Laing O’Rourke: A three-phased approach to building a reputation for first-class internal comms and employee engagement post-Covid

Alison Boothby in conversation with Sam Bleazard, Head of Internal Comms at Laing O’Rourke

As Head of Internal Communication at global construction and infrastructure group Laing O’Rourke, Sam Bleazard is part of team with a great story to share. Their work has transformed their digital workplace and is critical to kick-starting the UK economy post COVID. Alison Boothby chatted to him to find out about his approach to employee comms and engagement, while keeping the organisation’s complex and exciting construction projects at the heart of the business during these challenging times.

THE AUTHOR

Alison Boothy, senior reporter, simplycommunicate

Alison Boothby is simply's senior reporter.

Alison Boothby in conversation with Sam Bleazard, Head of Internal Comms at Laing O’Rourke

As Head of Internal Communication at global construction and infrastructure group Laing O’Rourke, Sam Bleazard is part of team with a great story to share. Their work has transformed their digital workplace and is critical to kick-starting the UK economy post-COVID. Alison Boothby spoke to him to find out about his approach to employee comms and engagement while keeping the organisation’s complex and exciting construction projects at the heart of the business during these challenging times.

Sam had plenty to share – including live CEO and senior leadership broadcasts on pay, flexible/remote working, project updates and the extraordinary efforts of construction workers throughout the crisis. Not to mention completing two hospitals early – one in Wales and one in Liverpool.

“We have never had a more joined-up mix of corporate and operational communications. We have been able to pipe in views direct from our leaders on the ground, as well as keep in touch with furloughed colleagues live. It’s been amazing. There’s a thing about the crisis that can be good for comms people: personally, I have never felt more valued, and never felt the value of IC was higher than just now.

“It helps to appreciate that everyone has faced challenges at this time, whether you are still on the frontline and wearing PPE, nervous about using public transport; or juggling homeworking with homeschooling; or perhaps furloughed and desperate to get back to work. We have tried all along to be very sensitive to the varying challenges when considering our future ways of working. One thing that is clear is that the acceleration of our digital workplace is happening.”

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