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Tecnatom driving employees through the 2.0 path
By Sonsoles Lumbreras
It could seem strange that an engineering company providing services to the nuclear industry would be open to a more collaborative intranet. But that’s exactly the case with Tecnatom, a Spanish company that recently received an award for the development of its social intranet, Keops 2.0.
Tecnatom was recognized by the ‘Observatorio de la Comunicación Interna’, a pioneer initiative created to research, generate and share relevant information and knowledge about best practices and trends in internal communications in Spain.
In 2010, six years after launching their intranet, Tecnatom’s internal communications team realized that the site should be improved because of two main reasons:
1. To reflect the company’s new corporate image.
2. To fit the changing internal culture of the under-30 employee population.
Tecnatom also ran a benchmarking study, together with other companies, to measure employees’ opinions about social media tools and their possible implementation on the intranet.
Of course, the implementation of the project couldn’t become a reality without buy-in from leadership.
“We were a bit scared when we had to show the project to the steering committee because our proposal was very ambitious. It implied a huge change of the internal communications concept for the organisation,” explains Juan Aldamiz, Head of Internal Communication at Tecnatom.
Business leaders welcomed the initial proposal about creating blogs and forums and also asked for an internal social media network, having heard about the success other companies were experiencing. A few executives have been reluctant to use the tools however due to the time-consuming aspect.
According to Aldamiz, the intranet has gone from “being an information portal to a more collaborative one.”
It now offers a social network on which employees can post profiles, interact with colleagues, and share relevant knowledge about projects they’re working on. Blogs, forums and videos have been integrated onto the social site, allowing for even more engagement.
“We allow employees to really participate in the internal communications process, encouraging them to take part in this new intranet,” Aldamiz says.
And content doesn’t have to be solely corporate-related. Employees are given free rein to comment on personal matters as well. They are held responsible for any topic they choose to write about.
Touring Keops 2.0
The site’s home page underwent a complete overhaul from the previous intranet. Users can now stay fully updated on company and industry news, as well as take part in quick polls regarding company-related issues. Employees can also stay abreast of Tecnatom’s seminars and conferences.
Articles are organized into ‘most-read’ and ‘recently published’ to help employees navigate the hot topics. People can also create a Favourites link or organize a list of relevant company contacts.
The three main subsections on Keops 2.0 are Information, Applications and Tecnatom 2.0 which includes all the social tools.
On the Information tab, people can find whatever has been published on the intranet, categorized under different subsections.
The Applications tab allows access to personal information, links to apps and documents related to employees’ work, management applications and a subsection to request different company services such as conference room bookings and IT service requests.
The social tools displayed on the Tecnatom 2.0 section comprise a social network, forums, miniwebs (aka microblogs), blogs, videos and wikis.
“When you access the Tecnatom 2.0 section, you see your friends’ activities; it is a kind of internal Facebook,” Aldamiz explains. Profile information usually includes employees’ ages, place of birth, job departments, languages spoken and projects people are working on.
The social network also allows employees to configure their privacy, as well create events, upload photos and send private messages to colleagues.
The Miniweb is a kind of microblog created by each department to share information of interest for members dispersed in different offices around Spain. Here, employees can ask questions to their peers.
Every department oversees control of its miniweb in order to decide who should be responsible to monitor and upload content. There are also miniwebs about different organisational committees which only those members have access to.
Blogs can be found in the Information section and are open to everyone. A particularly popular blog is the one created to discuss a corporate leisure activity called “Juegos de Otoño” (Autum Games).
“Here there are several competitions where employees participate and they are very involved when using the blog,” explains Aldamiz.
He says employees seem to prefer blogs to discuss leisure topics as opposed to professional ones. Aldamiz and his colleagues are hoping to change when it comes time to roll out the second phase of the site.
Forums are widely used by employees to discuss anything from language practicing requests to setting-up a new employees’ football team.
Aldamiz and his internal communications team are aiming to improve the forums tool since the wide range of topics make information difficult to find. The goal is to divide the forums into categories or topics with moderators facilitating the discussions.
Videos mostly cover corporate topics and are uploaded only by internal communication staff.
“We broadcast videos about corporate messages, cultural activities, and as tutorials regarding how to use these new social media tools,” Aldamiz explains. Employees frequently comment on the videos giving indications of engagement levels and traffic. Leadership often go in front of the camera. The CEO himself recently requested a training course to improve managers’ performances on camera.
As for wikis, those have yet to really take off on Keops 2.0 however Aldamiz says there is currently one in the works about nuclear terminology.
Regarding participation measurement on the intranet, according to Tecnatom, there is a difference of usage depending on employees’ ages. “80% of people participating in the site have a young profile, though the most participative person on the social network is around 50 years old,” stresses Aldamiz.
In addition, some departments use social tools more than others. “I think it is a matter of cultural change - there are people who still aren’t used to these tools and it’s difficult for them to see the advantages,” Aldamiz points out.
As for any formal measuring, being that Keops 2.0 is only a year old, Tecnatom has not measured its effectiveness via their biannual survey yet. However, the general feeling is that employees have welcomed these new social media tools. The only criticism seems to stem from some content being less interesting than others.
As for specific quantitative results, 336 comments have been made on articles in the last six months. There’s been an average of 500 visits to the news section in 10 months and 32.65% of employees are using - at least once - any of the applications on the social network.
Tecnatom will have to wait till 2013 to gather qualitative results through their employee survey.
Onto phase two
The Tecnatom internal communication team is already working on improvements to Keops 2.0.
“This is an ongoing process. We have many ideas and are constantly working on encouraging people to use these new tools,” explains Aldamiz.
During the second phase of the project, some of the enhancements made will be the creation of an instant messaging service and the ability for employees to create and upload their own videos.
Other capabilities will include the organization of groups within the social network and the ability to start forums inside the groups.
“We think this can help to encourage employees to post more professional topics, since content will be more restricted to a group of interested people,” Aldamiz predicts.
Sonsoles Lumbreras is a contributing writer to simply-communicate.
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