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As Oxford Bank, with 7 branches and 110 employees, concluded a rebranding and a CORE conversion, it was time to address the headwinds from a shared drive nightmare.
Missing documents, version control problems, the disorder demanded an entire communications audit to ensure the right documents were being used. It didn’t need to be this way, and Elizabeth Lawer, Oxford Bank’s Marketing Support Specialist, knew there was a better way.
“We were using a shared drive, and a lot of our challenges involved documents that had been edited or changed by different people; people who weren’t authorized to make changes, but did it anyway,” Elizabeth said. “We had people who were saving documents in a folder and others wouldn’t know where to go to find a form, letter, or the documents they needed.”
Those problems hadn’t occurred at her previous workplace. “I came from a fortune 500, where they had an intranet, so that was one of the things I considered after I did a full communications audit. I knew that if we had an intranet, that would solve our document management problems.”
As Oxford’s rebranding and CORE conversion resolved, Oxford pressed ahead with a project to establish an employee intranet. Vitally, getting an intranet up and running was about more than just organizing and discovering documents, it was about driving employee engagement.
“We were definitely looking for something that would help drive our employee engagement. That was a major goal of this project. We were really trying to connect our employees together, other than just emails and employee events. We were looking for a platform with engagement tools like a poll system, an employee directory, and of course we were looking for a document manager with version control. An ability to just type in a keyword and search for the document you need – that was huge for us,” she said.
As they evaluated platforms that met their goals, they found OnSemble Employee Intranet. The decision proved easy, “The fact you guys have been working with a great deal of banks and credit unions was important. Especially because you would know what was going on with us as a bank. For me it was primarily how easy it was, how good the intranet could look.”
Crucially for Oxford, OnSemble demands no coding experience to translate ideas onto the platform. “How easy it was to build pages is what really clicked for us. I know next to nothing about HTML coding. It was really easy, it was really flexible. We had an idea of what we wanted our portal to look like... so that user friendly aesthetic was extremely appealing to us.
To understand how employees wanted to use OnSemble, what they truly wanted out of an intranet, Oxford set out to interview everyone in the company, 98 employees at the time, creating a committee that simply asked, “How would you want to use the intranet.” From those responses they began charting the overall structure of their portal, “As a committee we started designing what each department page would look like. I had the branding done, so this is about what documents each department needed, how each department page would look. “
They worked fast.
“We had a very short implementation time, we signed in May and it was live July 7.”
The launch was a resounding success, finding documents proved easier than ever and employee engagement soared. “The portal has helped us with engagement by connecting our employees. We use with the polls and a ton of conversation threads. I think the very first conversation thread we did on one of our conversation pages was 'tell us something fun.' I wrote that my go to karaoke song was a Bonnie Tyler song. Now I have so many people come up to me and start singing that song!”
Reflecting on the experience Elizabeth concluded “I would say, the intranet has been a really helpful for us as we have gone through all these different changes. It definitely keeps everything top of mind for people. Especially since once you click on a browser OnSemble is the first thing that you see. It’s what they have to see before they go to google.”
“It’s been a really good experience working with Passageways. We told you what we wanted, and what we needed help, and got it done. It’s just been great."