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5 innovative ways to use your intranet

Posted by Andrea Nazarian | 5 min read

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A corporate intranet is not just for company-wide announcements and HR updates. A powerful turnkey cloud-based platform like the Jostle® intranet can be leveraged in a number of innovative and useful ways to achieve business results. It can help engage your workforce while increasing trust and transparency across your organization. The right intranet tool can also facilitate change management and contribute to organization-wide education and knowledge sharing. It can even help build a strong corporate culture, especially when your employees are physically separated.

In our annual Jostle Awards program, we have a category dedicated to celebrating the efforts of customers who have demonstrated innovation and ingenuity in organizational problem solving.

Our Finalists in the Most Innovative Use Case of the Year award leveraged their Jostle intranets in creative and unconventional ways, which yielded some pretty incredible results. Here are five innovative ways these organizations made the most of their Jostle intranet, strategies that you too can apply in your own organization.

1. Introduce new ideas strategically  

Houlihan’s Restaurants, Inc. is a Kansas-based restaurant chain with three different restaurant concepts and approximately 100 locations across the United States. When it was time to change the menu, the management team at the Houlihan’s head office knew that introducing new dishes and coordinating the operational changes across all of their restaurants would be a major change management task.

How they did it

Management posted status updates with single captioned photos of the culinary team at work crafting new dishes in their ACTIVITY feed. They did this in order to socialize new ideas and give their staff a chance to better understand the changes to come.

They also posted stories in their NEWS view notifying the entire Houlihan’s team well in advance of a new menu initiative to give employees a chance to make decisions around those changes. In their EVENTS view, employees were notified of all important rollout dates and deadlines ahead of time to help staff manage their work around those dates.

The outcome

Sharing this critical information gradually on their Jostle intranet streamlined and improved their change management process. By communicating regularly on their intranet, the Houlihan’s management team and their decisions became more transparent to the whole company, which in turn built a stronger sense of trust and connectedness across the organization.

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2. Learn, share, and discuss new information 

InSight Clinical Imaging is a radiology and clinical imaging company with six offices around Perth, Australia. With their dispersed workforce, Insight staff members, comprised of radiologists, radiographers, and sonographers, have limited opportunities to meet in person as an entire organization. They were looking for a way to present different cases to one another in order to debate topics and cases to ensure consistency and optimize discovery across their different imaging locations.

How they did it

Insight staff made use of their DISCUSSIONS view to start organization-wide conversations about best practices, protocols, and learnings from previous cases. Staff from different Insight locations all participated in these conversations, which bridged the physical distance between them and allowed them to collaborate in new ways.

The outcome

The organization-wide conversations in DISCUSSIONS had great participation rates and contributed to an increased sense of teamwork and collaboration across the company’s offices.

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3. Build corporate culture digitally to bridge distance 

The Hello Foundation is a community of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and school psychologists who provide their services to schools with special needs children. Since The Hello Foundation community is spread across the United States, employees have no physical space where their staff can congregate. They had been using email for all of their internal communications, with poor results. Despite their physical separation and inconsistent communications, Hello Foundation staff wanted to nurture a strong corporate culture across their organization.

How they did it

The transition from email to an intranet was not a simple one. With strategic dedication on the part of leadership to move all company-wide information onto their new Jostle intranet, paired with friendly reminders when staff members used email for a intranet-related task, led to an increase in employee participation on the platform. The Hello Foundation employees posted about things like the purchase of a new clinic, the launch of their new website, and even posted polls to gauge interest in future business decisions. They also posted updates and Shout-Outs in ACTIVITY to connect people across states. They also used this function to share jokes, funny things kids say, and to praise hard working co-workers for their efforts.

The outcome

The Hello Foundation employees separated by physical distance were able to feel connected professionally through their central hub and personally through the fun content they shared on it. This contributed to an enriched corporate culture and heightened sense of community across the organization.

“Jostle brings us together in ways that email just couldn’t. We’re a stronger, more cohesive group because of it - and the schools and families and kids we serve all benefit.”

Kira Wright, Speech Language Pathologist, Clinical Resource Director, The Hello Foundation


4. Debate and improve corporate initiatives 

Padre Dam Municipal Water District provides water, wastewater, recycled water, and recreation services to 100,000 residents in the San Diego suburbs. Padre Dam management wanted to start a company-wide conversation in order to improve its 20-year-old Workforce Partnership program that was originally introduced to shift the company’s hierarchical organizational structure to a more collaborative one. In order to do this, they designed the “Pipeline” initiative to enable broad participation in the organization’s decision-making processes.

How they did it

The Pipeline consists of three parts. One of these is called “The Stream”. It gives employees a space where they can collaborate, share ideas, and give feedback. Padre Dam staff chose the Jostle intranet to achieve the objectives of this component of the Pipeline initiative. The team uses the DISCUSSION and NEWS functions to have an ongoing conversation among employees on how to continuously improve the Pipeline project and provide better service to customers.

The outcome

Padre Dam staff began to collaborate more as participants became more informed and involved in the decision making process. There was a high degree of engagement on The Stream as employees shared information and ideas in real time. This initiative is not typical of a public agency environment. With their Jostle intranet, Padre Dam’s leadership team enabled more participation and involvement, with better outcomes for all Padre Dam employees and customers.

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5. Encourage employee engagement creatively

CroppMetcalfe offers home and business maintenance services around the Washington Metropolitan area. The company uses their Annual Awards Gala to recognize the achievements and contributions of its employees. Management wanted to use the awards as an opportunity to make employees more familiar with their new intranet. They wanted to demonstrate how much simpler communication is on the Jostle platform versus traditional internal communications methods.

How they did it

CroppMetcalfe decided to have some fun with this objective. They set up their Jostle intranet on two laptops at the Annual Awards Gala to let people make song requests to the DJ using the platform. They named the idea “DJ Jostle.” Staff placed one laptop beside the DJ with an open and active DISCUSSION view. They placed a second laptop at the back of the Gala in a kiosk where employees could come up and make song requests and also comment on the party itself. Employees could also use the Jostle intranet app to participate from their table or even on the dance floor!

The outcome

Creative ideas like “DJ Jostle” showed employees how simple and effective it is to communicate on their new intranet. After this initial fun project, staff began to use and come back to the new platform. It has improved CroppMetCalfe employees’ overall workplace experience with simpler communications, company-wide information sharing, and co-worker engagement.

“‘Over the past two years, Jostle has drastically improved communication and made the sharing of company information much simpler. No longer do co-workers say ‘I didn’t know about that’ or ‘No one told me’ - they all tell each other to check Jostle for the information.”

Eric Tessel, Marketing Supervisor, CroppMetcalfe

Do you have an unusual business challenge?

There are a number of different and innovative ways you can leverage your intranet to meet your organization’s needs. When applied in the ways like our Jostle Awards Finalists did, a powerful intranet platform can contribute to increased collaboration, transparency, and a stronger corporate culture.

 

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