Nearly four months ago we launched our Interact intranet and no blog post will be long enough to tell you what an amazing impact it is already having for us.

What a difference an intranet makes_homepage

First thing to highlight though – because I enjoyed doing the sums so much – is the time the search function is saving us.

Search = saved time = happy bosses

One of our staff’s main complaints (there were many) about our old intranet was the search. It was slow and the results didn’t contain what you were looking for. Not helped by the 4,500+ documents that no longer needed to be on it…

I set myself the task of figuring out how much time the Interact search is saving us. A quick very unscientific test that required me to press start and stop on my phone’s timer, revealed that we were potentially saving seven seconds on every search. SEVEN SECONDS!

Our staff completed more than 6,000 searches in the past 30 days…

Working out the average pay per hour for staff and the number of seconds saved, then converting these seconds (42,357) minutes (705) and then hours (11.8) told me that just the search improvements from our new intranet were potentially saving the RCN GBP 2,868 a year. Wow.

Definitely something to shout about.

What a difference an intranet makes_search

Shining, happy people holding hands

One of our ongoing issues is silo-working – not unique to us, I know.

But something amazing has been happening – people are starting to make contact across the departmental and geographical boundaries. A new apprentice posted in a forum asking for advice for his NVQ in business administration and received three offers of help within an hour from three separate managers!!!

I asked for help in drafting survey questions and within 24 hours had received several offers of help from staff in different offices, including the furthest away – Edinburgh – and had been to a meeting set up by one of the individuals offering to help me.

What a difference an intranet makes_forum

We have never been able to ask for help this way before. We are no longer restricted by only having access to the knowledge of those who site next to us!

One colleague told me they had learnt more from our homepage timeline about what RCN staff are working on in the past month than she had learnt in the past two years. Wow again.

From hated to hero

We are in the middle of surveying our staff on our internal communications offering. We’re asking them to critique all that we do and suggest new ideas and improvements.

The strongest theme emerging at this stage is their appreciation of our new intranet. In the question ‘what are we doing really well at the moment’, hundreds have written ‘the intranet’, ‘love the intranet’ and similar… this has bowled me over.

‘Intranet’ has gone from the equivalent of being a swear word, a system you only look at if you have to, to being our staff’s most favourite thing we do.

Wow again!

There’s still so much to do, we don’t really have all our governance in place yet and we need a roadmap to help us plan what we’re launching when etc, but I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to observe and be told what a difference this intranet is making. Hurray!