Today, Cara works with more than 700 children and adults living with a disability and employs over 1,000 staff members who Cara calls their “Possible People”. Cara’s staff work in small teams in people’s homes and in the community right across South Australia supporting people with disabilities to live their everyday lives. Cara needed an innovative way to communicate with its workforce. More than that, they wanted to connect with staff and build a more centralized culture, while maintaining strong roots throughout the community.
From the suburbs of Adelaide, down to Mount Gambier in the South East, Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula and everywhere in between, Cara provides independent living services, short term accommodation and support to people with disabilities throughout the vast state of South Australia. However, when it came to internal communication, this was mostly confined to Cara’s head office in Hindmarsh.
Staff in head office were heavily reliant on email, however, logging into email wasn’t a convenient way for frontline staff to receive information and they were missing out on vital pieces of the organizational conversation. There were a lot of exciting and important achievements happening as Cara staff worked alongside customers, but it was being missed by the rest of the organization. As for the Cara news that was shared internally, this mostly happened via a monthly e-newsletter that often felt out of date by the time it was circulated. The conversation was more one-way than a true sharing of ideas.
This siloed communication had created barriers between teams, and a fragmented culture. Cara needed a way for the Cara community to be on the same page, particularly Cara’s Support Workers.
More than just putting better communication channels in place, Cara’s management team was looking for a way to connect and engage with staff in real-time.
Location: South Australia
User Adoption Rate: 87%
Workplace Mobile App Adoption Rate: 80%
“For the support workers on the ground providing services to our customers, we wanted them to feel part of the Cara community. We wanted them to feel respected, included, and important, as they are the ones delivering the purpose and promise first-hand.”
– Liz Cohen
Chief Executive, Cara
For Cara, Workplace by Facebook’s mobile-friendly platform and easy user interface made it the perfect communication solution. Cara partnered with Enablo to set them up for success with Workplace and put a framework in place that made their team self-sufficient on the platform. The process started with an Enablo Blueprint Sprint – a customized program run by Enablo that helps companies plan, workshop, implement, and adopt Workplace. For Cara’s management team, having a subject matter expert project manage the implementation was invaluable.
“We decided to take a gradual approach to rolling out Workplace internally, rather than making it mandatory from day one. We wanted staff to choose to be there as a place to find the latest information and feel connected and proud of themselves and their colleagues. Launching in August 2017, we now have an 87% user adoption rate, and 80% of staff use the Workplace mobile app.”
Media & Communications Manager, Cara.
For Cara’s cohort of staff of all backgrounds and ages, the familiar interface of Workplace made it easy to hit the ground running. Rather than having to write lengthy emails, staff now share updates, pictures and video instantly to Groups and the News Feed. This new level of information sharing has lifted the lid on innovation and elevated the standard of service they provide to customers in the community. Staff from all corners of the state exchange ideas about how they provide care for their customers and troubleshoot challenges together in the online community that Workplace has created. Being able to comment and celebrate with GIFs is another highlight!
Recently, a staff member in Murray Bridge who was having trouble engaging with their customer saw an example of an art project that a colleague in Port Lincoln had created and replicated it with great success. Staff members are now using Workplace to record customer goals which they are achieving under the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Keeping customer goals at the forefront of everyone’s minds ensure the goals are being successfully achieved and inspires new goals for others, too.
Workplace has also helped employees do their job better. Staff teams who work with the same customers on different shifts have created their own Groups on Workplace, so that they can keep each other updated and ensure that no important information falls through the cracks between day and night shifts. Workplace is also used to facilitate service improvements, such as administering medication to customers, which is done by demonstrating best practice methods via Facebook Live.
For Cara’s marketing team, Workplace has unearthed troves of interesting and media-rich content.
“From a marketing perspective, Workplace is excellent for finding shareable content for Cara’s public social channels. We use the comments section of posts to ask permission to share content every time we want to share something, so there is total transparency about what we do.”
– Amy Noonan
Media & Communications Manager, Cara.
As a result of bringing people and teams together, Workplace has driven an enormous cultural change at Cara. Frontline staff feel included, customers actively request to have their photos and videos shared on Workplace and all employees work towards the same shared goal of empowering people in the community living with disabilities. Commitment to Cara’s Purpose and Values are seen every day on Workplace through posts and videos.
“Our Staff Recognition Group on Workplace allows employees to thank a team or staff member and champion an activity that’s gone really well. Staff feel so much pride when an experience is shared with the wider organization like that. When people are proud and happy within an organization, they become more confident in sharing their story or experience publicly to benefit the wider community.”
Chief Executive, Cara.