Internal Communications - A central intranet site for a decentralized corporation
In early 2013, Dotti developed a microsite for TrueBlue, Inc. to help it communicate with, welcome and integrate staff members from its acquisition of MDT Personnel. It was effective and well-received. At the same time, TrueBlue had a poor record of effective internal communication and was struggling to work with an outdated intranet site to keep staff members informed, provide a repository for business resources, and allow for co-creation of content on an ongoing basis. The plan to convert the MDT microsite into a full-blown intranet site was formulated, with a vision to provide an online gateway to news and content that would engage staff members and help them add value to their customers. The concept and budget approval were approved. The name 1strongteam.com was selected.
What Dotti Did
The build and launch of a new intranet site was a substantial undertaking that was completed in nine months. The site started with a goal to allow continuous updates as frequently as hourly and to launch five feature stories weekly. Key areas of strategic effort included:
- Web development – business, technical and functional design and development. Organization of the site map and visual design of the site were also included. Two-way communication and social comment channels were built into the site. An intuitive CMS was a “must” given that multiple user employees would be responsible for contributing to the site each week.
- Content development – parsing of content on current intranet; creation of new content; and plans for authoring of ongoing content. This step included video, photo and graphic content elements. Author leads were identified for each department that had a section on the site.
- Technology considerations – authentication of users; ability to view video and animated content; hosting requirements; and, transition from the old intranet site to the new one. Each of these tasks presented its share of obstacles, which were overcome by a cross-function team including marketing, communications, IT and operations. Google Analytics was employed to provide ongoing reporting and analysis of the site.
- Launch planning – training, promotion, preparation of Day One content features. Of these tasks, the most daunting was engagement of user employees and gaining their commitment to manage their individual portions of the site. Also challenging was communication to staff employees that would persuade them to rely on the new intranet site as their first choice for news, information and resources and to wean them away from the old site. (The old site remained available because it contained the time clock software for non-exempt employees).
- Human resources – the site development, planning and build were all managed with existing internal resources plus the support of a trusted third party web agency. An internal communications manager was hired approximately three weeks before launch.
The company’s new intranet site was launched on time and on budget and opened the door for communication, collaboration and understanding across the company. It experienced a slow build of followers, but it did grow in number of users, frequency of access, time on the site, and depth of content. Because the site was built to flex as the company changed, it went through numerous enhancements and organizational changes over time and is currently being completely rebuilt to allow even greater access to staff members globally.