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Why did we do this?

Feedback had told us that the way that we communicated was not always friendly, empathetic or even clear. Some residents found that our tone could be officious and our language wordy and complicated. This could make it difficult for people to understand what we were asking them to do.

We realised that this was a big problem, so asked some language specialists – The First Word – to help us to improve.

How were residents involved?

Resident feedback was the main reason we decided to look at this. Thank you to everyone who fed back to us – whether in a survey, during the resident-led inspection about communications or on the OAK.

Some of our resident volunteers took part in workshops with The First Word and Hyde staff. During these sessions we talked about what kinds of words and phrases people liked and didn’t like. We looked at examples of letters and emails that communicated something well, and others that didn’t.

How has it made a difference?

These workshops helped us to agree a new tone of voice, which is called ‘I am Hyde’. This is a way of writing and speaking that’ll make sure that we:

  • put the person first - before our policies and processes
  • take ownership – and don’t hide behind Hyde or pass the issue on to someone else
  • speak our customers’ language - not housing jargon or corporate speak

Hyde staff are now completing training to learn about ‘I am Hyde’ and how to communicate well. The training includes quotes from residents.

Some Hyde staff have also completed additional training to become coaches. They will help colleagues to improve their communications and follow the ‘I am Hyde’ style.

What happens next?

We still want involve residents in reviewing important communications before they go out. Let us know if you would like to join this group.

Have you received a communication that you don’t think fits the ‘I am Hyde’ style? If so, email a copy to the Customer Involvement team and we will look into this for you.