Building communications to succeed
Connect Wireless sells AT&T mobile devices and services. As a rapidly growing company with a young workforce, they wanted to strengthen their culture of customer service, excellence, learning and teams. With employees spread over 70 locations, how could they build the rich communications they needed to succeed?
Connect Wireless chose the Jostle® intranet for its usability, mobility, and security. The fact that it didn’t use up their IT resources sealed the deal. Jostle helped them build the inclusive company culture they knew they needed to grow while remaining focused on ensuring both a great customer and employee experience. Connect Wireless put effort into the accuracy and diversity of their intranet content to earn virtually 100% participation within weeks that they have maintained for nearly a year.
- Size & Locations:
Nearly 300 employees across 70 locations in the USA
Retail / Telecommunications
Michelle Winn, Operations Manager
Graham Taylor, IT Administrator
97% weekly 100% monthly
What is Connect Wireless?
Connect Wireless is an authorized retailer of AT&T devices and services, DirecTV and Digital Life. Their clients are both consumers and businesses. They were founded in 2002 with a goal in mind: To become a company that works for the success of its team members so that its team members will work for the success of the company. In a dozen years, they grew from one retail location in Boise, Idaho to 70 locations in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, and beyond.
Connect Wireless has many locations with just a few employees each. As a result, they never really had the chance to form a strong, inclusive corporate culture and the sense of teamwork that made real their founding goal. Employees didn’t have the opportunity to feel part of something they were connected to. They didn’t have the chance to learn and to share their accomplishments. It was time to bring them together.
Before their new intranet
Prior to adopting the Jostle platform, Connect Wireless’ internal communications systems could best be described as “fragmented.” They had a SharePoint server that was being used as a basic document repository. It was not serving their needs from either a usability or a functional point of view.
Each manager seemed to have their own set of tools they used to communicate with their teams or regions. They were difficult to manage, monitor, and secure.
Their young workforce uses a high level of mobile and social media in their personal lives. They wanted to be just as connected in their professional lives. Connect Wireless wanted their corporate communications system to have the usability and mobility of consumer social media, but the focus, security, and manageability of a robust corporate system.
The business wanted a better path to making sure the important things reach people in a positive way and not just in a mess of email. They wanted a one-stop spot for documentation, training, and go-to information.
Given their rapid growth, managing security and access was a critical requirement. They needed to ensure that certain information was only visible to authorized personnel. They needed to create and delete accounts quickly to keep pace with their fast growing workforce. They also wanted to ensure that they could quickly intervene if there were any inappropriate content posted. In spite of these many requirements, Connect Wireless, like most organizations, did not want to make IT resources a limiting factor in building effective communications. They needed something that would just work.
But most importantly, they wanted a system that would connect everyone together, be usable, mobile, and ensure that people got information when they needed it.
Choosing an intranet
While they considered several options, ultimately they chose the Jostle intranet. It was the only system that met all of their business and employee needs, providing security and usability, functionality, and zero IT resource consumption. It was also the only intranet that focused on their core goal – building an inclusive company culture.
As Graham Taylor, IT Administrator summed it up: “We have four or five stores, for lack of a better word, that have no other Connect Wireless sites within 100 miles of them. They don't see their regional manager as often as they would like to. They just don't get touched as often as they should and as often as they would like to be. So they're out on an island. There are three people working at one store. They're all by themselves. They don't really feel like they're a part of something. Well Jostle has helped those stores feel like they're a part of something. It has also helped distant stores work better together. For example, the Idaho stores be able to communicate with the Arizona stores, and they're starting to know who each other are,” shared Graham.
The CEO, the Chairman of the Board, and the President were all “fired up” about the Jostle intranet from the start. They strongly supported a thoughtful rollout. In their case, that meant engaging executives and management first. While some managers initially had reservations, once they saw it, they quickly came on board.
Once they had clear executive and management support, they invited all employees into the new intranet by announcing it at a company all-hands meeting. There were videos and t-shirts and a very positive, upbeat vibe.
They held a training session with their regional managers that helped allay any of their concerns. They very quickly achieved nearly 100% adoption. When we asked Michelle Winn, their Operations Manager, how they managed that, she told us what she thinks was the key:
“Two things: Accuracy and diversity. Accuracy of what's in the LIBRARY and in the TEAMS view, and the knowledge that it's easy to find by typing one word in the search bar. By diversity, I mean in the mix of NEWS stories and the people contributing. Every day it’s “Ooh, what am I going to see on the intranet today? I'm going to see a contest winner, or I'm going to see a secret shop, or I'm going to see a new store opening. Maybe today I’m going to answer a survey.” At least 3, 4, 5 times a week, there’s something new and fresh.”
The business impact
“I don't hear a lot of feedback about the Jostle platform. I just see a lot of people using it.”
Michelle and Graham are both convinced that the Jostle intranet has changed people's minds about the value and importance of company culture. They have both metrics as well as anecdotal evidence to support this opinion.
One of the tangible changes they’ve seen is a roughly 50% reduction in what was described as “internal garbage email.” This is the kind of email sent out to all employees, but where few find the information relevant or timely. Non-urgent company business and, “Does anybody know?” type of messages. The volume of these rapidly dropped once the Jostle platform was in place. This is in large part because the people who wrote those emails now have a better place to put those messages.
Anecdotally, they’re also seeing evidence that their employees are coming together as a team to learn and support one another. “There’s some very constructive discussion back and forth between markets. Digital Life is a challenging product to sell. People share their experiences, share what worked, what hasn't worked, share frustrations, not in a negative way, but where they really share things in a very constructive manner,” explains Michelle. Now, with the acquisition of DirecTV by AT&T, there is yet another unfamiliar product in the mix. “We need a lot of communication to get good at selling it,” says Graham.
Connect Wireless has made a conscious decision that the Jostle intranet is only to be utilized for positive feedback and learning opportunities. No management “directives” are communicated via the Jostle platform. This is to ensure that the intranet remains a positive, uplifting forum for their team.
Another measurable metric is the sheer volume of activity on the intranet. Their participation metrics couldn’t be better. Graham told us that “Shout-outs” are really popular. He read us a few of them. This was from a Regional Manager to a salesperson: “Awesome job today. Killed the customer experience.”
“Our Jostle intranet has proven that it’s valuable. There’s no question this was a smart investment.”
About Jostle Corporation
Jostle is the creator of a new kind of intranet that is designed to help leaders engage their workforce. Its elegance and relevance yield exceptional participation rates – exceeding five times industry standards. Jostle’s intranet is turnkey, cloud-based, and requires no IT resources. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.jostle.me.