Housing Intranet Success with Glasgow Housing Association & Together Housing
Interact Intranet enables Housing Associations across the UK to achieve the intranet success they aspire to. This week, two successful Intranet Managers from the Housing industry will share the secrets to their intranet success. They will discuss how they achieved intranets which are essential to their business with limited time and resources, whilst balancing the management of their intranet with their additional day-to-day roles.
Wendy Jordan, Intranet Manager at the Wheatley Group and Helen Thompson, Group Internal Communications Officer at Together Housing, are both at different stages of the intranet cycle, with Wendy managing an award winning intranet that went live just short of 2 years ago and Helen only just starting off from launch only 3 weeks ago. Join us online Wednesday 5thMarch for a rare opportunity to take a tour around their intranets and learn from their success, whatever stage you are at.
Wendy Jordan, Wheatley Group – a brief introduction…
If you work in Internal Communications and constantly keep up to date with the latest news and attend events, you have most likely come across Wendy Jordan and her beloved intranet, ‘Holmes‘.
Holmes is the intranet of Glasgow Housing Association, which is now part of the Wheatley Group. The Wheatley Group is a collection of Housing Associations spread across central Scotland, providing housing to tens and thousands of people. Wendy’s mission was to create a successful intranet that provided staff with the tools they needed to help all of their customers.
Launched in July 2012, ‘Holmes’ has been a great intranet success story, winning numerous recognised industry awards. Only 2 weeks ago they were shortlisted for ‘Best Use of Intranet‘ at the CIPR Inside awards amongst some massive UK businesses. Last year ‘Holmes’ was awarded a Ragan Award for ‘Best Value to Employees‘ beating the likes of Disney, Domino’s Pizza and Emirates.
During the early stages of Wendy’s intranet journey, it was decided that their intranet was to be designed to be 3 simple things:
- Useful – providing tools and information that staff genuinely need to do their jobs
- Usable – intuitive, easy to navigate, using language and labels that everyone could understand
- Used – keeping a close eye on stats and giving staff more of what they liked and better promote the bits they needed but weren’t using
Holmes is nothing short of these 3 things, now providing a central place for all Wheatley Group employees to go, with a staggering 94% of employees logging into Holmes up to 10 times per day.
There are many reasons that employees are drawn to Holmes, common business procedures such as absence bookings, health benefits and even monthly payslips are a large factor but the biggest pull is all of the latest housing news, information and forms that staff need to do their day to day jobs.
Common housing problems are tackled via the intranet with forums heavily used to encourage employees to openly discuss changes in policies and procedures. The recent changes in Welfare Reform have sparked group collaboration, sharing customer experiences and case studies to help others address similar situations and keep up to date.
Helen Thompson, Together Housing – A brief introduction…
Formed 3 years ago, Together Housing is an amalgamation of 7 different Housing Associations based across the North of the UK. They have a housing stock of around 35,000 and over 1,300 employees.
With employees spread across a large geographical area, all from different backgrounds, it was important for Together Housing to bring together the different cultures, practices and general ways of doing things. They introduced their Interact Intranet, ‘Owlbert’ to harmonise all of this, taking Together Housing culture across all 7 housing associations.
Helen Thompson, Group Internal Communications Officer at Together Housing Group, will discuss her experience of launching Owlbert just 3 weeks ago and what she would have done differently given the chance.
Using a phased approach to intranet success, they have introduced tools that they believe are critical for their business so that staff are drawn to the intranet and can get used to what is available, avoiding a ‘big bang’ launch. Helen is already planning the next few phases to ensure that Owlbert continues to evolve, keeping users excited and engaged with their new intranet.