Passageways recently sat down with long-time customer Christian Financial Credit Union to get a closer look at what makes their revamped employee intranet portal – thoughtfully dubbed the ‘Lighthouse’ – so unique, highlighting the innovative direction of their fully customized, modern-day digital workspace.
With over thirty years of experience in the credit union industry and ten years of experience with Passageways, Director of IT Erlinda Seib successfully leads a dedicated and diverse team from across the credit union through the implementation of the company ‘Lighthouse.’ Joining Seib with an additional thirteen years of experience in public relations, Director of Marking and Product Development Rebekah Monroe offers insight into how the initiation, use, and success of their OnSemble renovation has revolutionized communication and daily practices, leading the company to new horizons.
The decision to reinvigorate their employee intranet portal was born out of a need to improve communication. Rebekah relates, “We have expanded geographically and added more staff across many different locations – and grown in our member base, as well. We needed something that could help us as we grew. Because we were spread out in different branches, making those connections was tough and became more challenging.” To streamline productivity and increase employee engagement, the members of the cross-functional portal design team were gathered from all departments and set out on a three-month journey to completely redesigning and relaunching their portal.
“We knew that we had about three months total – to envision what we wanted, and to make it come to life.”
Using their current external website as a guide and OnSemble templates as a tool, the CFCU design team accomplished their goals of saving their employees and members time and improving employee productivity in one easy step – by establishing a central data repository under an integrated theme. Erlinda states, “Sites that are intuitive are easy to navigate, and obviously will save everyone time – so we were able to utilize the static headers and drop-down functionality of OnSemble to be able to create this experience for our end users. We were able to create static personalized banners for each of the departments so that they could easily access everything that they needed to do their job daily.” Storing all data in a central, easy-access location had rippling effects felt throughout the company – saving new and former employees time that they can then pass on to the consumer. Rebekah is quick to relate, “One of the projects that I worked on was creating a ‘Products and Services’ section so that employees, especially new employees, would have a resource to find more information about the different products and services we offer. It has the same information across all the channels and eliminates the need for a shared network drive.”
“Our team believes that time is a gift we can give back to our employees when we’re doing the right things – that is a huge driving force behind what we are doing.”
The most significant contribution to consistency was established at the outset in the very structure of the site – the creation of specific department pages unified under one centralized theme gave the CFCU portal design team the ease of navigation and the empowering customization they desired. “We decided that each department would take ownership of two pages,” Rebekah says, “a public page that was visible to everyone in the credit union, and a private internal page that would only be visible to those within the department. We had a selection of different lighthouses, and each department got to pick their lighthouse and their tagline – developing that department’s personality.” Working within a template, each department was able to customize their internal page with the specific documents, forms, and links needed in a shared platform, putting all department resources at their fingertips.
In addition to improving communication and accessibility within each department, the installation of external department pages – complete with personalized employee profiles – increased interbranch communication as well. Rebekah states, “We’ve been growing as a credit union, both geographically and staff-wise. It made it more difficult to have personal connections internally when our staff is speaking over the phone – you have a teller that may be an hour away from someone in the back office, that may never have even met in person. You can see here that we have photos of each person in that department on their page. Our staff loves this because they can see who they’re talking to, and they can find the right person to call. If they click on the person’s photo, it takes them to the Passageways user profile page – where the employee can read more about the person that they’re contacting.”
“It helped organize things and give our staff and our departments some control of the experience.”
Increasing employee engagement and community outreach was accomplished through the implementation of an employee hub, a central collaborative space that ensures employee satisfaction. Rebekah happily shares, “This is one of the most popular sections of our intranet – our employee ‘Dock.’ This section covers everything from fun employee engagement events, community involvement, and volunteer opportunities to the employee handbook, benefits, and payroll. In the ‘Fun and Social’ section, our HR department can share some of the employee activities, photos, and details of upcoming events. Community Involvement is more geared to volunteer opportunities coming up and opportunities to give back, like charity involvement. It is good to have a one-stop-shop to service all those needs internally.”
With a centralized resource repository, customized department pages, and an employee social hub, it is easy to see how the extensive staff of Christian Financial Credit Union have been able to streamline their business practices to serve their community and members better – and accomplish their dreams. Rebekah remarks on how the relationship with Passageways has underlined this passion for service. “Passageways was a right fit for us because of the community support. They allowed users to view practices from across the platform and gain ideas about how to make our portal a success – and the response from our employees has been overwhelmingly positive.”
We thank Christian Financial Credit Union for their time and continuing to share the story of the success on their voyage.