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Greater Bank

Established over 75 years ago, Greater Bank is an Australian customer-owned bank and mutual financial institution. In a highly consolidated and competitive environment, the focus on the 270,000-strong customer base is the top priority for Greater Bank. This focus has led to the achievement of multiple ‘outstanding customer service’ awards.

The Challenge

Greater Bank had a decade old, bespoke intranet platform that was increasingly difficult to maintain. Employees told us it was unreliable, clunky, hard to navigate, and contained a lot of old content. It was time to address these problems.

Every aspect of the intranet needed to be reimagined: the underlying strategy, technology, governance, design, and user experience (UX). Having the right mix of reporting tools was also an important requirement to obtain accurate data and make informed decisions to improve communication initiatives. This would ensure the new intranet was a valued information source for our 850 employees who use the intranet every day to perform their role of providing outstanding service to our customers.

From the outset, we’ve kept a laser focus on the employee experience — from research to design to implementation and every key decision made. And now embedded in our governance, continuous improvement is made possible via the excellent support we receive from Elcom. Greater Bank Spokesperson
Greater Bank

The Solution

Extensive user research, including in-depth one-on-one employee interviews, workplace observation and focus groups, guided decisions to ensure a positive user experience.

A subsequent intranet strategy and 3-year roadmap was developed. This helped to break the project down into manageable pieces that made engaging with project stakeholders, including the Executive Committee for approvals, easier.

A governance framework was developed. Guiding principles, accountabilities and responsibilities were outlined, workshopped and documented, and a sustainable authoring and publishing model was established.

Working with stakeholders again, the UX and navigation was developed using card sorting, tree testing, and iterative, user-centred design. The result was a fully tested Information architecture along with wireframes for all major landing pages.

Greater Bank’s graphic designer, armed with our internal style and brand guidelines, worked collaboratively with the vendor to create multiple design iterations to guide the final design.

Evi has become a portal where employees go to Engage, View and Inform (Evi). It features interactive social functionality, a more engaging home page for news content, sophisticated search functionality and a navigation architecture that supports the way employees work.

COVID-19 Portal

  • Launched during the pandemic, our new intranet became the go-to channel for the organisation to stay up to date with the crisis. This meant much of the initial experience and impact for the business was in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. For example, our COVID-19 communication strategy and approach identified a portal on our intranet as the key channel for employee communication and twice daily updates containing all the latest information employees needed to know were posted to the intranet. Employees became accustomed to checking the COVID-19 intranet portal at 10am and 3pm every day. The platform itself enabled the portal to be configured in a way that was appealing and simple to navigate the significant volume of information housed there, ranging from Employee Toolkits through to the latest travel advice and considerations when serving customers. All employees who work at the head office or CX Hub were also required to watch the instructional video, read Covid guidelines and acknowledge they understand the new requirements by clicking the acknowledge button. Managers are then notified of their employees who have yet to complete the acknowledgements.
  • We made use of all the new features on Evi to keep our employees engaged and informed. This was particularly pertinent to frontline employees in the branches who were interacting with the public. With the workforce split between working from home, from the office, and in 59 branches across the state of NSW and southern Queensland, the messages needed to be targeted. Resources were developed to help employees with mental health tips, video messages, checklists, and visitor questionnaires. These included a toolkit for managers, samples of customer communications, branch posters and flyers. And to help track employees’ whereabouts — for COVID safety reasons — we developed a ‘Workplace Location Register’ displayed on the homepage that enabled employees to record where they were working.

Personalised Experience

  • We focused on decluttering the interface, particularly for our frontline employees who need to access information while serving a customer. Content which isn’t of use is ‘hidden’ from view and search results (using permissions). News items and stories are targeted to frontline or office employees. The main social feed on the homepage is an amalgamation of private and public social groups an employee is a member of. Employees can also save a page to their favourites link and click on quicklinks to popular apps.
  • All of the information that frontline employees need to do their job has been categorised and ordered under a dedicated section, accessible from the main navigation, titled ‘Branches and Serving Customers’.

Dynamic News Centre

  • Evi’s home page and central News Centre page is very dynamic, with content constantly changing. Every day new content appears on the homepage. The carousel style banners rotate with the important stories, while the news feed is added to daily, and various promotional tiles are rotated to highlight content from different business units. For pressing matters and important matters, we can activate the Alert Bar – which occupies a prominent position above the carousel.
  • We have a Calendar on our News Centre page that has information about events of interest to employees. These events are posted by relevant teams across the organisation, including Greater Charitable Foundation and Volunteering and Community Engagement.

Enterprise Search

  • The search function makes use of taxonomies and metadata and includes federated search integration so that content produced and distributed by our eDM platform can also be searched and included in the main search results. When we need to place emphasis on specific content, we can create a ‘best bets’ to ensure that content is displayed at the top of the search results.

People Search Function

  • A corporate directory makes it easy to find any employee’s contact information. You can search and browse by business area, group, location or job title. The group information combines Payroll and Active Directory (AD) information. These groups are used for targeting content, the ‘Managers’ group, for example, is automatically built from Payroll system and maintained with AD synchronisation to the intranet.

Analytics & Reporting

  • We combine Google Analytics with the platform’s reporting tools to create bespoke reports each month on a dedicated portal which the Internal Communications & Engagement team use to evaluate communication activities and which they can share with stakeholders. This information is used to analyse communication activities, to learn from, and to make any adjustments to any content, if need be. We also analyse search patterns to identify any potential areas of improvement. And when we see a pattern of misspelling, for instance, we will add it to the thesaurus, so the desired results are displayed instead.

The Benefits

The impact of Evi to the business and on employee experience has been significant. While not all employees need the intranet to do their job, 94% are active users.

EVI has gone on to win Silver at the global Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards for its outstanding contribution to these fields.

Improving Customer Experience

  • EVI is a valuable support and reference point, particularly for frontline employees who serve customers in branches. They can either drill down through well-designed menus and browse the meaningful hierarchy and categorisation, or simply search for it. Frontline employees also have a dedicated piece of the IA called ‘Branches and Serving Customers’. This contains everything our frontline teams need to do their jobs - procedures, processes, FAQs, and updates. They can find what they need faster - ultimately this also provides a better experience for our customers who are not kept waiting.

Cultivating Culture

  • EVI has become the place to go to see what’s going on across the organisation. The main social feed is very active with posts, comments and likes from across the organisation, and dedicated location-based groups. Our data shows that our employees are very interested in the ‘Greater family’. The most popular news stories and pages (outside of operational pages) are those that deal with our people - employee recognition, employee volunteering experiences, awards, shout-outs, thank yous and the Greater Bank does to support local communities. These are read by 80% of employees. We also promote campaigns such as #Sharethelove where employees can give shoutouts to colleagues.
  • The social feed builds on an open and transparent workplace culture. EVI plays an important role as part of our digital offering to employees and helps to drive and nurture organisational culture. Launching the intranet was the first ‘tangible’ deliverable of the Bank’s digital transformation. Although not strictly part of the digital transformation scope, employees considered this the first improvement for them in the daily experience of

Fostering Employee Engagement

  • Using social collaboration tools, employees can engage with each other, share knowledge and post questions to colleagues. Frontline employees use social to reach out to other branches for assistance, for example, if they are short on supplies (pop it in the internal mail bag) or questions about processes. With this level of collaboration and transparency, matters can be raised and addressed quickly either amongst frontline employees or via head office support staff who might be tagged in a post (and receive an email notification) by other users who think a particular person may be able to help.

Reducing risks and saving money

  • Replacing the intranet platform at the time we did meant we were ready to use it as part of the organisation’s crisis response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This saved the business money as additional communication channels did not need to be procured to share updates with employees.

  • Microsoft was phasing out support of an old Windows Server version that housed the old intranet and Greater Bank was unable to apply Microsoft security updates/patches to the server. This created a vulnerability and IT security risk to the business. The IT team did not want to risk moving the intranet from the old server as they believed it may not be recoverable if the site went down during the move. The new intranet enabled us to decommission the old intranet and server. The organisation managed a significant risk by replacing the old platform which would have cost the business significantly in terms of time to rebuild and disrupt operations had the old platform failed. The IT team had estimated about 4 weeks of work for 2-3 of the developers to rebuild or to try and stand up the old site if it had failed, which would have cost several thousands of dollars. It was also delivered on a managed server solution using an externally supported platform which meant the business no longer needed to provide IT resources to support the intranet. 

Supporting Employees During a Pandemic

  • The COVID-19 portal became the single source of truth during the pandemic. It was where employees went for the latest, trusted, information. During COVID-19, the Internal Communication & Engagement team conducted regular pulse surveys to check how employees were experiencing several key factors during this period. One of the initial pulse surveys asked employees to rate how useful the COVID-19 intranet portal was for accessing information about COVID-19 and 93% of employees replied with either extremely or very useful.
  • The Internal Communications & Engagement team were constantly devising activities to keep the dispersed workforce engaged. Via our social stream and comments on pages, employees were asked to guess executive’s home offices from a collection of photos, and to share images of their work from home pets. These were just some of the engagement activities which were well received, and very much appreciated. To keep employees updated with key information, the executive team took turns creating selfie video updates which we posted on the intranet. These messages were very well received by employees – as stats and comments revealed — and which revealed a personal side to the execs.
  • Quite simply, the COVID-19 portal addressed the duty of care employers have for its employees. It improved organisational efficiency and effectiveness, and kept employees informed and connected during a period of significant disruption. It also strengthened our business capability, and we were able to continue to serve customers during the pandemic.


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