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Synopsis: There are a number of intranet and digital workplace-related awards and competitions now running around the globe. Two of the most well-established have recently opened for business and are currently seeking entries.

Two contests — Two chances to win

Here at Digital Workplace Group (DWG), we have recently launched this year’s My Beautiful Intranet contest. Entries are coming in thick and fast, with votes for your favourites steadily accumulating. Now Step Two Designs, run by James Robertson, has launched its eighth annual Intranet Innovation Awards.

The value of recognition

Intranet contests provide value to entrants in several ways.

trophyLet’s be honest. Intranet projects tend to be hard work, intense, and team members don’t always get the praise they deserve. An award can help teams feel good about their achievements and help inform the rest of the organization about the project.

Thus, an accolade can provide an excellent way for hard-working intranet teams to win recognition for their efforts, not only within the global intranet professional community, but also within their own organizations. In fact, it’s been observed that external endorsements can often seem to carry more weight and kudos for internal stakeholders, as a validation of intranet team success.

And, of course, external recognition can help in career development. Having those awards listed on your LinkedIn profile is a surefire way of showing the success of your previous work.

The value of sharing

Contests are also a great framework and opportunity for teams to share details of their intranet efforts, through screenshots, case studies, experiences and approaches.

This can be invaluable for providing inspiration to other intranet teams. In a world that can often feel a little lonely, insight into what others are doing can help you scope out what can be achieved in an intranet environment, as well as give specific design ideas. This is something that DWG members benefit from through benchmarking, peer learning and extensive case studies provided through the research programme. Intranet contests have the benefit of opening up an element of this experience to the public.

I’ve also always thought that the process of writing up an entry can be a good way to reflect on your own efforts, and take stock of what worked and what didn’t. This is an exercise that helps establish lessons learned for future projects.

Shedding light on intranet trends

Collectively, a set of entries can give insight into some of the latest intranet trends. For example, I’ve been involved in running the Intranet Innovation Awards for the past four years. In that time we’ve seen the normalization of social features in intranets. In 2011 many entries focused on social features as examples of innovation but by 2013 these hardly featured as part of entries. Social features had become “business-as-usual” for many intranets.

Similarly, we have seen the number of mobile intranet entries increase and become more sophisticated, culminating in Barclays Bank’s excellent MyZone intranet environment, which was the joint winner of last year’s Platinum Award.

The Intranet Innovation Awards

Each intranet contest is slightly different. While My Beautiful Intranet showcases the aesthetics and functionality of a well-designed platform, the Intranet Innovation Awards highlight innovative approaches to the enhancement and delivery of intranets, across five different categories:

  • Core intranet functionality
  • Social, collaboration and communication
  • Business and frontline
  • Enterprise mobility
  • Intranet rework

So, what are you waiting for?

If you think you have an award-winning intranet and want to gain some recognition for your project, then enter an intranet contest!

Related resources

  • 50 intranet screenshots and other related research resources
  • Digital Workplace Live for a behind-the-scenes look at corporate intranets, mobile apps, collaboration & social platforms, employee directories, and more.
  • DWG benchmarking evaluations, which are undertaken by DWG members such as The Coca-Cola Company, IKEA and Unilever, provide a rigorous and independent evaluation of your intranet. The resultant 80-page report provides objective comparisons and extensive practical recommendations to inform your strategy, plans, and stakeholder discussions.

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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