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Asepeyo ensures effective online communications
By Sonsoles Lumbreras
With an internal communications strategy focused on the use of online tools and the encouragement of two-way communication, the Spanish mutual insurance company Asepeyo has launched online channels offering a wealth of knowledge and collaboration for its 3,500 employees.
“Recently our main internal communications tools, the intranet and our Employee Website, have been relaunched,” explains Vanessa Torres, Head of Internal Communications at Asepeyo.
Revamped at the end of 2011, the Employee Website (known as ‘Portal del Empleado’ in Spanish) is the crown collaborative jewel for Asepeyo since it includes multiple tools to encourage employees’ participation. Overseen by the internal communications team offering content published by 12 contributors from HR, the site contains Web 2.0 tools, including the use of a Twitter account as a new way to channel company information.
“The new homepage facilitates the information flow since it shows the latest news updated periodically,” explains Torres. There is also a poll that asks for employees’ opinion about different topics related to the company. In addition, there are direct links to the commonly used apps such as the HR Forum, Risks at Work and the Asepeyo’s monthly newsletter. A company news feed can also be found on the right side of the home page.
Some of the tabs on the site link to corporate information and all legal documents regarding Asepeyo, as well as information on employees’ contracts, payroll and holidays requests. Managers even have a special section to support them in their day-to-day work.
Because of the sensitive and privileged information, the Employee Website is password secured.
As part of an employer branding strategy, the Employee Website seeks to increase organisational knowledge and employees’ sense of belonging by boosting their participation in different internal initiatives. During the relaunch, navigation was also improved and the number of sections increased. Greater accessibility was also enabled.
Asepeyo Corporate University
The Employee Website contains a section called 'Asepeyo Corporate University' offering professional training to all employees.
“We offer face-to-face and virtual training courses, aimed at developing our employees’ skills according to their business objectives and improving organisation results through our employees’ development,” Torres points out.
The different training programs are adapted to each knowledge area and corporate level in the company, offering courses for people working at similar positions with the ability to measure results obtained once the training is completed.
“There are two campuses, one at Barcelona, where all the training programs are drawn and lectures are given and another one in Madrid, where employees from the centre and north of Spain are trained,” Torres explains. The virtual campus is used as a contents repository as well as a knowledge sharing community, according to Torres. “Employees can access their training program’s content, exchange knowledge with other colleagues, and ask questions to tutors, allowing a flexible way to study,” stresses Torres.
One of the latest features added to Asepeyo’s Employee Website is the corporate Twitter account @cdadAsepeyo. “It is used to spread corporate news and as a way to gather employees suggestions and encourage participation,” affirms Torres.
She adds, “We decided to set up this Twitter account because there is a large part of the staff that can only access corporate information through their mobile devices. We also launched the account while keeping our younger employees in mind since they’re more familiar with these new tools.”
To measure the effectiveness of this tool, launched last May, the internal communications team established two KPIs: to exceed 200 followers in the first two months and to publish a number of tweets weekly - outcomes that according to Torres have been achieved.
Employees can access the Twitter account through ‘La Cafetería’ (The Cafeteria) section of the Employee Website. It is here where staff can, for example, suggest ideas for the internal magazine, post content on the news board or participate in leisure competitions.
On the HR Forum, employees can ask questions or make suggestions pertaining to 17 HR-related topics. “It is an open space where people can ask about social activities, staff administration, training or performance evaluation, among other topics,” Torres explains.
Members of the HR team are in charge of providing quick answers, sent via email as well as published directly within the forum. Asepeyo’s internal communications team also tracks significant questions posed by employees.
Asepeyo’s intranet has also undergone an important transformation.
Like the Employee Website, Asepeyo’s intranet is password secured. It works as a repository platform to gather all the apps and websites available for employees. “The apps are divided into three blocks: corporate, services and support,” Torres explains.
All are informative tools that help employees in their day-to-day work. Through the intranet employees can access the Employee Website, as well as a site that explains staff training and one that focuses on customer service management. The intranet enables employees to set up a space with their favorite content. The Employee Website is a frequent favorite.
Success of tools and employee participation
Asepeyo’s intranet and the Employee Website are used by each of its 3,500 employees in Spain. Monthly statistics show that the sections most visited are the ‘Asepeyo Club’ (information on corporate deals) and tools helping with typical HR questions pertaining to payroll, holidays, days off, etc. “This information allows us to know the main interests for our employees so we can improve some of our activities,” Torres points out.
Every two years, Asepeyo conducts a study to monitor employees’ opinions, including questions about the Employee Website. “In 2013 we will evaluate the opinions about the changes made on the Intranet and the Employee Website,” affirms Torres. “We will also start to conduct an internal communications audit this year so we can gather more in-depth information about employees’ participation and opinions regarding these tools.”
According to Torres, the Employee Website has also increased traffic to other internal communication channels and initiatives. More people are now contributing to the company’s internal magazine; many have even taken part in a photography competition.
Senior managers at Asepeyo have always supported these collaborative tools, though the conversion to the new Employee Website and intranet took a bit of time. Still, Torres says, both tools are now a way of working life for staff. The general feeling is “quite positive,” she says.
Moving forward, Torres and her team plan to continue to innovate.
“We want to keep improving our internal communications tools to adapt them to employees and organisational needs while always seeking professional excellence,” Torres says.
Sonsoles Lumbreras is a contributing writer to simply-communicate.
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