Pearson: Creating a People-Centric Intranet
Aligning and Engaging Employees With an Interactive Intranet
For Pearson’s 40,000-strong workforce, a Jive-powered interactive intranet has become the hub and the heart of company culture.
Engaging a global workforce isn’t easy when all you have is traditional one-way tools like static intranets and email. That’s why Pearson turned to Jive, creating a fully interactive intranet and collaborative hub the company calls “Neo.” It’s become the center of company culture, a place for learning, news and open, two-way dialogue between executives and employees. “It’s really transformed how people feel about working at Pearson,” says Global Community Manager Kim England. And she says things got even better when Pearson moved from a hosted deployment to Jive in the cloud, delivering all the latest and greatest Jive enhancements in regular automatic upgrades.
Aligning the Organization
My role as Global Community Director within Corporate Affairs really centers around helping the employee engagement team, which is where I work, to make our Jive instance supportive to the agenda that they’ve got for employee engagement. So one of the things that’s really important for us is making sure that people are really clear about our strategic direction. It can be a challenge to get messaging to all 40,000 employees that isn’t diluted because it’s gone through a chain of command.
And so what we use our Jive community to do is to make sure that those really key messages are front and center, whether that’s the fact that we’ve put it in news and people are getting that information pushed to them or the fact that it’s reposted there. So if I join the company tomorrow when we’ve had a big announcement last week, I can still get ahold of that information and I can still find out everything and get up to speed with what’s going on within the organization.
Giving Employees a Voice
So sometimes I reflect on how it used to be an internal communicator without Jive. I try not to do it too often, because I think it gets me nightmares. But I think one of the things that has really, really changed is that employees expect more from the employee communications that are coming out. They don’t expect just to get a message, a memo, if you will, from the CEO. They expect to hear something that they can react to, that they can comment on, that they can put some commentary or add their thoughts or their feelings. And I think, for me, that’s one of the biggest things that Jive has given us endless possibilities for two-way dialogue. And I think, for Pearson, that’s been really important. We’ve been going through a lot of change and transformation. And it’s so important to help our senior leaders understand the temperature of the organization, how people are feeling, both from a positive and a negative experience. And so when we had static intranets, multiple intranets, or just email, you just didn’t have the ability to be able to do those things. And I think that’s really transformed how people feel about working at Pearson.
Putting People First
Jive, for Pearson, really is about people. And I say that because without people, you don’t have a community. Without the people, you don’t have the content. And without the people, you have no value. So we really try to put Neo, which is our Jive community, at the heart of everything that we do that’s related to people. It’s informal learning and collaboration tool, and it’s where everybody goes, you know, to understand the heartbeat of our organization.
Moving to the Cloud
Pearson made the decision to move to cloud because we wanted to be at the forefront of technology. And it was really important for us to be able to have a community that was constantly responding to the needs, the size and the expectations of our customers. It was a daunting task to start thinking about it because we were going to lose some of our customization and some other things. But, actually, talking through what those challenges might look like and hand-in-hand with Jive really, really helped us to overcome some of those challenges.
And then the actual process itself wasn’t too challenging. We had regular project meetings, which really took the pressure off me as the Community Manager, because whilst I was upgrading, I had all the other stuff going on in my day-to-day job. Though, what I would say is that the process of moving now means that we get the latest and greatest technology which we love. And it’s a lot easier to manage that process than it is to constantly have to keep looking to an upgrade window and you have to change so much in one go because so much is changed when you do those big meaty upgrades.
So we’re now doing things more incrementally, which means the pressure is off the community managers a little bit. But we’re also giving some things to our customers on a regular basis which they really appreciate and I love because I always want the latest and greatest technology at Pearson. So if I was in a room with somebody who is Jive-hosted and are thinking about going to cloud, I would say, think about your customer, what your customer expects and what is the best thing for your customer. And then have a conversation with Jive. And I think you’ll find it’s a no-brainer that the cloud is the best place to be.