NICE case study

Ownership is key to intranet success

The Mission

NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence wanted to create an intranet for collaboration and cross team working with social elements, for approximately 700 staff and disparate home workers. Looking to develop an adaptable and future proofed site that they would be able to extend and develop going forwards.

The Solution

The launch of Engage intranet software at NICE was an exciting event. They recognised that having a memorable name would be a great way to promote the site and help develop brand identity. By holding a naming competition, they succeeded in building a greater sense of ownership and generating involvement from across the organisation. Staff responded to the competition with enthusiasm and the winning name, NICE Space, was selected from over 50 submitted entries.

The NICE Space launch plan was based on a space theme and consisted of a series of daily competitions or ‘missions’. Each light-hearted activity was specifically designed to help familiarise users with the layout and functionality of the new site and reinforce the NICE Space brand.

“From our ‘we have lift off’ news article, our ‘lost in space’ site treasure hunt showcasing functionality to our ‘sherbet flying saucer desk drop’, the NICE Space launch created a real buzz.”

– Emily Hughes, Internal Communications Manager

In order to measure the success of launch week activities, Engage Site Statistics were regularly reviewed and shared with the NICE Board. In this way, improvements could focus on areas of the site staff access the most to create a truly responsive site with finite resources. The team continue to use Engage Site Statistics alongside Google Analytics for monitoring site performance.

“NICE Space allows us to see what users want to see more of…what the most popular content is. As a team we regularly look at the highest performing pages, articles and blog posts. This information is easily accessible using Engage Site Statistics and Google Analytics. Another really useful tool in NICE Space is to be able to look at the comments and ratings application. This allows us as a team to see what conversations and dialogue are happening across the whole of the intranet.”

– Dawn Chorley, Internal Communications Executive

The Internal Communications team decided the best way to manage team contributions to NICE Space was to create dedicated account managers. This way, the account managers have a good understanding of the teams they are working with and are better able to make recommendations on making the most of their content. In addition, content contributors have a direct point of contact in the Internal Communications team, who they can go to with any queries regarding NICE Space.

A NICE Space Development Group was also created bringing together content contributors from across the organisation for shared learning and development. The group enables content contributors to:

  • Learn about NICE Space highlights from the previous month.
  • Obtain updates on site statistics.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions.
  • Share examples of what has worked well with other teams.
  • Understand the need for governance such as document management best practice.
  • Learn about new functionality and how it can be used.

“I love NICE Space because it was made by our users for our users, we are very proud of our site. We set up a network of content contributors who upload content on behalf of their teams. This working model of content curation has been the key to our success” 

– Emily Hughes, Internal Communications Manager

NICE Space incorporates elements of social media and is updated regularly with creative content in different types of media. Reflecting the information-heavy structure of their organisation they have over 600 pages. Consequently, they have set up and support a network of content contributors via one-to-one training, the NICE Space Development Group and an intranet page, of course.

As well as containing all the practical information staff need to perform the day-to-day tasks associated with their role (how to book a meeting room, find a colleague’s contact details and access a policy, for example) their broader strategy aimed to improve inter-team communication across the organisation. Teams working in ‘silos’ was consistently raised as an area of concern within their annual staff survey and one that their Board and Senior Management Team were committed to resolve. As a result, they were keen for NICE Space to incorporate elements of social media including:

  • Comments – generate discussions
  • Ratings – encourage engagement
  • Blogs – used regularly by the Chair and
    Non-Executive Directors
  • Noticeboard – very popular community space
  • Polls – weekly polls are very popular
  • Videos – relaying key updates via this medium enables them to bring, what can sometimes be dry, content to life. This is particularly helpful as they are a split-site organisation and have a lot of home workers.

These collaborative and social tools are designed to engage and connect staff, creating a true online community.

“I’ve been using blogs in NICE Space to inform the rest of the company about what we are up to and how our new team is developing. The blogs commenting function has been particularly useful because it enables two way communications between different teams.”

– Bruce Smith, Policy Coordinator

Board advocacy is evidenced by both the chair and non-executive directors contributing monthly blog posts to the site. The blogs are well read and highly regarded by all staff.

The chair and non-executive directors all have access to the site so can respond to any comments directly, breaking down barriers and facilitating two-way communication between staff and senior management.

“I love NICE Space because of the people search function not only because you can search for people by directorate or team but also because you can search for specific things such as whether people are a member of UNISON, whether they are a mentor or a member of the partnership working team, as I work in HR I find this function extremely useful.”

– Victoria Pollard, Senior HR Advisor

To support their continual improvement plan, as part of their intranet first birthday celebrations they conducted a user survey to ascertain what features they prefer and what content they would like to see more of. The questions referred back to the original objectives for NICE Space. They also have an award for the best team of content contributors to acknowledge their input to NICE Space, both on the quality of their content and advocacy.

The Result

NICE Space is a dynamic, engaging, interactive and well loved intranet that is an integral part of working life at NICE. The team who manage the site is fully committed to NICE Space and its continual development and improvement…ownership is key to their success. The site acts as colleagues’ go-to resource for information, engagement and collaboration.

“NICE Space is an intranet that brings a sense of community across different teams, offices and individuals. Our recent user survey told us that staff love the regular news articles, blog posts and the tone used across the site. They also like that lots of the content is relevant to them and their work. More socially, they like to see what their colleagues are talking about and check they’re not missing out!”

– Emily Hughes, Internal Communications Manager

Download case study

NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Engage Intranet Case Study

Overview

Client: NICE
Employees: 700
Location: UK
Industry: Healthcare

Client profile

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.

NICE’s role is to improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services.