Our online community grew by 50%
Our online discussion forums continue to be an important source of support and advice for members and non-members alike. The Community platform attracted around 45,000 unique visitors per month (up 50% thanks to increased efforts to raise awareness of this much valued member benefit) and we recorded 2.5 million page views over the year. Around 50% of users accessed the Community via their mobile device, so in 2019 we developed our first mobile app to help people catch up with the latest Community discussions 'on the go'. The app will help to make the reassuring help, peer support and guidance our Community offers as accessible as possible. CIPD members will be able to access exclusive groups such as Employment Law, Learning and Development and HR Strategy. Access to the more general groups, such as the Careers Clinic, will be open to all. The app will also provide a digital membership card – which is a convenient way for our members to access their membership details via their phone.
In September 2018, we added a new member-only 'Workplace Dilemmas in Confidence' area to the Community platform, in response to members asking for a confidential space in which to share dilemmas and discuss their options.
Here members can anonymously ask other members for support and guidance regarding workplace and ethical dilemmas. Members have used the platform to seek confidential advice on topics such as dismissals, absence and mental health concerns, as well as career advice and support on sensitive issues. They've received some excellent advice and the Community has been extremely supportive and considerate, particularly when it comes to highly emotive issues.
By the end of our financial year, members had posted 162 different dilemmas and received more than 1,200 replies. Total page views for the discussion threads topped 50,000, suggesting that the value of the advice given goes well beyond the person who originally sought it. Some of the feedback received from users is testimony to the great sense of community it offers.
Going forward we'll map more of our content around the issues raised in this area of our Community and use the discussions to further inform our learning, resources and evidence base.