Leveraging an Employee Portal to Transform Corporate Communications
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Leveraging an Employee Portal to Transform Corporate Communications



Discusses the business case, ROI and best practices for employee portal implementation. Addresses key success factors including organizational change management, governance and roles.

Discusses the business case, ROI and best practices for employee portal implementation. Addresses key success factors including organizational change management, governance and roles.



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  • M & K: Greetings from both.M: Now, we are going to do a quick poll:K How many of you here today have a portal at your G&T?M How many of you currently have plans to add a portal?K How many of you don’t have a portal but would like to have one?M How many of you have no idea what a portal is?K A portal is a comprehensive Web site, accessible by employees from any location, providing access to a wide variety of transactions and data. With a portal, G&T employees could, for example, view paychecks, track real time outage costs, check multiple locations for parts, change HR benefits, review performance appraisals, check vacation balances, learn about upcoming events, and retrieve needed policies and documents.A portal is different from a static Intranet Web site, which is an internal network used primarily to share information among employees. Typically, it is located only on the internal corporate network.
  • K We had five major issues with Web based communications at EKPC prior to the launch of our portal in 2009.Poor value/functionality of IntranetOut of date content/poorly defined support rolesOne department owned the siteTeams across organization couldn’t collaborate on IntranetYou could only access it from work That’s when we decided to launch our business transformation project There was one major misconception our employees had: this was not just a software upgrade as surveys showed. Our goals went well beyond a simple software installation
  • M There was one big Kahuna goal: Improve effectiveness and efficiency of work/increase margins. What does that mean: check inventory for needed parts with click of a button. Approve pay increases in a day or less. Retrieve engineering drawings in an instant.
  • We also needed to create a new organizational structure to govern the site. We wanted the business needs of EKPC to drive future development. We wanted something that would enable many areas of the company to collaborate on projects And we wanted our 720 employees to use this tool 24-7 from any location, both from home and at work.
  • M This is what we stressed to EKPC employees.EOO is what we were going to get if we did everything the way we did before. Goal: Use the new tools to work smarter, not harder
  • M As much as possible, we wanted EKPC employees to use the tools to eliminate paperwork and to work smarter, faster.
  • M –1-41.Communications coordinates the portal. We respond to the needs of various owners. We balance the needs of HR, IT, Generation, Transmission, Supply Chain, Finance, and every area of the company is responsible for their part of the portal.2.There are three criteria for value: it has to be correct, relevant to needs and timely (Southern Company doesn’t post any information on climbing poles; they don’t allow that)3. There are many ways to group information, but it can’t be too wide or too deep (Our goal is the Rule of Three; no more than three clicks to get information at Southern)4. Bringing information to users: Southern Company examplesK-5-8 5. EKPC Surveyed users on three different options on the organizational structure6. A tool that organizes content. Don’t have to manually update pages; one person can do what four people do without the system. You can define which pages content appears on.7. A to the third power: Anytime, anyplace, anything access. 24/7 access from home or work8. Meet the needs of users, while being simple (you add functionality each year)
  •  M See how simple we started at Southern Company
  • M See where we were a few years later at Southern Company
  • M The portal was the tool used to fully integrate with our PeopleSoft ERP, allowing Benefits Enrollment, Expense Reporting, Procurement and other areas to use one system.Every area owns and manages their content on the portal: Finance, HR, Supply Chain, Generation and Transmission Maintenance. All users have security roles. Established a governance committee with reps from Communications, HR, Supply Chain, Finance, Transmission, Generation, ITCreated collaborative workspaces for five safety committees, spill prevention, IT, Central Governance, engineering and moreAllemployees have user IDs and passwords. From home or work, they can get co-op news, check the weather, change benefits, review performance appraisals, check vacation balances.
  • M…..HR Go-Live took place in January 2010Then rolled out Finance, Plant and Transmission Maintenance and a drawings management system called Agile in stages3. Use multi-media communications: Town Hall meetings all locations, posters, Web site, Live demos, Communications effectiveness survey, success stories
  • M Southern Company: Open enrollment: every on-line enrollment cost 10 percent of traditional method. K Eliminated a lot of manual paperwork.This year, we’ll finish standardizing all the names of parts in our inventory, so that anyone with proper authorization can check inventory at all location for needed parts.
  • M – There were issues and challenges, problems
  • K Leadership wants lower costs and higher satisfaction. Real Example: An employee qualified for a raise of 25 cents an hour. It was hand carried to eight different people in management and took three months to be approved.Now we approve that in 1 day or less. Salary increase example (25 cent raise took months to approve)There were 250 employees who didn’t use a computer at EKPC for their daily work. Some employees concerned about training/use.EKPC set up procedures on how to trouble-shoot problems and get answers. Classroom training, computer tutorials and experts at each site provided employees information on how to log in, use basic features (like getting access to a pay stub), search for answers and look up resources. EKPC rolled provided the training close to the roll out of each module.
  • KOur posters, articles, town hall meetings were all aimed at creating a vision of how EKPC Central could be leveraged as a tool to improve our work.
  • M EKPC didn’t have roles for people to manage EKPC Central Created position descriptions that list needed knowledge and skills You have to hire more staff and/or change responsibilities of staffStaff needed someone who could work with HTML, strong writing skills and an ability to learn new applications quickly.
  • K Nichole provided training every day to me for example. Now have a governance team with reps from all areas—meet monthly meeting There is a Help Center that lists contact information for advanced users who can assist with problems. There are tutorials.
  • K—Let’s wrap it up with ROI and lessons learns
  • M & KOne year after initial go live, 82 percent of employees said on a survey that the portal was the best tool EKPC had for communications. HR and Supply Chain paperwork has been greatly reduced and processes improved. Much more self-service focused We replaced aging and out-of-date software with new software that has technical support. Example: purchase orders are sent electronically, versus faxes and other methods. We now have a database of potential suppliers who are now more self-service oriented to check invoice status. Our employees now have much more visibility of inventory, requisitions and purchase orders Engineering staff can retrieve many drawings electronically—but this is still a work in progressEventually: We hope to see improvements to work order scheduling and make better decisions during outages.
  • M & KK1. Journey: Our Business Transformation is ongoing two years since the portal launch: we’re still improving the generation and transmission maintenance systems, and other processes.2.We have 70 years of drawings and documents that we’re scanning into our document-management software. One person is working on scanning those drawings full-time and two part-time, but it’s going to take five more years to get where we really want to be. Eventually, anybody from any location will be able to retrieve nearly all drawings—we’re not there yet. Staff would have liked more time with a dedicated consultant to fully deploy and implement until goals were fully met.M You will know you are successful when people start asking you for greater functionality
  • KWe’ve added large new section to support understanding of EKPC’s Strategic Plan, and a whole new section dedicated just to HR—eliminated all the weekly emails about benefits news, wellness events, training and blood drives.We’re still in a transition on Communications. Goal: post all communications in real time on the portal and do away with the newsletter.We’re using it to send out information to improve safety. 2011 was our best safety year ever. In February, we’re launching a new project—to help us establish maintenance metrics to do more preventative maintenance rather than corrective maintenance.We’ll establish key performance metrics on our assets

Leveraging an Employee Portal to Transform Corporate Communications Leveraging an Employee Portal to Transform Corporate Communications Presentation Transcript

  • Using a Portal to Improve G&T OperationsAnd Make Communications a Strategic Business PartnerMark Gavora, Business Transformation & Change Management Lead, Arcamoda LLC. &Kevin Osbourn, Communications Manager, East Kentucky Power Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology
  • EKPC Before the Portal − Background• Web communications to employees done only via Intranet Web site 1. Limited functionality  Does not provide adequate value 2. Static, out-of-date content  Supporting roles not defined or staffed 3. One dept. owned the site  Not responsive business needs 4. Lacked collaboration  Teamwork across functions remained difficult 5. Accessed only at work  Fails to account for evolving user base• EKPC Launches Business Evolving Initiative in June 2009 Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Business Evolving Objectives• Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Business Evolving Objectives• Create a portal support organizational structure with well-defined roles• Enable the business to drive portal development rather than technology• Leverage on-line collaboration tools to support inter- departmental projects• Enable employees with any time, any place, any function access Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology
  • EKPC Adopted Two Formulas OO+NT=EOO OO is Old Organization NT is New Technology EOO is Expensive Old OrganizationArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Our Goal Formula OO+LT=TO OO is Old Organization LT is Leveraged Technology TO is Transformed OrganizationArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Relevant Best Practices: the Elite Eight1. Corporate Communications coordinates the Portal2. Emphasize value over content3. Build content from a defined organizational structure that balances the breadth and depth of content4. Bring information to the users rather than have the users search for information5. Sample users to validate your content organization6. Integrate with a content management system and a highly structured search function7. Strive for A3: Anytime, Anyplace, Any function access8. Balance simplicity with functionality, but keep it simple Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Move mouse over title to read the article  My PeopleNet is now available  1999 Benefits survey is completeArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • ArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Portal Alignment with Key ObjectivesObjective Supported by• Improve efficiency & effectiveness • Made the portal transactional of business • Created defined roles for portal• Create a support organizational operations, governance and structure with well-defined roles functional management• Enable the business to drive portal • Created a Central Governance development rather than Committee technology • Created multiple collaborative• Leverage on-line collaboration workspaces tools to support inter-departmental • Granted all employees user ID projects and password• Enable employees with any time, any place, any function accessArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Design and Development Philosophy• Start simple and build on success• Use a phased-in approach fitting business realities and culture• Accommodate service demand and client business needs though collaborative involvement• Manage with a steering team and functional ownership• Work within the IT umbrella• C-Level sponsorship and executive championing• Strong emphasis on communications and marketingArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Methodology and Approach Define a Vision and • User reports, user satisfaction survey, ROI Metrics • PeopleSoft ERP Establish a Foundation • PeopleSoft Portal and Content Management • HR Transactions Make Users Want it! • Time and Expenses • Procurement and Inventory • Surveys Assess Feedback and • Posters, success stories, town hall meetings, newsletter Share the Joy! articles • Portals are like sharks in the water. If they stop moving, they Plan the Next Phase die.ArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • KEY ISSUES TO MANAGEArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Stakeholder Buy-In: Issues and NeedsIssues Needs• One department ownership • Understand limitation of single• Executives want a solution to departmental ownership reduce costs without damaging • Demonstrate reduced costs employee satisfaction without decreasing satisfaction• Provide a tool that employees • Create simple tools training to would know how to use fill in gaps• Cultural readiness for • Release compelling communicating changes to the communication without way employees do work creating burning platformArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Communications Painted a VisionArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Roles: Issues and NeedsIssues Needs• Portal management roles did • Position descriptions that list not exist at EKPC knowledge and skills needed• Staff not allocated for this work to complete the work• Insufficient resources • Hire more staff and/or change responsibilities of staffArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Competencies: Issues and NeedsIssues Needs• Staff has no exposure to portal • Clear instruction on key solutions activities• New staff will have to be • Knowledge transfer to existing trained employees• Align staff with technologyArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • WRAPPING UPArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Common Value Measures• ROI – hard • Labor Reduction • Cost Avoidance • Material Reduction• ROI - soft• Satisfaction • Usage • FeedbackArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Lessons Learned• A business transformation is journey• Be sure you’ve adequately identified deliverables• Allow adequate time and resources to integrate modules• You will know you are successful when people start asking you for greater functionalityArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Conclusions• Portals provide the foundation to transform tactical communications into strategic communications• Remember: portals are like sharks in the water. If they stop moving, they dieArcamodaStrategy, Process, People & Technology
  • Remaining Questions and Discussion Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology 4
  • Why Change Management Efforts FailPerformance management Push interventions for laggards Risk mitigation Stakeholder analysis strategy Succession Communication plan Post Go-live strategy planning Ongoing support strategy Policy updates Competencies Communications RecognitionPost Go-live metrics programs Training Training strategy Readiness assessment Sustaining Sustaining Foundational Training needs assessment Foundational Compelling Need Operations impact Strategic alignment analysis Vision Steering team Executive commitment alignment Regular executive-level involvement Arcamoda Strategy, Process, People & Technology