The Gatehouse Blog

Rebooted platform breathes new life into communication at one of the world’s largest tech firms

Bill Klein-Reed, communication operations lead at Micron Technology, talks about the intricacies and challenges of Micron’s intranet overhaul, as well as the profound effect it has had on Micron’s workforce. 

Founded in 1978, Micron Technology is a Nasdaq-listed U.S. global technology corporation that specialises in the production of semiconductor memory solutions. In their fiscal year 2018, the company generated $30 billion in annual revenue. Headquartered in Idaho, Micron employs more than 34,000 people across North America, Europe and Asia.

In need of an update

As a technology company, Micron has often been at the forefront of technical innovations in its industry. In the four years since they upgraded to their previous intranet platform, the team no longer had the ability on their existing platform to make meaningful improvements. Their challenges may not be unique – they encountered the same issues many other organisations do: employees thought the intranet was clunky and unwieldy, and users complained of difficult access and limited ability to contribute news and updates due to complicated and time-consuming processes.

To better scale, reach team members when and where they read news, and improve the user experience, Micron’s Internal Communication team decided to change their platform altogether.

Finding the right fit

The initial choice of provider was simple for Bill Klein-Reed and the Internal Communication team. They considered their own requirements as managers and contributors to the platform and chose the platform that best met these requirements: Unily.

The team then sought views from more than 300 team members across the business to define what the final product would look like and what capabilities would be available at launch. At the core of people’s expectations was easy access: they had to be able to access the platform through their mobile devices and quickly, no matter what device they were logging in from.

Not only did the site need to be accessed quickly and easily, but content needed to be easy to create as well.

Micron’s team of two corporate news producers had been investing more than two and a half hours to produce a single article, which included applying translations for four additional languages.

All in all, when the new product was demo’d to employees, they were impressed with the user-friendliness, speed and social capabilities. After a month of touring the product with various stakeholder groups, the decision was made to introduce it into the business.

 

Preparing for reboot

To prepare employees, the communication team used a multi-channel approach.

“On our existing intranet, we commissioned several ‘explainer’ videos, which outlined the upcoming changes and took users through the looming transition,” Klein-Reed said. “Update emails were broadcast, too, across the breadth of the company from our senior leaders, site directors and to our front-line team members.

On the new site, we set up a virtual support space, a designated area of the site where questions
about the new platform could be answered promptly and definitively. In addition to setting up various ways for employees to access support online, we also created an offline help presence, with physical help booths constructed at all major office locations globally, manned by a support team fully prepped to answer employees’ questions when approached.”

Reaping rewards

The launch of Unily has reaped notable rewards for the company. In the first three months after launch, article and page viewership increased by 200 percent. Klein-Reed acknowledges that these figures do not entirely illustrate usage: “Although viewership is not ‘proof’ of user engagement, it does suggest that we are getting employees where we want them to be.”

An indicator of improved employee engagement is Micron’s focus on weekly social interactions (comments and reactions on content). To celebrate Micron’s 40th anniversary this year, the team launched a game on Unily celebrating the company’s history, culture and future of innovation. The game has resulted in a huge increase in Micron’s social engagement for content.

“We’re really pleased team members want to demonstrate they’re playing the game. The before and after figures are incredible,” Klein-Reed said. “From 250-350 comments on content every day, we’re now seeing 2,000-plus daily comments across the platform.” This increase has carried over to content that isn’t featured as part of the game, demonstrating increased retention following the game’s launch.

In fact, the social features of the new platform are among the most popular and the fastest growing.

“You get the sense there is an intimate community spirit developing, with colleagues really going above and beyond to support one another,” Klein- Reed said. Micron Gives, a fundraising campaign of the company’s foundation, was an early recipient of this new atmosphere. Most recently, employees from across the globe collectively raised $40,000 in just hours for relief efforts after a devastating flood in India — all thanks to team member calls for action using the platform’s social features.

What’s next for Micron? Currently the Internal Communication team is working on the development of an app for android and iOS devices, while maintaining an aggressive monthly feature release schedule (pushed in part by the frequent updates to Unily). In addition, the team has kicked off a massive undertaking: a future integration of Unily with Micron’s current digital signage platform.

“You get the sense there is an intimate community spirit developing, with colleagues really going above and beyond to support on another.”

 

Biography: Bill Klein-Reed

Bill Klein-Reed has a decade-long career in internal communications and marketing, during which he has amassed considerable experience implementing strategic communications solutions, crafting corporate cascade design and overseeing company-wide communication rebrands and transitions. For the past two years Bill has served as Communication Operations Lead at Micron Technology.