Intranet Case Study

Engage software supports Barchester Healthcare with accessible document management and communications led intranet

Engage software supports Barchester Healthcare with accessible document management and communications led intranet

Founded in 1993, over the past 27 years Barchester Healthcare has grown to become one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality care.
They have 236 care homes and six independent mental health hospitals across the UK. To deliver award-winning quality care to over 12,000 of their residents and patients, they employ over 15,000 dedicated people.

They invest in their employees through training, development and sector-leading rewards and they are the only care provider in the UK to be accredited as one of the best companies to work for in 2019 and 2020.

Find out more about Barchester Healthcare

Barchester Case Study

Location:

UK

Industry:

Private healthcare

Employees:

15,000

Location:

UK

Industry:

Private healthcare

Employees:

15,000

The Challenge

To drive engagement of staff to ensure they are supported and have an easy accessible portal to support them to deliver for residents and patients. To replace their existing SharePoint intranet with an updated intranet that focusses on document management whilst also having a more modern, look and feel that would help with efficient communication and increase employee engagement.

Their new intranet needed to have capability to tailor the functionality, the ability to reduce current page creation times and increase file visibility across the business. The intranet needed to be easy for all staff to use to accommodate the mix of IT abilities across the business and the many different services they offer.

Barchester Intranet Homepage

The Solution

Barchester launched their new Engage intranet in December 2019 with a company wide release. The release was an updated system for staff to access key company documents and data as well as a key channel for regular communications for all staff.

“We talked internally in depth about updating the intranet to improve functionality and the product itself was coming close to end of life. Style and usability were an issue, and we were restricted in what we could achieve.”

Amanda McCallum
Internal Communications Manager

At the beginning, Sorce and Barchester took part in planning workshops with key stakeholders and representatives from various departments. This enabled Barchester to outline what they needed from an intranet and develop a plan to implement and launch it successfully.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Barchester, like many businesses, had to communicate frequent new updates to ensure that all staff were aware of operational and company updates. Barchester operates nationally, so had to carefully monitor news from care regulators, local government, and national government. During the Coronavirus outbreak they had to monitor the different rules in four different nations. It was necessary to communicate the latest news quickly to everyone, so one of the ways Barchester was able to do this was by creating a dedicated Coronavirus intranet page, that contains all the documentation, information and operational guidance that was required for front line staff in the care homes and hospitals, and operational and support staff throughout.

They also used the news article feature as an additional way to give updates that included the latest operational information and updates. This was another quick way of communicating to staff, with many relying on regular updates to be able to perform their jobs and resulted in Barchester’s intranet usage growing by up to 20%.

The communications between staff members across the company was also improved by using targeted user controls, enabling the communications team to share updates with specific groups i.e. just one location, ensuring employees only saw information that was relevant to them.

Barchester were interested in using new forms of communication to engage their staff, in particular video. This had to be easy to view on different devices, from laptops to phones. As this was not previously easy to achieve, their new intranet had to be capable of hosting the video content.

Using Engage, their video usage has increased with the ability to present and select videos in different size formats and resolutions types to best help the user. Having video conversion ability built into the intranet has also made it easier to upload. The use of video and changing from written to visual format is saving time and is helping communicate internal messages in a visual way.

Before introducing the new intranet, Barchester’s document management was a part of their SharePoint site. This worked well for them across the business, but issues were gradually arising that needed to be addressed such as the ease of uploading a new document and replicating files. The solution was to use Engage’s document management system.

Document management was a high priority in order to make sure staff members were following the up to date best practice, procedures and managers knew where to go to find the correct files for their care home or hospital. Using the Document and Folder management page items have made it easier to control access to document management features for different groups of staff. You can also see version history to avoid any duplicates of work and the staff now know they are following the most up to date procedure files which is vital for their job.

“Our care homes and hospitals each have their own intranet page and document structure. On the old intranet, if we needed to upload a document onto all of these pages, this would have to be done over 200 times. With Engage we can add a single document which is instantly available to every home.”

Duncan Mason
IT Business Analyst

It is very important for client data to be secure and for only the relevant staff members to have access. This meant that Barchester needed to have granular access controls in their new intranet which Engage was able to provide. With the help of the Sorce team, their Engage intranet has pages that link to reports containing very sensitive data, replicating their current access controls. This now allows them to target content to specific locations, set up individual pages and publish documents and 3rd party data for view by selected groups of employees using Engage’s access controls.

“Fundamentally we have our regional hub pages and reports page: access controls are very important. Being able to configure those pages to customise so the right people can see the information was important for us.”

Duncan Mason
IT Business Analyst

The wide range of simple development tools available in Engage is appreciated by Barchester. Now, with their new intranet, it’s much quicker and easier to make changes. Already they have launched popular custom page items that look like document folder controls but are document links. This has made it easier for staff members to find the documents they want at a quick glance.

“The ability to create custom page items is very good, especially being able to target individual elements on the page. The lightweight nature of the page item feature has been very beneficial. The team can make changes and adaptions quickly- in a day when previously it could take a few weeks.”

Duncan Mason
IT Business Analyst

The Result

Barchester have launched an intranet that supports their internal communications and delivers greater engagement. With Sorce, they have developed their intranet to work for them so they can target content and store important files types based on location and user information. This makes communication updates and site data accessible, easy to understand and helps to maintain Barchester’s very high standards.

Barchester continues to monitor the performance of their intranet and are planning to reach out to their staff with a survey to make sure their intranet is performing as it should be. The team are also looking at ways they can further push out communications from their site.

“The work from the support team at Sorce was very good. We were kept well informed, being able to see the intranet being developed and the new features coming up. It was good to be kept informed about the capability of our intranet for the future and knowing the support is there.
We looked for an intranet that has potential – a road map of updates and an improved layout. Even seeing features such as a mobile app and the use of cloud systems helped us see what we could eventually do with our new intranet in the future.”

Duncan Mason
IT Business Analyst

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