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Step Two Intranet & DW Awards

One of the best ways to get recognition for your intranet or digital workplace is to enter a competition such as the Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards from Step Two, or DWG’s very own My Beautiful Intranet.

Gaining recognition for your platform or project not only highlights your team’s great work externally with your peers, but also showcases it inside your company. Sharing your story and experiences has additional value in that case studies that emerge from competitions and conferences, or events like DW24, help to build the collective knowledge of the global intranet and digital workplace community.

The evolving digital workplace

In 2016 we’re at a really interesting point in the evolution of the intranet and the wider digital workplace. For the past three or four years, intranets and other associated channels have been evolving more rapidly than ever before with:

  • the fusion of social and collaborative tools with more traditional publishing environments
  • increasingly effective mobile-optimized environments
  • a greater ability to complete tasks and transactions by linking to or integrating with other systems.

Some components within the intranet ecosystem, such as search, are also becoming more sophisticated, with the emergence of some search-centred intranets.

We’re also seeing some fascinating developments in the wider “digital workplace” with:

  • more strategic interest in the concept from stakeholders and senior management
  • the emergence of a number of “intranet-powered” digital workplace environments
  • an increasing awareness of the importance of aligning the physical and digital workplaces through digital signage, mobility and more.

Sharing work helps us navigate the digital workplace

Evolution in the intranet and digital workplace space is usually reflected in a number of leading-edge examples and case studies. With so much rapid change happening, great examples of how organizations have successfully implemented their intranet or digital workplace environments can provide both inspiration and valuable reference points for other teams working in the field.

At DWG we regularly see inspiring examples at our member meetings, on Digital Workplace Live and in Knowledge Exchanges. We often feature winners from both Step Two’s Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards and the Nielsen Norman Design Annual. Case studies such as these add greatly to our collective knowledge about the emerging digital workplace and help organizations to navigate their own journeys.

The power of recognition

Winning an award or competition also brings tremendous benefits to the teams involved. Firstly, intranet and digital workplace project teams tend not to get the internal recognition they deserve. Yes, there may be five minutes of glory on launch day, but after that their hard work is often not as high profile as it should be. Getting an external award draws attention to that good work internally and is, of course, immensely rewarding for the wider team.

Secondly, getting recognition from peers and other organizations helps with professional development and careers. I actually think this is not predominantly to do with having something impressive to put on your CV (although that’s nice) but more to do with your work being more visible. This in turn will probably mean that you end up networking more with peers – and networking and sharing experiences lead to opportunities to learn.

Even if you don’t win, the actual process of entering a competition can be beneficial. It helps you to reflect on your own work, to consider good practices carried out on a project as well as lessons learned, and helps in preparing materials you can use internally.

Entering the 2016 Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards

I’m lucky enough to work with both DWG and Step Two, where I manage the annual Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards, formerly called the Intranet Innovation Awards.  

The Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards are now entering their tenth year and so are one of the best established global competitions. The competition is totally free to enter, with no hidden costs, and winners receive a very nice glass trophy. Submissions are now being accepted up until the closing date of June 10th, 2016.

The ”How to enter” page contains full details, including a link to the online form. This year there are four categories:

  1. Intranet essentials (new intranets or rework; core intranet elements such as search or people directory)
  2. Social, collaboration and communication (initiatives which showcase social networking, collaboration and internal communications)
  3. Business, mobile and frontline solutions (initiatives which deliver a specific business solution or solve a problem, serve the needs of frontline or customer-facing staff or showcase enterprise mobility)
  4. Digital workplace (an initiative which deals with a holistic view of the experience of work, agile working, or an element from the wider digital ecosystem).

Get recognized!

So if you’ve carried out an intranet or digital workplace initiative (and this could cover anything from your collaboration and social platform to a mobile app) that has some great ideas, is very well executed and has had real impact, please do consider entering the Step Two Awards or another competition. Gaining recognition benefits not only those involved – the opportunity to see examples of what can be achieved benefits us all.

About the author

Steve-BynghallSteve Bynghall is a research associate, benchmark evaluator and knowledge manager for DWG. He is also a freelance consultant, researcher and writer specializing in knowledge management, collaboration, intranet and social business. Steve previously worked at accountancy firm BDO in a variety of knowledge roles, including managing its global extranet programme. He recently co-wrote a book on crowdsourcing with Ross Dawson.

Steve is passionate about being able to work from anywhere, and is occasionally seen in local coffee shops with his trusty laptop. When not working, Steve can be found exploring London with his family.

Connect with Steve on Twitter: @bynghall or on Google +.

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