EngagementHR Distinction Spotlight: Revamping engagement at Connect Health

HR Distinction Spotlight: Revamping engagement at Connect Health

HRD Connect delves into the successful and monumental engagement journey that Connect Health have been on in the past 18 months.

Many organisations strive to go through a transformational journey and guarantee global success. To overcome these challenges, businesses must undertake numerous changes over many years. This can heavily impact culture, talent, and strategic focus.

Through these monumental changes, HR plays a key role in maintaining and aligning a consistent experience for their workforce in times of uncertainty. This week, we look at Connect Health and its employee engagement journey. Connect Health aimed to transform the engagement and communication within their organisation.


Connect Health is currently the largest independent provider of musculoskeletal services in the UK – serving over 300,000 NHS patients every year. The business hires over 550 colleagues ranging from diverse backgrounds. Over the last 3 years, Connect Health has seen significant growth required roles for the business to operate. A refreshed HR strategy was needed with a specific focus on culture and engagement, to bring all employees together to foster a sense of community.

Being a clinically lead organisation, Connect Health relies on its colleagues more than most to achieve their objectives. The business strives to improve the lives of patients. Having motivated, engaged colleagues across the organisation is essential to their success. Therefore, their focus was to communicate and engage with their workforce in innovative ways to ensure a sense of belonging and commitment to the Connect Health community.

This strategy spread over 18 months; Connect Health’s main goals were to:

Refresh company values: as they continually grow at a rapid rate, revisiting their current values would underpin their strategy in maintaining positive behaviour in the workplace.

Create an internal people brand:  Connect Health wanted to provide a consistent and vibrant brand for all internal activities and workspaces.

Design an internal communication channel plan: the organisation aimed to strengthen communication through innovative digital channels.

Increase team presence and learning: improving the skill level of their teams through face-to-face and online methods would aid them in developing new approaches to work.

Introduce employee awards and celebration events: adding rewards into their strategy would allow staff to celebrate success and boost staff morale.

To further aid the implementation of this strategy, their executive teams now hold face-to-face business updates twice a year, to provide a quarterly interactive strategic newsletter.

Furthermore, they also have time dedicated to focus more on communication.

“We provide 3 hours of dedicated team time every 3 weeks, focused on continuous professional development and a chance to build relationships,” said Jenna Davy, Head of Organisational Development, Connect Health.

“We also promote forums called ‘Clinical chat’, where employees can share and discuss experiences. We encourage charity challenges and participation in awareness days.”

With new apps and communications tools, Connect Health’s values remain at the centre of the business.

“Our values are not just words, we want colleagues to understand and believe them,” continued Jenna.

“This would not be possible without our workforce – so we partnered with co-workers to design our values. We gained input from 95% of colleagues and our launch saw teams coming together for innovative, outdoor, and fun workshops.”

Over the past 18 months, Connect Health has made tremendous progress in employee engagement. They focused on the foundations of the business, which enabled the organisation to reach, engage, and interact with a wide range of employees from diverse backgrounds.

The company succeeded in making progress on the people brand, rehauling their internal communications, ensuring continuous professional development, and refreshing the company values.

These changes are paying off, as they have seen significant improvements to workplace engagement levels.

“Our last ‘Great Place to Work’ colleague survey saw an 89% response rate. And four out of five employees attended our non-mandatory event – a significantly higher percentage than the previous event,” continued Jenna.

Connect Health has also seen a reduction in their sickness absence rates – which decreased by 17% in just 3 years.

Connect Health has succeeded in rehauling their HR strategy. They saw it as a priority to create a strong community within their workforce and so dedicated a vast amount of time and resources to improve employee engagement and culture.

These changes have helped employees to feel a sense of purpose and belonging, while increasing the chances of the business being successful in growing their workforce in the coming years.

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