Great intranets don’t manifest without a winning blueprint. The best intranets require proper planning, and an even more deliberate and well-designed launch.
Launching a new intranet into an organization can present a number of challenges, even for our most able customers. However, the benefits of a successful launch make it all worthwhile. A well-planned and executed launch ensures users:
- Are excited and engaged
- Are informed about what is happening, and when
- Understand the value of their new intranet
- Know what the intranet is used for, and how it will impact and improve their day-to-day roles
- Adopt and continue to engage with the intranet from day one, and beyond
What makes an award-winning intranet?
The organizations that nail it on Launch Day get to bask in the glory of engaged users that value the intranet and continue to engage with it beyond day one.
The launch also presents an opportunity to be a little more creative. Depending on your culture and intranet objectives, there are a number of different ideas or approaches to try which will get your users excited, engaged, and onboard.
Our 2017 Interact Excellence Awards holds a contest category designed just for these very innovative intranet launch champions: The Best Intranet Launch Award.
The Best Launch category applauds customers that create awareness of their intranet to their employees in a manner which answers “what’s in it for me?” with an inclusive rather than exclusive approach.
Our panel was treated to an excellent variety of entries. This year’s finalists were:
- Best Intranet Launch winner: Piedmont Healthcare, The Village
- Best Intranet Launch Runner-up: Gattaca PLC, Pulse
- Best Intranet Launch Runner-up: NBS, Connect
- Best Intranet Launch Runner-up: Notting Hill Genesis, Hive
Whether it’s sparking excitement with a pre-launch strategy or saving all the fun for the big reveal, these winning intranets did not hold back for the big day, giving both their employees and us an impressive first introduction to their intranet.
Piedmont Healthcare, The Village
Inclusive launch events, ‘DIY’ activities and competitions
Our Best Launch winner, Piedmont Healthcare, made connecting and engaging employees look easy with their new intranet The Village.
Piedmont Healthcare is a non-profit healthcare system of 11 hospitals, 21 urgent care centers, 28 Piedmont QuickCare locations, 527 physician offices, and 1,800 Piedmont Clinic Members across Georgia, US. With such a high volume of dispersed workers, challenges connecting employees through their legacy intranet were inevitable.
In response, Piedmont turned to Interact to implement a new intranet project that would address the shortcomings of its legacy system and get users excited about engaging with the system.
Piedmont made sure that no one was left out during their launch by throwing 12 events that took place between six hospitals and three corporate locations. This ensured their launch was inclusive of a broad range of medical practices, including doctors and those especially hard-to-reach audiences that spend their time on the go. Piedmont ‘Connectors’ served as intranet tour guides and ambassadors.
What makes an award-winning intranet?
The launch sported activities that were both interactive and informative, combining fun giveaways and contests (such as a crossword puzzle and word search to teach users about the intranet features or to complete their profiles) with information that was necessary for users to know or learn. Employees could have their profile pictures taken with the event display as a background, and an iPad or Samsung tablet grand prize was given away at each location.
The results were undeniable – more than 1,400 employees attended the launch parties, and 5,560 visits to the Village were reported on the day of the launch.
(Piedmont Healthcare’s intranet, The Village, features the internal brand ambassador ‘Ludwig’, named after one of Piedmont’s founding physicians. His role was to help employees navigate the intranet and find answers to questions via the question bank.)
What to know more about Piedmont’s journey? See more about their challenges and successes from their infographic visualization available here on our blog.
Gattaca PLC, Pulse
Building anticipation with teaser campaigns
Gattaca PLC, an outsourced staffing solutions and recruitment services company, struggled with their intranet after acquiring Networkers International in 2015. Both organizations had archaic intranets that lacked user engagement, social collaborative functions, and engaging design.
Together with Interact, Gattaca began to piece together a new intranet design that could be tailored to their nationally dispersed workforce. Work completed during planning and design further emphasized their desire to ensure the new intranet, Pulse, reached everyone across the globe.
Gattaca sought to achieve this through an effective launch strategy. A well-executed pre-launch teaser campaign was delivered, with email communications sent out to give a few sneak peeks and build excitement before the big day. A poster campaign was also rolled out six weeks prior to the launch of Pulse, ideal for getting employees intrigued and engaged.
The Launch was phased over the course of a week, including personalized homepages for each location around the world that engaged even the most difficult salespeople. The launch also offered Pulse branded goodies, videos for additional support, and a launch competition.
Their successful rollout campaign and launch presented exciting results in the first month including 96% of users accessing the site and 84,159 page views.
Creative videos, emails, and activities
NBS is a UK-based organization that has developed and produced NBS products which support the build environment and offers innovative information solutions to construction industry professionals. Their challenges lay with their ancient Document Management System (DMS system) which was full of outdated information and in need of a serious makeover.
What makes an award-winning intranet?
NBS joined forces with Interact to create a new intranet, Connect, that would be fit-for-purpose, intuitive, and responsive. The new intranet was designed to respond to and answer a number of challenges; for example, the legacy search function was useless, and it was impossible to access the old intranet off network, out of the office. Connect did all that and more.
Innovation was a strong theme for NBS’s launch as they facilitated creative and competitive launch events that catered to their team and company culture. Using their talented in-house designers, NBS developed a suite of short quick-start videos and launch emails to give colleagues some hints and tips on the key features and functionality – something they continue to use now as part of their staff induction.
Competitions and goody bags ran rampant on launch day. Goody bags with branded biscuits and teabags were left on desks so staff could enjoy a cup of tea while watching the launch video. A full jar of sweets was put up for grabs in a competition, as NBS encouraged staff to get to 100% on their profile, share their first blog and post in a forum. NBS also tied in some Cycle to Work Day festivities to the launch – the office cyclists were encouraged to upload a selfie of their commute on the intranet. Staff who didn’t cycle to work that day were still able to take part, by hopping on a pedal-powered smoothie bike hired for the launch.
The launch was a hit, proving Connect to be a popular way to share and collaborate with the NBS staff and garnering 1,650 visits in the first three days.
Notting Hill Genesis, Hive
Intranet tour video and a themed launch day
Notting Hill Genesis is an organization that manages nearly 65,000 properties for lower-income households across London and the south-east of England. Employees rarely used the legacy intranet, reinforcing the silo working culture, and information was often duplicated and hard to find.
Alongside Interact, Notting Hill Genesis created the Hive, garnering support for the new platform by consulting employees throughout the initial planning stages.
Employees were given a chance to be involved on the day of launch, with the teams wearing bee-themed colors and clothes visiting offices to proactively engage staff, demonstrate features, and answer any questions.
Keeping up with the theme of engaging all teams, Notting Hill produced a launch video featuring staff and executive board members, which was embedded on Hive and also played on screens across their offices for everyone to see. Other creative launch events included publishing a ‘Take the Hive Tour’, which featured 10 top tips to get started on Hive and is now included in the New Starters section of their intranet.
The benefits of their hard work paid off within the first year. Gains included 1326 unique visitors, 815,335 page views, and more.
Congratulations to everyone involved in our Best Intranet Launch competition and hats off to all of our finalists and winners. For a closer look at the overwhelming success of all of our finalists, download our INT Guide, ‘What makes an award-winning intranet’ available here on Interact’s Resource page.