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Real Life Options

Case study

How this national charity supports its employees with Speakap

About Real Life Options

Industry: Social support and care
Location: Works with 45 local authorities across the UK, with HQ in Knottingley
Number of employees: 2,000

Founded in 1992, Real Life Options is a national charity that supports people with learning disabilities and autism to have a strong voice and real choices in the way they live their lives.

Real Life Options believes that all people deserve the same dignity, respect, status, rights, and enablement to reach their full potential.

The challenge 

Social support and care is a high turnover industry, with an average staff turnover of 30 percent per year in the UK. Real Life Options, like many organisations, has struggled to retain staff.

The challenge Real Life Options faced was how to connect the disconnected, with 90 percent of employees based in the field with little or no access to company devices. Only around 200 desk-based employees can easily access email, which was previously the primary source of information, in addition to the quarterly in-house newsletter.

Management at Real Life Options decided they needed an app-based solution that field-based employees could download and access from their personal devices. Not all employees are technically-minded so the app needed to be intuitive and easy to use. Management also required a high level of segmentation, so specific locations and business units could be reached without spamming the entire workforce with irrelevant information.

The solution

After discovering Speakap at an event earlier in the year, Real Life Options rolled out a trial of the Speakap solution to 150 employees in December 2018. The feedback was extremely positive; trial users particularly appreciated the increased access to real-time information.

In April 2019, Real Life Options rolled out Speakap – branded internally as Real Talk – to the wider organisation. Deployment was quick and easy as Speakap synced directly to the Real Life Options HR system to assign roles, groups, and rights.

Within just a few months, the organisation saw an enormous change in the way, and the speed, that information was being shared. While content sharing from head office into the field was the primary use case, the organisation has also seen an explosion of interaction and private messaging between employees who share advice, support and best practice with each other.

In addition to the HR user sync, having a structured communications plan in place from the start has been key to delivering high adoption and usage of Speakap throughout Real Life Options.

Real Life Options 2


The results

Improved employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

  • The app empowers employees as they can reach out directly to share great ideas and good practice

  • Noteworthy stories are being captured and turned into news items on the Real Life Options website to promote the work they do
“Real Talk is a fast and easy way to share essential updates and great news from any device, at any time.Paul Cusworth, Head of IT, Business & Organisation Architecture
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