The Government’s COI Communications agency has overhauled its training and
improved communications in response to findings from a staff survey.
It showed staff wanted bespoke training, more inter-department communication,
better career planning and greater recognition.
COI’s HR director Emma Lochhead set up 20 focus groups to examine specific
areas of concern. This highlighted worries over lack of leadership training. To
address this, the organisation puts all new and promoted staff through a
residential leadership course to provide them with a broader business
The focus groups found although staff were happy with information received,
they felt there was no forum for feedback. The agency formed a 15-man committee
"This gives us an upward and downward communication channel to the
board where staff can raise individual or departmental issues," said
COI has also identified 25 new training programmes it will run based on
survey feedback. "People can now request the training they want to do and
when it is convenient," said Lochhead.
She has also introduced two award schemes to reward staff for coming up with
good ideas and going beyond the call of duty.