Q&A: how Gatwick introduced an on-the-move intranet

How Gatwick Airport rebooted its intranet

May 19, 2016

For the past year Linda Mortimer, Internal Communications Executive at London Gatwick Airport, has led a project to replace the existing intranet with a new SharePoint-based one.

This, along with the insights they are getting from Webtrends Analytics, means the team can tailor the experience to their user’s needs. We met with Linda to see how she is doing it.

Headlines: Hi Linda! So, what was wrong with your old intranet?
Linda: So many things! You had to be on a company PC to access it, and most of our staff are dealing with passengers on a day to day basis or keeping the airport running, and don’t have time to sit at a desk. The site didn’t allow for interactive content of any kind, and we couldn’t measure a single click.

Headlines: What were the core things the new intranet needed to do?
Linda: Everyone had to be able to read about what’s happening and to find basic information like policies, forms and contact details of colleagues on the go, regardless of what device they use. In an operationally-focused business like Gatwick, we need to deliver useful content and give our teams a chance to promote what’s important to them.

Headlines: How is Webtrends helping to improve the experience?
Linda: It’s helping us to understand the habits of our intranet users for the first time. We are seeing that users are predominantly accessing news items created by our IC team. It’s affirming that we’re producing good content. The site’s links with Yammer show us that users value having quick discussions, so the next feature I am working on is a reddit-style discussion board where people vote on content.

Linda Mortimer, Internal Communications Executive at Gatwick Airport.
Linda Mortimer, Internal Communications Executive at Gatwick Airport.

Headlines: It sounds like you are developing a way to interact with colleagues on a bite-sized basis that suits your business…
Linda: Exactly! We could introduce user-generated content like videos and photos, but I’m not convinced our users would take advantage. Right now our focus is to engage with them on the move, when they are at work, with the most crucial information.

Headlines: Any user feedback?
Linda: It’s early days but our most recent survey found that 92 per cent of people find the intranet useful, and that tells me we’re on the right track. I’m always looking out for ways to keep people coming back for more.

Headlines: What about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)? Are you looking at doing an app version in the future where employees can interact with the business on the personal devices?
Linda: No, we’re focused on connecting people and helping them work effectively when they’re here. Gatwick has a strong community culture and there’s a lot of loyalty among our employees who keep this place open every day of the year. I don’t see any reason to intrude on their personal devices – but at least now they have the option with our mobile-responsive intranet.

Headlines: Linda, thank you. And good luck with future developments!