Building an Intranet Squarely Focused on Employee Engagement

March 1, 2014

by Mark S. Gothberg

Mark-GothbergWhen you combine six organizations, you are going to have some internal com­munications issues in the best of circumstances. But the problems at The University of Arizona Health Network, formed in 2009, were enormous. Six interim CEOs headed the Tucson-based organization during a three-year period before a permanent CEO was hired in February 2013. The cultures of the organizations that came to­gether were quite different, and leadership decided to prohibit any access to social media. Once the new organization was formed, elec­tronic health records were launched. In addition, the organization had its work cut out for it, rolling out such initiatives as new values, a new cul­ture (called iCARE), and employee standards. Lastly, a new marketing campaign was introduced that shifted focus from physicians and services to patients.

Complicating the situation was the fact that three intranets continued to serve employees. The intranets used different and old technology plat­forms and had more than 14,000 online assets, which were poorly organized and difficult to find. There was no governance, and policies on site management were outdated. In addition, there were no analytics to measure use or effec­tiveness. “They were basically just a repository of information, and we had no idea what people were look­ing for or wanted,” says Kimberly Winker, manager of brand and Web strategy for the organization, about the intranets.

The solution was a new, consoli­dated intranet, which is expected to go fully live on April 1. The de­velopment journey was the subject of a presentation at a healthcare Internet conference that took place in November. Joining Winker was Venkatesh Korla, founder and CEO of Element Solutions, an online solutions company that assisted in the development of the new site.

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