Lights, Camera, Action: 11 ways video can bring your intranet to life

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Video is a powerful and versatile tool for sharing information with employees. It can deliver just about any type of internal message, while connecting with employees on a personal level. Using today’s technology, you can easily incorporate video on your company intranet, making information accessible from any device or location. Below we’ve compiled 11 ideas that you can use to enhance your intranet communications with this vibrant and powerful tool.

Idea #1: Connect employees with the CEO and leadership team

Video has the ability to humanize important leadership messages or company updates. Keep it simple—interviews with a basic script can effectively capture important points. You can also create a CEO video blog series on your intranet which encourages open communication and builds transparency. In this video, Biz Pod’s CEO paints a clear picture of what they want to accomplish during an upcoming executive meeting.

Idea #2: Energize company announcements and updates

Videos are a powerful way to turn company announcements and updates into interesting stories. As with idea #1, involve your CEO and leadership team to relay these messages. Or, gather other subject matter experts to deliver their perspective. This encourages interaction, reduces confusion, and provides a support system for employees. Pair these videos with a short intranet news story to reduce written content since employees are more likely to pay attention if they see a video included.

Idea #3: Welcome new employees in a meaningful way

Try welcoming new employees with a video for a more engaging approach to orientation.

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Webinar: ThoughtFarmer Custom Card Development

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ThoughtFarmer is an excellent out-of-the-box intranet solution, but it’s also an awesome platform that can be customized to support unique business cases.

With our latest release, ThoughtFarmer 8.1 Satsuma, we’ve expanded the capability for users to extend ThoughtFarmer’s functionality. New features give developers more tools to create, update, and deploy custom cards right from their own computers.

In this 30-minute webinar, presented by our Professional Services Developer, Tim Schiller, you will learn how to:

  • Create custom cards from the admin panel
  • Build custom cards using our developer tools, or your own
  • Differentiate between page template cards and global cards, and how those are used in ThoughtFarmer as a React based Single Page Application

Details

  • Date: Tuesday, December 13 at 8:30 AM PST / 11:30 AM EST / 16:30 UK
  • Format: 30 minute presentation + 15 minutes Q&A
  • Audience: IT and software developers interested custom development possibilities for their intranet.

SAVE YOUR SEAT

 

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ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards 2016: Winners in the Biggest Impact Category

Looking for ways to use your intranet to increase efficiency, improve employee engagement, or transform corporate culture? The winners in our Biggest Impact category of 2016 will provide you with some excellent examples of how an intranet can make a difference in the workplace.

Over the last few weeks, we have profiled winners in our Best Looking and Most Innovative categories of 2016. For our final category, we are going to look at how our clients are using ThoughtFarmer to make an impact within their organizations.

Congratulations to Capital Region BOCES and FORUM Credit Union, who are our winners in the Biggest Impact category!

winner-badge-2WINNER, Biggest Impact: Capital Region BOCES  

  • Industry: Education
  • Region: New York
  • Employees: 1,000+
  • Intranet Name: BERT

With over 1,000 employees spread across 11 offices and multiple school districts, Capital Region BOCES realized that a digital platform was needed to increase communication and collaboration among their staff. While the first few solutions failed to meet the needs of their organization, they recently teamed up with ThoughtFarmer to launch their new and improved intranet “BERT” (BOCES Employee Resource Tool).

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BERT has become the heart of Capital Region BOCES. Not only has it been successful in helping employees find the resources they need, but it’s been coined as the difference maker in changing their company culture. Whether it’s company announcements in the newsfeed, updates in the activity feed, or user participation in group forums, BERT has successfully united over 1,000 employees.

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We really like how Capital Region BOCES adopted ThoughtFarmer to increase interactions among employees and transform their company culture.

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ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards 2016: Winners in the Most Innovative Category

Looking for some fresh ideas to make your intranet more innovative? The winners of the Most Innovative category in this year’s ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards might provide you with the inspiration you need.

Last week we profiled winners in our Best Looking category. Today, we feature two clients who surprised us with their creativity and used ThoughtFarmer to solve their own unique business challenges.

Congratulations to our runner-up, New York City Council, and the winner for the Most Innovative category, EngenderHealth!

WINNER, Most Innovative Intranet: EngenderHealthwinner-badge-2

  • Industry: Non-profit
  • Region: Worldwide (headquarters in New York City)
  • Employees: 700
  • Intranet Name: Athena

EngenderHealth recently launched their intranet as a way to keep their employees connected and up-to-date with company activities. With over 500 employees spread across multiple regions of the world, early adoption of their intranet, Athena, was a key goal.

In order to achieve a high adoption rate, EngenderHealth employed a gamification element. As employees began using the intranet, they were awarded badges for completing specific “first tasks,” such as filling out their employee profile and publishing their first page.

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Beyond awarding “first task” badges, EngenderHealth continues to use a points system that awards additional badges based on the number of times an employee completes similar tasks, thus encouraging employees to continue using Athena.

We think it’s great that EngenderHealth has found a way to make adopting a new system in the workplace less challenging and more fun. This is why EngenderHealth has been chosen as this year’s winner in the Most Innovative Intranet category.

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Give Video a Starring Role in your Internal Communications Strategy

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“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million words,” Marie Moynihan, marketing manager of Newsweaver, says. Why is this statement so compelling? It speaks to how video is an increasingly popular and meaningful way for organizations to connect and engage with employees.

Video killed the email star

With a portable video studio in nearly every pocket, it’s easy to see why more video is being created than ever before. People are comfortable using videos in their everyday lives because you don’t have to be a videographer to do so (my seventy-year old mother-in-law sends me videos she takes from her smartphone). Watching a video to digest information is fast, interactive and entertaining. Data shared by YouTube shows that, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on its channel every day, while videos hosted on the platform generate billions of views.

Fresh possibilities for internal communications

Videos are useful tools in getting just about any internal message across. They add visual interest to internal messages about new changes, initiatives, or other company information. They are able to sum up in minutes, what a news story might need five paragraphs to do. Videos project emotion and tell a story more vibrantly than just putting words on a page, making it easier for employees to relate to what you’re trying to tell them. Below are some ideas to get you started:

  1. CEO/executive messages
  2. Training and employee orientation
  3. Mission and vision statements
  4. Company announcements, news and events
  5. Employee news, recognition and morale boosting
  6. Celebrating successes

Enhancing your internal communications strategy with video will dramatically change how you convey messages.

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ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards 2016: Winners in the Best Looking Category

The votes are in, and the winners have been selected for the 2016 ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards competition. This year we had a lot of amazing submissions that inspired us with new ideas on how to use ThoughtFarmer. Our clients entered their intranets in three categories: Best Looking, Most Innovative, and Biggest Impact. Submissions were also entered into a draw to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Before we profile the winners of the Best Looking category, we are happy to announce the winner of the draw. Allete is the winner of a $100 Amazon gift card! Congratulations, Allete!

We also want to congratulate the winners in our Best Looking category. Today we will profile LPK and PlaceIQ.

WINNER, Best Looking Intranet: LPKwinner-badge-2

  • Industry: Design
  • Region: Worldwide (headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Employees: 350
  • Intranet Name: Watson

When LPK upgraded their intranet to ThoughtFarmer 8, they took it as an opportunity to refresh its overall design. While the upgrade to ThoughtFarmer 8 provided LPK with a chance to give Watson a bit of a face lift, it was important to LPK to maintain their previous intranet’s identity. They achieved this by refreshing their logo and creating custom page headers, while also maintaining a layout and overall theme similar to their previous intranet.

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The custom patterns applied to page headers were designed in-house by LPK’s Print and Pattern team. These creative images took the design possibilities in ThoughtFarmer 8 to a whole new level. The creation and application of custom design assets, such as the page headers, paired with LPK’s devotion to maintaining Watson’s pre-upgrade identity are why LPK is the winner for the 2016 Best Looking intranet award.

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What is an intranet? The definitive explanation

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Q: What is an intranet?

A: An internal website that helps employees get stuff done.

That’s it. It’s what an intranet is in simple, everyday language. It’s also what you can say to explain an intranet to most employees (or to your retired uncle when he asks what you’re doing for work these days).

An intranet wears many hats inside an organization. It’s a website, communications channel and collaboration platform. It helps people work better by combining the best features of wikis, blogs, document and content management systems. An intranet makes it easy for everyone inside an organization to contribute, not just a select few. While the thought of a distributed author model may seem daunting (how do you stay in control of what’s out there?) the benefits can far outweigh the drawbacks. Empowering employees with a voice and the freedom to share ideas with their colleagues can be a positive step forward to a culture of collaboration that embraces our tech-savvy age.

Understanding internets, intranets & extranets

So what’s the difference? While the internet connects many people to many websites, an intranet is a website that connects people inside an organization. Then, there’s the extranet site, which connects people inside an organization with external parties, like partners, clients and vendors, to encourage collaboration and make it easier to share information.

What gets done on an intranet?

James Robertson, perhaps the world’s foremost authority on intranets, says that today’s intranet has five purposes:

  • Content (e.g. policy documents)
  • Communication (e.g. corporate news)
  • Activity (e.g.
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Recorded Webinar: Best Intranet Awards 2016

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Are you looking for some inspiration to make your intranet better looking, more innovative, more collaborative, or more impactful? In this 30-minute webinar we will present our annual Best Intranet Awards recipients, and show you all of the amazing submissions we received. Our clients entered their intranets in four categories:

  • Best Looking
  • Most Innovative
  • Biggest Impact

Join us to gain valuable insight and learn best practices by seeing what ThoughtFarmer clients are doing with their intranets.

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Recorded Webinar: Introducing ThoughtFarmer 8.1 Satsuma!

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A refreshingly engaging intranet—introducing ThoughtFarmer 8.1 Satsuma!

Engagement isn’t one-way email blasts, long-form surveys, and strategic vision documents. Engagement starts with listening to employees, involving them in decisions, and empowering them to take ownership of their work. Engagement isn’t something you can create on your own, it truly takes a village.

ThoughtFarmer 8.1 Satsuma is full of rich tools that help employees take charge of their own productivity and engagement, so you can design the workplace of the future, together.

This webinar is now complete, you can view the recording here: 

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2016 Best Intranet Awards Competition!

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Is your ThoughtFarmer intranet beautiful? Innovative? Collaborative? Impactful? Then you should enter the fifth annual ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards competition.

This is a great opportunity to celebrate the success of your intranet. Get recognized for your contributions to employee engagement, company culture, and internal communications. Plus, category winners will receive public recognition on our website, as well as a $100 Amazon gift card.

We encourage everyone to submit their solutions, regardless of your company size or your intranet budget (sometimes the most lean, MacGyver-esque solution is the most effective!). As a bonus for entering, all submissions will also be entered in a draw to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

Winners will be announced during the Best Intranet Awards webinar in October.

Categories

thoughtfarmer-illustrations-web-flowers-3-01Best-Looking

Is your ThoughtFarmer intranet beautiful? Submit a screenshot and it will be judged solely on its aesthetic appeal.

Our 2015 winner, ACCA, brought their brand to life by personifying the company’s first president, Arthur Priddle. Complete with a top hat and a moustache, it’s the most deeply integrated branding we’ve ever seen.

Most Innovative

Are you doing something unexpectedly clever with ThoughtFarmer—perhaps using the API, TIK, or other integration? Take a screenshot and tell us about it.

Our 2015 winner, LaSalle College, solved the problem of teachers spending countless hours managing projects, hours, and approvals through excel with a simple, yet effective custom integration.

Best Collaboration

thoughtfarmer-illustrations-cannon-01Has your ThoughtFarmer intranet been used to collaborate on something great? Submit a series of screenshots and describe what it is.

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