5 killer steps to get your colleagues digitally engaged

Last week we ran a webinar with partner CDS and customer Wesleyan Assurance as part of our Financial Services webinar series. In this blog post, Peter summarises some insights and what we learnt from the webinar that covered: How to deliver the ideal digital workplace.

Last week our key customer Andrew Southall at Wesleyan Assurance delivered a webinar on how they are evolving their intranet into the ideal digital workplace. Using Episerver as their platform we worked together to design and deploy an engaging and collaborative digital workplace for Wesleyan’s 1300 employees.

The webinar, hosted by Episerver, demonstrated how a strategic approach and the right partners are vital to success.

So what are the killer things we’ve learned? We have delivered digital workplaces (intranets) for major financial institutions like Wesleyan, as well as the Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London. Some consistent insights have emerged as to how to achieve success. What is interesting is the trends, goals and success outcomes are incredibly similar regardless of sector. 


Here are 5 important insights to help you evolve your intranet into a productive digital workplace:


  1. A digital workplace needs to be designed to engage users in exactly the same way as a customer facing website. You need to inspire and guide your internal workforce to want to use digital tools, and to use them effectively. User experience research and user journeys are every bit as useful internally as they are externally. Do not buy and deploy tech and expect it to be loved.
  2. Sharepoint, Salesforce, Workday and similar document management repositories, records management and business process tools deliver a specific functional need, typically for a defined team such as HR or sales. They do this job WELL. They do not engage staff and get them to work well together. Long implementation cycles can crush enthusiasm and cross team engagement. In contrast a user engagement focused tool like Episerver, is built to ENGAGE and can be readily deployed across your existing line of business tools. It achieves this faster, cheaper and far more successfully than integration of business applications does.
  3. If your collaboration tool is confusing, badly designed, awkward, slow, it will fail ( just like a website for customers again!) How willing users are to share and open up in a digital workplace ultimately determines your success. Technology, no matter how clever it is, has to help not hinder the process.
  4. Businesses are typically not democracies. Throwing social collaboration tools out into an organisation as a free-for-all, results in either political chaos, social time wasting or your forums resemble a nightclub dance floor with only the internal communications executive dancing…alone…crying. You need structure and purpose (see Objective Collaboration principles for more on this…)
  5. Intranets are almost never intranets. The best ones are inevitably Extranets – digital workplaces that invite and encourage collaboration with your supply chain, reseller network, partners and customers. The line between intranet. extranet and public website is increasingly determined not by hard separation but simply by user access rights. So building your intranet portal on the same platform as your extranet and website makes huge commercial and business sense. 


To find out more about Wesleyan's Digital Workplace, check out the recording of the webinar.