The Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards are global awards that recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces. The awards uncover remarkable solutions that deliver business value, and then share them with the wider community. We also shine a light on the talented teams behind this work, and the agencies that have supported them.
Now in their tenth year, the awards have been renamed from the Intranet Innovation Awards, in recognition of the broader scope and impact of enterprise projects.
On this page
- Five steps to winning an award
- The awards process
- Award categories (including examples of past winners)
- Submission details
- Tips for submissions
- Intranet, ESN or digital workplace?
- How to demonstrate benefits
- Why winning an award rocks!
- Submission acknowledgments
Five steps to winning an award
- Work out what to submit. Look for specific ideas or projects that have delivered benefits, as well great sites as a whole. (Use the Awards explorer to get inspiration!)
- Access the entry form, and fill in what you’ve done. Describe your project or initiative, and pick which category (or categories) you’d like to submit for. (You can save your entry form before it’s complete, to allow you to complete it in several sittings.)
- Describe the benefits produced by your project, in terms of business outcomes, or improvements to the way staff work. (See how to demonstrate benefits for more on this.)
- Collect screenshots and other examples, showing what was delivered. Also consider providing before-and-after screenshots.
- Submit your entry! We try to make it quick and easy to enter the awards, and you can enter multiple times if you’ve done a lot of great work.
The awards process
- Organisations around the globe submit entries. Each year, we receive 50+ entries, from Europe, Asia, Africa, America (North and South) and Australasia.
- Entries are sifted down to a short-list, and organisations short-listed are notified.
- Our international panel of judges scores the entries, against the scoring scheme described below.
- Gold winners are chosen for each of the four categories. (There may be 1-3 winners in each category, depending on the strength of the entries.)
- An overall platinum winner may be chosen, representing the most extraordinary entry of the year.
- The winners are announced, and the glass trophies are sent! Where possible, we even try to hand over trophies in person, at international events around the globe.
There are four categories for the Awards, and organisations can submit for one or more of these categories:
- Intranet essentials
- Social, collaboration and communication
- Business, mobile and frontline solutions
- Digital workplace
See below for more information on each of the categories, plus examples of previous winners.
1. Intranet essentials
Intranets sit at the heart of organisations, providing functionality that helps all staff. Valuable improvements to the core elements of the intranet can include enhancements to the staff directory, search or content delivery.
This category also covers intranet reworks or redesigns, where the new site is dramatically better for staff, easier to use and more functional.
Previous winners include:
2. Social, collaboration and communication
Intranets should help to inform staff, and enable them to connect with each other. Social and collaborative tools are transforming how intranets work, and intranet-based communications can be much more than just corporate news on the homepage.
Previous winners include:
3. Business, mobile and frontline solutions
More than just providing corporate policies and procedures, intranets can directly support the day-to-day work of frontline and operational staff. Intranets can also become core business systems that underpin how the organisation as a whole operates. Enterprise mobility also provides exciting opportunities for employees on the go or out in the field.
Previous winners include:
4. Digital workplace
The digital workplace takes a more holistic view of the employee experience of digital channels. This category covers initiatives which bring the wider digital ecosystem together into one place, encourage new and agile ways of working or align the digital and physical workplace.
Previous winners include:
We’ve shared some examples of possible ideas within each category above, to get your creative juices flowing. These are, however, just a few of the possible types of entries that could win an award. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like some input on what to submit.
When preparing and entering your submissions, please carefully read and abide by the following guidelines:
- Submissions must be made via the online entry form.
- All submissions must be received by the closing date of June 10 (any timezone).
- The results of the 2016 Awards will be announced in September.
- You will receive an automated confirmation of your submission. If you don’t receive this, please contact us.
- There is no cost to enter the Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards.
- Contact details will be kept confidential and will not be shared with any third party.
- You are welcome to provide more than one submission. Each submission will be judged on its merits, and each must be accompanied by an individual entry form.
- If needed, we may contact finalists for clarification or additional information on their entry. This will only done when absolutely required, so as to minimise the impact on the submitting organisations.
- Where needed, we will edit submissions for clarity, or to fit available space.
- Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about entering the Awards.
Tips for submissions
When judging entries for the Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards, we’re looking for submissions that clearly demonstrate the benefits they have delivered. The more you can describe how the project has helped the organisation, the greater the chance you will have of winning.
In order get the best possible understanding of the awards, we recommend you:
- Read through the list of questions that you’ll find on the entry form, to allow you to prepare in advance.
- Use the Awards explorer to to review past winners and to get ideas on what’s likely to succeed.
- Write more rather than less when filling in the descriptive sections of the entry form, and be sure to point out the specific improvements your organisation has delivered.
- Provide concrete examples of where benefits have been gained. This could be by providing numbers, examples, stories or quotes (anything that shows the impact of the idea).
- Focus more on how the change has helped the organisation, rather than on what was done (or the technical details).
- Consider providing ‘before’ and ‘after’ screenshots where appropriate.
- Remember that submissions can be for specific improvements to the intranet, or for sites as a whole.
- Make sure you are submitting for your own intranet or digital workplace, not on behalf of someone else.
- We’re very happy for agencies and vendors to encourage and help their clients submit entries, but the submission must come directly from the client organisation to be valid.
- Don’t be shy! Even modest initiatives have a good chance of winning if they are well executed, or if they provide big benefits for the workforce.
|Insights||25%||What insights does the submission provide for other teams? Submissions should demonstrate new ideas or innovative approaches which will inspire and inform other intranet and digital workplace teams. While ideas do not need to be unique, they should show an uncommon or original approach.|
|Execution||25%||How well was the project executed? Submissions must demonstrate a high standard of execution, in terms of research, design, delivery, change management and adoption.|
|Impact||50%||How has the entry assisted the workforce and measurably benefited the organisation? Submissions must show how they have changed how the workforce operates, in terms of tasks and processes. Submissions must also demonstrate the direct organisational value or benefits that were delivered as a result of the new functionality or content. This may be measured quantitatively, or qualitatively.|
Please note that it is up to those submitting for an award to demonstrate how they meet these scoring criteria, via their written submissions and supporting screenshots.
The judging panel will rely solely on this information when assessing the winning entries. You are therefore encouraged to provide a good amount of detail when filling in the entry form.
The judging panel has the option of choosing one of the submissions to receive a Platinum Award. This will recognise the most extraordinary entry of the year.
How to demonstrate impact benefits
As outlined above, 50% of the scoring is based on the impact of your work, such as what it does for the organisation, or how it changes the way the workforce operates.
Here are some suggestions to help you demonstrate the benefits of your project:
|Dollars made or saved||This is the strongest possible benefit to be delivered by a solution, and the one that really gets senior management excited. These benefits may flow directly from the project, or be claimed more indirectly. For example: in 2010, American Electric Power launched an online ideas solution, to help identify savings and efficiencies. In two months, over $8 million of costed savings were identified.|
|Solving a business problem||Describing the business problem solved by the solution is a very effective way of demonstrating benefits. Specific examples of issues or problems help to provide context, and give depth to the awards entry. For example: in 2012, Scott Corporation developed a solution for scanning and managing incident and damage. As a trucking company that specialises in moving dangerous goods (such as explosives!), there was a compelling reason to better manage this paperwork. They were also able to describe time savings, and the elimination of lost paperwork.|
|Strategic benefits||How has the intranet or digital workplace helped the organisation to achieve it’s strategic goals? This may relate to business outcomes, staff engagement or cultural objectives. For example: in 2012, Enter (a Russian retail startup) showed how their highly social intranet was being used to strengthen their corporate culture, helping them to grow quickly while retaining their competitive advantage.|
|Stakeholder and staff quotes||What staff and stakeholders think about the solution is important. Direct quotes convey the benefits of the project in concrete terms, showing how working practices have changed for the better. For example: in 2008, Urbis implemented a “project finder” that brought together all client-facing project information into the one location. Their entry was filled with direct quotes from staff, such as: “Before Project Finder we were frustrated with so many ‘does anyone know about [location] type questions’ which may or may not have any results – people forget, people are busy, people have left. Now we can find relevant jobs and target those enquiries to people who have done relevant work.”|
|Before-and-after||It can be compelling to show the old intranet or digital workplace with all its problems, and to compare it with the new solution. This is particularly relevant for entries in the “intranet essentials” category.|
|Usability benefits||Results of usability testing (or other task-based testing) can be compelling. If only 40% of staff could successfully complete tasks before the project, and 80% after, that’s a great result. (Usability tests are most powerful when they show before-and-after figures.)|
|Time savings||The purpose of intranets and digital workplaces is to help workers do their jobs. Time savings are therefore an important benefit from many intranet projects. The most powerful results show how real-world tasks can be done more quickly (such as key business processes). It’s also useful to show how time taken to complete intranet tasks (such as finding things) is reduced.|
|Adoption and usage||Has your new solution been a big hit? Is it used by a lot of staff? When an intranet-based solution gets rapid and widespread adoption, the judges for the awards want to know! For example: in 2010, Framestore launched their new intranet, featuring a highly personalised homepage. In most organisations, only 5-10% of staff personalise their intranet. Framestore was able to describe an award-winning adoption rate of over 80%, explaining what they did to achieve this.|
Don’t be overwhelmed by these options! Not every entry needs to show it’s “solved world hunger”, and even modest benefits are worth showing off. If you’re not sure how to show the benefit of your project, get in touch and we’ll provide some tips and feedback.
- Submitting organisations give full permission for Step Two to use the content and screenshots in the annual report, as well other publications and presentations.
- As the results of the awards will be communicated widely, please ensure that no confidential information is included on screenshots.
- When used or published by Step Two, all submitted ideas and screenshots will be fully credited to their respective organisation.
- All material and screenshots submitted will only ever be used in positive ways that reflect well on the submitting organisations.
The 2016 Awards have now closed for entries
The winners of this year’s competition will be announced in September.
To make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to win a trophy for next year, add your name to the Awards list:
(We’ll only use these details to tell you when the Awards open, and to notify you before they close.)
Why winning an award rocks!
As the quotes on this page show, there are many benefits to winning an Intranet and Digital Workplace Award. Winners receive global recognition and visibility, as well as:
- receiving a trophy that can be proudly displayed by the team
- being showcased in the annual report that’s
- receiving a full copy of the annual report
- being showcased in articles, and online presentations
- receiving invitations to speak at conferences
Intranet, ESN or digital workplace?
The Awards are interested in the widest possible range of solutions that target workforce (rather than customer) needs.
Therefore whether your submission relates to an intranet, a social intranet, an HR portal, a standalone portal, an internal-facing microsite, an enterprise social network, a collaboration platform, a mobile app, an apps platform, a digital workplace or even a site which blends internal and external audiences, then that’s fine with us!
What we’re interested in are ideas that other workforce-oriented teams can learn from. If in doubt about whether your submission is valid please contact us to discuss.