A new intranet can be the key to a successful organization, but designing and populating your intranet is only the first step. To ensure you gain the full benefits of your intranet, you need a creative and focused launch strategy to bring it all to life.
Planning and crafting the perfect intranet can take months, even years in some cases. User-centric design, training for intranet managers, essential tools and resources – many pieces go into the completion of your intranet project. Now that the building is done, it’s time to share the end product with your staff.
Ten things you can do to make your intranet number one
However, when introducing a new intranet to the entire organization it cannot be technical or tedious. You must propose a launch strategy that gets staff excited to use the tools your company has invested in. A winning launch recipe includes:
- Kickoff and planning
- Creative and intuitive launch campaigns
- Informed and excited employees
- Intranet training on how it will impact and improve the day-to-day
- Engagement that continues post-launch and beyond
Launch day while daunting, should spur feelings of excitement. This is the day where the intranet goes live in hopes of being embraced by the entire workforce. With proper planning, there is only success in the cards.
An award-winning launch
Now in their 9th year, the Interact Excellence Awards sees entries spanning small non-profits through to international brands, giving a unique insight into the success of those at the forefront of internal communications.
These awards hold a category designed just for the companies that managed to launch with a bang, The Best Intranet Launch Award.
The Best Launch category celebrates those who are innovative in encouraging adoption across their entire workforce. Judged by a 9-strong panel of global intranet communications and engagement professionals, this year’s entries were some of the most dynamic and creative yet:
- Best Intranet Launch winner – Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Spark
- Best Intranet Launch Runner-up – FNZ Group, FNZ Connect
- Best Intranet Launch Runner-up – Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Wally
These finalists create awareness of their intranets in a manner that answers “what’s in it for me?” with an inclusive rather than exclusive approach and gets employees invested, pre- and post-launch.
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Best Launch winner, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH), created the ultimate social collaboration process for employees with an entertaining and imaginative approach to their launch of SPARK.
Founded in 1948, TMH is a private, not-for-profit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health, and improving lives with an ultimate vision of leading the community to be the healthiest in the nation.
Serving a 17-county region in North Florida and South Georgia, TMH is expansive, made up of a 772-bed acute care hospital, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs, and more.
To manage their care services, the support of a connected and committed workforce was needed. However, TMH’s former intranet left a lot to be desired. Established in 1998, it originally supported around the 2,500 employees. In recent times, the site grew to support almost 6,000 colleagues.
Even with the original site being redesigned several times, navigating and finding information became an everyday challenge for users.
Content management, collaboration, and search function suffered as information organized by department created unwelcome silos, and text-heavy pages cluttered the intranet’s appearance.
Without a content management system, the site was difficult to manage. There was an abundance of outdated content and no easy way to audit the content.Tracey Holleman, Webmaster, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
In 2016, rather than design another homegrown site, Interact was chosen as the best solution to their internal communication challenges.
Their six-month launch journey began in February and progressed with careful planning and a solution oriented track:
- The auditing of 7,500 pieces of content from nearly 100 owners
- A new intranet information architecture to eliminate information silos
- Newly developed homepage and content areas
The result was a cleaner, more collaborative, intranet that launched on August 22, 2018.
An award-winning launch
TMH’s intranet committee began their launch campaign one month before launch. To get employees excited about the new developments they started with its leaders, sharing a 15-minute overview of the site and providing handouts and training schedules to distribute with their teams. They followed with a weekly email newsletter and training events where colleagues could learn more about SPARK and receive TMH giveaways.
TMH took an inspired approach to new beginnings with a launch both educational and fun. They threw a “retirement party” complete with a heart-warming send-off blog to say farewell to their old intranet.
The creativity continued through launch day with a treasure hunt to encourage colleagues to complete profiles and a launch video for anyone that missed the festivities.
This is a great and imaginative launch which involved both humor and involvement from staff to build up interest and a sense of ownership. I particularly liked how the committee visited staff working shifts to promote the new intranet and holding a “retirement party” for the old intranet is a stroke of genius!Steve Bynghall, Best Launch category
SPARK launched for all employees with remarkable results. On the first day alone, 34% of active users utilized the site. As of September 10, 153 people had 100% profile completeness. TMH solved their information sharing and communication issues, successfully obtaining widespread collaboration.
FNZ, founded in Wellington, New Zealand, provides multi-channel wealth management services to their clients across direct, intermediated and workplace channels.
Over the years, they have expanded to several locations across the globe, including the UK and Asia. Before deciding to partner with Interact, FNZ supported a number of individual, stand-alone, internal systems. With such a dispersed organization, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and engagement suffered.
FNZ determined the need to create a single hub where employees can quickly connect and seamlessly share information. Navigation and connecting dispersed memberson the FNZ teams were main goals in FNZ’s new intranet journey.
FNZ required a portable, easy to use, easy to navigate intranet that could represent FNZ as a community. They create FNZ Connect as a hub to connect staff with other colleagues.
It was crucial that the new intranet featured a simple, concise and easy to navigate and most of all, mobile. FNZ lessened the gap between their dispersed workers with a site that was fully responsive and equipped with quick access links to information and updates.
Different homepages provided the entire business with quick access to important materials while the “About” section highlighted the FNZ leadership team and shared company values.
An award-winning launch
FNZ’s intranet gave staff exactly what they needed. They focused on identifying core issues, determining staff needs, and applying clean and transparent solutions with surveys.
For FNZ, creating buzz around the launch was crucial. They wanted as much excitement among their staff as possible. Awareness would ensure that all staff understood FNZ Connect and how it improved their day to day.
To spread this awareness, FNZ created over 20 launch communications to share across 20+ locations and 2000+ staff. “Launching soon” announcements spawned anticipation while global direct mail desk drops introduced top benefits of harnessing FNZ Connect.
A 90-second launch video took launch materials to the next level. It showed a “quick peek” of everything users could accomplish with their new and improved platform.
Absolutely loved the clean, crisp design and the strong visual presence. A lot of information presented, but not in an intimidating or cluttered format.Steve Crescenzo, Best Launch
Four weeks after launch, intranet results excelled. 17,799 total visits to FNZ Connect were counted. More stats showing the steady rise in views on social features like videos , demonstrated overall growth in engagement.
FNZ Connect has embodied the message behind its nameby fostering an environment of communication and collaboration between users.
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL)
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is a major acute trust that employs around 5,000 staff and is dedicated to providing the best possible healthcare for the local population in the Wigan Borough and surrounding areas.
WWL’s former intranet was considered a “furniture piece.”
It acted as more of a document storage unit, rife with a challenges including poor search functions, lack of collaboration due to a dispersed staff with limited remote access, and a lack of engagement tools.
Their biggest issue was the lack of content management. It increased frustration for many, as numerous content authors led to a surplus of ‘mini-microsites’ that often caused duplicate information within the intranet.
WWL, recognizing the need for more than a traditional intranet, partnered with Interact to create ”Wally”. Features of the new intranet included:
- Fully transparent communications and engagement strategy
- Full content cleanse and new content strategy
- New site structure with accessible quick links on homepage
WWL turned to their staff and learned that many were requesting a change in layout, data management, user-friendliness and more. Employees also wanted more social elements. WWL responded with a communications and engagement strategy where key messages would be shared at every stage.
WWL first tackled the issue of content management. The inefficiency of the legacy intranet left an excess of 20,000 documents.
After the content cleanse, “Ask Wally” was created: a form that enabled staff to report missing content easily. Quick links, created from a list of staff’s top 10 areas, were made accessible from the homepage for easier navigation.
An award-winning launch
WWL’s launch mixed structure with an element of fun that was much requested by staff. Launch communications were set to engage staff on the completely new system.
Collateral was formed around Wally’s mascot. The animated walrus was featured in all engagement material, including countdown banners, tip of the week blogs as well as an educational animated video. Wally booklets, “you said, we did” calendars, and competitions, exchanging staff participation for prizes were also shared with the WWL staff.
WWL even included their hard-to-reach staff. On launch day, WWL distributed emails and set information stands at hospital sites to inform frontline staff. The colorful mascot continued engagement efforts post launch.
Since going live with Wally, WWL has:
- amassed 2511 unique visits (47%) and moved up to 80% within the first 6 months.
- generated 23 fully functioning Team Spaces across the organization
Communications are reaching more staff than before, averaging 280 hits per individual item and 1500 hits for the weekly roundup.
One of the key success criteria for Wally was to move away from the negative and restrictive associations of a traditional intranet. Staff now refer to ‘the intranet’ as ‘Wally’ and many staffRachel Holden, Staff Engagement & OD Manager, Wrightington, Wigan and
commentthat they didn’t know what they did until Wally came along.
Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Congratulations to all the finalists for our Best Intranet Launch award. For a closer look at the overwhelming success of all of our finalists, download our “Intranet Excellence Award Annual” available here.