SharePoint Credit Union builds new employee intranet channel

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

– Paul Vork, Accounting Manager, SharePoint Credit Union

About SharePoint Credit Union

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.

The problem: the need for an employee intranet

One of SharePoint CU’s strategic initiatives for 2020 and 2021 was to create an employee intranet as a result of responses to an employee engagement survey. The results of the survey highlighted the need to improve internal communications and provide greater access to the tools and information their employees needed to do their jobs well and efficiently.

Paul Vork was selected to be the project manager for the employee intranet project. At SharePoint CU, he manages the accounting/finance department, and works closely with the leaders of other departments, such as operations, lending, IT, and human resources. As the intranet’s biggest advocate, Paul saw this project as an opportunity for the credit union to overcome the internal communications problems they were facing. Under his direction, SharePoint CU built a team of like-minded employees to make their new intranet project a reality.

The solution: Intranet Connections

When Paul was tasked with creating an employee intranet for SharePoint in early 2020, his team participated in demos from a total of ten intranet vendors because they were determined to find the one that would be the best fit for their organization.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic began shortly after they finished the demos. The initiative was put on hold so they could focus on getting their employees working remotely, which was something they had never done before. It was a huge culture shift for the organization, and it further highlighted their need to improve their internal communications and provide greater access to the tools and information employees needed to do their jobs well and efficiently.

By late summer 2020, the intranet project team were ready to tackle this initiative once again. They reexamined their top four vendors, and selected IC as their best fit.

IC emerged as a frontrunner after the initial demonstrations. 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 embodied that mentality more than the other vendors. This made our decision easy.

– Paul Vork, Accounting Manager, SharePoint Credit Union

The result: not just an employee intranet—IC’s holistic Tailored Experience process

Before the process started, the expectations of Paul and his team were very high-level; they wanted to create an intranet to improve their internal communications and to better equip their employees to do their jobs. They did not anticipate how holistic the process with IC would be.

Shortly after the kickoff call, a group of employees completed IC’s Internal Communication Audit to establish baselines and identify areas of improvement, as recommended by the IC team. They were also offered clear feedback and resources to help them achieve their communication goals from IC’s communication and support specialists. The focus was always on creating a foundation with their internal communications strategy and building up from there.

From start to finish, IC 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.

– Paul Vork, Accounting Manager, SharePoint Credit Union

Working as one team

SharePoint CU’s project management team were sometimes pulled in many other directions during the project, as they were involved in other initiatives to keep the credit union running smoothly. However, they found the weekly meetings they had with IC’s team of specialists helped to keep them on track. Each week, the group discussed what was going well and what they were struggling with, and always ended the meetings by creating goals for the following week.

None of us on the SharePoint team had been responsible for creating or maintaining an intranet before, so we relied on the IC 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. This 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.

– Paul Vork, Accounting Manager, SharePoint Credit Union

Chain reaction: side benefits & projects initiated in response to the employee intranet project

Multiple side projects were initiated in response to the intranet project to help SharePoint CU 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. The SharePoint CU team also decided to use the intranet as a channel to broadcast training videos and other job aids.

Additionally, they conducted their annual employee meeting virtually in 2021 through their new intranet. The SharePoint CU team also created several videos to highlight their achievements over the last year, recognize employees for their contributions, and to discuss goals for the current year.

Aside from that, there have been ancillary benefits of the intranet project. For one, it allowed multiple people on Paul’s team to be involved in a high-profile project, and they have now transitioned the day-to-day management of the intranet to a committee comprised of individuals at different levels and in multiple departments throughout the organization. This diverse committee at SharePoint CU will now optimize the success of the intranet, as well as provide opportunities for development and recognition.

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.

– Paul Vork, Accounting Manager, SharePoint Credit Union

Intranet Connections’ Tailored Experience

The Tailored Experience is a proven process developed by IC based on our methodology. When IC goes through the Tailored Experience with a customer, we have the following goals:

1. Measure and improve internal communications

2. Continuous improvement of internal communications

3. Empower internal communications to act strategically

4. Bring metrics, reporting, and data analytics to internal communications

5. Give internal communicators a seat at the leadership table

Because our methodology is a “tailored” process there is no script; the IC team—our Communications Specialist and Customer Success Manager—meets with the customer’s team and works on their needs every week for about 12 weeks. The Tailored Experience also includes milestones and check-in points along the way to keep the journey on track.

The process starts with an Internal Communications Audit, conducted by the Communications Specialist. After the audit a report is drafted, which includes a General Score that is used as a baseline for that organization to measure growth. From that point on, the two teams meet weekly and work both on internal communications concepts and on IC’s software solutions.

For our intranet software customers, we have observed some trends:

1. Faster launch: on average, Tailored Experience customers launch their intranet sites 75% faster than customers without (12 weeks vs. 52 weeks).

2. Communication tied to business goals: the Tailored Experience creates a way to bring your communication plan alive within your organization, allowing you to measure the impact communication has on achieving your goals.

3. Increase engagement in the project: on average, Tailored Experience customers have 3.6 people involved in the project. Customers without the Tailored Experience have, on average, only 1 person involved in the project.

Learn more about IC’s intranet software & the Tailored Experience

Interested in learning more? Book a demo now and discover how IC’s intranet software combined with the Tailored Experience can set your organization up for success.