There were many reasons why an intranet refresh was a good idea for Make-A-Wish®, but even though the existing intranet was woefully inadequate, resistance was anticipated. The success of Make-A-Wish at overcoming the challenges has earned it first place in the “Intranet/Value to Employees” category of Ragan’s 2016 Employee Communications Awards.
Familiarity with the old site was one issue. The organization’s chapter structure—with large, medium, and small chapters around the country—meant that each chapter would have to adopt the new intranet. Another big issue was that the updated intranet would encourage knowledge sharing in a culture in which silos and hesitation to trust others’ expertise tended to keep employees from working together to their mutual benefit. Driving employees to embrace the new intranet would require demonstrating its value at all levels.
The team launched a change management initiative that included a cross-functional intranet advisory team to ensure the needs and interests of employees from across the organization would be considered. The team was consulted before any changes were implemented.
As for those subject matter experts, they were entrusted with the autonomy to develop and manage their own content on the intranet – a responsibility that delivered reputation benefits to incentivize sharing their knowledge and expertise.
The team also ensured staff members were kept up to date through the development process, with senior leadership getting detailed monthly updates and frontline staff learning quarterly about progress. The idea was to ensure nobody was caught by surprise when the DailyWISH launched.
Internal marketing helped build enthusiasm as the launch got closer, leading ultimately to more than half of employees visiting the site daily, many of them interacting and engaging rather than just consuming content. DailyWISH achieved a number of other noteworthy productivity and efficiency goals.
Congrats to Make-A-Wish staff members Josh DeBerge and Jamie Sandys.