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Hachette UK achieves group wide collaboration with Interact

logo - hachette uk
  • Employees
    1,000-10,000 Employees
  • Vertical
    Retail, Leisure & Entertainment
  • Locations
    Europe

About

Hachette UK is a London-based publishing group owned by Hachette Livre, the world’s second largest trade and educational publisher. The company is made up of several publishing companies, including Headline Publishing Group, Quercus, Hodder & Stoughton, Hachette Children’s Group, Orion Publishing Group, Octopus Publishing Group, Little, Brown Book Group and Hodder Education. It publishes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children as well as illustrated books and secondary school textbooks. https://www.hachette.co.uk/

Challenges

As a dispersed organization, Hachette UK needed to improve communication and collaboration between its publishing divisions. It’s publishing companies faced challenges presented by poor internal communication and collaboration, with no single place where colleagues could share documents, search for information, and access internal communications more efficiently. This, in turn, affected the level of service they could provide for customers. Hachette UK deployed Interact’s intranet technology to give employees across the group a single, centralized location to connect with colleagues and commonly used systems and documents.

Key Benefits

  • Collaboration, knowledge-sharing and search functionality enhances services for clients
  • Enhanced internal communications
  • Fast access to resources and skills
  • Improved group functions, including HR, IT and Legal
  • Increased collaboration within divisions
  • Rapid set up and deployment

Hachette UK has deployed Interact to improve internal communications and team collaboration.

We looked at four different suppliers. In the final analysis, Interact won on all counts – value for money, service and outstanding communication and collaboration features.
Paddy Johnston, Group Communications Executive, Hachette UK

As a leading trade publishing company focused on a wide range of genres, from fiction and non-fiction, to children’s books and educational textbooks, Hachette UK faced challenges connecting both its people, and areas of the business. Multiple divisions look after different areas, and group wide collaboration was a major challenge, especially where teams were distributed across several different office locations.

To address its own communication and collaboration challenges, Hachette UK made the decision to move just under 1,000 employees from five different office locations and eight different divisions into a single building in London. Bringing teams together under one roof in this way presented a major opportunity to improve internal communications, collaboration and team working.

Paddy Johnston, Group Communications Executive at Hachette UK, says, “We needed a new intranet that could help staff transition to the new building, find relevant information more quickly, share ideas and knowledge, and engage with colleagues across the business.”

We can see exactly who is reading what on Novel and send out email reminders to increase news coverage. With Interact, we can measure the effectiveness of our internal communications at last.
Paddy Johnston, Group Communications Executive, Hachette UK

Enhanced internal communication

After evaluating a number of intranet providers, Hachette UK chose to deploy Interact.

Hachette’s intranet, which is called Novel, allows the company’s small internal communications team to disseminate group news and information more effectively. “In the past, we relied on emails for top-down communications,” says Paddy. “Now, we just send out one news digest email a week with links to pages on the Novel homepage, which is much faster, simpler and more cost-effective for us.”

Using Interact’s analytics feature, the internal communications team can ensure that important group news is reaching all employees. “We can see exactly who is reading what on Novel and send out email reminders if we need to,” says Paddy. “With Interact, we can measure the effectiveness of our internal communications in ways we haven’t been able to before, which is great.”

Fast access to resources and skills

The Novel homepage provides links to all the systems and documents that employees use most frequently, delivering major time savings for the company.

“Now, all the information and resources people need are available from the Novel homepage,” says Paddy. “There’s a link to our expenses system, our meeting room booking system and even ‘Good2Go’, where you can top up your card for the staff restaurant,” he adds. “There’s also a banner link to ‘Your guide to Carmelite House’, which includes FAQs and important documents about our new building.”

Interact’s search functionality is also helping employees to find the documents they need faster. “We conducted a content review and reduced our content by 80% compared to our old intranet,” says Paddy. “Using search, colleagues can now find the information they need quickly, from sales guides and procedural documents, to editorial guidelines,” he adds. “All documents are indexed automatically, and we can be sure they are current and up to date.”

The Novel homepage also provides a People Directory with photos, where employees can search for colleagues with particular skills or expertise. “The People Directory has been very useful, mostly for working out where people sit and what they look like. Instead of sending an email or making a phone call, we can easily go and talk to someone, which is great for collaboration and for building stronger relationships with colleagues across the business.”

Employees can download HR forms or send IT support requests by simply clicking links on the Novel homepage. Previously, staff had to search different systems for the documents and forms they needed, but now they have everything in one place.
Paddy Johnston, Group Communications Executive, Hachette UK

Enhanced group functions

With Novel, group-level functions such as HR, IT and Legal can provide a much better service for everyone in the company. “Employees can download HR forms or send IT support requests by simply clicking links on the Novel homepage,” says Paddy. “Previously, staff had to search different systems for the documents and forms they needed, but now they have everything to hand – all in one place.”

As an additional benefit, Hachette’s strategic Consumer Insight Team uses Novel for sharing market research and intelligence across the organization. “The Consumer Insight Team uses its content area to share research with the business, posting weekly reports on sales of physical books and eBooks,” says Paddy. “This helps editors across the business to refine their book acquisition strategies, and to achieve the best commercial outcomes for the company.”

Novel is also a key tool for sharing information between different business functions, helping to streamline collaboration and knowledge sharing. “Novel is a great place for editorial, sales, marketing, and publicity teams to share information on books and campaigns, helping everyone work more efficiently and productively,” says Paddy.

Increased collaboration within divisions

Specialist publishing divisions within Hachette UK are using Novel to share knowledge and promote team work. “We have divisions who are now posting their editorial guidelines in their content areas on Novel, along with procedural documents and templates for sales,” says Paddy. “With all this valuable information just a click away, our people are saving a lot of time.”

Hodder Education is one Hachette division that is taking full advantage of Novel’s collaboration and knowledge-sharing features. “On the Hodder Education homepage, you can find a company description, a book of the month, a new starter list, a calendar of colleagues’ movements, and links to pages with information and procedures for each of their imprints, as well as a ‘meet the team’ widget,” says Paddy. “Staff in the division can collaborate with colleagues and get all the information they need incredibly quickly, helping them spend more time on their core tasks.”

We have divisions who are now posting their editorial guidelines in their content areas on Novel, along with procedural documents and templates for sales. With all this valuable information just a click away, our people are saving a lot of time.
Paddy Johnston, Group Communications Executive, Hachette UK

Rapid set up and deployment

To support the implementation of Novel, Interact provided valuable technical support and consultancy for Hachette UK. “We were on a tight deadline: the new intranet had to be up and running when we moved into Carmelite House,” says Paddy. “To help us hit the target, Interact gave us admin training that helped us set up the site within a very short timeframe, and Novel was available as a link on everyone’s desktop from day one.”

One key enabler for fast site design and deployment are Interact’s widgets, which make it fast and easy to design and build pages. “With widgets, we can design new pages or update pages very quickly, which takes a lot of our administrative burden away,” says Paddy. “There’s never any need to involve the IT team in site design, which also helps us keep costs down.”

Social tools that improve collaboration

Hachette UK is seeing considerable benefit from Interact’s social collaboration tools. “We have a social forum for each of our office locations, where people can post classifieds, organize sports events and so on,” says Paddy. “The facilities team also has a forum for logging and answering queries about the new building, which has been very useful.”

Another social tool used by Hachette is Interact’s blogging feature. “Our CEO blogs on a weekly basis, as does our Head of Digital,” says Paddy. “It’s just another way that Interact helps us improve communications between people and build bridges internally.”

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