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The Benevolent Society Intranet

The Benevolent Society is Australia's first and oldest charity. It is an independent, non-religious, not-for-profit organisation which aims to help children and families, carers, older Australians and people with disability live their best lives. A diverse workforce of about 1600 (employees and volunteers), we deliver services in metropolitan, rural and regional areas in NSW, SA and QLD.

The Challenge

The design, functionality and structure of the previous intranet didn’t support our changing and growing organisation, and was considered a pain point for many. Navigation was confusing, and the underlying CMS wasn't easy to use for publishers, causing ongoing issues in uploading and updating content.

Manual methods of working combined with the CMS technology was affecting productivity and leading to an over-reliance on administration staff. Employees were also drowning in email, making it a less efficient tool to use when working with clients. Some emails linked to supporting documents in SharePoint, to intranet pages or had attachments. This inconsistency in the way employees received information made version control very difficult.

Our highly mobile workforce needed easy access to reliable information to perform their jobs, along with tools to connect with and support one another.

Elcom understood our needs from the beginning. The features we have included in our new Hub have enhanced our user experience and continues to provide the right information across the organisation. Elcom’s team from project management to training were great to work with and were with us every step of the way. Lisa Hresc, Director, Brand, Marketing & Communications
The Benevolent Society Intranet

The Solution

Considerable research was conducted to understand the staff and business challenges, priorities and objectives. This involved a combination of 40 group workshops and one-on-one sessions with 130 staff from different locations and across varied role types.

We had a user-centred approach to designing and testing the new interface to ensure it worked for client-facing staff in the required manner, gathering feedback from over 20 testers. We continually engaged key stakeholders to validate what was being proposed and the direction, including our Executive Leadership and Business Systems teams.

We were impressed with Elcom, having worked with them for several years to build and enhance our website, and chose them as our intranet vendor. Throughout the 3-month project implementation phase, they provided us with detailed guidance, as well as publisher and administrator training.
Our intranet, The Hub, has a new design that accurately reflects our brand and culture. The navigation is topic based, to make it easier for staff to find contextual information. Each program and service, such as Child and Family services, has a dedicated area with relevant information, tools and resources to help staff service their clients and for others to learn about what they do.

The ‘alert’ feature enables urgent communications to be shared instantly, which has been integral during the COVID-19 pandemic. All other content can also be published easily by our Publisher Support Network who keeps their team’s pages updated.

The Hub is our ‘enterprise front door’ to multiple systems and data sources, providing quick access to existing knowledge and information, and without having to duplicate content or create functionality overlap. Along with quick links to external systems staff frequently use, a live feed is pulled from external suppliers' interfaces that displays the latest career opportunities and media news on our homepage. Staff Directory data is also sourced from our contacts database, to keep staff details up to date and to remove staff who have left.

To encourage involvement in the many events we run relating to client activities, forum presentations or for internal staff, all staff can now promote their events by submitting an online form. This triggers a workflow requesting approval and once approved, the event appears on the homepage events calendar.

Our Office Locator is a valuable tool for assisting our highly mobile workforce who often travel between locations. It provides detailed information about each office location, from all the meeting rooms available for meetings, to the key contacts and parking options.

The Benefits

Supporting a highly mobile workforce 

  • The Hub is available for our entire workforce, including our partnership cohort of 110 staff members, who didn’t previously have access to our intranet. On average, staff use it almost daily, with the overall architecture of the information and user experience coming down to just three clicks.
  • Our Administration team answer less phone calls and emails from our mobile workforce, who can now access resources quickly ‘on the road’ on any smart device.
  • Previously it would take one person a couple of days to publish content compared to now - content can and is updated instantly. This enables us to deliver urgent or crisis communications efficiently and effectively.

Creating a single source of truth

  • The Hub has become our ‘source of truth’. All teams promoting an initiative or campaign arrange for a new Hub page to be created. Then they direct the audience from other channels to ‘visit The Hub’ for more details. Staff spend less time trawling through shared drive folders and email threads for information. We also no longer need to create and send a separate e-newsletter.

Cultivating a positive culture

  • Prior to The Hub, awareness and understanding of what staff or teams do across the organisation was limited, with information only shared at infrequent large town hall events, in easily missed internal social media updates or in lengthy e-newsletters. The Hub has helped our dispersed workforce stay connected and feel more involved. We can now share a lot of news stories and the great work staff are doing throughout the week.
  • We also publish each month’s winners and recipients of our Recognition Program and Service Award, which previously wasn’t shared or announced broadly - making staff feel valued because they’re recognised in an open forum and not just within their team. 

Decentralising content management

  • Previously it would take one person a couple of days to publish content compared to now - content can and is updated instantly. This enables us to deliver urgent or crisis communications efficiently and effectively.
  • We have a Publisher Support Network of up to 15 Publishers and two Administrators that wasn’t in place prior to our Hub. Every Hub Publisher is responsible for keeping their team’s (or several) pages up-to-date and we have regular Publisher Meetings to discuss ways we can continuously improve content and best practice.

Long term partner

  • Our relationship with Elcom has been really great so far. The team are easy to work with, flexible, adaptable and solutions focused.
  • Since our intranet has launched, we have had consistent and reliable support; our account manager is always available to help us refine and improve the intranet, and the helpdesk support team are always there to assist.
  • Elcom has helped us achieve our vision to deliver a modern user-centred intranet that supports day-to-day business activities, provides a hub for news and organisation culture, allows for growth, and is operationally sustainable.   

Click here to check out The Benevolent Society Website success story.

Want a PDF version of The Benevolent Society Intranet success story? Click here to download a copy

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