“Hybrid work is here to stay,” said Satya Nadella at this week’s Microsoft Inspire. He said it’s clear that flexibility and well-being are “non-negotiable” as new patterns of work emerge.
In fact, Nadella said companies need to prioritize the employee experience especially as work is increasingly happening “anywhere” and at “anytime”, which means the employee experience needs to adapt accordingly.
But before we look at how we do this, first let’s look at what the employee experience is.
The employee experience is often described as a company-wide initiative that deals with the day-to-day issues employees face at work. According to Gallup, the employee experience is “the journey an employee takes with your organization.
“It includes all the interactions an employee has with your organization before, during and after their tenure”. Satya Nadella took this one step further and redefined the employee experience as being “a digital-first solution, connecting every employee wherever they are and whenever they are working to facilitate engagement and retention”.
Why employee experience is important
A great employee experience will not only help employees stay productive, but it should also keep them healthy, engaged, and on track too. In fact, getting the employee experience right can improve engagement as well as keep people more motivated and productive.
Happy employees with a positive employee experience are up to 20% more productive at work, according to the Social Market Foundation
Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by a massive 202% according to Business to Community research
Organizations with engaged employees are 43% more productive says research by Hay Group
In addition to keeping people motivated and productive, a good employee experience should also help to improve employee retention. According to the author of The Employee Experience Advantage, Jacob Morgan, he says:
In a world where money is no longer the primary motivating factor for employees, focusing on the employee experience is the most promising competitive advantage that organizations can create.
How to use digital workplace tools to improve the employee experience
Yet, in an era where hybrid work is becoming the norm, it’s not always clear how to provide a good employee experience for every workplace scenario. That’s where digital workplace technology comes in.
According to Microsoft, the digital employee experience should “help every employee do and be their best”. This means tech tools should facilitate meaningful collaboration and knowledge sharing whilst allowing employees to work flexibly, wherever, and how ever they work, after all, as Jared Spataro says:
Work is no longer just a place. It’s what people do, no matter where they are and how they come together to get the job done.
So, let’s look at some of the fundamental ways how we can create a great employee experience using digital workplace technology:
Internal comms’s primary role is to provide a flow of information between an organization’s departments and employees. Done well it should nurture company culture and build employee engagement too.
With so many companies adopting hybrid work permanently, the role of internal comms is more important than ever. In fact, employees who feel included in more detailed communication are nearly five times more likely to report increased productivity, says research by McKinsey.
The following are some suggestions how organizations can use digital workplace tools to enhance their internal comms:
Analytics: Introducing analytics allows admins to identify what content is resonating with their target audience and determine other useful insights such as time of day they’re engaging too.
Content acknowledgment feature: Adding a ‘must read’ function to the most important comms, such as policy or safety updates, is a good way for internal comms teams to see who has read it, who is engaged, and who needs a reminder.
Gamification: Incorporating gamification into comms makes sharing content fun and easy. In fact, research from the US revealed companies that use game-based motivation—including competitions, goal-setting, performance rewards, success statistics and status recognition— have happier employees – with 95% reporting they enjoy using it.
Personalization: Allowing employees to ‘opt-in’ to content they want to see/read/receive based on their job function, location, language and interest helps to boost engagement.
Search: Introducing tags on content can instantly improve the discoverability of documents, which can save employees up to 1.8 hours every day, the equivalent of 9.3 hours per week, which, according to McKinsey, is how much time employees waste on average looking for documents.
Segmentation: Segmenting content when publishing meanscontent editors can filter and share content based on employees’ role, department, location and language. This helps to keep employees engaged as well as save them time, freeing them up to be more productive.
Employee collaboration has changed dramatically in hybrid work environments. There are now more options for when, where and how to collaborate. Organizations need to enable people to collaborate in-person or remotely to unlock productivity.
As Satya Nadella said at Microsoft Inspire, “space is the ultimate collaboration tool” that’s being redefined for this modern era of hybrid work. It won’t be traded away, however, from now on we are going to use it very differently.
Little surprise then that Microsoft Teams, with a record 270 million daily active users spending most of their working day there, has proven to be the hybrid collaboration platform. It’s the best collaboration tool to enable employees to work asynchronously or synchronously, whether, as Microsoft has identified, they’re:
Synchronous together: when employees are co-located, contributing to meetings in a shared space.
Synchronous apart: when employees are distributed but participating in virtual meetings.
Asynchronous together: when employees are in shared spaces, but not working at the same time.
Asynchronous apart: when employees are distributed, and individuals are conducting work at different times.
Digital workplace tools, such as Microsoft Teams, can facilitate collaboration by connecting employees to colleagues and departments regardless of where they’re working as well as a providing a searchable, centrally located knowledge base.
The following are some suggestions how organizations can use Teams, to enhance their collaboration:
Chat: Teams chat has been designed to help employees communicate in real-time and make decisions on the go. Colleagues can ask each other questions when working in the flow and can often get a speedy response. Yet, for colleagues working different hours or in different time zones the chats can be saved and will be ready for the next time they log on.
Document sharing: This is one of the most important productivity tools when employees are working remotely, according to Get App. In fact, Microsoft reports that 85% of Teams users use this function for collaboration on a regular basis. Whether employees are collaborating in real-time in the same location, remotely or at differing times and places, they can work together on the same document, be it text, a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation, leaving comments, tagging someone for their approval, assigning action items, and sharing recognition for good work.
Mobile app:Giving all employees, including deskless workers and those without an email address, online access to a digital workplace, such as Teams, means everyone has the opportunity to be included in discussions and decision making, regardless of their role or location. Parity of access improves engagement and knowledge sharing.
Online video meetings: A staple of remote working, online video meetings are an efficient way to work. They’re a place where employees can share data, documents and presentations with team members in real-time. Microsoft has just announced three new features to improve these meetings including video messaging, collaborative annotations & Excel Live. Of course, for those unable to attend video meetings, employees can easily record the meeting and share the link.
People are redefining the role of work in their lives. More than ever employees are demanding the flexibility of hybrid work and are prioritizing both their health and wellbeing.
Therefore, employee wellness has risen to the top of the employee experience agenda, particularly as many reported experiencing burn-out during or after the pandemic. In fact, according to Microsoft 79 per cent workers said they experienced significant work-related stress which has led to lack of interest, motivation and effort at work – feelings which have contributed to the Great Resignation.
Employee wellness, which was once a HR priority, is now a business imperative, said Seth Patton at this week’s Microsoft Inspire. Keeping teams feeling healthy and happy and creating a better employee experience in a hybrid setting is now more important than ever.
Offering flexibility in where and when employees work is the first step in making this happen. Because when people feel good at work, they have a more meaningful employee experience and tend to have higher engagement, they’re more productive, creative and less likely to leave.
How to support employee wellness with digital workplace tech
So, let’s look at some of the ways how to use digital workplace tech to engage and develop employees to improve wellness:
Seamless integrations: Reduce context switching by integrating other internal systems into Teams, to ensure employees can access all the important information they need through a single portal. This way employees can see all their appointments, To Do lists, documents, people and even company updates in one click.
Single platform or hub: Reducing information overload is one of the best ways to alleviate the stress of employees. Introducing a single place where they can log on and get all the news and tools they need to do their job is the best way to create an experience that empowers everyone. Hubs like Teams also reduce reliance on email – taking away yet another information channel for employees to keep on top of.
Surveys and polls: Regularly touch base with employees by using surveys and polls to gather feedback on employee wellbeing. Surveys allow managers to learn valuable, honest feedback and help to motivate employees who feel like their voice is being heard. In fact, employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work, according to Salesforce.
Transparent internal communication and great employee experience lead to improved employee well-being, motivation, and efficient workflow. From content creation to sharing, design, and measurement, the joint offering will empower organizations to deliver timely, impactful communication to their employees anywhere, anytime, on any device.
We know that our customers are grappling with how to make hybrid work work. Which is why we’re passionate about ensuring our products help them to create a culture that enables flexibility whilst uniting their organization around a shared purpose. Share your stories about how you’re using our products to help customers adapt to hybrid working. Plus, give us feedback on hybrid working tools you’d like to see on our roadmap. Contact our team today!
Intranet content done well can not only improve engagement it can enhance collaboration too. A smooth-running intranet will make finding information easy as well as boost culture, knowledge sharing and productivity.
But there are always ways to enhance engagement with your intranet content. Here we outline our favorite six top tips:
1. Share intranet content inside Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is the collaboration channel, with a record 270 million daily active users spending most of their working day there, this is the best place to share your intranet content.
Share content such as intranet news, job posting etc. to Microsoft Teams channels and users to increase its visibility and improve engagement.
Even better, introduce a two-way sync so no matter if employees are reading the content on your intranet, SharePoint or Teams, they can comment on posts which will automatically show up on all platforms instantly.
2. Include a must read / content acknowledgment feature
It’s hard to know if the content you’re publishing is actually being read by your target audience or not. One way to be sure is to add a “must read” content acknowledgement feature to your most important content.
This means your content creators and editors will be able to see exactly who has viewed your all-important latest piece of news, and when.
3. Introduce analytics
Improve engagement with your content by introducing analytics so that you can see for yourself how your employees are using your intranet and which pieces of content or areas are most popular.
Boosting engagement with your content is all about following a ‘test, listen and learn’ method. The best way to do this is to measure what’s working by using analytics.
Analytics will help you to identify what content is resonating with your target audience and other useful insights such as time of day they’re engaging too.
4. Make the content easy to find
Did you know that it can take employees up to eight searches to find the document or information they’re looking for?
To put this another way, according to McKinsey, employees can spend up to 1.8 hours every day, the equivalent of 9.3 hours per week, searching and gathering information.
That’s a lot of wasted time and effort.
You can instantly improve the discoverability of documents in your intranet by introducing tags. This means users can file their documents, forms, updates and information in a structured way, making it easier for them to find it when they need it again.
5. Refresh your intranet homepage
When was the last time you gave your intranet homepage a makeover? If you’re having to think, it was probably too long ago!
Try restructuring the content on your intranet homepage so it has a more modern, fresh, and intuitive look and feel.
You can even include handy templates and customizations to make it a one-stop-shop for all news and information.
6. Allow colleagues to create a personal dashboard
It’s now possible to take intranet personalization to the next level. With the right tools in place, employees can create a personal dashboard where all their personal needs for their working day can be found in one place.
Employees can create a unique space where they can see tailored news, links and documents, alongside tasks, emails, calendar and useful widgets used in their daily work too.
This means employees can filter out the noise and only view content matters to them most – and importantly, in their language of choice.
*** New to Valo? Want to know more? Book a demo with one of our intranet experts to see how you can improve your intranet content. A Valo Partner? Come over to the Partner Hub to find out how we’ve made Valo Intranet 4.0 sleeker and faster… it’s our best version yet!
We are constantly developing new ways to improve the user experience (UX), governance, and provisioning in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams for all our customers. Our aim is to save end users time, increase their efficiency as well as enhance their productivity.
So, take a look at some new and existing features that markedly improve the UX, governance, and provisioning in which ever digital workspaces you and your teams are working in.
How to improve the UX in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams
There are some easy ways you can improve the UX in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
Ensure provisioning engines are configurable at template level – Select a Patterns & Practices (PnP) template, a Site Template (former Site Designs), and Microsoft Teams template to apply additional artefacts such as “custom lists” to your collaboration spaces (see image below).
Create instant workspaces – Reduce the time your end users have to wait for their collaboration spaces by creating them in parallel, rather than sequentially.
Simplify how customers access and share product documentation – Make access to the product-related documentation a breeze so you can easily share documentation articles with your customers and their end users can re-share documentation articles within their organizations.
Make workspace creation more intuitive – Benefit from a process that puts the users’ needs in focus and provides user-friendly steps. Take the decision from the end users by removing or predefining the value for some steps (see image below).
How to improve governance in Microsoft Teams
The rapid adoption of Microsoft Teams during the pandemic has left many IT departments struggling to control Teams’ sprawl. Yet there are several quick ways you can improve the governance in this platform.
Implement a lifecycle policy – Introduce a lifecycle for a team, say for example, 90 days, 6 months, two years. At the end of this period archive the team and set it to “read-only” or hide it. Alternatively, notify “owners” and ask if these teams can be archived or deleted (see image below).
Auto-archive teams or groups based on inactivity – If the solution above isn’t possible, simply introduce an auto-archive policy based on inactivity. For example, set a policy that if a team or site has been inactive for more than, let’s say, six months it will automatically be archived.
Identify “owners” for each team – Owners of a Microsoft Team are the people who manage a specific team, either because they created it or were assigned to it. Yet many teams quickly become “orphaned” as people leave the business, contributing to the sprawl. Identify orphaned teams and allocate new owners or archive redundant ones to rapidly improve governance.
Identify less active teams – Some collaboration spaces are used more frequently than others. Use reporting or an overview of your workspaces to identify the period when collaboration spaces have been accessed.
How to improve provisioning in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams
Improving the provisioning is all about controlling and defining processes around how your collaboration spaces are created. Providing good provisioning from the outset makes it easier to empower self-service users. Here are a couple of tips how you can do this:
Configure communication sites templates – Make it simpler for your Valo Intranet users by creating the same template structure across all your communication sites. This makes it so much easier to roll-out Intranet features, such as Blogs, Events Hub, and FAQs, and a whole lot more (see image below).
Configure and extend out-of-the-box or custom-built templates for Microsoft Teams – Apply all governance and provisioning options to Teams templates to make it easy for users to create specialist teams with their own governance rules. For example, in the education sector, classrooms, staff-teams, and PLC teams.
For Valo Partners – head to the Partner Hub for more details about how Valo Teamwork 5.0 release will improve the UX, governance and provisioning in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams for your customers.
For new customers, get in touch and book a demo to find out how Valo Teamwork can rapidly improve provisioning and governance in your digital workplace.
In today’s fast-paced world, companies continue to look for new ways and tools to keep up with their business. Intranets have some considerable potential to improve communication and knowledge sharing among staff, help their job performance, and enhance workplace productivity. However, plenty of standard intranets are overly complicated, outdated, or constantly in progress. More importantly, IT departments don’t have the time to create custom solutions, especially ones that are manageable by HR, MarCom or other contributors.
And in the end, it’s not technology, but humans. How about understanding effective organizational change and management? I’m sure you have heard the wise old saying, “You have to go slow to go fast”. There is a reason why it still sticks around. It isn’t just enough to tell employees that they’ll have to do things differently and expect them to do so. Change takes time and time is precious.
How to overcome these challenges and use your time wisely? Stop focusing on the wrong things. Do what matters and make your time worthwhile, we can help you with that. We have hundreds of intranet projects under our belt and therefore a deep understanding of your pain points and goals. Bye-bye time eaters, say hello to Valo Intranet!
Here’s the deal, we take care of technology while you can focus on people and change.
15 reasons to love Valo Intranet
1) The best intranet. Valo is the multi-award winner at the European SharePoint and Office 365 Community Awards and the Intranet Report by ClearBox Consulting. Our winnings were announced surrounded by the leading influencers, developers, and decision-makers involved in SharePoint and Office 365 from around the globe. It’s great to see the hard work is paying off!
2) It’s just simple. Living in a complex world, people love simple things. So do we! Our customers praise Valo Intranet for how it is so clear, intuitive, and easy to use. End users know how to use it without reading a heavy product manual or sending support tickets to intranet admins. Convenient and pleasant for everyone, with less hassle.
3) Boosts user adoption. Well-designed intranet experience guarantees user-friendliness that makes usage enjoyable and enhances user satisfaction, through innovative useful functionality. Valo provides the best possible intranet experience using SharePoint.
4) Works with every device. Valo Intranet has a beautiful user interface with a fully responsive layout for mobile access. Keep employees on the road updated.
5)Your company’slook & feel. Choose from the different attractive Valo UI themes branded as your company. Branding is an easy way to strengthen corporate culture, support brand identity, and make your intranet a “destination” not just a “site.” Use it to your advantage!
6) All features you need. Don’t re-invent the intranet wheel and start from scratch, it’s just a waste of time and money. Valo has all the intranet core features and capabilities you need! For example targeted news, blogs, videos and modern functionalities like ‘social hub’, just to name a few. Besides this, Valo fits perfectly into your Microsoft 365 environment and helps employee communications run as smoothly as possible.
7) Fast to deploy. Valo is an intranet-in-a-box and ready-to-go, so you can start using it immediately. It’s your sandbox to play around in. Because seeing is believing, it also helps you to change peoples’ mindsets about what an intranet project actually is – it’s the level of long-term internal resources and commitment required to ensure its success. The intranet launch day is only the beginning of a journey to change how employees think and behave.
With Valo, your new intranet can be live and launched within one week, so save your energy and spend time on the right things.
8) Flexible pricing. The Valo licensing model is based on subscriptions, pay as you go. Valo is suitable for small businesses as well as big enterprises. Take a look at our pricing plans request a quote now!
9) In your own language. Valo is a multilingual intranet with 17 different languages to choose from. We provide Valo Intranet for example in the following languages: English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, Finnish, French, Italian, Portuguese,.. Imagine your intranet with fully translated into your native language, that’s awesome!
10)Stays evergreen. Guess what, it’s okay not to know what the future holds. An organization and its people, as well as tools, need to continually improve and evolve. That’s why we focus heavily to develop constantly our solutions, including Valo intranet, to meet the demand of businesses but also for the ever-changing SharePoint and Office 365 platforms. Meaning, peace of mind as a service. You deserve it!
It’s okay not to know what the future holds. A modern intranet supports you to develop a culture of continuous improvement to better meet the needs and moving targets of the business.
11) We love feedback. Our passion is to have an intranet solution that always keeps getting better in this fast-paced world: releases are taking place 4 times per year with new hot features, bug fixes, and who knows what more. We want to make Valo even better, continuously, with you! We love to hear your feedback and ideas!
12) Technically strong. Valo Intranet is featured by Microsoft. Valo follows Microsoft’s latest recommendations on how intranets should be done. Our highly skilled and agile development team is working closely with the latest technologies of SharePoint. Keep calm and be on the front line with us.
13) Be in safe hands. Our local Valo Partners are trained to help customers with all Valo Intranet related things. They can provide business and technical insight, guidance, and support for example when planning the intranet launch day, creating a digital workplace strategy, training employees, involving stakeholders, and facilitating workshops. You can rest assured that you’re always in safe hands.
14) Experience matters. We all know the difference between a great experience and a bad one. We go the extra mile for our customers to create shiny and memorable experiences. But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at what our customers say about us. Go and explore!
15) It feels good. A great customer experience starts with your employees. Realizing this critical connection, you’ll also understand the importance of workplace culture. Focus on your workforce, add a little human touch, provide modern tools for internal and external communication, and be all ears. Companies sink or swim based on their culture. Go and swim, make every day a happy day!
You deserve a great intranet because great communication produces a great workplace.
At our superb Valo Team, we do our best every day because we love what we do, and because nothing great was ever built that didn’t start with great communication. The ownership of communication and collaboration needs to extend to injecting employee experience into the thinking of every one of your employees, regardless of role. Let us help you.
Still wondering? Contact us and be brave to jump into the world of modern intranets where great communication produces great collaboration. Also, find the best tips on how to get your intranet up and running within one week by downloading our eBook.
With Microsoft Teams monthly users reaching 270 million at the end of 2021 – that’s up from 75 million at the start of the pandemic – we’ve all become used to using this communication and collaboration tool. But there’s always more to learn, right?
Ruud Brok, one of the Technical Partner Managers here at Valo, is a complete pro when it comes to M365 and in a recent webinar, Creating Employee Communications Your Staff Will Love, he shared his favorite Microsoft Teams hacks to save time, increase efficiency and generally improve your work day.
1. Review your notifications
There are multiple changes you can make to your Teams notification settings to save yourself time and reduce distractions.
Switch off Teams notification emails
Have you noticed that Teams kindly sends you regular emails notifying you of things you missed? Does anyone find this useful? We think not. So, why not switch them off and save some space in your inbox?
All you need to do is go to your settings, select “Notifications” and set your “Missed activity email” to “Off”. Job done.
Pro tip: When you make changes to your Teams settings, the changes will follow your user, so will be applied across all devices.
Set up custom notifications for chat, meetings and calls
From the same Teams settings, you can also make changes to your chat, meetings and calls notifications. With chat notifications you can choose where you would like notifications to appear, and with meetings and calls, mute notifications altogether.
Set up channel notifications
Our last notifications hack is at channel level, where you can choose how you want to be notified about activities in each channel. There’s a default setting or you can set your own custom notifications. Just click on the “More options” ellipsis button next to the relevant channel.
2. Pin the channels and chats you use most
As well as drowning out unnecessary noise in your work day, there are some great Microsoft Teams hacks to highlight the most important information. Using the “Pin” setting you can prioritize the channels and chats you use the most.
Once again, the “Pin” setting can be found via the ellipsis button next to your Teams channels and chats. This automatically puts your pinned channels to the top so you can access them more quickly.
3. Mute “noisy” chats
Alternatively, if there’s an active chat going on that’s not immediately of interest you can temporarily “mute” the chat. In the same way as before, just click on the “More options” button and hit “Mute”.
4. Use the “Do not disturb” status
The “Do not disturb” setting is a great tool if you want to get down to work without distraction. Unlike the “Busy” setting, “Do not disturb” disables on-screen pop-ups that could be intrusive if you’re trying to concentrate.
Pro tip: If you’re planning on sharing your screen during a meeting, remember to hit “Do not disturb” before the meeting. This means you won’t get any pop-up notifications, including partial messages which everyone in the meeting would be able to read.
5. Save messages to read later
Another great Microsoft Teams hack is the “Save this message” feature. This feature is particularly useful for those busy periods when you don’t have time to fully digest a message, perhaps when you have lots of messages to get through after the weekend or a holiday. Just click the “More options” button next to the message and hit “Save this message”.
You can find all your saved messages via your user icon on the top right of your Teams dashboard. Click “Saved” to view your saved messages and you can also “Unsave this message” in the same way as you saved it, when you no longer need it.
6. Create a task directly from a Teams message
We’re used to setting tasks in Outlook but thanks to this hack, you can avoid app switching by setting them from a Teams message instead.
Just click “More options” next to the message, then “More actions” followed by “Create task”. You can amend who the task is assigned to, as well as the priority level and deadline, plus there’s a space for notes.
Once you’ve set up the task you can also view it via the “To Do” tab in Outlook.
7. Set up silent hours in your Teams mobile app
Everyone deserves time in their day when they’re free from work-related contact and notifications. In fact some countries, such as France and Portugal, have legislated for it. Although the boundaries of work and home have become blurred over the course of the pandemic, there are things you can do to help.
The Microsoft Teams mobile app has a “Quiet hours” setting which allows you to choose the hours in the day, or even whole days, where you won’t receive any work-related notifications.
8. Pin your most important files
Finally, another Microsoft Teams hack to save you and your colleagues valuable time is the files “Pin to top” setting. This allows you to pin your most current files to the top of your folder so they can be found and accessed quickly and easily.
To do this just click “More options” next to the relevant file and select “Pin to top”. You can, of course, un-pin when required but you can also edit the order of the pinned files, which comes in very useful if you’re working on several important files at once.
ClearBox Consulting recently published its comprehensive annual intranet comparison report “Intranet and Employee Experience Platform”, with a full review of 19 platform providers and capabilities, including Valo’s.
Valo Intranet is recognised for targeted content & good integration with Microsoft 365
In its review, ClearBox highlights Valo’s compatibility with Microsoft 365. Plus, it praises Valo Intranet‘s enhancements on top of the OOTB SharePoint intranet features including search, page templates, navigation, and ease-of-use.
With great signposting, targeted content, and good integrations with M365, Valo Solutions offers organizations tools to make the most of a digital workplace.
Our customers frequently tell us that Valo adds the needed layer to make content creation so easy that anyone can become a content creator.
The integrations that Valo Connect offers on top of Microsoft Teams and Viva Connections also tells a story of in-sync roadmaps with Microsoft. Enabling a seamless experience between Microsoft and Valo stays in our focus now and also in the future.
So, if you are looking for an intranet solution to enhance your Microsoft Ecosystem without compromising on the Microsoft tools. Or you want a tool to bring your intranet into Teams, Valo is an excellent choice and “value-for-money” – something that we were awarded in 2018 and 2019 (when that category still existed!).
Staffbase is the 2022 Choice Award for Intranets & Employee Experience Platforms
In the report, Clearbox acknowledged how acquiring Valo and Bananatag in 2021 has made Staffbase “one of the largest employee experience platforms on the market” and said “its features certainly deliver.”
For Staffbase, both Staffbase Email (previously Bananatag) and Valo both play an important role in the overall product vision to become the “Employee Comms Intelligence Platform”.
Staffbase acquired Valo to become the leading provider of employee communication solutions for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint. This is a giant step for employee communication teams and leaders who understand the need to provide shared purpose and direction to everyone in their organization.
Future is in the mobile and multichannel approach
There is an increasing demand to reach frontline workers through their (own) mobile devices. The ClearBox report recognises this and takes a more holistic view of employee experience platforms made up of desktop and mobile apps.
Valo Connect enables you to bring your intranet and other digital workplace content into MS Teams. Deployed as an MS Teams app, Valo Connect provides an interface to present intranet content, and Microsoft 365 content from elsewhere, within MS Teams.
This means organizations using Microsoft Teams can extend and enhance their Valo (or OOTB) intranet experience on the go without leaving the Teams app. The newly released Valo Connect 3.0 also adds more to the intranet experience inside Teams.
If organizations are looking for ways to further integrate their intranet and other apps beyond SharePoint, like Viva Connections into Teams, we can see there being value in buying this [Valo Connect] add-on.
We are also actively working behind-the-scenes on how to fulfil the mobile needs of organizations with a strong Microsoft 365 strategy but who do not necessarily use, or find, Teams sufficient for employee communications needs.
Valo congratulates all the Choice 2022 winners! Download the report and find Valo’s review from page 564 onwards. Enjoy reading!
Intranets have really come into their own over the course of the pandemic. Beginning with the world’s biggest remote-working experiment, followed by the move towards a hybrid work model, intranets have become an even more important tool for organizations to communicate with their distributed workforce.
But like all digital workplace tools, intranets need to be renewed to ensure businesses are benefitting from the latest functionality and features.
For intranet managers, HR, internal comms and heads of IT (and very often, end-users), the business case for intranet renewal is often so obvious it barely needs mentioning. You know that engagement is low, employees rarely view pages – let alone edit them – and that your existing platform is confusing and clunky.
Unfortunately, your definition of what a good intranet could look like – and the potential it could have – might not be shared by those colleagues who hold the purse strings.
Common objections to a new intranet include:
“We already have one – why should we invest in another?”
“The one we already use doesn’t work – what’s the point in a new one?”
“We don’t have the budget for new technology right now”
“I don’t see the purpose in an intranet anyway”
While your company’s executives might not see the value in a new intranet, many other organizations are investing, not just in intranets but in employee experience platforms that facilitate two-way, responsive and mobile communication.
A key step here is to create a convincing, compelling and creative business case for intranet renewal. We’ll detail the following five steps to help show you how.
The business case for intranet renewal
Building a business case for intranet renewal is an exercise in good communications. You need to go beyond simply describing the features of new technology, or criticizing your current platform.
To get executive buy-in, you need to go a step further and give them some really compelling reasons to explore the potential of a new intranet.
A business case for intranet renewal should be built around the following best-practice messages:
1. Help them understand the intranet you already have in place (& its problems)
Begin your business case for intranet change by describing the platform your company is already using and highlighting its limitations. Begin by setting the scene:
When was the intranet first deployed?
How has it evolved?
Use usage analytics for benchmarking
If you have the figures, attempt to provide a cost-benefit analysis; is the intranet currently costing more to maintain than it’s really worth?
Once you’ve identified areas of need such as this, your executives will be more open to hearing you out when you criticize the platform.
2. Real world examples of problems the intranet is causing
While facts and figures are useful, they can sometimes feel a little abstract. It’s therefore essential to support your arguments with real-world stories.
Take your scene-setting further by carrying out interviews with users and finding out why they do or don’t use the platform.
Your interviews should focus on issues such as:
Amount of time wasted searching for documents
Problems with the user interface
Demonstration of how the intranet falls short of modern user requirements – things like inability to access via mobile, for instance
These kinds of stories will really highlight the problems with the existing intranet to your executives – ideally providing both quantitative and qualitative findings. It will put the problems in context and help them begin thinking about the amount of resources they’re wasting and productivity lost.
A good example of this is Swiss waste disposal business AVAG, whose 10-year-old intranet was difficult to update, offered no functionality for engagement and wasn’t responsive.
3. The facts to support the business case for intranet replacement
Now that you have painted a picture of the problems with the existing intranet, you need to present the solution. Besides describing the platform and what’s so unique about it, you should back your claims up with hard facts.
If possible, create a comparison table comparing the intranet you want to use and your current platform. These should cover a number of areas:
Monthly costs per user
Key features (such as cloud and mobile accessibility)
Clarity around what the new intranet is, how it works and why it’s better will help your executives see the clear benefits of upgrading. But, as in section 2, you also need to bring these facts to life with some realistic examples.
4. So, what would it look like?
Paint a picture of what the new intranet would look like at your business. A good starting point is to request case studies from the provider of the intranet you are interested in.
These stories should highlight the benefits brought about by the intranet – how it boosted productivity, staff engagement and the bottom line, while cutting waste, frustration and confusion. This is your opportunity to inspire your executives of the potential of investing in a new platform.
At Valo, we love talking to our customers about our products and hearing how they have benefitted their organizations.
A successful intranet is about more than simply deploying a tool and hoping employees will use it. Instead, the final section of your business case for intranet change should focus on how you will support the implementation of the technology.
New enterprise technologies will require you to offer at least some training (even with the most intuitive interfaces) and support the change management involved in deploying a new solution.
While many employees will embrace a new platform, there will be some who are resistant. So, your business case for intranet renewal needs to show how you’re going to manage that change.
A business case is a highly useful tool for conveying the value of renewing your intranet. By following these best-practice steps, you’ll be able to build a compelling argument for change to inspire and impress your executives.
Looking for an intranet to impress even the most change-resistant executive?
Besides being known as one of the most lovable digital workplace solutions out there, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the service provider renowned for its love of rosé.
#ValoLove started off like any typical rom-com, with users looking to fall in love with the way they work, and the Valo Community making it possible. Since 2015, Valo’s followers have grown by 900+ organizations and with over 3 million users worldwide with the help of our 335 partners globally. It’s no secret that people are easily smitten by everything Valo represents.
From the people behind Valo all the way to its products, here are 3 reasons why Valo has become the comfort food of the hybrid and digital workplace.
1. The People
Your vibe attracts your tribe. In the case of Valo Solutions, this couldn’t be more true. What started with just a few people behind Valo, quickly escalated to a global family. #ValoVibes are highly infectious and have caught on at a rapid speed around the globe! No matter where you might be in this world, if you run into any member part of the Valo family, you can be rest assured there’ll be smiles, laughter, and a good time.
We unite together around the globe through various in-person events, online activities, and projects. The team behind Valo knows that its success relies on the success of its partners and the happiness of its customers. That is why the support system is unbeatable here at Valo: we go beyond “business relationships” to form strong connections through friendships.
Throughout the years, like in any household, some of the Valo family went off to spread their wings elsewhere, some are no longer with us but many more have joined our community since. One thing remains true though: whether you only crossed paths with Valo momentarily or have been part of the journey for a longer period, being a member of the #ValoFamily lasts forever.
2. La vie in Pink
The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see. Valo always chose to see the world in pink-colored lenses. At Valo booths and within its branding, it’s always been easy to identify the feeling behind the bright colors we stand for that create a sense of warmth and adoration.
Never a dull moment, Valo always creates a sense of belonging and a bright optimistic, and fun surrounding whether it may be in person or online. If you haven’t gotten to know the Valo brand yet, well you’ll automatically know once you see it. We do Rosé all day, every day!
3. Products made with #ValoLove
Valo products have always emphasized employees’ needs and their experience. It’s no wonder we have won so many awards over the years for our intranet and various other digital workplace solutions. Valo’s product and software designers not only put a lot of thought into the design but do so with a lot of passion.
More recently, we’ve teamed up with analytics gurus tyGraph and also with one of the world’s top internal communications platforms, Staffbase. The journey over the years took us to many new heights and changes to adapt to the needs and wants of consumers, and let us tell you, now it’s looking brighter than ever! Just see for yourself the amazing trek Valo has accomplished over the last few years with our digital and hybrid workplace tools. Or better yet, take a tour of the award-winning products for yourself.
Join us and be part of the #ValoCommunity, whether you may have an interest to become a Valo Partner or would like to know about any Valo products, we are happy to help! Come be part of the #ValoLove