Rick Kershaw, Chief People Officer, Peakon

Organisations increasingly understand the value of having a diverse workforce – something that research has proven time and time again. Just last year McKinsey found that the businesses in the top-quartile for diversity outperformed their competitors by 36%. Findings like these make the strategic benefits of diversity difficult to dispute.

In few places is diversity more valuable than in further education facilities. Not least of all because employing people from all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities engenders understanding in the next generation.

But attempts at building a diverse faculty will fall flat unless you also nurture an inclusive workplace. Employees need to feel like they are accepted and their opinions appreciated – otherwise they simply won’t stay. If a university is able to create a culture of inclusivity, not only will it attract better candidates, but its employees will be more engaged, more loyal and deliver better results.

How can universities achieve this? At Peakon, we’ve been working closely with the leadership team at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to do exactly that. By collecting real time insights on their employees’ wellbeing and sentiment, they’ve managed to create an enviable employee experience, and maintain recognition as a Great College To Work For 12 years in a row.

Building a strategy that promotes both diversity and inclusion

The student population at SNHU includes people from many underrepresented groups: Refugees, opportunity youth, single parents, people of colour, service members and more. From a talent perspective, SNHU wanted to attract a workforce that reflected the broad diversity of its learners. Doing so relied on existing employees promoting the university’s job opportunities. This would only be possible and effective if current staff members felt heard, supported and included in the workplace.

Gauging how your employees really feel about work can be difficult. Many employees find providing direct feedback to an employer extremely daunting, for fear that their honesty – no matter how constructive – may be career limiting. As a result, many employees in organisations worldwide still hold back from voicing grievances, and choose instead to suffer in silence.

But SNHU wanted to know what its employees really thought, so sought a way to help them communicate more openly and honestly. This is when it turned to Peakon.

Peakon’s platform democratises the employee engagement process. Our digital, regular and anonymous surveys give each individual a voice, and the power to drive change, by enabling everyone in an organisation to leave honest feedback. This in turn empowers organisations and its leaders to take decisive action, equipped with insights they may otherwise have been without.


Understanding experiences through data

For SNHU, the employee data generated through Peakon surveys has proven instrumental in quickly addressing any inclusion concerns, and ensuring that all employees are granted equal access to opportunities. Using our platform, the business was able to slice data by different strands of diversity – such as gender, generation, race and location – to see what employees in these groups really think. This helped SNHU to recognise and understand how decisions impact groups differently, and respond to any concerns, so that no one felt excluded by leadership decisions.

The results speak for themselves. Between 2018 and 2020, the business increased its Net Promoter Score (NPS) in overall engagement by 33 points, its NPS score in Freedom of Opinions by an impressive 62 points, and its Growth driver score by 40 points. Engaging with the platform has become second-nature to its 3,400 employees, who have left more than 185,000 comments since implementation.

Creating a culture of belonging

Improved diversity doesn’t end with hiring diverse talent. It is just the beginning. Making sure that all employees feel included once at the organisation is the key to engaging and retaining them – and unlocking the huge benefits that having a diverse workforce brings.

SNHU is a fantastic example of an organisation that has prioritised diversity and inclusion, and taken proactive steps to reach its goals. Now, by facilitating that all-important two-way dialogue with employees, SNHU will continue to benefit from having real-time, honest insights at its fingertips – enabling its people to drive the change they want to see, and the university’s continued success.

Rick Kershaw, Chief People Officer, Peakon

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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