Inside Penspen: Company-wide emails out - personalised intranet platform in

Traditionally, organisations rely heavily on email for all forms of internal and external communication. However, with the rise of collaborative tools and in particular, intranet software, this is changing.

Front-line worker using Unily intranet

Unily provides an innovative platform where, amongst many other things, communications that are usually distributed via an email can be brought to life, separated and streamlined through various Unily functionalities.

Penspen, global engineering consultants, adopted Unily this year with a vision for a business-wide knowledge sharing ecosystem. The aim was to drive exceptional service to customers through internal collaboration, sharing best practices and global access to expertise and content at all times. Six months later, Penspen are well on the way to fulfilling this vision with their Unily platform. With internal communications key to business success, they have chosen to adopt various Unily functionalities as a means of communicating business wide, in an attempt to wean their users away from constant email communication and towards their digital workspace.

So, if you’ve not already started to reduce email traffic through using an intranet platform, then we have collaborated with Penspen to show you 5 reasons why you should:

#1. Engaging, relevant & current content

Penspen have found that Unily news articles offer a better alternative to all user emails for the regular communication of company news. They have adopted news articles as a medium to share leadership updates, success stories, and more across the business as they believe it to be a more effective method of communicating engaging news. How can we possibly argue against this when news articles not only support interaction and knowledge sharing, but also allow for better visibility of company news across the business?

Whilst important emails could sit at the bottom of your inbox unread for days, news articles can be made current, engaging and relevant, encouraging employees to use the intranet as their primary source for all things significant and more importantly, encouraging them to read that all important company news. With a higher retention of information almost guaranteed, it’s hard to dispute the value of this feature when comparing it to all user emails.

News items can be surfaced on Unily via numerous mechanisms, whether that be the intuitive smart feed, aggregated views on dedicated sites, or even through using the notification feature. This makes important news items impossible to miss, as well as impossible to ignore. Whether it be a new company win, news about the upcoming Christmas party, or simply an HR policy update, Unily's news articles ensure that the latest information is easily visible and accessible to intranet users. By tagging news articles with metadata, Penspen have ensured that their news is also searchable within their company intranet. This allows users to search for news topics of the most interest to them, as well as providing the opportunity to personalise the news that they are seeing on their individual homepages. Unily makes it easy to discover what you don’t know, whilst helping you share what you do know.

#2. Less is more

We’re all guilty of ignoring or forgetting about emails, even if it is accidental. We also all know someone who puts “URGENT” in the subject line of emails when maybe the content isn’t actually that urgent… Why not then separate this content out of your email traffic and into a centralised location where all urgent or particularly important announcements can be communicated and observed by all intranet users in one breath?

Unily provides functionality that allows short, sharp, company announcements to be separated from the rest. Using the announcement ticker widget, announcements are clear, visible and can even be hyperlinked to an associated news article for example, connecting employees to important announcements with one click of the mouse. Penspen have chosen to adopt this feature as a means of communicating quick announcements globally. For reminders, temporary advice and urgent notifications, this has become their go-to-tool. Sometimes, they have found that the message they want to communicate doesn’t warrant an article as it may only be valid for a short period of time, so use the announcement feature to set an unpublish date to ensure this information is removed from company visibility at the correct time.

Users can be overwhelmed by long, drawn-out emails and find that short, snappy, attention grabbing notifications are more engaging, and therefore more effective. With the right words, you don’t need a huge email to get people to take notice and react. Less, is often more.

#3. Sharing a wealth of knowledge

The average employee spends too much of their working week looking for internal information or trying to track down the individuals who excel in specific knowledge areas. This clearly would have an impact on an individual’s productivity in the working week, as well as an impact upon business success. As a centralised platform where knowledge sharing and networking is promoted, Unily helps to eliminate this inert search for knowledge and encourages direct insights from individuals in all positions within a company.

Particularly key to Penspen’s intranet launch strategy was the promotion of knowledge sharing across their global business. They required an environment that would facilitate knowledge sharing and make access to information easier for everyone across the globe. Have you ever found a useful article on the internet or had an idea to share with colleagues and not been sure of the best way to share it? Well, Penspen have decided to use the Insights feature for just this. In doing so, they have provided employees with opportunity to have a voice and to share information from their perspective, whilst simultaneously building their professional profile within the business. Instead of sending closed-group emails and limiting who shares their knowledge, Unily has allowed Penspen employees to share their content and knowledge company-wide.

Using email as the primary source of communication removes the ability to share with everyone that may be interested in what you have to say. With a centralised space where all knowledge is visible and accessible, knowledge reaches the correct people at the correct time and prevents the need for repetitive emails requesting the same information.

#4. Two-way communication is key

All user emails create a limited and fragmented interaction experience that often discourages employees from sharing feedback and opinions. Often employees have to retain copies of email attachments locally, information may go out of date, and some information is completely missed due to the high amount of incoming emails on that day. Through the use of a collaborative social channel and added social features, Unily makes communication easy.

Since Penspen started to use their intranet to publish news, events and insights, intranet users have by proxy started to communicate and leave comments in the social areas of the platform. Some regions have naturally adopted Unily social, Unily’s home-grown social platform, and are now using it as their go-to discussion area, leaving behind closed emails without any pressure from the business. Unily has even inspired Penspen leaders to put aside email and adopt intranet internal communication tools in order to connect with their teams and communicate the information their staff need. Making communications more visible to the whole business has created a stronger line of communication for Penspen in comparison to an email.

Social channels are increasingly becoming the backbone of communication in the workplace and are most definitely beginning to augment the use of internal emails as a method of conversation and engagement. Unily provides a solution that is simple to use, easy to access and maintain, and provides transparency in communication. What’s not to like?

#5. Information Bottleneck

Email accounts are individual and unique to the user and, therefore, immediately create the sense of a closed and wholly private system where information cannot be accessed and shared with others. For this reason, email can act as an information silo which often prevents collaborative progress and can be detrimental to businesses success. Have you ever been in the position where one of your colleagues has all the information you need held locally on their desktop, or even within their mind, and had to wait a day or two to get the answers you need as they are out of the office? Well, the ability to collaborate and share documents via Unily helps to diminish this issue.

Whilst naturally personal emails should remain personal, individual’s inboxes can become a bottleneck for important information that could be beneficial to the business. Penspen have made great use of the Workspaces feature within Unily to remove perceived boundaries between people and functions, and enable the ability to collaborate globally. Workspaces have helped them to bring together global, dispersed and hidden teams so that no one is forgotten about and everyone has the ability to collaborate and communicate valuable information in a beneficial manner.

Unily provides an advanced content management system, collaborative workspaces, intuitive search functionality and more to facilitate file and knowledge sharing, in turn breaking down the regularity of knowledge bottlenecks and information silos. With the removal of boundaries and the reduction of information silos, the digital workplace opens up numerous lines of communication and becomes a clear contender in the challenge to reduce email traffic and increase employee collaboration.

So, hopefully the aforementioned reasons are enough to see how a digital workspace can be beneficial, and how email is now easily usurped by the capabilities of an intranet platform. Inbox overload, miscommunication and a lack of cut-through for business critical information are direct results of excessive email traffic. Communication is a central capability within the modern intranet platform, and a key functionality within any successful business structure, so why not make the most of this? The ability to move away from companywide emails towards the capabilities of modern intranet software undoubtedly allows for a more engaging global business conversation.

Want to arrange a demo to see Unily for yourself? Talk to us today.

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