Looking inward.

Traditionally my job at Vancity has had three basic functions:

  1. online banking stuff
  2. online marketing stuff
  3. social media

There’s more to it than that, but most of what I have historically done falls into those three camps.

About a year ago my role was expanded and I added our Intranet to my role. This meant that I got to work with Heather Harmse, one of the rock stars in the company, who manages our internal web world. Heather had been developing a vision for how an employee portal could benefit our staff-members (we put the member in staff member) to help them better serve our members, collaborate and get the right information at the right time. For me, it was a chance to learn something new. I had never had direct experience running an Intranet.

I have learned a lot from Heather, and one thing I heave learned is that an Intranet isn’t all that different from the three areas in the online world I list above. We have three basic functions:

  1. employee self serve functionality
  2. promoting corporate information to staff
  3. enterprise social computing (what is that?)

Not so different. Self serve functionality automates business processes so our staff can serve our members better, in the same way online banking automates banking processes. Marketing is just a matter of getting relevant information to people in a digestible way, and this is no different within a company, ensuring our staff knows what’s going on with the company and can get more engaged. And all the amazing learning we’ve had with social media has direct applicability inside the company.

The Employee Portal project is just starting to take off, in partnership with our colleagues in IT. After several months of talking to people throughout the company, it looks like there is a lot of alignment behind the initiative and we can pull out of dry dock. This will be one of my big initiatives for 2009 (and beyond).

I am excited to take what I’ve learned the past few years and apply the lessons on the inside so our staff can benefit from a highly usable, connected, efficient, differentiated platform to help them do their jobs.

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