Interview: how SharePoint Credit Union built their new employee intranet with IC’s software & support

By Aimee Happ
May 5, 2021
6 min read
Employee intranet

SharePoint Credit Union is located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area of Minnesota, USA.  Employing 62 people and with six branches, this financial institution is proud to provide deposit and lending products to over 22,000 members. 

In the following interview, Paul Vork, Accounting Manager at SharePoint CU, describes how his organization was able to improve internal communications by not only launching a new employee intranet but also by completing the holistic Tailored Experience process with IC Thrive. Read more to discover how!  

Q: Could you describe your role & where you fit in your organization? 

Paul Vork: I manage the accounting/finance department at the credit union. I work closely with the leaders of other departments, such as operations, lending, IT, and human resources. The leadership team is a close group and we regularly work collaboratively on projects.   

Q: How did you come to be involved in the employee intranet project?  

Paul Vork: One of SharePoint’s strategic initiatives for 2020 and 2021 was to create an employee intranet. This initiative was created in response to an employee engagement survey. The results of the survey highlighted the need to improve our internal communications and provide greater access to the tools and information people need to do their jobs well and efficiently.   

Ultimately, I was selected to be the project manager for this initiative, because I was the intranet’s biggest advocate. I saw this project as an opportunity for us to overcome the multiple obstacles we were facing. I was able to select a team of individuals who were also passionate about this initiative and had the skills, vision, and drive to make it a reality. Having the right people on the team proved to be critical.     

Q: What were your expectations about the employee intranet project? Did IC Thrive meet them?  

Paul Vork: My expectations were very high-level. I wanted to create an intranet to improve our internal communications and to better equip our employees to do their jobs.   

IC Thrive’s process was much more holistic than I was anticipating. Shortly after the kickoff call, a group of employees completed a communications assessment with IC Thrive to establish a baseline and identify areas of improvement. We received clear feedback and resources to help us achieve our communication goals. The focus was on creating a foundation with our internal communications strategy and building up from there.   

From start to finish, IC Thrive and the project exceeded my expectations. I am very proud of what we were able to create with the significant help and support from IC Thrive. 

Q: How would you describe the project to someone who is not involved in it?  

Paul Vork: As corny as it sounds, I’ve described this project as SharePoint’s baby. Right now, it’s in its infancy and a lot of thought and love went into its creation. It will require care and nurturing as it grows and evolves, so we’ve created a committee to oversee and actively manage and develop the intranet. It will be exciting to see the intranet grow up as time goes on.     

Q: What did you enjoy the most about the weekly project meetings with the IC Thrive team?  

Paul Vork: The individuals from SharePoint who were involved in this project were pulled in many other directions because they were involved in other initiatives and they were responsible for keeping the credit union running smoothly. The weekly meetings with IC Thrive helped keep us on track.   

Each week, we discussed what was going well and what we were struggling with, and we always ended the meetings by creating goals for the following week. The meetings held us accountable and allowed us to keep moving forward.      

None of us on the SharePoint team had been responsible for creating or maintaining an intranet before, so we relied on the IC Thrive team to help navigate this journey. Raquel Munuera, Erin Raimondo, and Alfie Penfold all did a great job of providing feedback and insight, as well as training and other resources. We shared a lot of laughs together too!   

Their guidance and support made this project feel more manageable and helped us create a much more polished product leading up to our intranet’s launch. 

Employee intranet

Q: Is there anything you accomplished during the project that you wouldn’t have accomplished otherwise?  

Multiple side projects were initiated in response to the employee intranet project to help us create a single source of truth. For example, all forms, policies, and procedures were reviewed and updated to ensure they were current and correct before uploading them to the intranet.   

Previously, we didn’t have a channel to provide virtual training to our employees. The intranet allowed us to broadcast training videos and other job aids. We’ve been prioritizing training needs and creating content to help our employees. 

Additionally, we conducted our annual employee meeting virtually this year through the intranet. We created several videos to highlight our achievements over the last year, recognize employees for their contributions, and discuss goals for the current year. The intranet gave us the platform to do this virtually.      

None of these things would have been a priority or achievable without the employee intranet project.     

Q: Aside from launching your employee intranet, what else did you gain from the project?  

There is a lot to be gained by the intranet. We see this as a tool to accomplish many of our goals.   

There have been ancillary benefits of this project as well. It allowed multiple people to be involved in a high-profile project. We have now transitioned the day-to-day management of the intranet to a committee comprised of individuals at different levels and in multiple departments. A diverse committee will hopefully optimize the success of the intranet, as well as provide opportunities for development and recognition.   

Additionally, we have incorporated a feature for employees to acknowledge the great work others are doing.     

Q: Is there anything we didn’t ask you about that you would like to comment on? 

When I was tasked with creating an intranet for SharePoint in early 2020, I started researching the various options available to us. We received demos from a total of ten intranet vendors because I was determined to find the one that would be the best fit for our company. IC Thrive emerged as a frontrunner after the initial demonstrations.   

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic began shortly after I finished the demonstrations. The initiative was put on hold so we could focus on getting our employees working remotely, which was something we had never done before. Instead of having employees in six locations, we were suddenly spread out throughout the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul region. It was a huge culture shift for our company, and it further highlighted our need to improve our internal communications and provide greater access to the tools and information people need to do their jobs well and efficiently. 

By late summer, I decided we were ready to tackle this initiative again. When we reexamined our top four vendors, IC Thrive felt like the best fit for us. Not only was the product fantastic, but we also received wonderful service from Laura Balster throughout our search. She provided multiple demonstrations and really listened to our needs. Credit unions were created on the idea of people helping people, and IC Thrive embodied that mentality more than the other vendors. This made our decision easy. 

Raquel Munuera, Erin Raimondo, and Alfie Penfold were delightful throughout the project. They sincerely cared about the success of this project and they provided tremendous support. The SharePoint team was really impressed with this group and the solutions they created for us. For example, Raquel came up with a great way to create and advertize employee work schedules, which we previously managed in the world’s ugliest Excel spreadsheet. Raquel’s solution was much more user-friendly and visually appealing. She turned something we hated into something we love.         

The service from the IC Thrive team from the initial contact through the launch date has been outstanding. It’s been a fantastic journey! I am more confident than ever that we selected the right partner for this project.           

Read more about SharePoint Credit Union’s experience with IC Thrive 

Want to read more about SharePoint CU’s experience with IC Thrive’s Source intranet platform and the Tailored Experience? Read the full customer story here. Or, see for yourself what the fuss is all about and book a FREE demo now. We’ll show you how powerful, easy-to-use, and efficient employee intranet software and tailored training can help you and your organization.  

Not quite ready for a full demo, but want to learn more? Discover more about how we serve financial institutions here.           

By Aimee Happ

Aimee Happ is proud to lead the marketing team at IC and enjoys working with the dynamic and diverse team that surrounds her. She is inspired on a daily basis by the company's mission of empowering internal communicators. Aimee holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and loves to travel.