How do you leverage Viva Connections to engage your mobile and hybrid workforce?
“I am pleased that our new colleague experience has been delivered quickly in partnership with AddIn365. The solution architecture that AddIn365 developed for us has made use of core Microsoft services such as SharePoint, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Stream and Viva Connections. This has helped us to build adoption and use of Office 365 at the same time as meet the business objectives that we have.”
Chief Information Officer
In spring 2021, Wincanton, Britain’s largest supply chain company, required a new employee experience platform that would promote their values through powerful internal branding and support employee well-being and productivity. The solution needed to introduce the latest innovations in media formats and collaboration technology, such as Viva Connections, to a diverse, hybrid workforce.
The existing intranet was more of a document repository, inaccessible unless in a Wincanton office and on the Wincanton network. With SharePoint Online available through the browser, Wincanton were keen to leverage this ease of access for their workforce, to meet the demand created by hybrid working.
Wincanton wanted to provide office and remote workers with targeted content and intelligent navigation to support their culture of employee inclusivity. With employee retention top of mind, Wincanton wanted to share regular updates and encourage brand affinity with employees.
During a period of company growth, Wincanton was keen that the employee onboarding process, especially whilst working remotely, was supported. Wincanton aimed to promote interdepartmental knowledge sharing through communities of practice and lightweight curation of departmental content to support self-service of information throughout the organisation.
Wincanton selected AddIn365 as their partner to deliver a new employee experience. They invested in AddIn365’s products:.
- Creative and Page Kit to promote the Wincanton brand whilst maximising return on investment in SharePoint Modern.
- Site Builder to ensure the intranet will scale consistently with business needs.
- Content Confidence Kit to deliver a bot-based content discovery experience, to compliment Office 365 search.
Wincanton also invested in consultancy, information architecture, branding and training services from AddIn365.
“We call our intranet ‘My Place’ because it is first and foremost for our colleagues and creates a sense of ownership. AddIn365 have helped us to structure our content to support our colleagues needs, from the introduction of My Wincanton through to the information we have chosen to curate within our departmental experiences.”
Head of Marketing & Communications
One of the primary business objectives with the refreshed digital experience is to aid employee retention by helping a Wincanton employee understand the job opportunities and career pathways available to them, alongside benefits and training offers.
The prioritisation of the ‘My Wincanton’ navigation node as the first item supports this. This element houses the connections between people services, career pathways known as ‘My Journey’ and common tasks any employee is likely to undertake such as holiday and travel booking.
Wincanton has leveraged AddIn365’s architecture patterns for the development of the new intranet, which has allowed for a speedy delivery. These patterns provide page layouts and navigation that can then be iterated to get to a business-ready architecture quickly.
Wincanton’s departmental sites provide information about what each department does, how they operate and key contact information. Early in the project it was clear that many people were being contacted about activities and tasks which they simply didn’t own. Reaching the right audience across the various sectors and market areas is now simpler with key contacts and responsibilities available for each department.
Wincanton’s communities experience leverages Yammer from within the SharePoint Modern experience, so employees can engage with others easily – without navigating away from the intranet to the Yammer service. Communities of practice have been developed for:
- Leadership engagement; to support two-way communications between all levels of Wincanton and across all locations.
- Diversity and inclusion; to ensure a broad spectrum of ideas can be shared and heard, to help Wincanton maintain their position as a market leading supply chain company.
- Role based communities; to ensure peer to peer support and knowledge sharing.
- Wellbeing; making it clear that the employee experience is of paramount importance to Wincanton.
Wincanton employees were already using Microsoft Teams for calling when the intranet project kicked-off. By light-switching Viva Connections, they have been able to bring their SharePoint intranet into Microsoft Teams – so employees can use the service wherever they happen to be working.
A key business objective for Wincanton is to help employees stay connected and to improve knowledge sharing. With both news and coronavirus hubs connected into the AI driven news feed across Viva Connections, employees can now access these top news items through ‘My News’ in Viva Connections.
This ability to deliver news and colleague updates across the platform via Viva Connections aims to reduce the reliance
Wincanton had recently been through a brand refresh and wanted the intranet to be the internal representation of this new direction. Using a clean intranet design, dominated by white space and bold ‘people’ imagery to draw employees into content, keeps both the external and internal sites aligned.
Client Top Tips
We caught up with Jackie Bibby, Head of Marketing and Communications, to get her top tips on what to consider when enhancing your employee experience platform.
– Phase your releases – so the programme delivers value early then builds on it. We went live with a homepage, department sites, about us and news sites before focusing on our employee value proposition sites and more complex operational content.
– Buy or develop a pattern for each site type, for example departments and communities. We used AddIn365’s patterns which allowed us to get to a Wincanton specific architecture quickly and then get on with content. A blank sheet of paper start with each business area would take significantly longer and lead to an inconsistent employee experience. We didn’t want this as it would hamper findability of content as well as increase project costs and extend timelines.
– Have a team member focused on helping the business produce their content. This really is the hardest part of any intranet project, as it involves moving stakeholders to produce something in addition to their day jobs, simultaneously.
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