Internal Communications Best Practice: 14 Examples of Campaigns that Crushed it

Posted by Kath McNiff on May 10, 2019 10:33:04 AM


You have a job to do. 

Get your message across and make it stick.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But of course, it isn't.

Crafting a compelling internal communications campaign is tricky, it requires:

  • A clear objective

  • Stakeholder research

  • Thoughtful implementation

  • Measurable business impact

  • A sprinkle of creative magic

Sometimes you need a little inspiration.

Grab a coffee, sit back and see what best practice looks like.

1. HSBC Now: Photo Competition

The HSBC Global Communications team single-handedly transformed the bank’s visual language – with zero budget and crazy time pressures.


They put content creation in the hands of their people.

The team launched a global photography competition asking employees to capture the spirit of HSCB – across six categories.

They ended up with over 6000 images - a truly inspiring result and a  testimony to the fact that real images resonate.

HSBC now uses these amazing photos throughout their internal comms – in presentations, reports, and the intranet.

Not only has the bank saved money on mediocre stock photos – they’ve raised the bar for employee engagement. People connect with the bigger picture of HSBC because they see themselves reflected in it.

A simple, yet award-winning campaign - small idea, big impact.


2. Siemens Hull: Creating a Culture of Excellence

Employee heroes are at the center of this impressive campaign.

With over 1000 new employees, Siemens Hull was looking to forge a robust culture and bring their strategic vision to life.

In partnership with H&H internal communication agency, Hull combined eye-catching wall designs with employee insights to craft an immersive on-boarding experience.

Now, as team members walk from the car park, through the offices to the factory floor – they can see the corporate culture laid out before them – expressed in their own words with their own faces looking back at them.

Surreal, but effective!

See the blades of Hull's wind turbines reflected in the graphics? If you listen closely you just might hear them.


3. Lowes: Customer Stories

Effective campaigns don’t always need big budgets and elaborate design.

Making the most of available resources can also deliver exceptional results.

Lowes Manhattan was looking for ways to become more customer focused and turned to their intranet as a platform for sharing customer stories.

They created ‘Customer Care News’ - a window into the customer experience. A simple yet effective way to acknowledge staff achievements while putting the customer front and center.

Whenever a customer gives a compliment or provides feedback, it’s published on the intranet – this serves as a great recognition system and a reminder of the importance of customer service.

Lowes also believe in the power of learning – and sees employees as the best educators. Their in-house product videos feature real product experts. Authentic and engaging – they’ve turned out to be one of the most popular features of the intranet.

Customer focus is key to business survival and success – building it into your company’s DNA, along with a healthy dose of employee engagement, makes anything possible.

4. MidMichigan Health: One Person, One Record

Major culture change can be stressful. 

How do you create engaging conversations from top-down directives?

The leadership team at MidMichigan Health was up against it.

Their existing medical record system was on the way out and they were tasked with uniting 7000 employees, physicians and volunteers to re-examine clinical and business workflows. All of this while continuing to provide top-notch patient care.

How on earth did they do it?

Well, as it happens, they left earth behind.

In collaboration with creative agency Bolger + Battle, the team launched a space-themed communications campaign One Person, One Record. They delivered it in four phases Kick-off, Mission Prep, Mission Control, and Lift-off.

The campaign got them recognized in the ‘Excellence in Change Communication’ category at the 2018 Gartner Internal Communication Awards.

The Space Mission was a genius metaphor for building excitement and setting a bold confident tone. Plus, it added an element of fun to an otherwise stressful situation.

The CEO wore a spacesuit to the kick-off – boldly going where no CEO has gone before.

5. Kerry Foods: Trailblazers

How do you foster employee engagement while innovating your way past the competition to deliver tangible business results?

Ask Kerry Foods for their secret recipe (sorry couldn’t resist).

In 2017, the team launched the Trailblazers campaign – asking employees to come up with new ideas for snacks, drinks, and technology that the company could take to market.

Drawing inspiration from Dragon’s Den – employees made their pitches, went on month-long bootcamps, and were given the space to develop ideas.

The campaign generated over 800 ideas from across the business and employee engagement scores went through the roof.

As HR Director, Emma Rose points out:

“The big thing about it was around building belief in the business that we want everyone to contribute to where we’re going and to be excited about the products we take to market.”

Trailblazers took out the coveted 2018 IOIC Grand Prix Award.

Seeing the pattern yet?

A winning campaign puts employees front and center - focusing on outcomes over output.


6. InnerSurf Online: Onboarding Check Sheet

It's no secret that new starter orientation is a crucial piece in the employee experience puzzle - but did you know that great onboarding can improve employee retention by a whopping 82%? 

Tracy Repchuk (founder of InnerSurf Online Brand & Web Services) was ahead of the game when her business launched the Staff Orientation Check Sheet.

A common sense idea that is anything but common.

Before starting anything else, new recruits are asked to work through this online resource - absorbing core values, filling out forms, learning about the website and getting familiar with everyday tools. 

Pulling everything together in one easily accessible place is a genius approach to new starter comms - it puts an end to first day jitters and sets employees up for ongoing success.

7. BC Pension: Podcasts

Business transformation can leave employees feeling confused and out of sorts.

As part of their nine-year plan, BC Pension took an innovative approach to turning overwhelmed employees into change advocates.

They launched two podcasts:

  • At the table with Laura – a thought-leadership series featuring CEO, Laura Nashman, in discussion with change management experts.

  • StaffCast - a podcast showcasing employee’s perspectives on the changes taking place.

The first podcast, with the CEO, assures employees that their leaders understand change management and are across the best practices. It builds trust and aids transparency.

The second gives a voice to the people on the front line of change. It helps employees to understand how they matter in the grand scheme of things and provides a forum for sharing concerns, strategies and personal stories.

Strong leadership and engaged employees – an unstoppable combination.

This initiative won BC Pension first place in the ‘Podcast’ category of Ragan’s Employee Communication awards.

Not sure if it won any awards, but their company video is pretty inspiring too! 

8. West Midlands Trains: ‘Hear to Listen’ Mental Health Campaign

During a period of franchise change, West Midlands Railway knew that employees would need on-going support to handle the changes. This grew into a broader message about mental health and the power of listening.

To make the message stick, the team wanted to embed it into the business they wanted to 'walk the talk'.

The campaign started with educating senior managers to be Mental Health First Aiders – giving them the skills to deal with people in crisis, tackle stigma and facilitate difficult conversations.

In an RSSB blog post, Lesley Health, Head of Safety & Environment says:

“Hear to listen” isn’t even about mental health per se, but about saying we’re operating in a culture that wants to sit down and talk with you about how you are” 

The idea is symbolized in a super-simple but totally effective speech bubble logo – that employees can wear as a badge.


Storytelling is a crucial component of the campaign – with employees volunteering to tell their personal stories in videos that are shared on the company intranet.

Mental well-being is about more than ‘10 tips to relieve stress’ or branded yoga mats. It’s about incrementally building a culture of trust – combining switched-on senior management with employees who are empowered to tell their stories.

9. Herbert Smith Freehills: Cyber Sharp Campaign

We know the topic of cyber security is important, we do. It’s just that it can be a little…dry.

How do you deliver engaging outcomes-focused comms for techy subjects?

You get hands-on like the team at Herbert Smith Freehills (in collaboration with communication specialists at Blue Goose).

Employees attended training sessions relating to common security concerns like phishing, and information management – and took part in interactive and eye-opening small group exercises. Including a facilitator who used social engineering techniques to convince participants he already knew them!

This communications initiative won an IOIC award for being engaging and approachable – with an excellent use of personas to simulate different risk scenarios, well thought-out exercises, and appealing branded animation.


10. Actelion: Multi-faceted Campaign

In the lead up to launching Uptavi, a new drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension, Actelion wanted to educate, engage and energise their employees.

They embarked on a multi-faceted internal communications campaign – with the help of Employee Experience agency, Vignette.

Under the mantra of ‘More is Possible’, the team pulled together a variety of elements for maximum impact. Including a microsite, intranet home page elements and visual workplace disruptions that were installed on windows, floors, and stairs around the office.

Relying on the power of gamification, they also developed an interactive quiz released weekly over 10 weeks – with weekly winners and prizes.

The engaging campaign reminded employees of their common purpose – it helped them to see the impact of Actelion’s innovations and the part they played in bringing ideas to life.


11. Asendia: Gamification

Things were changing at Asendia - a world leading provider of mail services. Core products across e-commerce, publishing, and marketing were aligning and employees needed to understand and engage with the changes.

The Think Tank stepped in to help get everyone on board. How?

With a board game, of course.

Really, it’s just one element in a broader training program – but the Asendia board game provides a fun way to communicate the changes while building engagement throughout the organization.


12. Duarte Inc: Employee Recognition

Sometimes a simple mascot can make all the difference.

When a stressful time hit the team at Duarte - they decided a giraffe could help.


Nancy Duarte, the company founder, was looking for a way to applaud and encourage her loyal workforce. A long time love of giraffes sparked an interesting idea - could they use this graceful creature as an award and/or company mascot?

The idea crystallized further when Duarte discovered that a herd of giraffes is called a tower - the perfect symbol of strength.

As she points out in this article by HR Daily Advisor:

"Giraffes live in groups, are not territorial, and rarely get into tussles—which seems like a fitting symbol for a collegial work environment".

But what's it called when you win an award at Duarte?

Giraffirmation, what else?


13. Cotton On Group: Keeping it real

The Internal Communications team at Cotton On Group understand how crucial it is to put staff at the heart of every move they make. With 22,000 team members across 18 countries - this is no simple task.

Their 'Keeping it real' campaign echoed throughout the business - presenting employees as a force to be reckoned with. 

Cotton On Group use their intranet as a culture-building platform. As Group Digital Communications Manager, Rachel Jones puts it:

"It's a place to tell the stories of our brilliant team members - to celebrate their wins and to recognize the incredible things we achieve together as a global family." 

The integrated strategy includes a TV channel, artwork take-overs, and digital ad spaces - it's a digital playing field where teams can win over and over again.

Cotton On Best Internal Communications

14. Doc Martens: On the Record

Brand consultancy Music worked with clothing retailer Dr. Martens to develop its internal communications strategy.

As part of a year-long campaign, Music created 'On the Record' - an internal newspaper featuring articles written by employees.

To report on financial performance in an engaging way, the publication included a comic strip called 'Mr. Mortimore Money Man' - after the company's CFO.  

Doc Martens Best Internal Communications

The campaign also included a “brand book” - made up of vinyl records featuring the company's core values. 

Rebellious Self Expression? Bring it on!

Doc Martern Best Internal Communications

Congratulations - you made it to the end of the list. You're probably feeling a combination of tired, jealous and inspired. 

Though these campaigns differ in scope, complexity and budget - they have basic best practices in common:

  • Tell real stories with words, photos and video

  • Use catchy campaign names, metaphors and mascots

  • Put employees front and center

  • Think outside the box and have fun

Which campaign is your favorite? Know any other examples of great internal communications? We'd like to hear from you! 

Drop a comment below, or tweet us @grnorbit.



Kath McNiff is writing her way into the future of work. She's constantly raving on about employee experience, internal communications and all things digital workplace. It's exhausting, but we love her anyway. 

Topics: employee engagement, Internal Communications, internal communications strategy

SharePoint Alternatives: What's  the right intranet for your organization?

Posted by Kath McNiff on Apr 2, 2019 10:27:16 AM

If you're in the market for a digital workplace, chances are you've considered SharePoint. 

As Microsoft's answer to document management and web-based collaboration, SharePoint can seem like a sound choice - particularly if you're already invested in the Office 365 productivity suite.

However, if you've done any research, you also know that SharePoint has received its share of bad press over the years. Variously described as the "Swiss Army Chainsaw" or "The most expensive free tool" - many organizations have fallen victim to the platform's sheer size, complexity, and cost of maintenance.

According to an AIIM report, a whopping 40% of organizations consider their SharePoint solution to be unsuccessful. At the same time, there is no disputing the solution's extensive functionality and flexibility.

How do you cut through the noise to determine if SharePoint is the right intranet or digital employee experience platform (DEX) for you?

This post peels back the layers so you can see the differences between SharePoint and an alternative option like out-of-the-box intranet, GreenOrbit - you'll have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Does it have the features I need?

Since it comes "free" with enterprise level Office 365, many organizations default to using SharePoint as their intranet platform. In a sense, they don't choose SharePoint - it chooses them.

As part of Office 365, SharePoint is one element in an intricate and complex ecosystem - as seen in Matt Wade's famous periodic table:


On paper, the features look impressive, but the 'functionality' metric is not just about the number of features a solution has to offer - it's about whether the features are 'fit for purpose' and whether they succeed in meeting business needs without complex customization.

For example, if you're looking for an intranet to drive communication and break down departmental silos - it can be difficult to see how to make this work in SharePoint. 

Which components address these organizational goals?

What will it take to pull these components together into a cohesive experience?

For most organizations, it takes a third party SharePoint consultant (and extensive customizations) to deliver effective answers to these questions. This might be fine for large enterprises - with IT departments that have SharePoint expertise and lots of spare capacity - but can prove prohibitively expensive for others.

Will it drive better business outcomes?

SharePoint didn't start life as an intranet, instead it's a mix of several platforms that have been acquired by Microsoft over the years - not exactly a great example of 'intentional design'.  

In contrast, GreenOrbit is a dedicated intranet solution - built from the ground up and honed over the years to address the core pillars of digital workplace experience; productivity, collaboration, content and culture. 

GreenOrbit is the best intranet solution in the digital workplace

It's common for organizations to 'make do' with SharePoint - trying to shoehorn it into the broader business strategy. This can lead to problems with adoption and stakeholder buy-in. It can be a time-wasting step in the wrong direction.

Make no mistake - SharePoint is feature-rich and highly flexible but, depending on the organization, it can be like giving a toddler the keys to a helicopter.

Is it easy to use?

Over the years, SharePoint has had a reputation for breaking or ignoring the rules around User Experience - lack of signposting, breadcrumbs and poor navigation are some of the themes that frequently bubble-up - particularly for those working in the classic SharePoint UI.

Modern SharePoint has made some headway on this, but it has also created a headache for organizations looking to upgrade their highly customized classic SharePoint to the new Modern version.

According to AIIM, close to 60% of organizations blame low adoption rates on the fact that the solution has a steep learning curve and is difficult to use. It also requires a level of expertise that makes it difficult for content creators in Internal Comms and HR to take an agile approach to information management.

You might also find yourself frustrated by Sharepoint's fragmented approach to social collaboration - MySites and Newsfeeds are separate entities that require users to navigate away from the intranet.

With a solution like GreenOrbit, you can empower content creators and equip users with everything they need in one central location - leading to a cohesive and engaging user experience:

GreenOrbit is an alternative intranet solution to SharePoint

What about governance?

Sharepoint allows you to set multi-level permissions to govern who can do what in the intranet - but if approached without a plan, the results can become complicated and confusing. This is especially true if you create new custom permission groups.

In GreenOrbit, there is a consistent and streamlined process for defining, viewing and editing the creation rights of every user and content item.

It can also be difficult to control the proliferation of sites in a SharePoint intranet - and many users report feeling overwhelmed and out-of-control. For example, when you create a new Office 365 Group, you automatically create a new SharePoint site collection - without realizing it. It can be hard to get your head around what all these sites and site collections are about.

What level of support do I need?

Microsoft is obviously a trusted vendor - but when it comes to customizing the look and feel, setting up workflows and deploying your intranet, they take a hands-off approach. You'll need to hire a SharePoint consultant or build a team in-house - both of which come at a considerable cost.

With a GreenOrbit subscription, you are not just buying the software - you're buying decades of intranet experience too.

Based on your branding guidelines and the results of an in-depth Information Architecture review, UX experts will deliver a cohesive intranet that meets user needs and is branded to suit your organization's culture and objectives. They will take care of deployment and provide training. You won't need to hire specialized intranet consultants or lean on internal IT resources. 

How much will it cost?

Although organizations get a free SharePoint Online license with Office 365, the eventual outcome could easily cost more than $120k when you factor in customizations, third-party integrations, specialist consultants, internal resources and deployment.

GreenOrbit is competitively priced based on number of users and your subscription includes:

  • Professional implementation and deployment

  • Site structure setup and branding

  • Theme user training and mentorship

While it can take upwards of 12 months to deploy a SharePoint solution, your GreenOrbit intranet can be up and running in a matter of weeks - depending on your site's requirements.

What does the future hold?

In his article Why the future of SharePoint could be Dismal, Scott Robinson says 

"...the days of large-scale SharePoint build-outs for collaboration and content management are probably over. Newer products are often just as flexible, relatively inexpensive and don't require .NET expertise for complex customizations."

We could all use a crystal ball to see what's ahead - to make sure our digital workplaces are successful now and into the uncertain future.

It seems likely that productivity, innovation and employee experience will continue to reign supreme as the hallmarks of a successful organization. If your intranet supports these pillars without breaking the bank or causing undue chaos - you made the right choice. 

For more information, about using GreenOrbit as a launchpad for success check out our free ebook:

eBook: Steps to Building a Great Intranet


Topics: digital workplace, new intranet, SharePoint, digital workplace experience, intranet examples, sharepoint alternative

Every Day is International Women's Day at GreenOrbit

Posted by Kath McNiff on Mar 8, 2019 7:40:00 AM

Here at GreenOrbit, we use Jira (project tracking software by Atlassian) to schedule our tasks and track our work.

This morning, as I waited for the caffeine to kick in, I set about arranging the tasks on my board in aesthetically pleasing ways - left, right, up, down - until one item broke through my procrastinatory haze.

"Write blog post for International Women's Day"

It caught my attention because it's a pleasant departure from the tech-focused material I usually write. But, I have to admit, it scared me a little too.

Although I've been a woman for decades now, I haven't given International Women's Day much thought. Shameful but true.

Caught up in the busyness of life - working, parenting, juggling - I've never really stopped to consider what the day meant.  

Until now.

Towards a Gender-Balanced World

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #balanceforbetter.

As I look around the office, I see this in action everywhere - amazing women spanning the spectrum of age, culture, experience and expertise.

There's Sai Chalermsan - a genius designer who loves to sing. Taryn Korman, a campaign manager who paints masterpieces in her spare time. Nina Wan, a tech wizard and web developer who loves rabbits.

All great women - led by the switched-on Terri McKinnon, who manages young kids (and us) without ever dropping a ball.

TarynandSai 1

Across the room, I see Lesley Maea - intranet guru and accomplished pianist. She's sitting beside Jasmine Clapton an amazingly knowledgeable project expert and Carmen Duncan, a problem-solving Support Analyst.

We're a diverse group of women but we love working together. We celebrate our differences, take turns at mentoring and being mentored, collaborate constantly and - best of all - we laugh (and eat) whenever possible.

women at greenorbit

I'm starting to realize that the meaning of International Women's Day is playing out in my workplace, before my very eyes.

I decide to go deeper.

Celebrating Women-in-Tech

Women at GreenOrbit make up close to 40% of our total workforce. Most of us are in tech or tech-adjacent roles - so it makes sense to consider International Women's Day through this lens.

Only 14% of all CTO positions in tech companies belong to women - that makes our own CTO, Josie Mangano, something of a unicorn.

As ambassador to women in mathematical sciences at ASMIJosie is keenly aware of the forces at play. 

"You won't be what you can't see. We need to tell young girls about the opportunities in tech and show them that the tech space is broad and women can play a major part in it."

Josie leads a global team of technology experts, many of whom are women. I decide to draw on their experience and wisdom - asking them how we can encourage more women to choose careers in technology.

Hey Girls - Tech is Fun!

Anuradha Sardesai, a Product Owner in our Pune office, was intrigued by the infinite universe as a child - she loved solving puzzles and tricky mathematical problems.

Anurada Casual

Anuradha believes young girls need role models who can teach them to appreciate technology - and who can downplay the perceived complexity. We need to show girls that tech can be a rewarding (and cool!) career.

Ketaki Kulkarni takes a similar view - suggesting that initiatives like, Teaching Girls to Code and encouraging girls to study STEM subjects, can help us get more women into technology.

As a young girl in high school, Ketaki was fascinated by the ways technology could change the world. She sees gender diversity as crucial to a company's success.


Back in our Melbourne office, Sarah Reynolds loves combining the technical with the creative in her role as Lead UX Specialist. She'd like to see more information being given to young girls so they can see what it means to work in tech and the possibilities that exist.

Like Sarah, Andrea Boundy (who leads the UX team) is passionate about demonstrating how much fun tech can be:

"Tech still has this image of the nerdy guy who sits and plays with computers, but really tech is about being on the bleeding edge of what’s coming and what’s new and what’s possible. Plus it’s really creative – you get to MAKE things".


Our Lead Software QA Engineer, Sheena Shoby, believes that more women would work in tech if they could see that it offers great work/life balance - including flexible hours and work at home options.

We're incredibly proud of these inspiring women who are kicking goals and paving the way for young girls to follow. 

This year's International Women's Day is about forging a more gender-balanced world - and these women are embodying that goal every day. 

Making Life Easier

As women, we're especially attuned to the ways GreenOrbit can make life easier for our sisters-in-arms:

  • Giving them access to the tools they need, no matter when or where they need them.

  • Automating the boring admin so they can focus on people, innovation and success.

  • Making it easy for them to connect, share ideas and support each other - having fun along the way.

Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

As far as the workplace goes, it's fair to say I've been around. 

I know that women have come a long way - particularly in tech. Unfortunately, while climbing the male-dominated ladder, we haven't always been kind to each other. But times are changing.

The glass ceiling may not be broken yet - but the cracks are definitely showing.

I get it now. This day isn't an abstract concept celebrating a lofty idea. It's about real women who are out there getting work done and making things happen. Women who are supporting each other every step of the way.

So from all of us at GreenOrbit - Happy International Women's Day!



Topics: team culture, workforce, company intranet, international women's day

Top 5 Digital Workplace Challenges in 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Mar 1, 2019 1:00:00 PM


It's official. The conversation around Digital Workplace has gone mainstream.

No longer the secret realm of enterprise IT departments and power-house technology vendors - 'digital workplace' as a Utopian ideal and practical reality is resounding through the halls of government, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, education and healthcare.

  • In Singapore, the SkillsFuture program is training thousands of regular people to adapt to the changing digital workplace - introducing participants to the potential of technology.

  • The Estonian government has reinvented itself as a digital workplace platform - where 99% of the public services are available online 24/7 and where 30% of Estonians use i-Voting - saving 800 years of bureaucratic working time.

  • Hotels in the U.S. who are struggling to attract and retain their traditional teen workforce are pinning their hopes on interactive and engaging digital workplace tools. 

Digital transformation is not new - and organizations across all kinds of verticals have been struggling for a decade to get it right. What is new - is that 'every day people' have joined the conversation.

The general population is becoming increasingly tech-savvy and, quite frankly, the digital natives are getting restless.


Companies know they need to adapt - and adapt quickly if they want to win the war on talent, reduce time to market, and innovate their way into a secure future.

So what's holding them back? Why does an effective and seamless digital workplace seem so slippery and elusive?

1. Dealing with Legacy Applications

The transition to a streamlined digital workplace is especially difficult for large enterprises invested in complex technology stacks and legacy applications.

Gartner predicts that from 2018 to 2020, organizations will have spent three times as much on modernizing their legacy applications as they have on digital transformation. Doesn't seem like money well spent.

Despite being out of step with their increasingly mobile and tech-literate workforce, many organizations continue to upgrade and renew antiquated platforms - pushing out key apps on desktop computers. 

Why? Because it's hard to connect siloed systems and untangle old technology - but it's even harder to change entrenched processes and stubborn mind-sets.


Current debate suggests that CIOs can lead the charge by taking a broader view - focusing on the value IT can deliver to the business. Not as technology evangelists, but as champions of productivity, innovation and agile processes.

To do this, they need a clear data-driven picture of what's happening on the ground - what do employees expect and what tools do they need to get work done?

What about shadow IT - the apps that employees bring in through the back door to get work done?  It's up to organizations to figure out how to give users what they need in a more secure and compliant way.  

2. Moving to Cloud

The phenomenal rise of mobile is forcing many organizations to soften their anti-cloud stance. 

A Cloud Vision Survey, conducted by LogicMonitor, reports that 83% of enterprise workload will be on the cloud by 2020 - with 41% of the workload running on public cloud platforms.

Despite this trend, many organizations remain cloud-shy.

Reliability and data security are often cited as top concerns - and it's easy to understand why. Data breaches and cyber attacks feed the media machine and most CIOs want to avoid making those kinds of headlines.

The reality is that large-scale cloud providers like AWS can provide a more reliable and secure infrastructure than could ever be achieved in-house.

As far as cloud-based intranets are concerned - it's important that organizations understand the security measures that vendors have in place.

The questions to ask include:

  • Who is the cloud provider? Amazon (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google are the main players.

  • Can I unify authentication processes across business applications?

  • Can users have a single sign-on across devices via a recognized standard (like SAML or OAuth)?

  • Does the platform offer multi-tiered, permission-based security?

Here, Gavin Lewis, the Lead Cloud Architect at GreenOrbit talks about these security measures in more detail.

Moving to the cloud makes organizations more nimble because they can side-step the cost and time required to maintain complex systems. What's more, backups and viruses become someone else's problem.

If worries about data security are keeping you from realizing the potential of a cloud-based digital workplace - download this eBook for a deeper dive:

Security-Compliance Ebook

Senior Executive Buy-in

Workplace technology specialists can get all the elements right - finding out what users need, sourcing the best solutions, taking an agile approach - but if senior leaders can't see the value or are distracted by the cost, then the outlook for success is grim.

According to the 2018 Digital Transformation Index, 35% of companies see the CEO as their main obstacle to digital transformation.

This concept of senior executive buy-in was a common thread running through many of the presentations at the recent Digital Workplace Summit in Melbourne.

Speaking from hard-won experience, Jen Goeldner from Transurban explained the importance of "setting senior leader expectations" at the get go. Without management buy-in and support, the road to a successful digital workplace can be a bumpy one - it may even lead to a dead end.

In a similar vein, Rebecca Jackson from NextDC stressed the importance of getting stakeholders on board early in the process - and avoiding the 'big bang' approach. 

Bringing departmental silos together and communicating the value of a seamless digital workplace are keys to success - they can't be overlooked in the rush to implement the latest and greatest technology.

4. Driving Adoption

Closely aligned to challenge number 3, is the concept of digital workplace adoption. Because, let's face it - there's nothing worse than throwing a party where nobody comes.


In an ideal world, your employees are chomping at the bit - waiting for the ultimate digital workplace to solve their productivity, collaboration and communication issues.

But the reality rarely measures up for a number of reasons: 

  • Resistance to change - if it's not clear how the new platform will make life easier or if the learning curve is too steep, employees will be reluctant joiners.

  • 'New Tool' fatigue - knowledge workers are in application and information overload. New solutions need to be easy-to-use and as frictionless as possible.

  • Poor communication - deployment of the new digital workplace must be underpinned by clear, engaging and consistent comms.

  • Lack of adoption strategy - planning cannot stop at roll-out. An adoption strategy, developed with input from stakeholders across the business, will keep everyone moving forward.

  • No clear business case - technologies fail to gain traction when users don't actually need them. Reduce the risk by taking a human-centered approach to digital workplace planning and design.

5. Measuring and adjusting

A digital workplace is not a set-and-forget proposition - it's a long-term commitment that needs to be monitored, measured and improved.

Metrics and key performance indicators should be part of the overall digital workplace strategy - ensuring that the business understands how users are responding; including which elements are working and which are not. Without this information, it's impossible to calculate or communicate digital workplace ROI.

Usage metrics are a good place to start. Monitoring page visits, devices used, average time spent, bounce rates and locations can give organizations a quantitative view of uptake. However, these measures don't tell the whole story.


To track user satisfaction and get a feel for what people are thinking, organizations need to run regular surveys, conduct qualitative interviews or take an ethnographic approach by observing users as they work.

Gathering data is well and good but acting on it is the challenge. Whose job is it? How does it feed into the digital workplace roadmap? Taking an agile and iterative approach, with frequent stakeholder touchpoints, can help.

After all, the digital workplace is a journey, not a destination.  

Do any of these challenges resonate with you? We'd love to hear your digital workplace story in the comments below.


Topics: digital workplace, digital transformation, company intranet

Digital Workplace Summit 2019: Key Takeaways

Posted by Taryn Korman on Feb 22, 2019 4:46:26 PM

Last Wednesday, a team from GreenOrbit attended the first day of the Digital Workplace Summit - a great event at Maia, Docklands in Melbourne.

Intro Conference

We were lucky enough to attend the conference but even more thrilled to be a sponsor!

What Did it Cover?

The Digital Workplace Summit was a two-day conference with two tailored streams running simultaneously. The digital workplace stream focused on:

  • Discussing the core challenges in achieving a flexible and collaborative digital workplace 

  • Implementing a technology strategy to support the future of a digital workplace

Who Was There?

The session drew 129 attendees who were a mix of IT professionals in roles such as:

  • Heads of Digital Workplace

  • Digital Experience Managers

  • Enterprise Technology Specialists

  • Chief Architects

All looking to undergo a broader digital transformation in their organisation.

Throughout the event we heard engaging talks from leaders of top organisations such as NAB, ANZ Bank, Coles, Monash University, Atlassian, SpaceOS, Tabcorp, NextDC, Transurban and REA Group on key insights, experience and their success stories on topics ranging from:

  • Business cases for investment

  • Improving UX through technology

  • Aligning technology, people and place

  • Collaboration tools and platforms

  • Driving operational efficiency through technology

  • Future of work

Stand Out Session

A highlight of the conference was hearing from key note speaker Miranda Kovacic, Domain Lead, Employee Experience ANZ Bank.

Miranda emphasised how important it is to embed employee experience into the heart of workplace technology strategy.

She explained how ANZ Bank put adaptability, curiosity, learning and customer centricity at the core of their initiatives and take a human centred design approach.

miranda kovacic 1

Remote Work Round Table

Our own CTO, Josie Mangano, ran a round table discussion backed up by Lesley Maea, Director of Customer Success.

The topic was ‘Using technology to engage a distributed workforce - the challenges of remote and mobile workers’.

Josie encouraged attendees to open up about the obstacles they have trying to engage their remote workers. Surprisingly, some organisations are still struggling to put their HR documents and leave requests online. It seems so simple but this is still a real issue for many companies.

Josie shared tips and solutions that the attendees could implement in their own digital workplaces. We got so much out of this session - stories about what happens on the ground from a range of user perspectives. Insights that help us to understand how work is changing and the ways GreenOrbit can help.round table

Networking Opportunities

The morning session was broken up by getting all attendees and speakers to participate in an exercise called Speed Networking - similar to speed dating without the awkwardness!

It was an effective way to break the ice, network and to understand what people wanted to get out of the conference.

Speed Networking 2

Key Takeaways

The biggest takeaway from the conference was learning what hurdles people and organisations are still facing with their digital transformation. The common trends across the board are:

  • Engaging a mobile workforce

  • Getting senior buy in, changing mindsets and improving adoption of technology

  • Measuring the ROI and the success of a digital workplace

  • Moving to the cloud – implementation and security

This was such an engaging and informative conference.

It was inspiring to get a glimpse into how the boldest and brightest are designing and implementating amazing digital workplaces. 

I highly recommend you get yourself to the next Digital Workplace Summit by ForeFront events  - particularly if you want to keep pace with the ever-evolving future of work!


Topics: digital workplace, company intranet

The Top 15 Digital Workplace Conferences for 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Feb 5, 2019 10:34:40 AM


If the calendar of upcoming conferences is anything to go by - excitement around the #futureofwork is reaching fever pitch.

HR, Comms, and Digital Workplace professionals from all over the world are joining forces in an attempt to understand, leverage and shape the technologies and processes driving workplace transformation.


So - get out your calendar, book your flights and join them!

As well as witnessing thought leaders in action, you may get a chance to hob-nob with celebrity keynoters like Oprah, Martha Stewart and Garry Kasparov.

These 15 conferences from around the globe will challenge you, inspire you and drag you (kicking and screaming?) into the new world of work.

ATD TechKnowledge

WHEN: Feb 6-8

WHERE: West Palm Beach, Florida



TechKnowledge is a learning technologies conference for talent development professionals that delivers practical how-to’s, advanced strategy and solutions, and everything in between. 

Keynote Speakers

  • Dean Kamen - inventor of the Segway Human Transporter

  • Shaili Chopra- Founder of SheThePeople TV and Award-Winning Journalist

  • Ben Nemtin - Number 1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Star of MTV's The Buried Life

Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: Feb 13

WHERE: Melbourne, Australia

HASHTAG: #digitalworkplace19


The Digital Workplace Summit gathers leaders of Digital Workplace and Employee Experience to explore the latest thinking around collaboration, UX, technology and the future of work. 

Keynote speakers include:

Digital Workplace 24 

WHEN: Feb 26-27

WHERE: Online



Digital Workplace 24 is a unique digital workplace insight event, broadcasting from around the world over 24 hours. Hosts from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific take you live into the digital workplaces of the world’s leading organizations, with live tours, demos and guest interviews (including one with US presidential Candidate fo 2020, Andrew Yang)

Studio Guests:

Ragan Internal Comms and Culture

WHEN: March 6-8

WHERE: Chicago

HASHTAG: #RaganInternalComms


This conference focuses on how to keep employees engaged and build a culture that withstands any upheaval. It looks at ways to revamp outdated channels, break into new platforms, improve executive communications and demonstrate ROI.

Keynote Speakers

  • Theresa Ludvigson - Senior director, global onboarding Salesforce

  • Ally Bunin - Vice president, employee engagement Brighton Health Plan Solutions

Intra.NET Reloaded

WHEN: April 04 – 05

WHERE: Boston


Intra.NET Reloaded Boston provides organizations with insights into new developments in the digital workplace landscape and covers strategic and technical aspects of employee communication, as well as change management strategies.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Yuri Aguiar - Director of Innovation and Transformation Ogilvy Group

  • Brooke Buchanan - Former SVP of Communications and Government Affairs, Whole Foods Market

ATD International Conference  

WHEN: May 19-22

WHERE: Washington, D.C.



The ATD International Conference & Exposition is the largest event for talent development professionals worldwide.

It focuses on the knowledge, strategies, and solutions organizations need to effectively attract, develop, and retain top talent. 

Keynote Speakers

Gartner Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: 29-30 May

WHERE: Orlando, Florida


A conference focused on the technologies people use to get work done in today’s modern work environment.

Featured Speakers:

  • Matt Cain - Vice President Gartner

  • Jeffrey Mann - Research Vice President for collaboration and social software at Gartner Research.

  • Helen Poitevin - Research Director with a focus on HCM technologies

2019 IABC World Conference

WHEN: 9-12 June

WHERE: Vancouver



The 2019 International Association of Business Communicators World Conference explores challenges and opportunities facing the communication profession. The event draws over 1300 attendees from around the world.

Keynote Speakers

Festival of Work

WHEN: 12-13 June

WHERE: Olympia London

HASHTAG: #festivalofwork


The CIPD Festival of Work brings together business leaders, technologists, people professionals and learning and development experts to explore, debate and celebrate why the future of work is human after all.

It explores ways of leading, harnessing technology and equipping employees with the skills to succeed in the future of work.

Keynote Speakers

  • Garry Kasparov - Former World Chess Champion, Chair of the Human Rights Foundation, Best-Selling Author

  • Neil Harbisson - World’s first Cyborg Artist and Co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation

Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: 17 June

WHERE: The British Academy, London

Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit

Hosted at the British Academy in London, the Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit is a European event which brings together professionals to discuss the future of work with the digital workplace. The summit includes keynotes, lessons learned, case studies and workshops.

Keynote Speakers

Digital Workplace Experience – DWX 2019

WHEN: 17–19 June

WHERE: Chicago, USA


Digital Workplace Experience Conference

Digital Workplace Experience (DWX) is an interactive event for the global community of intranet and digital workplace professionals that is a collaboration between Digital Workplace Group and SMG/CMSWire.

Discover how organizations like NASA, H&R Block, The Scottish Government, Walmart and Southwest Airlines run their digital workplaces.

Keynote Speakers:

SHRM19 Annual Conference and Exposition

WHEN: 23-26 June

WHERE: Las Vegas



This year's Society for Human Resource Managers Conference focuses on creating better workplaces. It delves into technology, innovation and the changing landscape of work. 

Keynote Speakers 

  • Blake Mycoskie - Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS

  • Vineet Nayar - Founder Chairman of Sampark Foundation

  • Brené Brown - Author and Researcher, University of Houston

  • Martha Stewart - Emmy Award-Winning Television Show Host, Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author

Digital Employee Experience (DEX) 2019

WHEN: 18-20 September

WHERE: Sydney, Australia



Digital employee experience (#DEX) considers every touchpoint between staff and their employer. This conference brings together intranet teams, digital teams, internal comms, IT and HR to explore what great DEX looks like.


HR Technology Conference and Exposition

WHEN: 1-4 October

WHERE: Las Vegas



A conference focused on the HR technology market - with this year's theme being Women in Technology.  It looks at the ways HR and IT executives can leverage technology and secure their pivotal roles in overall company success.

Keynote Speakers:

Boye 2019

WHEN: Nov 4- 7

WHERE: Aarhus, Denmark

HASHTAG: #boye2019


This digital leadership conference is a blend of keynotes, workshops, sprints, customer stories and analyst talks. 




Topics: digital workplace, workplace, conference

The 5 Enemies of Effective Workplace Collaboration

Posted by Kath McNiff on Jan 23, 2019 5:28:39 PM

Collaboration is king in the new world of work.

Disruptors like Uber and Airbnb and have shown that small teams of diverse thinkers are capable of toppling industries and building breakthrough products that change the world.

With the #futureofwork on our doorstep, collaboration has become more important than ever - it's the secret sauce of innovation and is vital for business survival and success.  

As Jason Fox (wizard rogue and author of How to Lead Quest) says:

"To find futures, we need to venture into the angst of uncertainty and systematically and collectively use our imagination to explore what's possible."

But collaborating (especially amidst uncertainty) is not as easy as it sounds and organizations can struggle to get it right.

For specific ideas on creating a space for collaboration, you might want to check out our White Paper:

Get-Your-Team-Going_Call-To-Action-1For now, let's review a few of the barriers that get in the way of collaboration and look at ways of jumping them.

Lack of training

Businesses build break-out rooms and setup team messaging tools in the hope that collaboration will just happen.

But like any other skill, collaboration requires training - tailored to a company's unique challenges and goals.

To collaborate effectively, teams need to understand how to

  • Actively listen

  • Have challenging conversations

  • Use collaboration tools

  • Develop effective partnerships

  • Manage accountability

HR leaders can build a truly collaborative workplace by helping people to understand the art (and science) of collaboration - including how it plays into everyday processes and broader business goals.


Those damn Silos

A recent survey from My, reveals that 40 percent of employees feel unsupported by their colleagues because "different departments have their own agendas."

When departments hoard information and focus on their own goals, the business at large misses out on the convergence of perspectives and potential improvements that a more collaborative approach would provide.

In her book The Innovation Formula, Dr. Amantha Imber shares a funny yet telling anecdote about a lingerie company where "bras didn't talk to panties"  - two ridiculously siloed departments that led to mismatched underwear and significant customer frustration. 

One of the problems is that different departments tend to favor different tools and processes - so getting on the same page in a digital sense can prove difficult. This is where a central platform for communication, cooperation, and coordination can help to break down the silos and bridge the information gaps - and voila, matching undies! 

Senior leaders need to bring departments together regularly - to set complementary agendas, share challenges and reap the benefits of cross-pollination. 

5-enemies-of-collaboration-silos 3

Fragmented Tools

Collaboration tools are hot right now - and they'll stay hot according to a recent report via Computer World.

 "...collaboration software has become an increasingly integral part of how work is both organized and carried out".

But the sheer volume of disparate tools can defeat the very purpose they're intended to serve.

Email, Skype, Slack, comments in Word docs and PDFs - with so many conversations going on all over the place, it can be hard to keep track of collaborative efforts.

The proliferation of collaboration platforms shows no signs of slowing down so the challenge will be to consolidate and find a simpler, more holistic solution -  one that engages workers, organizes collective knowledge and ignites the collaborative spark - or as the recent research from Deloitte suggests:

"HR organizations must work with IT to bring their expertise in team management, goal-setting, and employee development to help make using the new wave of connectivity tools productive, simple, and engaging."

5-enemies-of-collaboration-holistic 5

The 'T' Word

According to PWC's Global CEO Survey, 50% of CEOs worldwide consider a lack of trust to be a major threat to their organizational growth.

Trust is at the heart of every great collaboration - it starts at the top of an organization and filters down.

It practical terms, it means that people can depend on each other to:

  • Follow through and do what they say they will do

  • Put skin in the game (share the risks and rewards)

  • Acknowledge good work

  • Compromise where needed

  • Show vulnerability

  • Empathize

  • Share opinions without fear of ridicule, reprisal or idea-theft

  • Overcome personal biases and default ways of thinking

Research has shown that people working in trust-based cultures are 60% more likely to enjoy their jobs and 70% more aligned with their companies' purpose - the perfect storm for collaboration and innovation.

5-enemies-of-collaboration-trust 6

The Other 'T' Word

Collaboration? Who's got time for that?

Time is precious and there's so much work to do. Dr Jason Fox calls this relentless busyness "the curse of efficiency" and goes on to explain how it crowds out time for collaboration, innovation, and good strategic development.

Operational efficiency is crucial to business success but it doesn't drive change or push the boundaries.

So, why do we continue to focus on it? Because we're good at it, because it feels comfortable and because it's less frightening than tackling the big problems or seeking new horizons.

Organizations can free up time for collaboration by automating the busy work - using their intranet for online forms, workflows and tick-the-box compliance requirements. 

To carve out time for intentional collaboration (instead of just hoping it will happen in an ad-hoc or serendipitous way) organizations can set particular days of the week as 'Collaboration Days' - where people plan to be in the office for team meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Or, like Atlassian, they could run regular ShipIt Days where teams can drop what they’re doing and collaborate to "make something awesome.”

Get Collaboration Going

From building an International Space Station to mapping the Human Genome or composing Hey Jude - collaboration is key to our greatest leaps forward.

The same is true for your business.

For a deeper dive into the challenges of collaboration and how your intranet can help, download our White Paper. 



Topics: Collaboration, esn, innovation, company intranet

Summer holidays, kids and work: The great juggling act of the modern parent

Posted by Terri McKinnon on Jan 14, 2019 12:29:00 PM

The New Year’s bell has now tolled and I’ve been back at work for well over a week now. The holiday break was welcomed, but it is now all hands on deck and the workload certainly didn't get the memo that it's summer, and to settle the pace. Not to mention, the kids!


For the best part of six weeks, Australian school children are on summer break, and parents need to accommodate the minding of them during this time, usually a mix of leave taken by each parent to balance the care, play dates at friend’s houses, calling in the grandparents to help, or sending them off to camps and holiday programs.

Each of these options have been utilized by me to keep my children occupied and as a remote worker, the juggle of keeping them entertained whilst working becomes a blurred line in work/life balance.

I feel very fortunate, that GreenOrbit is a flexible workplace allowing employees to work remotely and flexibly as required. Recognizing that many of my friends, due to their occupations, do not always have the same options.

Summer holidays for me means early morning starts at 6am where I check in with projects that are happening in the US and keep in contact with the day-to-day there. As I work remotely, it's the company intranet which is my lifeline to the files and information that I need to get work done.

My children will rise and help themselves to breakfast popping their heads into my office to say good morning - then proceed to binge on every possible streaming service for the few hours, as I tell myself that their brains won't turn to mush, and I continue to work.

By mid-morning we discuss the plans that they want to do, riding bikes to friends’ houses, or visiting grandparents who live close by. They enjoy having a little independence to go do their exploring without my watchful eye. No helicopter parenting here.

By lunchtime, my work moves poolside and with the laptop setup, any number of friends could be at our house to enjoy the water.


In starting early, I have the ability to finish earlier and enjoy some quality time with them and they appreciate that I’m not always working.

This would not be possible without the technology to support my working environment and an intranet that provides the communication and collaboration facilities to keep in contact with colleagues and continue to work.

My apologies to those that don’t have the ability to access this flexibility. I’m just very grateful that this is an option in my workplace.

What tips do you have for working at home while your kids are on holidays? I'd love to hear...

Topics: digital workplace, organising, mobile intranet, wellbeing, workplace, communication tools, company intranet

The Future of Work - Popular Posts and Workplace Trends

Posted by Kath McNiff on Dec 23, 2018 10:01:00 AM

 Ok, 2018 happened. And what a year it was!

Royal weddings, under-water cave rescues, Zuckerberg apologies, and the unstoppable tide of workplace transformation. Royal-wedding-king-s-church-international-671140-unsplash

Here, at GreenOrbit, we've had the most extraordinary twelve months. 

We spent it refocusing on what it takes to get work going - on what it takes to drive ultimate collaboration and productivity in the new world of work.

But it looks like we're not the only ones interested in how work is changing.

Our top 5 most popular blog posts tell the story - they're  like breadcrumbs leading the way to what preoccupied readers in 2018.


7 Habits HR Needs to Break

Intended as a round-up of the 2018 AHRI National Convention - this post asks HR to take a long hard look in the mirror and do some honest self-appraising.



Speakers across the conference called on HR to stop:

  • Age stereotyping and using generational labels like 'millennials' and 'baby boomers' - Lynda Gratton pointed out that people are more than just their age.

  • HR-splaining - using jargon in contracts, policies and other types of communication.

  • Conforming to the status quo - don't continue doing what got you here because 'it won't get you there'. Herminia Ibarra called on HR to shake things up and innovate.

  • Getting tied up in busy work - Dr. Jason Fox said we should look for ways streamline and automate 'administrivia'.

  • Sitting in your ivory tower - Fiona Michel implored us to get out and see what work is really like for people on the ground.


Employee Engagement: The Ultimate Crash Course

Employee engagement continued to be a hot topic in 2018 - this post aggregates all the amazing information out there into a digestible crash course.


The crash course includes 10 lessons:

  1. A definition of 'employee engagement' - including what it means to senior executives, managers, and individuals.

  2. How employee engagement differs from 'job satisfaction' or the broader concept of 'employee experience'.

  3. Reasons why employee engagement has become such a hot topic - fears of disruption, challenges of a blended workforce, sobering statistics and a changing economic landscape. 

  4. Who is in charge of employee engagement - senior execs, HR leaders, internal comms and ultimately, all of us.

  5. The neuroscience behind engagement including an exploration of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Michael Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow and Daniel Pink's work on human motivation.

  6. Practical strategies for getting started with employee engagement - think onboarding, surveys, mentors and cohesive digital workspaces.

  7. A round-up of the companies who are winning at employee engagement - based on the Glassdoor's top places to work in 2018.

  8. The risks of ignoring employee engagement (hint: bad for productivity and overall business outcomes).

  9. Which tools are available to support and drive employee engagement  - everything from pulse surveys to data analysis tools and digital workplace solutions.

  10. The leaders and influencers in the employee engagement space - and a handy list of hashtags to follow (#FutureofWork, #hrtech, #worktrends...)


Welcome to GreenOrbit

This post explained our interstellar journey from Intranet DASHBOARD to GreenOrbit.


The post is a behind-the-scenes look at:

  • Our new direction: a renewed focus of what employees need to get work going. 

  • Our new name: a name that reflects our adventurous spirit (orbit) and our down-to-earth approach (green)

  • Our new look: bold and decisive with images of people looking outward to a bright future - embraced by swirling orbits of neon green.

  • Our expanding global footprint with offices across North America, Europe, Australia, India, and Asia.


Centralizing communications: Thou shalt not have broadcast email


Email fatigue is real and this post struck a chord with our readers.

It explains how the Financial Services organization, VicSuper redirected information and knowledge away from bloated inboxes and into GreenOrbit's centralized platform.

Pushing collaboration away from email and into GreenOrbit meant several conversations could take place concurrently through news posts, forums, pages and activity feeds – getting messages out at the right time to the right people.

Read the case study to find out more.


Enterprise IT as the Torchbearer of Workplace Productivity

This post explores the ways IT teams can meet user expectations and drive productivity throughout an organization. 


It focuses on doing user research to benchmark the digital employee experience - and using it to make evidence-based improvements.

IT experts should be freed-up from endless support tickets so they can think strategically and build a collaborative and productive workplace. 

To get a head start with improving productivity in your organization, download our free ebook: 

5 Barriers to Productivity in the New World of Work.

Are we ready for 2019?

What trends can we expect to see in the new year?

Here a few that spring to mind:

  • An upturn in employee engagement stats - the needle is moving.

  • Greater focus on overall 'digital employee experience'

  • 'Work-life-balance' repositioned as 'Work-life-blend'

  • Greater emphasis on 'people analytics' to inform decision making

  • Digital workspaces to calm the chaos of 'tool overload'

  • Continuous learning 

  • Death of the performance review

  • Diversity and inclusion reign

  • Increased transparency in business culture and practices

  • HR focus on reskilling employees for the future of work

What are your predictions?

What's worth exploring in our upcoming blog posts?

Share your thoughts in the comments below - we'd love to hear from you! 



Enterprise IT as the Torchbearer of Workplace Productivity

Posted by Kath McNiff on Dec 20, 2018 2:00:00 AM


We expect a lot from our digital workplaces - that's because as tech consumers and smartphone aficionados we know what's possible.

From paying bills, to booking appointments and bingeing on Netflix - we've grown accustomed to smooth interfaces and predictable digital experiences. Things just work - and if they don't, well... there's an app for that.


Chaos vs Control

Jumping between apps is fine for us as individuals, but spells chaos for the IT professionals in charge of modern digital workplaces.

At the office, collaboration is king and organizations need a cohesive way of getting things done. If some people are on WhatsApp and others are on Messenger - how can they share ideas and get work going?

This dichotomy leaves Enterprise IT caught between a rock and a hard place.

Employees want to use their flavor-of-the-month tools and, since the IT procurement team don't want to rain on anyone's parade or halt real productivity gains, they may turn a blind eye or add the tool to the already congested software register.

Thing is, this tool might be great for one department but a nightmare for another, and there's a good chance it'll be thrown to the curb when the next shiny thing comes along. 


At the other extreme, Enterprise IT might put their foot down and get serious about which tools are allowed and which are not - because how do you manage security and maintain a level of assurance in an 'anything goes' software scenario?

To maintain control, the organization might have a well-defined process for selecting software solutions - and refuse to stray from the Preferred Vendor playlist. They may even stick with tired legacy infrastructure because it represents a significant financial investment and "is the way things are done around here".

In the first scenario, IT is left picking up the pieces of an impossibly fragmented workplace - while in the second they're being blamed for forcing everyone to use outdated and inflexible technology.

Is there a happy compromise?

The Middle Ground

Tim Flower, Director of Business Transformation at Nexthink, believes there is.

In a recent webinar via CMSWire he said the answer lies in taking a step back and spending time on research, reflection and strategic thinking.

The key to an exceptional digital workplace is not about the latest shiny app or complicated technology stack - it's about people and the tools they need to get work done.

Flower suggests that IT teams need to benchmark the current digital employee experience and look for evidence-based ways of improving it.

He says they need to spend less time responding to isolated issues and more time empathizing with users and understanding what a typical day is really like.

This involves taking a holistic view of the digital workplace backed up by quantitative and qualitative data - what are people doing and how do they feel about it?

Flower's company, Nexthink, makes a nifty device that gathers this intel as people go about their day-to-day work.

Oscar Berg - the webinar's co-presenter and author of  Digital Workplace Strategy and Design - shared this slide to emphasize the power of asking users to "tell me how you really feel":


No sugar coating that. Email overload hurts productivity but no one considers complaining to IT about it.

He goes on to explain that productivity takes a nose dive when workers are faced with "interruptions, inconsistently designed systems and bad performance".

As both experts rightly point out - once IT teams truly understand the barriers to productivity in their organization - they can make informed decisions about the best way forward.

They can take a proactive stance and look beyond the issues that cross the help desk: "I'm stressed out by the number of tools I have to use" said no support ticket ever.

5 barriers to productivity

Making Informed Choices

To calm the chaos of disparate communication tools, Enterprise IT might choose to deploy a digital workplace that has everything built in. One that gives users the social and collaborative features they crave without the distractions of platform-switching and multiple sign-ons. 

To free themselves from the tyranny of support tickets and reactive problem solving, IT may look to implement a digital workplace that's secure, cloud based and easy to maintain - and do away with the complexities of shared licenses and messy payment cycles. 

Focusing on the Big Picture

By implementing a digital workplace that's high on productivity but low on maintenance, IT professionals free themselves up to focus on what really matters - providing a digital employee experience that delivers true business value and measures up to the expectations of today's tech savvy workforce.

The correlation between effective collaboration and productivity is well documented - and Enterprise IT is uniquely positioned to ignite this flame.

Starting a fire instead of always putting one out!

To get a head start with improving productivity in your organization, download our free ebook: 5 Barriers to Productivity in the New World of Work.







Topics: Collaboration, productivity, workplace

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