How Employee Engagement Technology is Helping to Solve the UK Housing Shortage
By Geraldine Osman, CMO, StaffConnect
With its sights set on delivering 2,000 homes by 2020 and 5,000 homes in the next five years, ilke Homes has high ambitions to help with the UK’s affordable housing crisis and is fast becoming recognized as a major player in the housing industry. The company works in partnership with many of the UK’s leading housebuilders, developers, suppliers, registered providers and local authorities to help create sustainable communities.
The home builder needed a way to more effectively communicate and share its mission—which is to deliver precision-engineered, energy efficient homes at scale, helping to address the UK’s demand for housing—with a diverse group of employees across multiple locations in real time.
Looking for a technology solution to address these needs, ilke Homes embraced an employee engagement platform as the best way to ensure that all staff throughout the entire organization were not only well aware of the company’s mission, but also understood exactly what they personally could do in their individual role to help achieve it.
Construction timelines can be thwarted by a variety of factors, including weather conditions, access issues, human error, and worker shortages. ilke Homes has a unique way of overcoming this issue. When building, the company uses modern construction methods that help eliminate these issues to such a degree that its modular homes can be installed on site at a rate of six homes each day. With this significant increase in build times, ilke can create modular homes in less than half the time of traditionally built houses. It is such a different approach and skillset compared to traditional housing construction that 85 percent of ilke Homes’ employees do not come from a construction background; the company hires employees from many different backgrounds.
Despite the urgency and importance of its mission, ilke’s management faced a common challenge: many of its employees worked in the field rather than at a desk, so communicating to everyone could be difficult. Many non-desk-employees (NDEs) had no desktop computer or even access to a laptop, so these remote staff could end up cut off from company information and resources.
The company also wanted to consolidate its internal communication into one platform, having realized that attempting to use multiple tools like email and intranet left NDEs out of the loop. To succeed, the company knew it needed to fully engage its employees with a communications model that went beyond traditional methods. In addition to wanting an engagement solution that would be easy for all employees to access, implement, and use, it also wanted to ensure open two-way communication between workers in the field/production site and management at headquarters.
While such communication traditionally went only one way, from management to staff, ilke sought a way for staff to become equal participants in information exchange so that they could share their perspectives, viewpoints, and best practices with their managers and peers.
The company explored several possible solutions to help reach these goals, and ultimately decided that a mobile solution was the best way to facilitiate its communication. Its search led to a mobile engagement solution from StaffConnect, which helped them:
- Share their efforts with employees, including NDEs, to make it clear how the company provides housing to local communities, and how the work that each person does contributes to the community.
- Facilitate an inclusive culture where people want to contribute to reaching the company’s goal of getting more people into inspiring, energy efficient housing.
- Unify communications, enabling easy delivery of other key company news, such as status updates about the company’s progress toward its goal.
- Effectively share information across the organization and among work groups via open two-way communication between workers in the field/production site and management back at headquarters.
- Improve engagement, sustainability, and innovation to transparency and full company information exchange.
- Increase management’s ability to gather key data points and worker feedback for ongoing analysis in relation to engagement.
- Promote employee benefits such as local supplier discounts.
By adopting an employee engagement platform, ilke Homes realized a number of big-picture benefits as well. Improving engagement levels meant that the company not only boosted internal productivity, performance, and its own bottom line but also helped foster community objectives and address real world problems, including the housing crisis in the UK.
For more information, visit StaffConnect at https://www.staffconnectapp.com.
About the Author:
Geraldine Osman is the Chief Marketing Officer for StaffConnect, a provider of mobile employee engagement solutions.