International financial services provider Travelex partnered with Interact to connect its global workforce, provide staff with the information they needed to better serve customers, and help instill a common, unified culture across the organization.

International financial services provider Travelex partnered with Interact to connect its global workforce, provide staff with the information they needed to better serve customers, and help instill a common, unified culture across the organization.

I can’t imagine Travelex without The Lounge now. It’s the one thing we have that really brings the entire organization together under one roof, one platform. It allows everyone to feel empowered, acknowledged, and provides a way to freely communicate with everyone in the business.

Tricia Scott – Global Intranet Manager, Travelex

Travelex is one of the world’s leading foreign exchange and international payments providers, serving over 37 million customers around the world. Its staff are based in over 1400 bureaus across 70 countries, with 75% of the workforce operating as retail staff and only 25% office-based.

Tricia Scott, Global Intranet Manager for Travelex, explains the challenge this presents for the organization: “We have a large, highly dispersed retail workforce with small teams and solo workers operating from bureaus in a variety of locations ranging from supermarkets to airports to the high street. It’s not unusual for businesses to have dispersed workforces, but our situation makes for a disconnected global community where colleague interaction can be challenging.

“We needed to introduce a way for all our staff, no matter where they are or what time it is, to connect with each other, whether it be for work or social reasons. We wanted to build a sense of belonging across the entire organization.”

A new vision

Travelex had a legacy intranet system in place, but it primarily played a functional role in the business, hosting vital policies and procedures. Limited collaboration features presented a challenge in creating the sense of collective community Travelex was seeking.

The organization needed a solution that would combine business-critical functions, such as hosting important information or workflow and forms, with social features to connect colleagues to the business, and each other.

After speaking with a number of providers, Travelex made the decision to partner with Interact to deliver its global intranet platform, The Lounge.

Creating a community

One of the primary objectives set for The Lounge was to connect employees: not just on a professional level, but as individuals within a wider community. For employees on the frontline in bureaus, a new intranet would provide a sense of unity and inclusion, building on Travelex’s virtual global culture.

Travelex has seen tremendous success on this front through the use of blogs on The Lounge.

By giving every employee the ability to post freely about a range of topics and their own personal opinions, it’s provided them the opportunity to build the highly active global community they have today – one where content varies from posts from senior leadership to personal stories from all levels within the business.

“Everyone, from senior executives through to bureau workers, has a chance to get support and share their stories with a wider audience,” says Tricia. “Even our CEO contributes regular vlogs and comments on staff posts, engaging with all our users.

“We have staff writing about things that go way beyond their day jobs. People are supporting each other through illnesses, divorces, and other challenges – and these are people from all over the world who may never have met each other face to face. They’re also sharing positive stories and experiences, which is helping us to embed a common culture.”

The Lounge averages 11 blogs every day, with an annual voted competition for Blog of the Year being awarded to a sales consultant who achieved over 400 likes for a personal blog posted on the site.

Our intranet – The Lounge – has given our colleagues the means to broaden their relationships at work by connecting our people all around the world. Today they can discuss and relate to their co-workers in similar roles on different continents. It’s something that’s now giving rise to more sophisticated use of the platform, where our people are utilizing it to help problem-solve and innovate to fix genuine customer issues based on the experiences they share with the community.

Tricia Scott – Global Intranet Manager

Catering for a global workforce

Alongside the challenge of creating and communicating a common culture, global organizations need to find new, innovative ways to help dispersed workforces collaborate and work together effectively.

Combining cloud-based hosting with a range of productivity, communication, and collaboration tools, The Lounge enables its globalized workforce to connect with their peers and work intuitively together across geographical boundaries.

Travelex intranet homepage

As an example, Travelex uses The Lounge for its global sales incentive program. The program, known as the ‘RPM League’, has over 100 teams worldwide, each using ‘RPM World’ on the intranet as a hub for the initiative. Content includes a weekly ‘wrap-up’ video posted by the Communications & Performance Innovation Director, an engagement corner, and tips on how Sales consultants can continually improve. The weekly video has become the most popular page on the site, generating more than 11,000 page views every month.

“The RPM League really encompasses what we were looking to achieve with The Lounge,” says Tricia. “It brings colleagues together from around the world to engage with the initiative, to understand how they’re performing against colleagues in other regions and their targets, to share tips and ideas, and really drive their targets forward.

“This wouldn’t be possible without The Lounge.”

Now, The Lounge is integral to the way we work. It’s more than just an intranet: we’ve removed geographical barriers between our people. It’s a place for all our people to come together in so many ways.

Tricia Scott – Global Intranet Manager

New, efficient ways of working

Keeping staff informed, involved, and up-to-date is critical to success in the financial services industry. For an organization the size of Travelex, it’s also vital that staff have the information they need to serve customers effectively and remain informed of what is happening elsewhere across the business.

“The Lounge is relied on for everything we do now,” says Tricia. “It’s easy for staff to access policies, forms, and information that directly affects them. They’re now better informed, and the time saved not relying so much on email we can now devote to customers.

“The Lounge has drastically reduced workloads for staff as email communications are reduced, forms are more efficient for managing processes, and colleagues are able to independently find information and tools to do their day job by searching on The Lounge and finding what they need in a matter of seconds.

“It’s also given us the freedom to be more efficient when training staff globally on new products and launches. For example, when we launched our new Money Transfer initiative, we built a hub on the intranet to educate retail colleagues. They could watch training videos, read through the terms and conditions, ask questions in a forum, and ultimately feel more confident and knowledgeable in selling the product. The Lounge hosts all the supplementary materials they need to make their day jobs easier.”

The right information, to the right people

In enterprise-level organizations, the volume of information can be excessive. What’s more, certain content, updates, or even critical business information may be irrelevant or even privileged, and therefore not appropriate for all employees.

This is the case at Travelex, where business-to-business commitments with partners presented challenges when it came to sharing information. The Lounge offered a workable solution through tailoring and targeting of content and use of permission settings.

“For example, we have colleagues working in different supermarkets in our organization, but they are not privy to each other’s business information,” Tricia explains.

“The Lounge gives us the functionality to have permission settings on each other’s homepages and subsequent content, so staff only see what is relevant to them.”

An award-winning intranet

Employee comms awards

Through the continual review of performance and investment into ongoing improvements of The Lounge, Travelex has succeeded in creating a true community that is essential to both the day-to-day running of the business and its culture.

The success seen by Travelex with The Lounge saw the organization recognized at the 2017 Ragan Intranet Awards, taking the title for Best Social Intranet and Best Blog following the outstanding outcomes seen by their employee-first approach.

In addition, The Lounge secured the winning title for Best Stakeholder in Interact’s 2017 Excellence Awards, alongside recognition as runner-up in the Essential Intranet category.