How Citizens Advice are using Workplace and bots to change the way people work.
Automating tasks & improving job performance.
Citizens Advice is a network of independent charities throughout the United Kingdom that provides free, confidential information and advice to assist people with their problems.
To make their well-oiled machine run smoothly, they began the journey to bots on Workplace to enable their staff to have quick and easy access to the information, knowledge, and tools they need to do their jobs.
As a company dedicated to providing the information people need to move forward, improving accessibility to that information for staff was essential for growth and improved company performance.
Pandora Longstreth, Workplace Engagement Officer at Citizens Advice, wanted her staff to spend less time on mundane tasks so they could spend more time on bigger things, like supporting their communities.
Before implementing bots on Workplace, internal communication and accessibility to information was fractured. Old-school communications tactics were creating roadblocks in day-to-day operations for their 30,000 staff members and volunteers.
They needed a solution to open up the communication pipeline and make content delivery easy, but wanted to place emphasis on keeping those conversations personal and helpful.
Since adopting The Bot Platform to their Workplace instance, Citizens Advice have created a number of bots that are helping their staff be more productive at work by automating internal processes and content delivery in a variety of ways.
The Review bot was built by Citizens Advice to survey staff on how they are finding Workplace. Staff can enter information about the ease of use and their confidence in using Workplace, which features they like the most, and which areas of Workplace they would like to receive more information or training on. The bot can then direct staff members to educational Workplace groups and resources.
This initial bot served another purpose – helping Pandora and her team learn how to build bots by solving a simple problem first, then tackling bigger things down the road once they had key learnings from this experience.
Staff conference bot
This bot was used to communicate with attendees for their annual staff conference. The bot sent out broadcasts to groups of staff and provided them with information about the event including the agenda, logistical and travel details. Using the bot, staff could also access conference content including information about their annual staff awards which included the ability to see the award shortlist and vote on who should win. After the conference took place, the bot then acted as a post event survey to gather feedback on what attendees enjoyed and what could be improved for next year.
Diversity data bot
The Diversity Data bot was built to try and get staff to update their details within the HR system. This was a big internal push at Citizens Advice, and team members were sending out company-wide comms all week attempting to prompt members to complete the task.
To help push people to action, Pandora created the Diversity Data bot and prompted users to engage with it by creating a fun “Friday Quiz” for those who completed the task. Staff were completing the required task so they could engage with something fun instead of feeling like they were being reminded to do the same thing over and over again. With an already busy team, the Diversity Data bot helped automate a HR process and nudge staff members to complete their profiles.
New starter bot
The most recent bot that has been built by Pandora and her team has helped to automate the onboarding process for new hires at Citizens Advice. The bot automatically greets new starters on their first day and helps introduce them to their team members through a guided experience that encourages them to start posting to Workplace and engaging with the platform.
The New Starter bot also provides information of use to new hires, such as floor plans for different Citizens Advice offices, company FAQs and links to brand guidelines and HR policies.
The Stand Up bot was built to save the Communications team at Citizens Advice time. Being such a large organization with remote workers, there can be a lot to communicate in each team. Within the Communications department there are smaller teams like social media and events, so everyone is working on something different at the same time. The problem Pandora identified was that people did not know where everyone was or what they were working on. Someone could be working on building a flyer for an upcoming event when there could have been multiple team members who had already built a template. As a team, they needed to be more linked together to make everyone more productive.
With bots, Citizens Advice is able to bridge that gap between Workplace and information sharing across the organization. Using the bots post to Group feature, team members can have a full and detailed written report every morning so they can really understand what colleagues are doing and respond with questions in the comments underneath.
Before using bots, the Citizens Advice team members were spending their time on the wrong things.
New starters used to spend 30 minutes alone trying to figure out where they should begin on their first day. Processes were confusing and there wasn’t a singular place staff could go to access information.
In terms of the Stand Up bot, the Citizens Advice comms team used to have a Monday stand up with everyone, but this quickly grew to 30-45 minutes spent just to get through everyone. Teams were only given a small glimpse into what everyone was working on.
With bots, Pandora is able to automate internal processes and content delivery which is saving staff huge amounts of time but also being received incredibly well by users, with their first two bots getting over 90% positive feedback. More so, bots are also helping to increase understanding of and engagement with Workplace as an internal communication and collaboration platform at Citizens Advice.
A massive goal of bots for Citizens Advice was to change how people work. Bots enabled them to understand what they can do to help staff succeed by using Workplace to create a collaborative business culture.
hours a month given back to each comms team member
positive feedback on their first two bots launched
minutes saved for new hires with each given the same key information and introduction
messages sent to staff
A massive part of it is changing how people work, what we can do to help them do that, and using bots to change our culture and break down barriers between teams.
Workplace Engagement Officer
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