How companies are using Interact Teams to improve group collaboration
In our recent intranet webinar we heard Charlotte from G4S talking about how they have been using Interact Teams to help business units and groups of people come together to improve economies of scale in the company.
G4S is a leading international security company that employs 635,000 employees in over 125 countries. They initially struggled with having a central place where teams from different locations could share ideas and work on documents or projects in the early stages of development. Since having Interact Teams they have been able to reduce emails and improve collaboration between people, regardless of location or time zone.
During the webinar Charlotte discussed how they have set up a number of teams over the past couple of months and they position them under the People Directory so they can be easily found by their staff. Most of their teams have been set up as private teams, so people can only become members by invitation only. They also have an open team, which is open to everybody to join called the Greenhouse Team – a place where they discuss environmental issues and CSR.
One of the main teams they are using at the moment is the Website Editor Team. This is a team for all the G4S website editors from around the world to come together to communicate, share ideas and collaborate. Before using this team, it was extremely difficult for the website editors to converse because of different time zones and language barriers.
Charlotte told us how she uses the blog widget on the team page to communicate her monthly updates, which previously were done via a huge email (which even had an index at the beginning it was so long!) and sent to over 100 people. The blog functionality gives her team the ability to subscribe to the blog so they can be updated automatically if they wish or they can choose whether to log in and check the blog manually. By using the blog in this way the communication is never lost or deleted and prevents Charlotte’s inbox being clogged up with out of office notifications! The most recent intranet statistics showed that the blog had 209 hits over the past 60 days so it is definitely being well read by staff and Charlotte now has a way to track success of that communication.
Interact Teams is so easy to use that after just a quick overview and best practice demo, three new teams popped up on our intranet. This shows just how easy it is to set up and we never get anybody who struggles to use it.” – Charlotte Bagley, G4S
Staff in G4S have quickly seen the benefits using Interact Teams can bring to their every day duties and there has been an organic growth in the use of them. They have found that once people had been invited to join a team they had then gone on to create their own teams, kick-starting collaboration as staff are now speaking to each other and sharing information with people they may never have spoken to before, due to location barriers.
Another simple feature Charlotte told us about that is having a great impact, is the calendar widget which features on team pages. With this tool, people can book training or events exclusively for the group. This has helped get greater uptake to group training days and it is much easier to find out what is happening and how the changes will impact them.
American Golf have been using Interact Teams, since it was released in Interact Intranet 4.9 in October 2011.
All American Golf stores have traditionally been grouped together by region but the Superstore Team on Interact Intranet has enabled the larger American Golf stores to communicate with each other to discuss business related issues and promotions with like-minded peers. The group is heavily used and staff share images of store layouts and ideas with each other, eliminating the need to rely on email and making all issues available for all staff to view.
Their ‘Buyers Team’ connects the two buyer departments that are based at two different geographical sites many miles from each other. They use a completely different network so are unable to file share. This team means they can now all view the same information and it has bridged the gap that existed in information before using Interact Teams.
The ‘Payroll Replacement Team’ is a project based team that is currently in use while the company look for a new vendor for their payroll system. As the project members consist of staff from different departments of the business including IT, Finance and HR this team brings everyone together via a single platform to discuss the tasks and the milestones of the project.
Members of the team are able to view presentations from different vendors and discuss ideas as well as view meeting minutes. Now, there is no need to email around large presentation attachments to all the different team members and the team ensures no information is missed by a team member who may not have been able to make a meeting.