We had the opportunity to sit down with the woman behind the project, Majbritt Rohde Murmann, Intranet Manager at VELUX as she joined us for our Intranet Adoption Masterclass in London this April. When there’s a strong focus on the adoption of a digital workplace, the emphasis is often placed after the launch. This makes sense since it’s when we actually find out if the platform is a ‘success’ or not. However, the pre-launch groundwork laid by Murmann and her team was imperative to the company’s adoption of their new intranet.
Opening up communications
VELUX is a multi-national access solution provider based in Denmark, with offices in over 50 countries. Their existing intranet was primarily used by the Danish office for limited internal communications, but not much else, and in the the wider company it was barely utilized at all. Company leaders identified this as a key business challenge and the project was prioritized by all of senior management. This recognition of the necessity of the intranet from the top 100 senior leaders, meant it was kept on agendas and high on priority lists for the whole company.
Having this buy-in from top leadership was key for the internal communications and IT departments, who had to work together to deliver a globally adopted and used digital workplace. Now that it was a priority, they were able to delve into the underlying reasons as to why what they currently used wasn’t working for the company. Their main issues were a lack of any real content strategy and multiple localized sites’ lack of connection with the global business.
Weighing the risks
VELUX worked closely with Unily's team of consultants through a discovery process to ensure the finished solution would solve these business challenges. To help guide their process, they met with stakeholders across the business to identify the challenges associated with implementing a new platform – from migrating old content to ensuring the infrastructure was in place for the solution. By calculating the risks and looking to mitigate them not only at the beginning of the project, but throughout, this helped keep the team focused and prepared. It also meant that there was specific accountability with leaders throughout the business taking ownership of specific areas to ensure the potential risks were being addressed and managed.
Content is king
As Unily was hard at work building the solution to meet VELUX’s requirements, Murmann started to look at who within VELUX would become her content champions. She asked the top 100 senior management to each nominate someone within their business area to become a content champion. Getting 100 people within a company dedicating part of their time would be an amazing feat for any internal comms professional. But Murmann wasn’t just asking the champions to occasionally upload a news article or an update of what their team was doing. She was looking for champions that ideally could devote 20% of their time each week to maintaining current and engaging content on their forthcoming intranet.
Why 20%? Murmann spoke to the content curators for their current intranet and they fed back that this was the optimum amount of time to ensure it was regularly updated and maintained. While It wasn’t always easy going, already having the commitment from top management made it easier for everyone to agree to these demands on their time.
Imperative to the project’s success was a very open dialogue between teams and management. Most importantly, Murmann sat in the communications team, but intranets have always inherently been an IT department project typically due to the large amount of enterprise technology knowledge that has traditionally been needed. Thanks to technology evolving, we are seeing a lot more of these cross-departmental teams working to implement, and manage, digital workplaces.
The new digital workplace - VELUX One
VELUX One, Velux’s new intranet launched with a bang running a massive campaign on the same day across the globe. They even produced one of the best internal promo videos we’ve ever seen.
Since the initial launch in November 2015, Velux now have 80 community mangers that regularly upload and edit content on the site. They’ve also been victims of their own success. With so much content constantly being uploaded to the site, they are finding that some of it isn’t sitting on employee’s homepages long enough to be noticed, before it’s replaced by a more recent piece of content. Regulating the flow of information, so that it’s still relevant and useful, is their new challenge – one many companies would be thankful to have.
With such a large global company, they’ve found that VELUX One has been successful in varying ways across their business. For instance, their Holland offices rely more heavily on Yammer to communicate than individual content pieces. With their old intranet, 75% of users were from Denmark, this has now fallen to just below 50%. For a global company headquartered in Denmark, this is a huge increase in regional users. This doesn’t mean that Denmark is using it less, as they’ve seen adoption and consumption increase across the board as well.
Without the tremendous effort put into the project before implementation, they would not be seeing the success they are today. While there are many ways to help improve adoption of your digital workplace platform, the earlier you can start planning and building momentum, the easier your task will be.
Alongside Unily's consultants and customer success team, this is just the beginning of Velux’s new digital workplace story.