106 Communications

6th Sense

106 Breakfast Series – The Digital Workplace

March 2017 | 106 Breakfast Series

Thursday 30th March.  8am.  The Delaunay Private Dining Room.  The latest event in the 106 Breakfast Series – and this time we turned our attention to The Digital Workplace.

We had Comms professionals from Finance, Tech, Automotive, Science, Research, Engineering and more…  First up was a short presentation by 106 on Trends and Developments in the Digital Workplace, including our latest update on the Digital Employee.  You can read all about it here.

Tereza Urbankova was our guest speaker and she had a great story to tell.  One of mergers and acquisitions.  Multiple intranets and social networks.  Leadership blogs and ambassador programmes.

Here are some of the key takeaways.

Merger – In 2014 Amec and Foster Wheeler came together.  A merger like this put communication and engagement right at the forefront of the organisation.  From creating information to share with each of the two teams (before the merger became official) to being ready for Day 1 of the merger, the Comms team worked hard to keep everyone informed through what can be a very anxious time.  It also helped the business to re-examine its comms strategy and the tools at its disposal.  After all, this is a business with some 35,000 people around the world.

Digital Workplace is a Journey – Okay, so it sounds a little X Factor, but with tech changing all the time and considering the size of many organisations, often it makes sense to focus on incremental changes rather than a wholesale change.  Tereza showed how Amec Foster Wheeler hit a series of milestones over a period of 2-3 years, including the launch of a new intranet, greater adoption of Yammer and the roll-out of an Ambassador platform.  And there’s more to come.

The IT Crowd – A lesson learnt here.  Internal tech teams can normally do anything you want of them, but they can’t always support the ongoing journey – because they have other priorities and they don’t necessarily have the right experience.

Hungry for Information – Intranets can often become dusty filing cabinets of information, in part because they can be clunky to use and in part because the information isn’t useful, relevant or searchable.  When the merger happened, Amec Foster Wheeler found people hungry for information and took this opportunity to engage colleagues in relevant and useful information.  They have continued that with the use of Leadership Blogs, and key information around the transformation of the business.

Leadership Blogs – Tereza shared with us the readership stats for Leadership Blogs, and it was interesting to see that blogs from the CEO normally achieved 15-20% readership, but a few blogs hit 40-60% of the online population.  The most read blogs were important statements about the business and its transformation.

Yammer Adoption – Today there are over 22,000 users on Yammer and nearly 15,000 of them are engaged. As an example, in February 2017, the most popular groups were either related to core business areas or diversity & inclusion, as well as ‘Musicians of Amec Foster Wheeler’!!  Again, the Comms team have worked hard to share relevant information through specific groups to maintain a good level of engagement.

Ambassador Programmes – Finally, we heard that Amec Foster Wheeler have embarked on an Ambassador programme, using the SMARP platform.  Essentially this enables a group of individuals (those who have volunteered) to share pre-approved posts via their own social media.  Most colleagues have shied away from sharing on Facebook (‘it’s private’, they’ve said), but they have had good success otherwise and the ‘earned media’ value each month is pretty impressive.

We hold regular 106 Breakfast Series events.  If you’d like to be invited to future events, please email Karen.


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