At many organizations, employees waste hours looking for the information they need to do their jobs — a challenge Michael Jose, vice president of IT at Talend, knows well.
“Before we implemented our intranet, employees lost time searching for information, and the information they did find was outdated,” he said. “Now, we give them a central place to find the most updated information faster.”
Talend recently implemented Simpplr, an employee intranet solution. Redwood City, Calif.-based Simpplr was a sponsor of Simpler Media Group's DWX Conference Spring Session, held virtually on May 13, where Jose presented “Future of Work: Strategies for the New Work Experience from an IT Perspective.” We spoke with Jose about the obstacles employees face when trying to find the right information and how organizations can overcome these challenges.
Understanding the Employee Need for Information
Simpler Media Group: What did work look like at Talend before you adopted your intranet?
Michael Jose: Employees couldn’t find the content they needed and it was scattered in different repositories with no unified search experience. Employees didn’t trust the information they found because it was out of date. We also couldn’t create an internal drum-beat of what was happening in the company, which meant we didn’t have a strong company culture.
SMG: Why did Talend decide it needed an intranet?
Jose: The initiative began with employee feedback. We conducted a survey to learn how they were using digital tools and what they were looking for in the digital tech stack. We found that when people asked for information, they got different answers and were directed to outdated information. Employees also told us they were tired of finding information through disparate channels, the rumor mill or even the wrong sources.
Promoting Successful Intranet Adoption
SMG: Have you seen a difference in workflows or other efficiencies since the intranet implementation?
Jose: Talend currently has an all-remote workforce. Once it’s safe, we may implement a hybrid work model to accommodate the needs of our employees. Since the intranet implementation, information has now become centralized and employees are directed to the intranet. There, they can find information like company updates, announcements and even executive corners. Employees have become more connected and in tune with the organization since the launch of Simpplr.
SMG: Talend saw more than 80% adoption in the first two weeks of your intranet implementation. Based on your experience, how can organizations drive similar rates of adoption for their intranets?
Jose: It’s about promoting the intranet portal and communicating. Our intranet homepage is constantly updated so that employees see fresh and up-to-date information. We want to make sure that they’re not staring at the same content day in and day out. We also did heavy promotion and pointed them back to the intranet so that they knew where they had to go for relevant information. It’s all about creating a single source of truth for employees, redirecting people who are asking the same questions to the same answers.
SMG: What effect has your intranet had on the employee experience?
Jose: Communication has improved. Instead of pinging five people, employees can go to one site to find answers. Policies, CEO messaging, new activities at the organization and townhalls are all available on demand, and on one platform.
Recommendations for a Successful Implementation
SMG: What are your biggest recommendations for companies that are thinking about implementing their own intranet?
Jose: First, leaders need to understand employee needs and challenges. Conduct a survey to find out what they’re looking for in an intranet portal. That will drive the requirements. Next, find out who will be the content creators. They’re critical to the success of the intranet. The creators are the ones providing new, accurate information that’s searchable. Also, be sure the information is available and relevant to everyone. If it’s too specific, then you’re isolating employees. For example, a corporate calendar is an essential piece of content that everyone needs. There, they can see office closures and happenings — all in a centralized location.
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