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We recently celebrated the passion and excellence of the teams behind some of the world’s best digital workplaces as they collected their well-deserved awards in the new look Awards ceremony at the DW Experience conference in Chicago. The Awards are produced by DWG in partnership with SMG/CMSWire, and celebrate organizations and practitioners who have excelled this year in creating well-executed, high-performing digital workplace environments.

The awards were hotly contested this year, with an impressive set of entries from organizations across a range of industries and countries. While American Express took the top spot, Barclays was hot on its heels, with an entry that was extremely highly rated by our independent judging panel. On the day, Sheldon Brown, IT Analyst from Barclays Collaboration Service, stepped up to the stage to receive the award. There was a lot to like about the Barclays entry, with high scores for digital workplace strategy, impressive features, user engagement, and benefits/impact.

DWG CEO Paul Miller commented after presenting the award to the team in Chicago:

“For many years Barclays has pioneered a digital workplace trail – inventing the concept of ‘digital eagles’ – empowering retail staff with iPads way before it was cool to do so – and driving services to the frontline – so good to see them recognised in this award.”

Strategy that puts people at its heart

Barclays’ digital workplace strategy appealed to the judges for its clarity and comprehensiveness, demonstrating, as one judge commented: “A clear strategy description, with focus – well executed and well implemented.” The strategy focuses on improving the effectiveness of the workforce as well as increasing engagement and retention. The process for achieving this is also clearly articulated:

  • Discover – We learn through empathy and analysis to understand colleagues’ goals and needs.
  • Create – Creating through idea generation to designing solutions which are introduced to colleagues for UX testing.
  • Validate & Iterate – Continually iterating to improve our solutions through measured data analysis.

This process is brought to life through a wide range of user engagement activities, such as research-based personas, guerilla testing sessions in the canteen, “Tech Excite” days, user feedback surveys, and more.

Features that meet the needs of the workforce

Our judges acknowledged that Barclays has delivered a set of digital workplace features with real utility. As one judge commented: “The impressive features don’t necessarily have the bells and whistles of AI or a virtual assistant, but acknowledge the needs of their workforce and work to cut down on information overload and frustrations with search.”

So what are these useful, frustration-reducing features?

  • A customizable homepage, which integrates personalized news, tasks aggregated from multiple downstream applications, and messages based on role and location.
  • Dedicated apps for Android and iOS to access the Barclays Now intranet on the move.
  • “Tools and Links”, which aggregates hundreds of internal tools, sites, pages and links – categorized and searchable in one place.

By focusing on a seamless, straightforward experience, these features are helping to bring together the information and tasks that users need on a day-to-day basis. And they’re making an impact… for instance, reducing calls to the contact centre and time taken to find resources.

Donna Adams, Digital Colleague Experience Director at Barclays said: 

“Our strategic objective aimed to transform our traditional intranet into a world class digital workplace. We wanted to provide our colleagues with access to the content, tools, tasks and experiences they needed, whilst ensuring it was relevant for the entire workforce regardless of role or location. As you can imagine, this was challenging to achieve! We have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from our colleagues, the end users. Being recognized by Digital Workplace is the icing on the cake – we are so excited to receive this award.”

In 2020, perhaps your organization will be a winner? Look out on our website for entries opening early 2020.

Read these blogs to see why you should enter: 

Registration for Digital Workplace Experience 2020 is already open with big discounts for early booking.

Digital Workplace Experience 2020

June 3–5, 2020 in Chicago, register now.

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About the author

Elizabeth Marsh - DWG's Director of ResearchElizabeth Marsh leads the Digital Workplace Group’s member research and events. She is passionate about connecting members to peers or resources and exploring new research opportunities.

Elizabeth is co-author, with Paul Miller, of the new book “The Digital Renaissance of Work—Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future”.

Prior to joining DWG, Elizabeth held intranet management roles at T-Mobile and Reuters, with broad-ranging responsibilities including community management, internal communications and research.

When not busy in the digital workplace, Elizabeth is a keen writer and musician, playing flute in an amateur orchestra and performing with various local groups.

Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter at @digitalsanity or on Google +.

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