Category: Social Media, Technology

Is your Corporate Intranet Stuck in the Past?


Social-Intranet---178915467If you work for a financial services firm, chances are the social networking habits you use in your “real life” were slow to integrate into your work life.

A 2012 study by McKinsey found that “Most [financial services] institutions have limited social technology investments to…implement large-scale collaboration or communications applications on social platforms.”

The same 2012 study stated that knowledge workers spent 28 hours each week writing emails, searching for information, and internally collaborating.

While we don’t have the data to estimate that statistic over the last two years (and probably wouldn’t want to know!) there’s no doubt that the launch of a social intranet has shifted Boston Financial towards a more efficient, collaborative workplace.

Thinking back to 2012, I remember following the updates from the presidential election and the London Summer Olympics instantly online. I found that misery does love company while lamenting the Patriots loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl on Facebook. I followed interesting people on LinkedIn and Twitter and shared takeaways with my networks.

Then I’d arrive at work.

“Social tools” consisted of phone or email. Searching for information and collaborating across our five locations was inefficient. Part of my job included writing lengthy articles for our monthly newsletters– a far cry from the timely, interactive way we consumed news outside work.

So I was excited when our company moved forward and invested in technology to enable a social intranet in 2013. We named it The Hub and branded it as our office water cooler. It’s a centralized site to share short, digestible news in real time, and fosters three-way communication by allowing associates to comment and share information. Boston Financial’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds also stream on the Hub, integrating all our communications. It has increased transparency and provided unprecedented access to senior executives.

Corporate communications was just one piece of the puzzle. The Hub provides business tools to collaborate and share best practices. A site-wide search function helps us locate information and subject matter experts in seconds – quickly solving problems and finding answers for our clients. Business units have been launching communities which serve as online workplaces to streamline processes and increase productivity. Associates choose which communities to follow and can customize communication preferences.

Since launching six months ago, 60 percent of associates visit the Hub homepage daily. This continues to grow as we further integrate these social tools into our daily jobs.

Today at work, I scanned my Hub newsfeed and clicked a link to an Ignites video featuring our CCO, Craig Hollis. I see volunteer opportunities posted from our Citizenship community. Our relationship managers are crowdsourcing solutions for our clients.

Clearly, the barrier between social media and the workplace has been knocked down at Boston Financial. Now we are focused on expanding the use of The Hub further evolve how we work and communicate.

What social tools are transforming your firm? Join our conversation by sharing your comments below.

Read the other posts in this series:

Maura Linehan

Maura Linehan

As a marketing specialist at Boston Financial, Maura Linehan helps drive corporate communications and sales support efforts for the organization. Maura is responsible for developing content to promote corporate initiatives and enhance associate engagement. She also supports Boston Financial’s sales efforts to win and retain business opportunities. Since joining Boston Financial in 1999, Maura held diverse client service roles before joining the Marketing team. Maura is a graduate of Emerson College.

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