Meet the Unite 22 award winners
It takes a lot of hard work to design and implement an innovative employee experience platform that delivers meaningful business value. Our annual Unite awards are an opportunity to recognize and honor the innovative ways our customers are using their platforms to achieve success. If you’re looking to inspire your own employee experience transformation, take a look at this year’s winners!
Celebrating employee experience excellence
Live-streamed simultaneously from London and New York, the #1 employee experience conference Unite 22 was back with a bang this year. With 4k+ enterprise attendees in attendance, Unily’s first-ever hybrid conference pushed the boundaries of event delivery and embraced every topic in the employee experience space.
We heard from visionary thought leaders like Seth Godin, Steven Bartlett, and Anne-Lise Kjaer about the changing rules of engagement and how the workplace will evolve in the years ahead. We dove into the employee experience journeys of leading enterprises including The Estée Lauder Companies, ADP, AbbVie, and Cardinal Health to name a few. And, on top of it all, we celebrated the success of our customers and the innovative ways they’ve used their platforms to enhance their workplace engagement in the renowned Unite awards.
Wrapping things up after a jam-packed three-day schedule, the Unite awards were the hotly anticipated end to the conference. Our chance to highlight some of the customer stories that make us proud to be a part of employee experience evolution, the awards give us a welcome opportunity to honor the hard work of the teams making a difference to employees across the globe.
The competition this year was fiercer than ever as we saw a record-breaking number of entries across the board from some of the world’s leading brands. The unenviable task of selecting winners and runners-up lay with our esteemed judges.
The categories were:
- Best Launch or Relaunch
- Culture Impact
- Internal Comms Impact
- Best Homepage
Unite 22 - Awards
Best Launch or Relaunch, Internal Comms Impact, Culture Impact, Best Homepage (live vote).
Let’s take a closer look at the winning entries:
Best Launch or Relaunch
You only get one shot at launching your employee experience platform. For your hard work to pay off, your launch campaign needs to connect with your people and fuel excitement for the transformation to come. There are many approaches to launch – from phased to big bang – so this category was about interrogating the different ways enterprises embraced the opportunity to bring employees along on the journey and create an appetite for change that would inspire engagement from day dot.
Meet our winner: Truist
Taking home the gold in the Best Launch category was Truist, a purpose-driven financial services company that stole the hearts and minds of our judges with an ‘elevator pitch’ style launch campaign.
Prior to its launch, Truist had 50 years of heritage data on previously segregated intranets that had become severely outdated. To reenergize engagement across the business and bring their digital employee experience up-to-date they worked with Unily to design a personalized, socially driven intranet that could be mistaken for a .com website.
The launch campaign was centred around considerable upfront employee and stakeholder involvement and digestible explainer videos that would ensure employees could maximize the value of their new employee experience platform from day one.
According to the judges, the standout features of Truist’s launch win included:
- The huge focus on design
- The deep involvement of stakeholders, colleagues and employees for each step of the launch campaign
- The inventive ‘Explain it to me in 60 seconds’ videos that make learning the new features and widgets easily accessible to all
- The impressive supporting analytics and direct employee feedback
"One of things that really stood out to the judges was that prior to the launch, over 10k users were involved and engaged in submitting names for the platform, helping to streamline the process and get everyone involved from day one. The homepage focused on personalization, but the biggest thing was that up until launch, and throughout the launch week, they had elevator pitches and 60 second campaigns to get everyone involved – from grassroots up to the stakeholders."
The runners-up for Best Launch or Relaunch were:
- AbbVie – AbbVie caught the judge’s eyes with a unique ‘countdown to launch’ campaign that served to build anticipation for the platform launch over time. The judges recognized AbbVie for its focus on service improvement for end users and learning from the past to guide the future.
- Aflac – Aflac launched their platform in less than six months from the kick-off date, with the entire project completed during the pandemic with a fully remote project team. Despite this, Aflac saw huge engagement statistics from its launch, which impressed the judges who commented on ‘meaningful impact, quality, and analytics-based design’.
Never before has company culture come under such scrutiny as in today’s workplace. As we battled through new ways of working and adapted to the “new normal”, finding new ways to fuel culture became the focus of many organizations. With technology as the bridge linking our communities together, the Culture Impact Award was designed to recognize those organizations who are using their employee experience platforms to strengthen culture in novel, digital ways.
Meet our winner: Dormakaba
Dormakaba’s Shape4Growth campaign is an outstanding example of using an employee experience platform to effectively lead an organization through strategic transformation. When the program was announced towards the end of 2021, the need to bring employees along on this journey and align them against a new strategic vision became a focus for the internal communications team.
The success of the campaign was underpinned by a push-pull communications strategy centered around the creation of a dedicated information hub. The hub provided an anchor for all communications efforts, acting as a go-to location for employees to find and refer to information and guidance at their own pace. Stand-out features of the hub included an innovative sortable glossary where new terms were explained and continually refreshed in response to survey results, an FAQ roll-up that answered commonly asked questions, and a Yammer integration that provided a social outlet for discussion around the change.
The judges praised Dormakaba’s campaign for the following reasons:
- A clean, impactful design that is easy to navigate and rich in key information
- Intelligent use of multiple features including a topic-targeted news tiles rollup, a Yammer Embed widget, the FAQ and searchable glossary, video content, jump links to further resources, and hero banners
- Clear consideration for the overall user experience brought to life by strategic page design and use of a wide range of widgets
- Strong qualitative and quantitive performance metrics and evidence of overarching impact on company-wide culture transformation
"Part of the reasoning behind this win is the depth Dormakaba have gone into to consider their user experience and how they can deliver a cohesive and compelling approach for the campaign to all employees. The strong visuals demonstrate an impactful design that delivers relevant, up-to-date content in multiple forms for maximum engagement; and the metrics show just how well it’s been received across the organization."
The runners-up for Culture Impact were:
- Champion X’s Pipeline to the CEO - this campaign was recognized as a pertinent example of a leadership visibility campaign done right. The campaign was designed to support employees through a period of great change following a merger which saw the CEO inherit a new swathe of employees. To make the transition easier, the Pipeline to the CEO page gave employees a direct line to the CEO. Through the use of forms, a spirit of honesty was encouraged with a ‘no question off limits’ approach that contributed to a greater sense of trust and belonging.
- Prudential’s PRUCommunities – Driven by Prudential’s D&I council, PRUCommunities are employee-led networks that encourage employees to share identities, interests, goals, and the changes they would like to see within the business. The initiative aimed to deepen the sense of belonging during a time of business transformation by allowing people to bring their ‘true selves’ to work and bringing the company values to life. The community pages include guides, FAQs, social channels, monthly quizzes, weekly news articles, and monthly takeovers of the social channel – all led by 23 passionate employees, named ‘wellness ambassadors’, responsible for driving engagement. PRUCommunities has quickly been embedded in the company culture, and has meant the communications team is able to leverage this user-generated content to amplify the employee voice and build a culture that’s synonymous with inclusivity, empowerment, and authenticity.
Internal Comms Impact
Internal comms teams work tirelessly behind the scenes to inform, engage and inspire employees with vibrant communications that make an impact. This category was about celebrating the novel ways that internal comms teams have leveraged digital channels to drive organize-wide engagement, measure success, and embrace different messaging formats to cut through noise and capture the hearts and minds of their workforces.
Meet our winner: Cathay Pacific
Coming in first for the Internal Comms Impact category is an enterprise that harnessed the power of human storytelling and recognition to engage employees in challenging circumstances. The ‘Cathay Stories’ campaign was launched in response to a difficult post-pandemic environment that had seen employees rise to new challenges with spirit. Operating through tough times, often away from their families, this campaign was designed to shine a light on the stories of resilience and tenacity, honoring the hard work of employees who went above and beyond to support colleagues and customers alike.
Of particular interest to the judges was the ‘Show You Care With A Bear’ initiative, which leveraged social commenting to enable peer-to-peer recognition with a typical Cathay spin. Colleagues were asked to nominate their peers who were then entered into a prize draw, with an obligatory plush Cathay bear up for grabs. Simple, yet effective, the initiative was an overwhelming success, receiving over 750 heartfelt comments across 26 departments in just two weeks. More than 1k nominations were received in total.
"The focus of this campaign was all about showing kudos, engagement, and how to bring ideas to life. The kudos was a dedicated space, and over 750 ‘cares’ were sent over a two-week period. This turned into over 1000 employee nominations, showing that internal comms isn’t just about measuring but ensuring that it’s getting engagement as well. It’s about putting that personal touch into it."
The runners-up for Internal Comms Impact were:
- Prudential’s ‘WeDOFamily’ – The ‘WeDOFamily’ campaign leveraged and utilized many different channels to bring home a message of inclusivity and family values at the heart of Prudential’s culture. Judges noted the wholesome family-centric aspect, and the imaginative ways it was promoted and endorsed through the platform.
- National Grid’s ‘The Power of All Our Voices’ – In 2021 National Grid became a Principal Partner of the COP26 climate change summit. It was a great opportunity to connect all colleagues with the vision and showcase the important work being done to move towards net zero. Judges praised National Grid’s use of Unily functionality, including the multi-channel campaign and homepage takeover, as well as its use of platform extension capabilities embodied by a novel Garmin plug-in.
Last – but by no means least – the Best Homepage category wrapped up the awards with a highly anticipated live vote. The power was in the attendees' hands, as they listened to a one-minute pitch from each of our three finalists, before voting on their chosen winner. The intranet homepage is hot real estate, so this category was looking for innovative combinations of style and strategy that embodied brand identity and intuitive UX in equal measure.
Meet the winner: iRobot
Taking home the trophy was iRobot’s Homebase homepage. A year after launching, iRobot used homepage metrics and employee feedback to influence their homepage refresh. The new homepage improves the balance between communications and the tactical needs of employees. It features links to Diversity & Inclusion pages, customer highlights, weekly polls, a kudos leaderboard, an Insights corner, and a custom-built widget that automatically features every new hire on day one. Judges commended iRobot’s clean design and use of media.
The runners-up for Best Homepage were:
- AbbVie - My AbbVie’s homepage stands out with a clean design and strategic use of widgets to deliver a personalized experience to My AbbVie’s 45k users. Communications delivery is enhanced with the use of ‘Personalized Stories For You’ which leverages user data to promote recommended content, alongside ‘News To Share On Social’ used to support employee advocacy.
- Pearson - Pearson’s mission is to create vibrant and enriching learning experiences designed for real-life impact, and The Hub is a real-world example of Pearson’s values in action. The Hub homepage offers a stripped backed view of the most important items for Pearson’s 21k employees.
Don’t worry if you missed out – catch up now!
If you missed Unite 22, only managed to catch part of it, or just want to re-watch a keynote you found particularly inspiring, you can catch all of our sessions on-demand here, including the esteemed Unite awards:
Unite 22 is the only employee experience conference you need to attend in 2022. Get ready for 3 half-days that push hybrid event delivery to the MAX with live keynotes, breakouts, and roundtables. Watch online or attend a watch party in London or New York. Get inspired with keynotes from Seth Godin, Steven Bartlett, Patricia Bright, The Estée Lauder Companies, EY, ADP, Cardinal Health, and more. Game on.