Client: London Borough of Haringey
PR Team: In-house comms unit
Campaign: Smart Thinking
Timescale: December 2000 - ongoing
Although not the worst offender in the list of underperforming London
councils, the borough of Haringey has had a troubled past.
But 2001 has seen the council undergo major changes in a bid to ensure
it moves nearer to the top of the list.
A management clearout has led the current administration to state that
its new mission is to be among the top performing councils by 2005 -
ambitious given its current near bottom placing.
Chief executive David Warwick was appointed in May 2000 and, along with
members of the council's new management, has been keen to be seen as
personally championing the changes.
Internal communications has been seen as an integral part of service
improvement and image overhaul, and Forward.programme@haring-ey was
launched by the council in September.
The strategy was to be built on existing internal communications
channels including the staff newsletter, staff briefing system and
intranet, and would see the introduction of an annual staff survey and
staff suggestion scheme.
Forward.programme@hari-ngey was developed to promote a 'can-do' culture
among the 9,000 staff and inform them of the council's objectives. The
'Smart Thinking' and 'Smart Listening' schemes have been devised to try
to make staff feel valued as the changes take place.
Strategy and Plan
As a result of feedback from the staff survey undertaken in the summer
of 2000, Smart Thinking and Smart Listening were to be launched in
All suggestions received are measured against a number of criteria.
In order to be implemented suggestions would have to be positive,
achievable, represent a potential cost saving and/or a clear benefit to
Staff would earn £50 for each adopted suggestion. If suggestions
were not implemented then an explanation would be provided.
Warwick was to make every other Friday afternoon available for staff to
drop in with suggestions or comments.
Both schemes were to be publicised through posters displayed on
notice-boards throughout the council, information on the intranet, a
helpline number, the staff newsletter and team briefings.
Measurement and Evaluation
To date, 121 staff suggestions have been submitted. Of these, 17 have
met the criteria and £50 cash awards have been given out.
Examples of successful suggestions include an emergency notice-board on
the council's intranet to keep staff up-to-date with traffic incidents
and roadworks; installing photo booths in the council's one-stop shops,
and; converting loft space in suitable council housing to create extra
A recent Local Government Improvement Programme visit by the IDeA
(Improvement and Development Agency) made reference to the success of
the Smart Thinking and Smart Listening campaign.
It stated that staff showed a good understanding of the council's
central mission and acknowledged their personal role in improving
services that the council offers to the public.
The report also noted the numerous positive references to Warwick's
hands-on role in improving communications, and that 'morale and
motivation among staff appeared to be generally high'.