As part of our intranet adoption series, we sat down with Alex Wood, Internal Communications and Group Media Relations Manager at dorma+kaba
As part of our intranet adoption series, we sat down with Alex Wood, Internal Communications and Group Media Relations Manager at dorma+kaba to understand how this 16,000 strong global organization got employees engaged with their new digital workplace solution built on Office 365.
German based door technology provider Dorma chose BrightStarr's Intranet as a Service product, Unily, in 2014 to help them improve global collaboration and provide new ways for employees to communicate and drive innovation, critical to their business success. In 2016, Unily was rolled out to an additional 5,000 users to support Dorma's merger with the Swiss global security technology group, Kaba, thus forming dorma+kaba Group.
Built on Microsoft Azure, Unily integrates with the best of the Microsoft Office 365 Suite including SharePoint Online, Yammer, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business for a seamless digital workplace solution. Unily comes complete with a complete customer success programme which features an ongoing roadmap of new features and dedicated support and consulting.
Here's what we learnt after speaking to Alex.
Q. What were the biggest challenges to getting employees on board with a whole new digital workplace system?
The main challenge for the users was getting them used to the new dynamic aspect of a social intranet. (Unily is completely integrated with Enterprise Social Networking functionality, Yammer, which comes as part of Office 365) Commenting and liking articles, following blogs and setting filters to personalize information according to the user’s interests was an entirely new thing for employees, so we had to get them accustomed to that new way of working.
It also required a mind-shift, as employees were unsure when and where they were allowed to comment on something and whether they could publish information themselves. Also, the new intranet provided far more information than the old one which was an obvious benefit, but in turn required some adapting, as employees had to get used to using the intranet as the main source of information. Also, by using Yammer, there was an additional feed that people had to get used to in order to see more dynamic content from other users. Some users were afraid they would miss information.
Q. How did dorma+kaba prepare communities for the shift in culture?
About a month before the launch, we began with introductory articles on the old intranet, explaining the functionalities of the new one built on Unily. Furthermore, we prepared a short eight-page brochure (digital and print) in German and English, explaining how to get started with setting up the intranet to your requirements, such as language settings and personalization of internal communications. Last but not least, we produced two short videos, explaining the concept of a social intranet in general and the benefits it can bring to the global organization and individual users. We found the videos extremely useful to help prepare users for what was to come.
Another important aspect of preparation was establishing our global Communication Hero Network, made up of ambassadors in the 50 countries we operate in, to help drive knowledge and adoption of the new intranet. We held web meetings with our Heroes, giving them a deeper insight to the new intranet and explaining the new functionalities in detail. This really helped spread the word about the new intranet and its benefits and also meant there was an on-site point of help for all employees.
In order to give users more confidence with the new intranet capabilities, we also published short guidelines on how to use the intranet (Do’s and Don’ts), in which we encouraged colleagues to post content or comment on articles and explained when and where this was appropriate.
How did you drive adoption of the new social elements of the intranet?
One key success factor was winning over our top management to use the social intranet from day one, getting them to start threads and be present in ongoing conversations on Yammer. We also launched the new intranet on the first day of our global management conference in January 2015, where we explained it to the audience and asked them to use it right away to keep their colleagues updated on the key developments from the conference. Furthermore, we as the Corporate Communications team used Yammer heavily by posting short updates and pictures, as well as daily videos about the conference. Employees didn't want to miss this type of content, creating a great drive for people to sign in and take a look.
It also helped that right after our global management conference was another important trade fair for dorma+kaba, the BAU in Munich. At this event, we presented a lot of product innovations which our employees were keen to see, helping to keep up the enthusiasm for the intranet and drive people to get involved with the conversations happening on Yammer. We also used videos, picture and blogs across the intranet to report about the trade fair, making it the go to place for all essential information.
Q. How did you ensure the social platform would feed innovation?
In itself, the social intranet is an innovation, as it is much more modern than most corporate intranets in use at the moment. The timing of the launch in line with the BAU trade fair at the beginning of 2015 was also crucial as employees quickly made use of its collaborative benefits, establishing groups on Yammer to share knowledge and information.
Q. What post launch engagement activities did you carry out to ensure continued adoption?
Post launch, we provided a welcome video by the CEO, three explanatory articles and approximately twenty short videos explaining different features of the intranet, front and center on the homepage. This was supported by an interactive help tool that guided employees through new features of the intranet and helped them with the initial setup process – this help tool remains on the intranet to continue advising staff on new features and ways to make better use of the intranet. New content and information is constantly added to the help tool to keep it fresh.
Furthermore, for the first eight weeks after launch, we published one article per week, focusing on a certain aspect or functionality of the intranet. This really helped to get employees to understand all the different ways Unily could support their daily tasks. Furthermore, we established a helpdesk made up of two colleagues, who could answer questions about the intranet either via email or in the dedicated Yammer Group, within 24 hours.
Q. How did you try to ensure the new intranet would last and remain exciting?
First and foremost, by providing interesting content in different mediums such as video, blogs, comments and pictures on a regular basis, which has worked out very well so far. A sign of our success, we had feedback from our users that there was too much activity and news during the first few weeks, so we had to restrain ourselves a bit. To help with this, all content is targeted and personalized, meaning users see the information that is relevant to them or that they’ve chosen to see which helps keep them engaged.
Q. What is your Number 1 piece of advice to other organizations going through the same process as you, to help them drive adoption?
Keep the organization informed on the process. Be transparent on what to expect and when. Also, don’t over-commit. For us, our new intranet is an evolving platform, which we strive to improve over time.
The merger of the businesses of Kaba Group, headquartered in Rümlang (Switzerland) and Dorma Group, based in Ennepetal (Germany), was completed on September 1, 2015. Together, dorma+kaba are one of the top 3 global companies in the market for security and access solutions, with pro forma sales of over CHF 2 billion, and approx. 16,000 employees.