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The turnaround: An intranet helps a large UK Housing organization recover

Cottsway Housing Association went through a bad patch last year. A crisis of finance and the confidence of their employees.They bravely came up with a plan.

Cottsway Housing Association went through a bad patch last year. A crisis of finance and the loss of the confidence of their employees. Their regulators were threatening to shut them down. They bravely came up with a plan. First thing, let’s win our employees’ trust back. They wanted an intranet. They came across Jostle and figured our turn-key intranet would be a low-risk experiment. They could always go back to Sharepoint but they hated it. And implementing Jostle’s intranet was far cheaper and faster than upgrading what they had.

Cottsway Housing Association is a government sponsored agency that manages nearly 4000 properties for elderly and low income residents. Many of their employees rarely sit at a desk - they are in the field maintaining the properties. Three Cottsway employees came to the 2014 National Housing Federation Conference. One from management, one from IT and one from the field. They spoke in depth about the role of Jostle in connecting employees and rebuilding trust in management, and earning back critical government ratings. I need to tell you that we at Jostle had no hand in organizing this presentation, other than to send a videographer. We are really glad we did.

Their story is amazing. Along the way, employees tested leadership, and leadership showed that they meant what they said. Yes, we’re thrilled about the role our intranet played, but we are inspired by the courage these people showed in tackling a bad situation head on and winning.

Turnarounds are very, very difficult, especially when the environment is saturated with bitterness and mistrust. But Cottsway succeeded in just a few months - winning back the hearts and hands they needed to get the job done. They were upgraded by the regulator as well. Cottsway is far along on the path, not just to recovery, but well beyond.



Deb Lavoy

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