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How Heifer International, Leidos Keep Work Moving with their Digital Workplace

Brian C. McIlravey

April 15, 2020 · 3 min read
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When a crisis hits, you must be prepared. The best way to do that is by having a business continuity plan in place and be ready to quickly and efficiently execute it with minimal disruption.

But even the best plan can leave employees overwhelmed, customers confused, and leadership teams unsure about how to maintain regular business operations while engaging these two very critical audiences.

As offices around the world transition to remote work due to COVID-19, having secure and flexible digital workplace tools and technology is more important than ever. Specifically, they can help you:

  • Communicate important information without overloading inboxes
  • Provide a virtual space for employees to continue to collaborate on projects
  • Maintain your company’s unique culture
  • Manage knowledge, support, and resources
  • Lead virtually through constant change

In a recent webinar, we shared some of the ways two Igloo customers have adapted their digital workplace to activate their business continuity plans and keep employees engaged during this uncertain time.

Heifer International

Heifer International is a global non-profit working to end hunger and poverty by supporting and investing in local farmers and their communities. They have over 1000 employees in 21 countries around the world.

Although the pandemic undoubtedly presented new challenges for Heifer, they were able to react quickly and connect with their global employee base using their Igloo digital workplace solution.

Specifically, Chelsea Louzeiro, Global Communications, Senior Specialist, shared how Heifer is using their intranet solution, named “The Corral,” to:

  • Share their response plan and updates from the risk management team
  • Create forums for need-to-know FAQs and office closures
  • Publish an IT checklist for employees who are new to working from home
  • Embed Twitter accounts from the CDC and WHO to keep employees informed
  • Share “good news” stories and advice
  • Encourage staff to connect with each other by sharing personal anecdotes and photos online

In just seven days, Heifer saw a 60 percent increase in mobile traffic to the site. This data suggests that Heifer staff is taking advantage of their ability to stay connected from any device, wherever they may be.

It’s clear that The Corral is playing a crucial role in helping Heifer navigating this crisis. They credit Igloo’s easy-to-use administrative features for allowing them to tweak as they go so they can continue to engage their global workforce and maintain “business as usual” over the coming weeks.

Leidos

Leidos is an American defense, aviation, information technology, and biomedical research company headquartered in Virginia. With over 20,000 employees providing scientific, engineering, systems integration, and technical services for the U.S., Leidos could not allow their business to be shaken by a global pandemic.

Their digital workplace, called “Prism,” is home to their intranet, collaboration tools, and it serves as a portal to all their company systems. According to Tammy Triplett, Leidos’ Digital Workplace Manager and Internal Communications Business Process Manager, “Everyone is on Prism all the time.”

Like Heifer, Leidos has employees stationed all over the world and believes they have an obligation to ensure their employees are informed.

During this time, employees are using Prism to find:

  • A new leadership brief posted everyday
  • FAQs with comments enabled so people can ask additional questions which are monitored throughout the day
  • Travel guidance and resources for employee
  • IT help and support
  • General wellness support for coping and anxiety

Prism also has a dedicated section for the CEO to share his own posts. Normally he would post videos of his various site visits, but in lieu of that, he’s been using his blog to share videos of his home workspace and how he’s maintaining personal business continuity – to set an example for employees across the organization.

Another initiative Leidos is promoting on Prism is a fund for employees in need. Employees can donate to the fund if they have the means, while other employees can request money from the fund to help support them during this time.

They’ve also created a space on their intranet just for managers. Here, managers can find talking points for communicating with their employees, as well as information that is targeted to individual departments and unique situations.

Leidos has even customized their digital workplace to add a “COVID-19” button to every page, so no matter where someone is, they can quickly get back to that page for the latest news and updates.

As Triplett says, “[A digital workplace] is about having what you need to inform your employees, make quick decisions and send out those communications, as well as connecting to your leadership team to make sure that everybody is aligned with what you’re looking to do.”

Create a Communication and Planning Zone for your organization

When a crisis hits, companies need to rely on proven tools to effectively communicate and collaborate across teams and locations.

We’re providing a Free Business Continuity Bundle that can help you centralize all the information your employees need to stay productive and engaged, now and in the coming weeks.

Learn more here >