STAR Group – Encouraging staff engagement and participation with innovation, education, recreation and health and wellbeing

Midlands and Lancashire CSU, Midlands, Commissioning Support Unit (CSU)

The problem

Finance department at Midlands and Lancashire CSU needed to have a platform for communication to function effectively during the pandemic and the new way of working, otherwise staff could feel isolated whilst working from home.


The challenge

How might we ensure communication within the team and wider department functions in the working from home environment to ensure staff feel part of the department and without their morale suffering.

The outputs

  • Establishment of an innovation log enabling staff to submit ideas, resulting in the initiation and completion of numerous projects.
  • Development of a centralised training portal for accessing both internal and external training courses.
  • Introduction of virtual fitness challenges to promote staff activity and wellbeing.
  • Implementation of dedicated virtual away days for department-wide gatherings.


The outcomes

  • Protected time and encouragement of involvement by senior managers.
  • Enhanced networking opportunities for staff across different teams, facilitating secondments and fostering collaboration.
  • Increased confidence among department members.
  • Improved communication between staff and senior managers, breaking down barriers.
  • Enhanced cohesion among teams within the department.
  • Bi-monthly meetings with the director of finance (DOF) to provide updates on STAR, with the DOF’s support contributing significantly to STAR’s growth.

The Innovation

Read the full innovation

All documents and resources relating to this innovation can be found in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This innovation clearly solved a problem of communication and engagement at a time where we started to work remotely, it has built on that and been a successful initiative contributing to a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement.”

“Having it accessible via Teams also reaches out to everyone in a format that people are familiar with.”

“To be able to go to one place for all that information is a real bonus and will help people settle in quicker to a new team.”

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