• By: Christina Brigerman
  • July 30, 2019

Oxford Small

Where is the latest version of the document located? Who made these edits? How do I find the latest version of our policies and procedures?

Sound familiar?

As Oxford Bank, with 7 branches, 12 locations, and 125 employees, concluded a rebranding and a CORE conversion, it was time to address the headwinds from a shared drive nightmare.

The Challenge

Missing documents, version control problems, the disorder demanded an entire communications audit to ensure the right documents were being used. It didn’t need to be this way, and Elizabeth Lawer, Oxford Bank’s Marketing Support Specialist, knew there was a better way.

“We were using a shared drive, and a lot of our challenges involved documents that had been edited or changed by different people; people who weren’t authorized to make changes, but did it anyway,” Elizabeth said. “We had people who were saving documents in a folder and others wouldn’t know where to go to find a form, letter, or the documents they needed.”

Those problems hadn’t occurred at her previous workplace and Liz was concerned about the compliance issues resulting from multiple versions of each document floating around. “I came from a fortune 500, where they had an intranet, so that was one of the things I considered after I did a full communications audit. I knew that if we had an intranet, that would solve our document management and compliance problems.”

As Oxford’s rebranding and CORE conversion resolved, Oxford pressed ahead with a project to establish an employee intranet. Vitally, getting an intranet up and running was about more than just organizing and discovering documents, it was about driving employee engagement.

[OnSemble] definitely keeps everything top of mind for people. Especially since once you click on a browser OnSemble is the first thing that you see. It’s what they have to see before they go to google.

“We were definitely looking for something that would help drive our employee engagement. That was a major goal of this project. We were really trying to connect our employees together, other than just emails and employee events. We were looking for a platform with engagement tools like a poll system, an employee directory, and of course we were looking for a document manager with version control. An ability to just type in a keyword and search for the document you need – that was huge for us,” she said.

The Solution

Being a small, regional bank, the resources did not exist to build an intranet so their CIO started researching and created a short list of 3 top vendors he thought would best serve the bank. Passageways OnSemble was ultimately selected because it seemed the most flexible and customizable to meet their needs, including a robust search functionality that would make it user friendly for employees. This solution also solved their compliance issues with the ability to check documents in and out for version control. “The OnSemble portal was something we could brand and customize to make fun and engaging for our employees.” said Liz Lawer, Marketing Support Specialist.

“The fact you guys have been working with a great deal of banks and credit unions was important. Especially because you would know what was going on with us as a bank. For me it was primarily how easy it was, how good the intranet could look,”  Liz said

Crucially for Oxford, OnSemble demands no coding experience to translate ideas onto the platform. “How easy it was to build pages is what really clicked for us. I know next to nothing about HTML coding. It was really easy, it was really flexible. We had an idea of what we wanted our portal to look like… so that user friendly aesthetic was extremely appealing to us.” said Liz

To understand how employees wanted to use OnSemble, what they truly wanted out of an intranet, Oxford set out to interview everyone in the company, 98 employees at the time, creating a committee that simply asked, “How would you want to use the intranet?” From those responses they began charting the overall structure of their portal, “As a committee we started designing what each department page would look like. I had the branding done, so this is about what documents each department needed, how each department page would look. “

To organize their documents into their new portal, Oxford Bank organized a team of subject matter experts who went through all of the documents, made sure they were accurate, and then the current version of documents were uploaded. The bank does an intranet audit every year to make sure everything is still up to date.

They worked fast.

“We had a very short implementation time; we signed in May and it was live July 7.”

Engagement with the new intranet was slow at first as the employees adapted to the changes. To encourage use, the implementation team created some fun and time sensitive incentives. Scavenger hunts were held to help employees begin navigating through the pages and learning where to find information. Those completing the scavenger hunt were entered into a drawing for a prize. Also, one day flash sales on company branded products purchased via the intranet were promoted. “We started seeing big upticks in engagement when we started incentivizing employees and offering prizes.” said Liz.

Compliance risks have been mitigated since introducing the intranet to Oxford Bank employees. Policy and procedure documents are now housed in a tabbed toolbar which is organized by department. “This has made organization super easy and the search function is huge for finding the appropriate documents.” says Liz.

Liz states, “While employees may have started with hesitation, as they have gotten more comfortable and we have given them more tools to consistently engage through the intranet, we now often hear ‘I found it on the intranet’ which means we have accomplished our goal.” And though organizing all the policies and procedures documents has been the top priority, the intranet goes so much further in increasing employee engagement.

Getting feedback is huge to Oxford’s culture and since many people aren’t comfortable voicing their opinions (much of which is usually negative), the bank has implemented a voice your concern feature where employees can type and submit anonymous comments. “We were especially enthusiastic about being able to build ways for employees to voice their concerns in an anonymous way.” says Liz.

The bank does a poll every week to increase employee engagement. The question might pertain to an upcoming holiday, a company procedure, or a favorite food. Liz is able to measure response rates to track employee engagement and “we have seen it grow steadily since implementing this feature.” said Liz.

“The portal has helped us with engagement by connecting our employees. We use with the polls and a ton of conversation threads. I think the very first conversation thread we did on one of our conversation pages was ‘tell us something fun.’ I wrote that my go to karaoke song was a Bonnie Tyler song. Now I have so many people come up to me and start singing that song!”

An IT Status Bar has been huge for cutting down on help desk tickets and keeping employees information.

Employees are easily able to find out if there is an IT issue without creating a ticket and then, can click through to IT status page for detailed information.

Scrolling announcements banner at the top of the screen to keep employees up to date at all times, sharing birthdays and anniversaries, sharing personal banking scorecards, and introducing new hires.

OnSemble has “helped us increase organization with the ability to find the most current and accurate documents which helps with internal and external communications. We have increased employee engagement through polls and announcement carousels. Our communication overall has really improved!” says Liz.

“It’s been a really good experience working with Passageways. We told you what we wanted, and what we needed help, and got it done. It’s just been great.”


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