Case Study Barnardos: Valo Intranet Provides Gateway to Strengthen Culture & Create Connection

Strengthen culture

With 800 staff members distributed across over 30 locations in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, children’s charity Barnardos needed a way of improving the connection between its employees and strengthening the organization’s culture.

With an over-reliance on email due to an unloved and outdated intranet, internal communications had become frustrating and ineffective.

  • Industry: Charity
  • Country: Australia
  • Company size: <250 or charity

Starting point:

Although Barnardos Australia was used to operating with a distributed workforce, spread across seven centers in over 30 locations, they struggled to connect as an organization.

Their existing intranet was no longer fit for purpose. Only a handful of employees knew how to publish content, information was difficult to find and there was no version control for shared documents.

Quite simply, staff had lost confidence in the intranet leading to an over-reliance on email. It was clear they needed a way to create a connection between employees and to strengthen the organization’s culture.


Barnardos had carried out a significant amount of employee research and had a clear idea of what they wanted from their intranet.

After going through demos with Valo Premium Partners Digital First, they carried out a series of internal workshops enabling Digital First to present a road map for producing a staff intranet that would address Barnardos’ challenges.

The charity chose Valo Intranet for its usability, powerful search, and customizable look and feel.


  • SharePoint-powered search supported by Valo’s intuitive search
  • Branded look and feel helps strengthen organization’s culture
  • Two-way communications for increased engagement
  • Easy-to-publish content encourages increased content sharing
  • Central content hub connects distributed workforce

Easy-to-publish content creates sense of ownership amongst intranet “champions”

Valo Intranet strengthens culture for Barnardos Australia.

Since launching their new intranet, Barnardos have appointed intranet “champions” to be representatives of each portfolio and center. These champions have permission to add news stories and update content, giving them a sense of ownership of the intranet.

Valo Intranet’s intuitive content creation tools make publishing content quick and easy, with the Valo Toolbox and content templates.

Before adopting Valo Intranet there were only about three people who knew how to publish content. It felt like writing code. It was so old fashioned, there weren’t any beautiful images. It wasn’t user friendly. It just wasn’t something that people were willing to put their hand up and do. Whereas now, they love it.

Two-way communication brings the workforce together

One of the features that Barnardos staff love is the functionality to respond to the stories they see on their intranet by liking and commenting.

Being able to engage with colleagues, no matter where they are located, has made everyone feel more connected. The more staff are seeing stories shared by their colleagues in other centers, the more they are being encouraged to share stories too.

Valo helps staff regain trust in intranet

Barnardos staff had lost confidence in their previous intranet due to lack of version control. Employees simply didn’t trust the information available and resorted to saving documents, forms and policies locally.

This has been resolved by SharePoint-based Valo Intranet, which now acts as a single source of truth meaning staff can trust that they are getting the most up-to-date document available.

Valo Intranet’s search functionality makes documents easy-to-find and accessible, saving valuable time and effort.

Strengthened culture “changed working lives of Barnardos staff”

As Digital First’s CEO Grant McWhirter described it, an intranet is the “gateway to an organization” and creating a branded look and feel is vital to strengthening culture and creating connection.

As part of the process of developing the intranet, Barnardos and their Valo Premium Partner put a lot of work into creating an “intranet” brand.

This meant using the same themes and colors as the Barnardos website, but reflecting the fact that communication was among employees and not public-facing e.g. adding features such as “Staff Spotlight” to allow employees to get to know their colleagues based in other centers.

This approach has achieved the charity’s objective of strengthening the culture of the organization.

With the help of Digital First, Valo Intranet has really changed the working lives of Barnardos’ staff. They see the children we help, the families, the workers, telling their stories on a daily basis. They can access things like forms and templates and all the things they need to perform their jobs. The benefits are just incredible. It’s the highlight of my seven years at Barnardos to be able to turn around a big problem into something that everyone loves. So, I’m a bit of a hero, which I love as well!


Are you ready to become your organization’s hero by adopting Valo Intranet to strengthen culture and create a greater connection between employees?

Get in touch with the team here at Valo and we’ll put you in touch with one of our awesome partners to help you on your intranet journey.

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