Give your social intranet a face: Jet's success [infographic]

How do you ensure that the new intranet is a success? A question asked by Paul Kouwenberg (web advisor) and Irma van den Meijdenberg (communication advisor) from healthcare institution Thebes asked themselves two and a half years ago, too. After a number of mergers and a reorganization due to cuts in healthcare, the communication team suddenly consisted of two instead of seven people. Nevertheless, they were able to successfully implement the Jet social intranet with few resources.

Paul and Irma gave the intranet a face by visualizing the name Jet in a personification of the employees. From day one, Jet was a household name, a colleague and a source of inspiration for communication campaigns and tools such as labour market communication. How does the communication team use the intranet and “the person” Jet? What are the effects of giving a face to the intranet? And what is Jet's role in other communications?

At the bottom of the blog, you'll also find a handy infographic with tips to help you on your way to a successful social intranet! More in depth? Then download us free ebook.

The origin of Jet

Annual communication plan

The communication team works with a concise annual plan. On the one hand, because of limited resources and, on the other hand, because of rapid changes, which make it no longer possible to plan years ahead. The annual plan describes themes that will be addressed that year. Before 2015, internal communication was an important theme. Past mergers and a major reorganization as a result of cuts in healthcare had created an “island culture”: each organizational unit had its own working methods and customs.

So there was a need for connection to bring people and information together. The outflow of knowledgeable employees with a lot of knowledge was also a problem. A social intranet offers the opportunity to retain that knowledge and connect employees. Jet is the only internal communication tool within Thebes and therefore also the backbone of internal communication.

The naming and personification of the intranet

Before the intranet went live in October 2015, a name election was held on the old intranet among all employees. The winning name was Jet, which stands for You and Thebes. Paul and Irma wanted to have that name illustrated. The starting point was that Jet should not be too old (about 25-35 years old), not too thin or fat and, above all, very sympathetic. The fear that Jet's illustration would be seen as childish appears to be unfounded: Jet caught on immediately. Staff identified themselves with Jet immediately. The name recognition of the intranet was incredibly high from day one, mainly due to the personification of Jet.

Using the social intranet

In Thebes, people never talk about a social intranet, but always about Jet, even by managers. There is a clear difference in the use of the old and the current intranet: more employees are using the intranet and they are also more active than before. Team communication measures the use of the intranet every three months and also shares it on Jet. In recent years, for example, you have seen an upward trend in active users. Some locations are even entirely on Jet because those managers have decided to only work via the intranet. Absenteeism figures or minutes: everything is shared by them on Jet. There is therefore no doubt that the new social intranet is a success.

Success doesn't come naturally. Users must be accompanied. Team communication often tries things that don't always work out with employees. Then they look at what could be done differently or better and they will try again. So just doing it is also part of success. There are also still successes to be achieved in the use of the intranet. That is why we are focusing on community management.

Community management

Currently, you can request a group on Jet: what is the purpose and who will be the administrator? Previously, this was without the intervention of the community manager, but that led to a maze of groups. This is now being monitored. Teams often have closed groups so that they can share team information with each other here. Other groups are almost always open. If someone asks a question or posts something in the wrong group, the community manager will respond. For example, employees are gradually being “trained” in how to use the intranet and are increasingly taking on the role of “correcting” colleagues themselves.

Using the intranet to gauge employee opinions

The intranet is also used by the communication team, which currently consists of Paul, Irma and Sharona, as a tool for conducting employee research. The topics vary widely: from the desired Christmas gift to what can make your working day better. The latter provided two new features in Jet:

Many employees were very frustrated with having to log into different applications over and over again. Jet is now connected to Okta so that employees can access all applications, or single-sign-on (SSO), by logging in once. Employees also found it difficult to find answers to their question. That's why theme pages have now been added to Jet: a way of organizing content based on care and rule themes that makes all kinds of documents such as protocols, handbooks and work instructions searchable and provides quick answers via frequently asked questions. The information is up to date, easy for everyone to find, and you can share it with colleagues and add or update the information yourself.

Jet therefore makes it easier for you to do your work, giving you more time for your client, and this also contributes to employee satisfaction. Other ideas about how your social intranet can contribute to employee satisfaction can be found in the free ebook Social Works by Embrace.

Figurehead of internal communication

Due to the success of the character Jet, all internal communication is now illustrated with Jet. From the new control model to Thebes' new mission, everything is accompanied by an image. Request a vacation? You see Jet on the beach. Working on location? Jet has a tablet. Running with colleagues? Jet stands on the runners' backs and says he gives them a helping hand. So Jet lives among the employees of Thebes. They often ask them if “the Jetjes” can be used for documents or presentations. When employees see Jet, they immediately know that the message is meant for them. It's fresh and smells like more.

Jet as a basis for labour market communication

Labour market tightness

A major problem in healthcare is labor market tightness. Thebes also has trouble attracting new employees. Healthcare workers do not experience elderly care as attractive and they also prefer to work in somewhat smaller organizations. At Thebe, you work in small independent teams in various neighborhood teams or residential centers, i.e. small-scale. This is therefore a priority for communication in the new campaign: working on a small scale with the benefits of a large employer such as training and career opportunities, benefits and working digitally.

Distinctive content

Thebes also wants to continue to distinguish itself visually. In labor market communication in healthcare, you often see photos of happy elderly people, but in reality, older people are not always happy. It's not for nothing that they need care. Because Jet is such a great success internally, the idea was quickly on the table to also use her externally. Team communication, however, wants Jet to stay for internal communication. That is why six personas have been drawn up for the vacancies, which in turn are illustrated, each with a male and female variant. So there are a total of twelve characters.

Is it you?

The target group of the first campaign is students and almost graduates. The basis of the campaign is the game “Is it you?”, inspired by “Who is it?” The question is: who are you and which Thebes vacancy is right for you? You follow the game by choosing between two work situations seven times and eventually end up with one of the twelve characters. Will these twelve characters be as successful as the sympathetic Jet? We're going to see!


The infographic below lists a number of do's and don'ts when implementing a new intranet. Want more tips? Then download the free ebook: 7 steps to a successful social intranet

This article was also published on Frank watching.

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