data to engage more with their team as they change processes
  • BT’s approach to home and flexible working, and how it may evolve in the future

Employees as customers

 

“Our team works primarily with internal employees as our customers. That does include everyone from information workers, frontline staff, call centre employees, and most recently the partners that sit in other companies that BT works with. BT is so big, and it’s a real mix of people, so we have to tailor everything we do to land in each of those communities.”
[2:05]

Skype to teams

 

“With the move from Skype to Teams, it’s a bit of a phased rollout for everyone across the business so the project team can manage it properly. But I think from my point of view, that didn’t mean people couldn’t get going with it straight away and get the value out of Teams.”
[6:30]

Video for learning

 

“BT is not going to be favouring home working for much longer. They are committed to the offices that they’ve built, so I don’t know how video calls will last at BT, I think it will be less than other companies. But in terms of learning content, and rolling out new features for our team specifically, video’s definitely not going anywhere.”
[10:30]

Digital champions

 

“For the Skype to Teams campaign, we went to those digital workplace champions and said, ‘Look, we’re not going to keep bothering all of you, let’s get a subset of you who have got the time right now to really put an extra focus on helping us get this right’, and we’re grateful for them – they’re so engaged.”
[14:00]

Using radio

 

“One thing that I loved during Covid was a colleague who set up his own weekly radio show. It was so much fun. He has his own equipment and he livestreams his own radio set. He takes requests and gives shoutouts, and it’s basically 4-5 on a Friday like a drive-home thing. That was a lovely way to reach out to colleagues and try and make them feel happier at work.”
[19:40]

Intranet at the heart

 

“The intranet is heavily used in BT, it’s the heart of everything that everyone does. It’s where people go to get all of their information which is why, even though it’s considered a traditional channel, or maybe an older way, it’s still very much critical to the way that we do things at BT.”
[30:00]

Facebook Workplace

 

“Facebook Workplace is a really intuitive, really easy experience. You can access it from any computer, and you don’t even need to enrol your device to access it from your mobile phone. So I think it’s the right decision. While it might not marry up completely with Office 365, I certainly haven’t seen anyone complain about it at BT as of yet.”
[35:15]

Flexible working

 

“I think if we’re speaking in general terms, home working won’t be favoured. I don’t think they’ll be favouring that work-from-home approach for the future. But I think there’ll be taking it on a user by user basis, so actually taking everyone’s personal situation into account.”
[38:53]

Enjoy not endure

 

“I read a statistic that more than half of us think that work is something to be endured, and that stress is something to be expected, and that just comes with the job. I think ‘Work Happy’ means the opposite of that.”
[41:10]