Dairy Crest plc
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The gardens - a new approach to inclusive communication

After we carried out our first ever staff survey in 2007, staff told us that they would like to find out more about what was happening across our business and not just what was happening in their team and in their place of work. With the vast majority of our staff not office based and with most not having a work computer with a work email address this feedback presented us with a real challenge. Our solution was to build and design a secure staff website that staff can access from home and that also functions as a traditional intranet.

The staff website which is called the gardens contains three distinct sections.

The hothouse - contains news about how our business is performing, gives access to staff benefits and provides a direct link to contacting Mark Allen, our Chief Executive

The toolshed - contains all the documents, forms and policies that staff need to do their day-to-day job

The allotment - gives all manufacturing sites, depot areas and offices the ability to set up their own local intranets, take part in forum discussions and to buy and sell goods for free.

Since its launch, interest and use in the gardens has grown with visits up by 42,630 in the first six months of 2010 compared to the last six months of 2009 and page views are up 107,179 in the same period.

Since May 2010 almost 2,500 staff have registered accounts so they can access the site from outside of the Dairy Crest IT network.