Organisation Name: Volaris Group
Web References: volarisgroup.com
Industry: Computer Software
Name of Contact: Mark Miller, CEO and Sherry McMenemy, Director, Global Intranet
Web References: Volaris Group
I’m going to write about this even though it makes me sound like a dinosaur. My first job in television was about twenty-five years ago on a show called “Live It Up” (if you too are a dinosaur, you may remember it). The lack of connectedness” pre-internet” could be frustrating and curb productivity. Information trickled in by fax, printed on long rolls of thermal paper that were cut with the office scissors no one could ever find. Job postings and company policy bulletins appeared without warning on a board by the elevator. And looking for information on the desk of a sick coworker usually involved rummaging through tall and tipsy piles of folders crammed with handwritten notes and clippings, all the while praying that the person had documented the information you needed instead of keeping it in their head. The show was fun to work on, but with no way to connect with colleagues in other cities or higher ups, we often did not feel engaged or a part of the larger company.
Fast forward to the mid-2000s. The internet was here and I worked for a different company where we had access to a “shared server”. With a couple of mouse clicks, the production staff on my show created folders and saved story notes, photos, casting information and program specs. Updates were announced by email. But even though this simple file management system (still used by the company today) felt like a step forward, it still didn’t connect us to employees in other departments or the company at large, so the lack of engagement remained.
Gallup defines engaged employees as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and their workplace”. A 2013 Gallup poll reported that only 13% of workers around the world are engaged in their work and, in the U.S. alone, active disengagement costs companies $450 billion to $550 billion a year. Could employee intranets turn these dismal figures around?
At The Volaris Group, the employee intranet is so important, that it even has a dedicated boss: Sherry McMenemy, Director of Global Intranet. The company is an international software firm with employees in Canada, Denmark, Switzerland and the U.K. In the post “Six Valuable Ways We Use our Intranet Site”, it’s clear that CEO Mark Miller is a fan of intranets and that he counts on his to keep a large and scattered workforce productive and engaged.
Research shows that people who are productive at work are happy, and happy people are engaged and work harder. An employee intranet is a simple tool that can help to make this happen. No more time wasted rummaging through a coworker’s desk, or missing out on a new job because the internal job posting was not circulated to all.
An intranet can also be force for democracy and creativity at work. Not only does it allow employees to collaborate on projects and exchange ideas, it can be a safe place for people to float a new idea – even if it’s just a notion, and ask for input from colleagues – even those halfway across the world.
In addition to connectivity, an employee intranet can foster communication and relationships that can be especially beneficial to new employees. A Baylor university study found that the relationships created when new hires seek advice from existing employees can increase not only an understanding of the company’s goals, but actual commitment to the company.
Today, companies like Volaris are using intranets to foster the engagement that was lacking on the shows I worked on all those years ago. Still unsure about the value of intranets? Watch this video:
Lessons for Others
Even a very basic intranet can create employee engagement or involvement and happiness at work through organization and by encouraging connectivity and productivity.
Submitted By: Pilar Segura
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.