Gatehouse Bank is a pioneering Shariah-compliant UK regulated bank, which offers a range of ethical savings products as well as finance for UK real estate.

This year, Rachael Snelling – Gatehouse Bank’s Head of Communications – joined our team at the IoIC Festival to showcase how we created a digital workplace on Microsoft 365 that was truly aligned with their unique culture. This blog covers the key topics of the presentation and takes you through the project’s journey.

State of Play

Before refreshing their digital workplace, virtually all of Gatehouse Bank’s communications with employees were via email. Although they had an intranet site, it was very basic and didn’t allow for two-way communication. As a result, employees had very little knowledge of what was happening throughout the rest of the company and weren’t as connected to the internal culture.

It was time to find a partner to create a new digital workplace.

Rachael said: “As we’re a bank, we’ve got a lot of information that we have to protect. So, we needed to find a provider that understood that, but also ensured that we could keep our content within our own tenants.”

Rachael liked AddIn365’s offering from a data angle, as well as the fact that our products built on her organisation’s existing Microsoft 365 investment. Our Creative and Page Kit could align SharePoint more closely with Gatehouse Bank’s brand, whilst our task-based templates would enable them to make changes quickly, rather than starting from a blank sheet. Plus, transparent pricing meant that she could budget for the project, knowing exactly how much it was going to cost.

Start by Defining Success

AddIn365 started off by using a tool we call Success Definition, which allows us to focus our efforts on aspects of the digital employee experience that will make the biggest difference. We spoke to Gatehouse Bank’s leadership teams about their high-level objectives before meeting with employees from the wider business to learn about their work.

“For us, this was brilliant in understanding any frustrations and aspirations that colleagues have,” said Rachael, “and because it wasn’t us asking the questions people were really open, which helped us with some of our strategy as well.”

To demonstrate the value of the project, we identified metrics that could be used to measure success against each objective. These included measures around both content consumption and search queries.

Understanding Internal Personas

Traditionally, personas are aligned to marketing targets – they’re the kind of customer your business wants to attract. And it’s a common mistake to try to do something similar for internal stakeholders. Trying to understand the granular details of every single job role can easily add months onto a planning process!

So, we created three personas that represent each individual employee in three different modes:

  • Voice of the business (promoting content, creating news stories, etc.)
  • Stakeholder and business partner (collaborating with colleagues outside of the business such as partners and suppliers)
  • Function team member (where we are being productive and working on a document)

This gives us a simplified view of the employee journey, based on the interviews that we carried out, which we could design and execute the project against. It also ensured that the digital workplace would be accessible to everyone, rather than certain corners of the business.

Embedding AddIn365’s Flexible Templates

AddIn365 offers a range of task-based templates for common SharePoint sites, such as communities, about the business and departments. For example, the communities template Gatehouse Bank used includes:

  • Etiquette guides to give people expectations around behaviour and conversation
  • Information about champions and how to become one
  • Details on the community sponsor, to make it clear that it’s official

The AddIn365 team iterate each template with our customers’ branding, before putting them into their environment. Rachael also chose to use another AddIn365 product – Site Builder – to quickly spin up new sites based on these branded templates.

“Given that we are a really small team, this meant that it was easy to make sure the brand across the whole site looked exactly the same,” said Rachael.

The Results

The new digital workplace both reflects and promotes Gatehouse’s unique culture. For example, their homepage now shares information on volunteering and community work, along with sections for news and introductions to team members.

Rachael’s team has also been promoting company culture through communities, built using AddIn365’s templates. Gatehouse Bank started with 3, based on key aspects of its working life, but at least 1 new community has been created each month since then. Currently, 90% of the company are actively taking part in Gatehouse Bank’s culture through communities.

Additionally, teams can now actively keep up to date with the latest news from the business. In a single month, there have been 8,700 visits to the company news site (41 views per person), with an average read time of 12 minutes. Meanwhile the employee centre saw 1,244 visits (about 6 visits per employee).

Rachael said: “Our departments have all got their own dedicated pages explaining what the team does and how they do it. It looks and feels just like Gatehouse, whether that’s on our website for external customers and stakeholders, or whether it’s actually in our offices. So, it’s the best of both worlds.”

Book a Demo

Would you like to know how we can help you create a digital workplace that promotes your company’s culture? AddIn365 works with your team to create personalised digital employee experiences that make the most of your existing investments in Microsoft 365.  

Our Creative and Page Kit adds extra capabilities to your SharePoint, allowing you to showcase your brand and include personalisation to your pages. We also believe in providing full transparency around our pricing, so you’ll know exactly how much to budget.    

To find out more, book a 30-minute introduction call here