Point Breeze Credit Union launches engaging intranet platform

About Point Breeze Credit Union

Point Breeze Credit Union is one of Maryland’s largest credit unions, with assets exceeding $850 million and 120 employees that serve more than 60,000 members. A full-service financial institution that is member-owned and not-for-profit, Point Breeze offers easy, reliable banking with offices in Hunt Valley, Rosedale, Bel Air, Westminster, and Owings Mills, as well as more than 5,600 shared branch locations and 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.

Membership in Point Breeze is open to individuals who work, worship, or volunteer within 20 miles of a Point Breeze location. Point Breeze is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender.

Initiatives to improve employee engagement

Kristin Reynolds, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and Genie Briggs, Senior Vice President of Marketing, are both a part of the senior management team and are responsible for strategic initiatives at Point Breeze. Together, they developed an internal brand strategy to integrate the credit union brand, “Easy, Reliable Banking” to the employee level.

Over the last three years, the team created an all-employee event called “Level Up” that brought in new ideas to help foster employee growth and development, integrate the brand into new hire orientation, and create an environment that promotes participation from employees to contribute to the company culture. Launching a new, user-friendly intranet to replace their in-house intranet solution was another piece of that puzzle.

Launching a new intranet

Point Breeze became an IC customer in January 2019. However, Point Breeze then became focused on other projects and priorities, and the intranet project was pushed back. The year 2020 brought the COVID-19 pandemic, and the credit union necessarily had to turn its attention to projects that needed the immediate attention of their staff and members. As a result, the intranet project was delayed again.

Even though they understood the value of a complete, user-friendly intranet, it seemed like a complicated and daunting task to undertake, especially with the added complexity of managing change during a pandemic.

That’s when the opportunity to work more closely with the IC team to build their new intranet came about, through a process called the Tailored Experience. Point Breeze immediately saw the value in partnering with IC’s in-house experts to help manage their timeline and tasks, handle change during a pandemic, and even work on initiatives they had not considered when originally planning their project.

Point Breeze’s Tailored Experience intranet project

Project planning

The project officially started in October 2020 with an Internal Communications Audit conducted by Erin Raimondo, one of IC’s Communications Specialists. From the results of the audit, it was clear the focus of the project should be to work on establishing a single source of truth (the intranet, in this case) for Point Breeze.

After defining a launch date of January 2021, IC helped the team at Point Breeze set clear deadlines for both the intranet content and communications that needed to be sent out to their employees about the launch.

What we enjoyed the most was the collaboration with the internal team and the folks at IC. The project kept us on task to meet our timeline. The project also inspired us to add a few final touches (logos, branding, and colors) and to add more value to our offerings. We might not have thought of those things prior to the project meetings.

– Genie Briggs, Senior Vice President of Marketing

Document management

Because documents were an essential part of the project, both teams worked together to make sure that not only were all the important documents uploaded to the site, but also best practices and user experience were taken into consideration. Erin Raimondo from IC also helped Point Breeze to maximize their home page layout, focusing on improving employee engagement.

To ensure users had access to the proper documents, Permissions and Employee Profiles were also features the two teams discussed, not only from the technical/how-to perspective but also from an internal communications perspective, as part of governance best practices.

Intranet project launch

For the intranet launch campaign, the Point Breeze team had a communications calendar that included presenting the intranet to the leadership team, requesting key users to test the sites, creating a teaser video to get users excited about the intranet, and hosting a virtual scavenger hunt (with prizes) to get employees excited.

The team was so creative that they even created a movie trailer as a teaser before the launch.

And even though Point Breeze officially launched their intranet in January 2021 (exactly as planned), the project did not finish there. The IC team is still meeting with them occasionally to follow up and get insights around their metrics; both on their intranet and their overall internal communications.

We got inspired by [the IC team’s] ideas on how to launch the site. Providing a theme to the launch was helpful in getting employee buy-in and getting everyone excited for the new intranet.

– Kristin Reynolds, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

The result: a successful intranet & launch campaign

Aside from launching our intranet, the project brought us a sense of accomplishment and we were reminded of how important the project is (was) because it helps our employees to get their jobs done and communicate with each other. The intranet is the lifeline for our employees; it helps us help our members save time and money with easy reliable banking.

– Kristin Reynolds, Senior Vice President of Human Resources