Dialogue for a sustainable future

The Danish waste management company Odense Renovation has improved internal communication and its digital workplace by implementing a new Omnia-based intranet. The company’s previous outdated one-way communication channel has completely transformed into a dynamic and interactive digital community. This will spur a more active, transparent, and inclusive dialogue between colleagues, boosting knowledge-sharing and engagement. The new platform has also significantly improved user-friendliness and information findability in the digital workplace.

“We wanted to move away from our one-way communication that only relayed management's messages and company news to our employees. With Omnia we have taken a big step forward and created a modern, user-friendly, and dynamic communication platform, enabling interactive and engaging communication. The new solution has also made it easier for us to publish, target, and reach everyone in the organization. The accessibility and findability of any type of information or resource on the intranet has been greatly improved as well”, says Thea Madsen, Communication consultant at Odense Renovation.

A platform for conversations and knowledge-sharing

Odense Renovation covers the Municipality of Odense in Denmark, with its 190,000 inhabitants. The company offers a wide range of solid waste management services and solutions within the urban area, such as collecting waste from approximately 100,000 households. Odense Renovation also operates eight recycling stations and extracts landfill gas from dumpsites, providing electricity and district heating to Odense households.

The company’s previous intranet was outdated and offered practically no interaction or two-way communication. It was mainly used as a news channel and the users thought it was difficult to find relevant information. Management decided to invest in a modern platform that will improve the intranet's user-friendliness, findability, and usability and the organization’s knowledge-sharing, dialogue, and engagement.

“Around 70% of our staff work in the frontline handling waste and machinery during their working days. Only 30% of the workforce sits in front of a computer. Finding a platform that is extremely easy to use for both backend users and frontline employees was the main requirement in our product search. Omnia appeared to be very user-friendly on both ends. We also liked that Omnia is based on SharePoint, which we are very familiar with and have built several systems on”, Thea explains.

The implementation project started in December 2022 and the new intranet went live in September 2023.

“The reason it took nine months to implement was partly because we have many content owners, and partly due to other concurrent projects requiring our attention. If we had set everything else aside, I’m sure we would have had the intranet up and running in just a few months”, Thea points out.

A single communication channel for every need

The new intranet is basically a standard Omnia implementation, as the out-of-box functionality delivered in Omnia meets most of Odense Renovation’s needs. However, two specially designed integrations were developed. One connects the intranet with the Skyfish online image-sharing application and the other integrates Odense Renovation's Instagram feed on the intranet.

“Our goal is to integrate all our social media on the intranet to make sure our colleagues know what’s happening on our external channels as well.”, says Thea.

One of the main objectives of the new intranet is to create a single channel for all communication needs and to minimize other means of communication, such as e-mail. The goal is for the employees to see the intranet as the preferred tool for internal communication and information search.

Creating a more open and inclusive workplace

According to Thea, the majority of employees are still somewhat hesitant to participate in conversations and express their ideas or thoughts about internal or external issues on the intranet. There is a lot of interest in what management and editors communicate, but for most it is a big step to publish something on their own or even comment on someone else's post. Thea says they are trying to change the company culture and get more people to dare to open up and engage:

“It takes time to change culture and old habits. Our previous intranet didn’t support interaction or open discussions, so that’s what the employees are used to. The new solution is completely transparent and open for anyone to post anything. No restrictions whatsoever. Our goal is to create an inclusive and democratic digital community where everyone is free to share his or her thoughts, ideas and knowledge with all. However, this requires a new mindset. The platform is in place and the culture change is underway.”

To create a new culture of communication, Thea and her team try to stimulate users to become more active and involved through various campaigns, games and challenges.

“Although we still have some work to do to get people more willing to share and interact, we know they like the new solution very much and that it supports their daily work better. A quick poll last week showed that 67% of our employees find the intranet’s user experience better than good. That's an impressive figure in an organization where most are ambivalent to change. We also know that the employees think it’s much easier to find relevant information today”, Thea notes and adds:

“When we rolled out Omnia, there were only a few support calls on how to operate the solution, which is a testament to Omnia's ease of use and powerful search functionality.”