Scottrade succeeds in intranet revamp by involving staff

It’s user-friendly, because its users helped redesign it.

Many people just don’t like change. Consider Facebook—every time an alteration is made, people join petition groups and vow to cancel their accounts in protest.

So how can you replace your old, inefficient intranet with a snazzy, new version and get employees to embrace the change? Scottrade knows; the online brokerage firm last year replaced its intranet, “The Insider,” after seven years, and not one of its 2,500 employees complained.

It was a big redesign, too. Director of Business Architecture Tracie Gildehaus says her team transformed the home-grown intranet to a site whose design and navigation were completely different. It now has 3,000 work-related files, compared with the previous 31,000, and 200 work applications instead of 310.

“We were shaking everyone’s world up,” Gildehaus says. “We were moving things around; it had a new look, new content, new applications.”

The day of the launch, Gildehaus says she had both sites up until a planned outage rendered the old site unusable for a few hours. Within four hours of the new site’s being up, it had a 90 percent adoption rate and no one was asking for the old site back.

To achieve this, Scottrade communicators simply asked employees what they wanted and then delivered the goods.

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