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5 ways our Remote Associates ‘Connect’

Posted in Culture

Author: Cathy Baldwin

While this wasn’t intended to be a plug for using an intranet, it does appear to be just that.

Even if you don’t currently use an intranet to share information or have an interactive platform to allow the exchange of information, you might reconsider one when you recognize some of the benefits - especially now that we are faced with an unexpected remote workforce and possibly a hybrid of remote and in-office once we turn a corner with the pandemic.

Our intranet is not new. Appropriately called “Connect,” (through a tool called Simpplr) we established it well before we were thrown into this pandemic and have used it fairly well. 

In the past 12 months, Connect has been a critical tool in keeping the approximately 115 amazing people employed with JM Wilson in nine branches nationwide connected.  

Some fun things we are doing with Connect to keep our associates (ahem) connected include:

  1. Recognition – We have something called Encore! that we write for each other as well as for our customers when we have experienced or witnessed great service.
  2. Hello, my name is… – It has been over a year now since many of us have seen each other in person, not to mention those in other states. It has also been especially hard to get to know our new associates. This is a fun way to introduce ourselves with some fun facts and corporate insight.
  3. Associate announcements – New hires, promotions, birthdays, and work anniversaries are shared to celebrate our individual and collective achievements and milestones.
  4. Reminders, tips, and tricks – This has been so helpful for us to send reminders and share best practices with all team members regarding our processes, procedures, and software.
  5. Engage – New in 2021, this was specifically created for our virtual world. Inviting an associate to bring a topic of their choice to present or create discussion around in a quick 15- to 20-minute Teams meeting. Web cams allow us to see each other and yep, even engage with one another!

While these are more of the “people-y” kinds of things, our intranet is so much more. It also houses specific sites containing news and reference information for every department and the ability to follow, like, and interact with content.

Benefits we have realized from using our intranet include:

  • Eliminating company-wide e-mails.
  • Creating a permanent place to house reference items that can be kept updated and easily searched.
  • Interacting and engaging associates with a social media feel and the ability to be contributors, reactors, or observers of content.
  • Streamlining messages for everyone. There’s no more playing telephone where everyone seems to get a different story.

If your company has an intranet, I hope you are using it to its fullest potential. If your company has not yet invested in some sort of interactive communication tool – it's never too late to start!

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