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Australian Catholic University

How a university digitized their communications with Workplace

At Australian Catholic University (ACU), it’s about seeing the whole person and their full potential, and inspiring staff, students and graduates to make a difference. The national university was founded in 1991 based on the Catholic values of truth, compassion, dignity for others, and a commitment to upholding the common good.

Challenge

One of their biggest challenges was finding a way to bring together the 2,500 researchers, educators, and support staff who work across ACU’s eight campuses. In addition, the university wanted to break down the siloes between faculty and professional staff.

With Workplace for Good, educational institutions such as ACU have full Workplace Premium membership for free, along with the features, support, and enterprise-grade security that comes with it.

Results

76% of staff said their sense of connectedness improved with Workplace

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63% of staff said that Workplace created more opportunities to collaborate

13% decrease in perceived reliance on email

33% improvement in staff saying that ACU's communication channels made it easy to share updates on projects

Statistics gathered during a 4-month pilot period.

How Workplace helped

Turning environmental sustainability ideas into action

For ACU’s National Sustainability Manager, Mark Doggett, Workplace was the perfect platform on which to rally university staff together and combat the issue of landfill caused by disposable coffee cups. Mark created the group ‘Sustainability @ ACU’ which gained strong traction across internal departments. His regular posts in the group often used humor to encourage interaction in the form of likes, comments and suggestions and gave a real sense of urgency to the issue.

Within two and a half months, Mark and his colleagues were able to convince all cafe operators on campus to offer people a discount on using reusable cups, instead of their environmentally harmful counterparts.

Opening up inter-departmental dialogues

Due to the siloed organizational structure of the university, staff often felt disconnected from each other. Many departments operate as self-sufficient units, with lecturers, researchers and professional staff collaborating inwardly on their own curriculum and services.

Workplace has opened up a new kind of peer-to-peer dialogue and inter-departmental knowledge sharing that did not exist at the university before. Within just four months of adopting Workplace, 76% of staff in the pilot rollout said their sense of connectedness had improved and 63% said that Workplace created more opportunities to collaborate.

Letting go of old-school communication tools

For ACU, traditional methods of communication had started to feel outdated and restrictive.

Implementing Workplace was a simple way to make ACU more digitally savvy and to invigorate their internal communications. With familiar features like a News Feed, profile pages, and tagging options, staff were quickly able to become familiar with Workplace and start trialing new ways of working that didn’t include emails and newsletters. After four months of piloting Workplace, ACU reported a 13% decrease in perceived reliance on email and a 33% improvement in staff saying that ACU’s communication channels made it easy to share updates on projects.

“Workplace helped us deliver a huge turnaround in employee sentiment within the first four months of using it, increasing satisfaction with employee communications and creating a greater sense of connectedness. Our colleagues have embraced Workplace because it has empowered everyone to share their knowledge, networks and ideas across the organisation. It has helped us to break down communication barriers, particularly between employees and senior leaders. It has made our organisation stronger.”

– Dr Stephen Weller
Chief Operating Officer at ACU

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