Stroke Association - Understanding volunteer and employee experiences


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To support people to rebuild their lives after stroke, the Stroke Association needed a new way to measure engagement. With a mix of volunteers and paid staff, they were looking for a better way to listen to everyone - and understand the differences in their experiences. For over a year and a half, we’ve been working with the Internal Engagement and Communications Team and senior leaders at the Stroke Association, to provide meaningful insight that’ll help improve the experience of their volunteers and staff.

Who are the Stroke Association?

The Stroke Association supports people to rebuild their lives after stroke. They provide specialist support, fund critical research and campaign to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives.

With a team of 3,500 - made up of 800 staff and 2,500 volunteers - they’re based across the UK. That means they can offer support to people affected by stroke throughout the UK, and have ambitious goals to help people get the support they need. The Stroke Association wants volunteers and staff to feel empowered and enabled to do their jobs, so they can support people in a way that matters to them.

The Stroke Association’s experience of engagement surveys

The charity wasn’t new to engagement, but had taken a traditional approach in the past using internal surveys – like Likert scale questions and a limited number of open-text questions. Understanding and using that data was a slow process, as they would analyse the responses themselves. That meant a delay in feeding back survey results, and taking action.

As we looked to become more agile, understanding how our people felt became critical - feedback loops needed to be strengthened, and made more meaningful.”
- Kyla Lacey-Davidson, Associate Director of People Experience

Listening is the key to helping your people: our platform can help

Taking it to the next level: seeking rich insights

When the Stroke Association launched their new strategy in 2019, they needed to ensure their people were engaged in their future - and ready to deliver it. To do that, they needed rich, real-time feedback that would enable their leaders and managers to help make the Stroke Association a great place to work, volunteer and grow – with increased motivation and engagement. They were looking for the perfect partner:

  • Knowledgeable: with the understanding and technological ability to understand nuances between different groups in their organisation - like volunteers, and paid staff

  • Improving and growing: evolving the platform’s capabilities and provisions in line with the Stroke Association’s own growth, so the partner’s offering stays fit for purpose

We wanted to focus on the rich narrative that open text questions give us, moving away from expecting numbers to speak for our people. But we needed the right technology to analyse that data quickly and cleverly

- Kyla Lacey-Davidson, Associate Director of People Experience

How Qlearsite worked with the Stroke Association

Qlearsite could offer the language analysis technology needed, for thorough and fast analysis of open-text questions - so we began a listening journey with the Stroke Association. Their focus was to provide an opportunity for staff and volunteers to share how they felt about working or volunteering at the Stroke Association, and collect data and insight on what worked and what needed to improve, including where and how their experiences differed.

In the first year, we ran an Engagement Survey - allowing them to more easily understand both their volunteer and employee populations, thanks to the ability to separate out groups and demographics on our platform. This also gave them both a traditional ‘engagement’ score, and our Organisational Fitness overlay for a deeper understanding of overall resilience.

The results: high engagement in the Stroke Association

Not only did the Stroke Association receive an overall engagement score of 84%, it also became clear that there was significant overlap between staff and volunteer experiences. 

Proactively uncovering the nature of their high engagement score meant the Stroke Association could continue nurturing their strengths - ‘Experience’, ‘Customer’, and ‘Motivation’ - and focus on opportunities to drive change, like ‘Innovation’ and ‘Tools and Systems’. Having that sense of direction meant they could be effective in pushing towards becoming a more agile and empowered organisation.

Next steps for the Stroke Association’s people analytics

Using our Organisational Fitness solution, the Stroke Association also underwent a deep dive into ‘Transparency and Communication’. Using our quickly delivered reports, they could understand their key strengths and opportunities for development - assessing this topic across four subdimensions, for a thorough awareness of what actions to take next. 

After this deep dive and their first Qlearsite engagement survey, we offered the Stroke Association team training to run the next survey in-house - which they sent in the spring. Using our intuitive platform, they’re able to keep assessing their engagement levels - and gain the deeper insights they need to support their people to deliver their strategy and rebuild more lives after stroke.

Topics: Case Studies

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