Create an intranet that supports employee work needs, increases collaboration

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What You’ll Learn:: 

When even the manager of internal communications at Scripps Networks Interactive calls their system old, inefficient and “yucky,” that’s not a good thing. No wonder Scripps, the parent company of HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel and other brands, was looking for help to develop a new communications platform for its worldwide organization.

The company turned to ICF Interactive, a digital technology agency, to find a versatile, flexible intranet to better serve employees in 12 U.S. cities, London, Singapore and Rio de Janeiro.

In this presentation, “How to create an intranet that supports employee work needs and increases collaboration,” you will see how teams from Scripps and ICF Interactive designed a new portal that was intuitive, sophisticated and efficient.

Kristin Alm, communications manager for Scripps, describes Scripps’ overloaded email system, its primitive intranet and the numerous workarounds that employees invented. She says Scripps wanted the new intranet to become the primary channel for employee communication. The new intranet would present an authoritative, unified voice that kept the workforce informed.

Alm says the new intranet was expected to support a strong video program, something that was missing in the old system – a source of frustration for a company that makes high-quality videos.  She says that the new portal had to have a search function to make it easy for employees to find answers to questions on topics ranging from facilities and benefits to policies and procedures.

The new system had to introduce social networking to better connect employees, she says. Integrating customer feedback into the system was also a priority for the company.

Bill Buell, principal of interactive at ICF Interactive, outlines the process that his company followed to design a system that met Scripps’ needs and objectives across all business units and stakeholder groups. ICF Interactive reviewed 2,000 web properties and the many applications being used at SNI as workarounds because the old system was so limited.

Buell’s team defined audience segments and individual personas in designing an intranet that would provide a unique user experience.

SharePoint was chosen as the single platform for Scripps. Buell says it meets today’s needs for the fast-growing company and provides a strong base for future enhancements.

“It will become a window into all Scripps sites, systems, applications and data repositories,” he says.

The new intranet eliminated communication silos, consolidated messaging, introduced more videos, simplified structure and boosted intuitive search. Built-in flexibility let users customize their own settings to receive information tailored to their preferences.

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Set up a process to create a new intranet
  • Emphasize collaboration and transparency
  • Bring superior search to your intranet
  • Create an employee experience of support and relevancy
  • Inform and interact with employees around the world
  • Foster collaboration using your site's social and community features
  • Use metadata and taxonomy to design a unique user experience
  • Identify an employee’s persona and put it to use
  • Stop irrelevant corporate email from filling up employee in-boxes
  • Build strategy and vision into your communications

Organizations hoping to improve their internal communications can learn a lot from Scripps and ICF, who turned a clunky system into a new intranet that boosted collaboration and innovation. Start here.

November 2013

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Presenter bio: 

Kristin Alm

Kristin Alm is the corporate communications manager at Scripps Networks Interactive. After a two-year stint overseeing a media relations program to promote the company's digital properties, she shifted to internal communications, providing SNI employees need-to-know info. She engages the Scripps workforce through multimedia platforms, helping employees and departments tell their best stories.

Bill Buell is Vice President, Digital at ICF Interactive.