Founded in 1934, Georgia’s Own Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in Georgia with over $2 billion in assets and more than 184,000 members. With 23 branches and 425 employees, streamlined communication is vital to their success.
Working with a home-grown intranet solution for years had become a pain point for support and was slowing down employee interaction due to the time to create new pages and content. In 2006, the Credit Union was facing staff turnover and outdated technology and decided it was time for a true intranet. They needed a scalable, dedicated, platform for employee resources, staff recognition, and effective collaboration between branches. The Credit Union set out to find a solution that allowed them to expand employee engagement and enable their various departments to manage their own content rather than relying on a central, dedicated, IT resource to make updates.
Georgia’s Own chose Passageways OnSemble Employee Intranet as their solution because it enabled their team to create anything their imagination dared to dream. The toolkits and options proved so intuitive that it didn’t involve significant training and allowed department managers the empowerment to create and update their own pages.
“We set out to find an intranet platform that would enable all of our business units the ability to be engaged in creating and absorbing content in an simple, secure, and reliable way,“ said Kevan Williamson, Georgia’s Own Vice President Information Systems.
The solution worked well, but fast forward 10+ years later and, while 100% of their employees were using their intranet solution, they weren’t easily finding the resources they needed. Years of use resulted in disjointed branding and inconsistent and outdated content. Employees were asking for changes and the leadership team knew they needed to better streamline communication.
“Our intranet, we call it ‘The Hub’, needed more consistency and structure around our objectives to focus on the employees and make it easier for them to do their jobs. We wanted to set a tone for new employees that matched our brand, while reflecting who we are and where we are headed,” said Cindy Boyles, Chief Talent Officer for Georgia’s Own.
“We believed we still had the correct technology platform for our credit union with Passageways. We just needed to put more focus into providing our employee’s the user experience that they deserve,” says Kevan Williamson.
In the spring of 2018, Georgia’s Own decided to reinvent their intranet. The team they assembled put a plan together to address branding standards and create hard rules involving what information should be shared and how it should be presented. The implementation team didn’t want to recreate their old intranet with just a new look and feel; what they required demanded a concrete strategy around functionality. They attended PowWOW, Passageways annual user conference, in 2018. Through strategy conversations with Passageways staff and networking with other OnSemble users, more ideas were sparked. The team started thinking bigger, challenging themselves to go further.
As a result, Georgia’s Own decided to completely change their portal navigation, creating a home page that serves as a landing page to navigate to different areas easily, with better flow. Each department page has a similar look and structure creating continuity across the entire site. The design is user-friendly and will scale as they grow.
Here are just a few of the additions that Georgia’s Own was able to make:
A centralized dashboard page containing info about promotions, birthdays, anniversaries, benefits, forms, and more for quick reference.
A Products & Services section to house centralized, searchable information.
Employee recognition features that let anyone give a shout out to a fellow colleague.
Six (and counting) blogs, each related to a different area of business, improving the employee experience with a streamlined flow of communication outside of emails.
- The Hub Blog — tied to Top 5 Things to Know
- Dave’s Corner – updates from the President/CEO
- Financial Corner – organization-level status updates
- Wellness Committee – updates on the Credit Union-wide wellness initiative
- Georgia’s Own Foundation – updates from the Credit Union’s charitable arm
- Protecting Our Purpose – security news to protect employees and members
“Our intranet helps with communication and enables employees to become more familiar with our brand and understand our purpose as a company,” said Kaitlyn Reeves, Georgia’s Marketing Manager.
In the weeks leading up to the launch of the new intranet, the team created excitement around the launch by giving a sneak peek at the all-employee meeting and creating a countdown banner on the site. The new Hub officially went live in December 2018. “Employees love the upgrade. Everything is easier to find and the search function is a total time saver. The Hub helps them in their day-to-day job.” says Cindy Boyles, Chief Talent Officer.
The first phase of The Hub is firing on all cylinders, the Georgia’s Own team continues to make enhancements, especially in how they offer employee recognition. They are planning to expand this program to tie shout outs to President’s Club points and awards, offer a monthly drawing from the submissions and recipients for prizes, and add new staff member announcements to their dashboard.
With Passageways OnSemble, Georgia’s Own has created a more streamlined communication strategy with centralized employee resources that is being embraced by the organization.
“The relaunch of our portal has allowed us to streamline communications and highlight information employees have been requesting for years around employee perks/benefits. Our CEO has his own blog, which enables everyone to understand more about the direction of the Credit Union. The Hub really allows us all to celebrate our wins!” Chief Talent Officer Cindy Boyles told us.
About The Author
- Passageways is a SaaS provider of collaboration solutions for boards and employees. OnBoard is a board governance solution, designed to improve collaboration for directors and administrators throughout the meeting life cycle. OnSemble's a lovable, drag and drop, Employee Intranet that connects an entire workplace to one central collaboration hub, builds your culture, and inspires employee engagement.
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