Hyatt: Re-think your one-size-fits-all intranet

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What You’ll Learn:: 

In a Hyatt video, Deepa, a guest at the Goa, India, hotel, tells how the hotel staff cared for his family when his dad had a stroke—even though they had already checked out.

Teresa recalls the concern of the Hyatt staff for guests’ safety when an earthquake hit while she and her husband were visiting Tokyo.

The stories come from a video of testimonials the company put together to inspire its staff. The basic template is four years old, but Hyatt constantly updates it with new stories that filter up from its staffers across the world.

The internal video is one way Hyatt unites an unusually diverse staff. An even greater challenge was building an intranet. Hyatt has 96,000 employees who speak languages ranging from Arabic to Zulu. How do you unite them worldwide with a sense of pride in their company?

Learn how Hyatt found answers to questions like:

  • What are the true needs of our associates and how can we answer those needs efficiently?
  • How do we deal with the difficult reality that our intranet must talk to associates in 47 countries whose first language is not English?
  • How can we engage our offline associates, who make up the majority of our audience?
  • What are the best practices and lessons Hyatt can learn from its staffs around the globe? 
  • How can we overcome language and cultural barriers to deliver an updated, popular, practical intranet that puts associates first?

“Sure,” you may say. “Our company is multinational as well, and we get by.”

But Hyatt has another challenge: Two thirds of its staffers don’t even have email accounts. Many of them never work at a desk, among them part-timers, cooks, and room attendants.

Learn how Hyatt applied “design thinking” to reinvent its Internet. It starts with “empathy interviews” to find out what people need, then sends employees out onto the streets of New York to interview passersby about customer service.

Learn why you should distill your research down to one issue you’re trying to solve, rather than getting derailed by adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. And hear how Hyatt first designs a prototype—“the 0.5 version.”

Don’t bog yourself down in an impossible quest for intranet perfection. Get going, and really learn to communicate with your staff. Start here.

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October 2013
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Presenter bio: 

Monica Lang is director of internal communications at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. She executes integrated internal communications that engage and motivate employees to live the unique Hyatt culture and deliver the Hyatt strategy. Lang helped launch Hyatt's first intranet site, Hyattconnect, which gets more than 1.6 million page views per month. Monica joined Hyatt in November 2008. She had been the director of compliance for Biden For President, Inc., the former senator’s 2008 campaign. She created and effected staff policies, procedures and benefits for 20 campaign offices.

Mary Sojka is associate manager of internal communications at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Mary develops and delivers internal communications that engage, inform and inspire Hyatt associates. She executes communications that support the company's business strategy and corporate culture. This past year Mary managed the redesign of Hyatt's intranet. Mary has worked for Hyatt since June, 2008 when she began putting into effect and improving internal communications for its North America Sales Force.