Priceline.com helps people get discounted rates for travel-related purchases such as airline tickets and hotel reservations. The company first became known for its “Name Your Own Price” system, where travelers would name their desired price for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and vacation packages.
Priceline.com came to Usman Group to help develop an attractive and easy-to-use internal communications portal that their global workforce could rally around and truly adopt. Their current “company intranet” served primarily as a document repository, leaving little opportunity for real internal discourse. This older intranet also lacked the company’s overall brand spirit. In short, there was very little reason for employees to ever visit or interact with the old internal site. The leader in travel savings was looking for a robust intranet site that was as engaging as its consumer-facing marketing and would serve as the primary hub for all internal communications.
Beginning with a careful analysis and building relationships
Our team began by carefully analyzing usage metrics from the current Priceline.com company portal. Once we had a better understanding on baseline metrics and user behaviors, we then listened to what internal stakeholders wanted, needed and expected from a successful company intranet experience. To get us deeper within the organization, we aligned ourselves with Priceline.com’s Internal Communications manager to debrief on tangible management goals, softer communication objectives and overall departmental needs, so that our team could effectively determine and prioritize major flows, functions and content requirements. To help firm up structure around the different forms of ongoing content, we also consulted with Priceline.com to craft a fluid editorial calendar, so that they could ensure employee engagement happened around the right priorities – at the right time.
Developing solid design & functionality
Our design team created an enticing look-and-feel that was reflective of the Priceline.com brand, while complimenting a spectrum of internal communication scenarios. Although a large segment of the Priceline.com workforce was comprised of millennials, we did not want that group to influence the overall design aesthetic. We wanted to be considerate of, and appeal to a wide range of age groups (particularly management) in order to foster more engagement opportunities and encourage greater adoption throughout the organization.
Open Communications & Conversations
Our guiding principle for functionality was anchored in the “if this will help foster natural conversations, then we need to do that” mentality. Our focus was to create an internal gathering place for general conversation, company news, events and HR related information. We incorporated best practices from the world of social media as a way to generate ongoing dialogue and group interactions. For example, the intranet features open forums where employees list items for sale, announcements for upcoming social gatherings and simple tools to provide real feedback on company initiatives. Within the portal, employees are encouraged (and able to) augment their own profiles, post photos, comment, upload videos, submit stories, as well as follow other employees within the organization.
In addition to social functionality and document storage, the corporate intranet portal features custom floor maps, so that employees can easily locate other Priceline.com employees. Usman Group also enhanced the intranet’s user directory to ensure that all employee information remained current and synchronized within Priceline.com’s internal IT systems. We also found opportunities to automatically collect employee data from the company directory – in order to monitor and report on key performance indicators. The fantastic part about this platform is that employees have little to no friction to get in and out of the system (thanks in part to the wonders of single-sign-on).
Making updates is a breeze, and keeping tabs on what’s happening within the company is no longer a chore. “We have transparency and alignment at all levels of the company. What else can an engaged employee ask for?”