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How to Ensure a Smooth and Successful Digital Workplace Launch

Brian C. McIlravey

March 11, 2019 · 3 min read

A thriving culture has wide-ranging benefits in any organization. Employees are more engaged and connected, productivity increases, and the bottom line grows.

When previously separate companies amalgamate, the culture challenges can seem insurmountable. Each pre-existing organization has distinct ideas about how to operate, and it’s hard to connect the individual parts into an integrated whole. Capital Digestive Care faced this same challenge when several smaller gastroenterology practices combined to create the largest GI practice in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Five years after the merger, the organization had a solid marketing strategy, a sophisticated website, and a unified brand. What it didn’t have was a cohesive culture. To reach that crucial goal, senior leadership recognized the need for a digital space – a hub for communication and a focal point for culture – that would bring together its 300 employees across 19 offices.

Unique obstacles in amalgamated organizations

Capital Digestive Care is committed to providing expertise and compassionate care to the more than 70,000 patients each year. To deliver on this pledge, the organization faced the daunting task of aligning the entire organization around its core values. Leaders spent months searching for a platform that could resolve the issues that were hindering the development of a united, robust culture. Some of these problems included:

Continuing independence of merged groups

Despite the formal merger, the component practices maintained their individual office procedures and patient care protocols. They had only one foot in the new organization, while the other remained firmly planted in their former operations.

Disconnected employees

With minimal direct contact between team members scattered across multiple offices, people had no sense of being part of something bigger. Poor communication and collaboration prevented new relationships from forming.

Reliance on email

The organization used email for all communication – an antiquated approach that resulted in overloaded inboxes, siloes of inaccessible information, and poor knowledge sharing. Employees struggled to keep up with the high volume of messages and weren’t certain that they were fully in the loop on company-wide news.

A digital workplace to unify and connect

Capital Digestive Care quickly realized that a static, old-school intranet would never meet its needs. Instead, the organization wanted a sophisticated digital destination where people could quickly and easily access information, spark conversations, and feel a sense of belonging in a wider community of professionals.

After an exhaustive search for solutions, Capital Digestive Care found that the Igloo digital workplace platform ticked all the boxes when it came to enabling communication, collaboration, and culture-building. It had a modern, social media-like feel that would appeal to its young workforce and it could integrate with existing technology investments such as Office 365. Finally, it met the organization’s must-have requirement: exceptional customer support before, during, and after launch.

Here are two ways Capital Digestive Care ensured a smooth and successful implementation of their new digital destination, “Capital Hill.”

  1. Involve internal team members early
    Identify team leaders and teach them the basics of how to use the digital workplace before launch. Empower them with essential knowledge – how to use the company directory, for example, and how to start a blog – that they can transfer to their colleagues.
  2. Go live with an exciting, engaging platform
    Employees should want to use the new digital workplace before it even launches. Drive adoption with a pre-launch campaign that shows people how it will make their daily work easier and more enjoyable. Preview the design and functionality to pique curiosity and enthusiasm. And make it a central part of your larger efforts to promote a strong culture across the organization.

When “Capital Hill” launched to a limited audience, adoption was high across senior leadership and the feedback was unreservedly positive.

For three more implementation tips, read the full story of how Capital Digestive Care worked with Igloo to build and launch their online destination.