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Saskia Jones is Head of Communications Engagement at Oxfam and is IoIC’s Internal Communicator of the Year. Saskia will share how she engaged far-flung staff in unscripted conversations with Oxfam’s leadership, with staff as diverse as a water expert in Liberia to a shop manager in the UK. A recent staff survey showed that staff are committed to Oxfam’s work, but they were feeling increasingly disengaged from Oxfam’s Oxford-based leadership. She undertook a programme of work with the leadership team that kicked off with an unscripted online platform called ‘Ask me Anything’. It was real and transparent – no sugar coating, no script. And it worked.  For the first time ever, staff and volunteers were able to ask questions – about literally anything – directly to decision makers. In under 3 weeks, 600 people participated, including staff and volunteers from 33 countries and 25 shops. The feedback was almost universally positive; staff reported feeling that the leadership team seemed more approachable, modern and receptive to staff ideas.

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