Great leaders make great intranets: award-winning intranet stakeholders

Many people see stakeholder engagement as simply the act of receiving executive approval. But your stakeholders are more than just a rubber stamp of support. Stakeholder engagement is arguably the most important ingredient for a successful intranet project.

Creating and managing an intranet can often seem like the easy part, leaving stakeholder engagement to be seen as the more difficult bit. It’s stakeholder engagement that dictates whether or not an intranet project will thrive or flop. From establishing governance to developing project scope and objects, it is critical to have these executives involved in the process from the start.

Start involving your stakeholders too late and you run the risk of alienating them rather than turning them into a driving force for adoption of your intranet. While you may face many challenges while trying to convince them to commit resources to your intranet project, it will be well worth the strain.

Done poorly, stakeholder engagement can lead to failure. But done correctly, it can guarantee the success of your project and overall user satisfaction.

Engaged stakeholders:

  • Recognize the strategic value of an intranet
  • Remove cultural blockers to adoption
  • Reduce risk of many project threats, including over-spend
  • Support intranet managers, administrators, and content writers to plan and execute intranet strategy
  • Continue to enhance and develop the intranet in line with organizational objectives

Strategic stakeholder engagement shapes your project vision, strategy, and goals and without this input, most projects would suffer low adoption rates and ultimately become impractical.

Award-winning intranets

Our 2017 Interact Excellence Awards honored the figureheads that worked to deliver these successful and engaging intranets in our award category: The Best Stakeholder Award.

The Best Stakeholder category recognizes the executives who acted as the bulldozer to remove any blocks in the road to intranet success

Out of this year’s outstanding contestants, the finalists were:

  • Best Stakeholder winner: Travelex, The Lounge
  • Best Stakeholder Runner-up: Link Group, Linkipedia
  • Best Stakeholder Runner-up: UAE Exchange, Connect

These winning intranets are maintained by the support of their engaged executives who take first-hand investment in the progress and development of their projects. Take a look at these successful stakeholders as they lead by example.

Travelex, The Lounge

Travelex logo

An active contributor and proactive approach

Travelex is a multi-national provider of foreign exchange and international payment solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the company prides itself on using its global scale and know-how to benefit customers across the world.

Travelex’s previous intranet played a functional role in the business but proved inefficient when onboarding new staff. The limited collaboration features and search functionality presented a poor user experience for employees.

The company wanted to completely overhaul the old system needed to be revamped into a project that would effectively bring employees together. Uniting Travelex’s global workforce was the biggest goal and with the help of Interact, they designed an intranet called ‘The Lounge’ that combined functionality with social and collaboration features.

For a company that takes an active role in the lives of their customers, it is no surprise that their CEO, Anthony Wagerman, became the driving force behind The Lounge‘s popularity.

Travelex intranet screenshop Wagerman

He drives traffic to the platform by using the success of online video, uploading a monthly vlog across the business, in which he shares what he’s been up to each month, where he’s been, how the business is performing and taking the time to congratulate those who are long-serving in the business and have done great work.

He also publishes weekly “Friday Night Updates” to the 76 members of the senior leadership team, and takes an active role in engaging with employee blogs and forums across The Lounge. All of his comments are authentic, genuine and always friendly, landing him the position of the most popular person on The Lounge with the most amount of followers.

Travelex intranet Screenshot

With everything written by himself, his advocacy of The Lounge has really helped the site flourish. He also promotes to other senior stakeholders, and a number of Commercial Directors have now, in turn, started posting their only weekly Friday blog updates for the wider business.

Anthony’s active engagement and enthusiasm spread to the rest of the Travelex team. The Lounge sees an average of 11 blogs posted per day.

As a result, Travelex has seen a reduction in workloads and time spent by employees searching for information, enabling colleagues to collaborate, engage with the business and share ideas to better serve customers.

Link Group, Linkipedia

Link Group logo

Heavily involved intranet advocate

Link is a group of registered social landlords, social enterprises, and voluntary organizations, located in Scotland and comprised of parent company Link Group Ltd and seven subsidiary companies.

After a rapid expansion, Link Group had over 700 staff dispersed across several locations, including 300 employees who were not office-based. Due to their increasingly dispersed staff, the traditional methods of communication available through their legacy extranet were no longer adequate. In order to improve internal communications while also encouraging collaboration and engagement among employees, Link decided to undergo an overhaul of their extranet.

💡 Found yourself asking, “what is extranet content?” take a look at our primer on Intranet vs Extranet definitions 💡

Link Group intranet screenshot

With the help of Interact, the Link communications team and an engaged team of employees who were welcomed to participate in the decision making, Linkipedia was born.

Employees were not the only ones who were fully invested in the success of Linkipedia. One of the biggest advocates was Link Group’s very own CEO, Craig Sanderson.

In the run-up to launch, an animated video was created to all the useful features of Linkipedia featuring the intranet’s two champions: Slinky, the intranet mascot, and a cartoon version of Craig Sanderson, CEO.

Link Group intranet screenshot

On the day of launch, employees were greeted with a welcome blog by Craig which outlined the key objectives that led the communications team to tackle this intranet project, paired alongside the animated overview.

Linkipedia Craigs Welcome page

Craig quickly gained popularity, which resulted in numerous requests for more updates and visibility of Craig on the intranet. Because of this, information from the senior management and board meetings is now published in the Team Updates section of the intranet, building links between senior management and their frontline.

Craig now contributes blogs regularly to Linkipedia, encouraging staff to follow suit and share successes, experiences, and stories on the intranet.

After five months of Linkipedia going live, Link released the results of a staff survey on Valentine’s Day with the heading ‘it’s official, you love Linkipedia‘:

  • 88% of staff use Linkipedia every day or a few times a week.
  • 88% of staff find Linkipedia useful
  • 97% staff find Linkipedia extremely easy or moderately easy to use
  • 98% staff find Linkipedia extremely easy or moderately easy to navigate
  • 97% staff rate the quality of information on Linkipedia as satisfactory
  • 75% staff use if for company news, 64% staff use it to for policies and procedures, 62% staff use if to find people

UAE Exchange, Connect

UAEXchange logo.png

Great leadership and collaboration

UAE Exchange is one of the leading global remittances, Foreign Exchange, and payment solutions brands in the world with a belief in ‘going that extra mile’ for its customers by providing prompt and customized services as per their financial needs.

Their organization was headquartered in Abu Dhabi but spread itself across five continents and 31 countries. With such a large and dispersed workforce, UAE Exchange faces challenges reaching employees via email with timely and relevant information.

The People Team was assigned the responsibility of delivering a project that set out to adopt a people-centric approach to the design and brand of the site. They teamed up with Interact to create their social and collaborative intranet, Connect.

The company had high standards for their intranet, a notion that presented a challenge for their team. Their savior arrived in the form of their COO, Rahul Pai. Rahul dove in and made himself readily available to the People Team, ensured they were supported on the way to achieving their goal. His collaboration included:

  • Encouraging the team to take risks
  • Guiding them through the project
  • Taking time out of his busy schedule to review content
  • Suggesting tweaks and changes to be made throughout the journey

CIO, Suren Shetty, also played a large part in the creation of Connect. Suren, skilled in technology, supported the team in any areas by assigning a single point of contact. All the technology-related tasks, including technical specifications, external benchmarking, INFOSEC scope, process manuals and SOPs were prepared and signed off by Suren before going live.

UAEXchange award photo

The launch of Connect, which coincided with International Day of Happiness, inspired overwhelmingly positive feedback from their Global teams; over 86% of users rank Connect as ‘Good – Outstanding’.

UAEXchange award photo2

All of our finalists demonstrated the advantages of having an engaged stakeholder that invests in the progress of their intranet project. Their input has the capabilities of stabilizing the creation process, providing support for innovative ideas and inspiring colleagues to become equally as engaged.

Congratulations to all of our finalists and winners and thank you for participating in the Best Stakeholder competition. For a closer look at the tremendous success of all of our finalists and their well-designed intranets, download our INT Guide, ‘What makes an award-winning intranet’ available here on Interact’s Resource page.