A Roadmap to a Great Employee Experience
A construction company in Grand Rapids, Michigan needed help creating a plan for how to improve employee communication and collaboration with their Office 365 subscription.
Wolverine Building Group (WBG) desired an intranet using Microsoft 365 but wasn’t exactly sure how to utilize an intranet to resolve their specific needs. Additionally, they weren’t sure how their current technology setup should be leveraged to create and host the intranet. Already using Microsoft 365, they needed a strategy to leverage their current license structure to address their business needs. They desired guidance from experts on planning and executing an overall communication and collaboration strategy while making sure they weren’t missing any ‘low hanging fruit’ they could achieve by better utilizing technology already in place.
WBG’s workforce is unique as a high percentage of employees work on job sites throughout multiple cities and states. Employees felt frustrated by not knowing where to go for documents and information, and staff at the central office grew tired of the frequent phone calls or email requests for information. We needed to evaluate their current technology landscape and business processes to produce a guided path forward to improve communication and collaboration in a way that meets their business goals and is pleasing for employees to use.
- Wolverine was already using Microsoft 365 but wasn’t sure how to leverage it to tackle specific improvement points for their organization
- Microsoft 365 was being used in an ad hoc way, without an overall strategy to reach business goals and improve the employee experience
- Content produced to improve internal communication (newsletters, videos) lacked a place to be stored, searchable, and accessible to employees (without digging through old emails)
- With a high percentage of employees working on job sites, away from the central office, and without a reliable network connection, WBG needed a central, accessible method of information distribution and collaboration.
Wolverine Building Group (WBG) partnered with Bulb Digital to deep dive into how they are currently communicating and collaborating, what tools they are using, and how current methods are contributing or hindering progress towards business goals.
We started with a kickoff meeting with the project team to align project goals, timeline, and resources needed. This included our team at Bulb, as well as the leadership, technology, and communications sponsors from WBG’s side. We conducted a thought exercise to engage the team and obtain their true desires, needs, as well as their fears and concerns so that we could identify potential pitfalls and mitigate any risks to the project’s success. Next, key stakeholders in each department were identified so that we could schedule interview sessions accordingly. We identify stakeholders to keep the right people informed and engaged while keeping our project aligned with key business goals.
The next step was to conduct in-depth discovery via user and stakeholder interviews across departments. We facilitated listening sessions with individuals who were responsible for communication and/or collaboration to gain a clear understanding of all tools and processes being used for communication and collaboration across the organization.
- Business Goals Interview: we met with the leadership of various departments to understand how decisions are made, why current processes are the way they are, and what are the drivers for change. We also sought to understand the organization’s business goals so that we could identify improvements that best suit their goals.
- Technology Interview: we met with IT management to gain a deep understanding of overall technology usage at Wolverine Building Group, and how use varies in the different user groups. Our focus was on how technology use impacts communication and collaboration. We also gathered detailed information on licenses and tools that are maintained for communication and collaboration.
- Communication & Collaboration Interviews: multiple interviews were conducted with leaders from the main business areas to gain information about current communication and collaboration processes. This included identifying what was working well and what wasn’t working well, as well as areas where a process or method was needed but doesn’t currently exist. We met with leaders who worked primarily at the central office, as well as leaders who work primarily out in the field, as their needs and capabilities differed.
Information gathered during the interview sessions was analyzed by our team to identify opportunity areas. We also reviewed the current license set up to provide analysis on the current state and recommended future state while identifying any gaps.
Our team synthesizes and analyzes all the information gathered during interviews, as well as during meetings with the project team. We had established regular touchpoints and feedback loops with the project team at Wolverine which allowed us to verify our findings and regularly obtain feedback. This way, our final plan incrementally improves throughout the project. The information is used to produce a roadmap forward for Wolverine to confidently improve communication and collaboration and get the most out of their existing tools.
Bulb Digital delivered a detailed report which accompanied a final presentation of a plan for the future of communication and collaboration at Wolverine Building Group, using modern tools. The heart of this project is a roadmap: a guided path forward for our clients to improve communication and collaboration at their organization in a way that meets their business goals. This plan included:
- List of interview attendees and synthesized findings from each session
- Assessment of how users from different business areas and settings communicate and collaborate currently, including any needs that are not currently being met
- Review of the current license setup and analysis of any gaps for the desired future state
- Technology Landscape Diagram
- ~Identified problem areas and summarized them into categories
- ~Recommendations to address those areas
- ~Method to measure progress in each area
- Short Term Roadmap
- ~Quick wins for immediate improvement
- ~1 year roadmap for communication
- ~1 year roadmap for collaboration
- Long Term Roadmap
- ~3-5 year roadmap for communication
- ~3-5 year roadmap for collaboration
In addition to the final plan and steps forward, we delivered all the project artifacts including meeting recordings, slide decks, and whiteboard exercises. This allows the team at WBG to refer to any piece of the project process or outcomes later.
The roadmap provided WBG with a clear action plan for improving communication and collaboration across departments and locations of their organization. The action plan includes several potential projects, of varying sizes, that would accomplish their specific goals and capitalize on their current technology landscape. The included overview of their technology landscape (both current and future goal state) gave a clear picture of how to best utilize modern tools to accomplish specific improvement goals.
The short- and long-term strategies provided in the roadmap allowed WBG to make an informed decision about which project to tackle next, knowing which pain point the project would solve as well as how the outcomes would serve their overall strategy and goals. Over the next several months Wolverine tackled several projects recommended in the roadmap, including:
- Building an employee communication portal (intranet) around the needs discovered in the roadmap. This allowed information needed by employees to live on the intranet instead of within individuals
- Adjusting mass emails from lengthy communications down to bite-sized pieces of information, and instead, having information live on the intranet for swift access
- Transforming corporate news to be posted in real-time on the intranet, and then stored there for future use and reference
- Improving their client’s project experience by evaluating their communication process and making improvements, as well as aligning on future usage of their project management system in coordination with other tools
Overall, WBG has saved time and money by not starting at square one on future modern workplace projects, but rather following a guide. They had confidence in moving forward with various projects, knowing the results would align with business goals as laid out in the Roadmap.
We loved working with the Bulb team! It felt like they were an extension of our team and truly cared about our business and the outcome. Our team was blown away by what we were able to deliver. Our employees originally didn’t think it was going to be as cool as it turned out to be, and are now fully invested and self-starting ways to build onto what we created.