Interview with Jennifer Wright
April 07, 2021
Interview with Jennifer Wright
April 07, 2021
Jennifer leads editorial planning and publication for the Global Internal Communications team at the Kellogg Company. She is also responsible for creating and implementing strategy and governance for corporate communications channels; Intranet, Yammer, Stream, Teams and extended channels supported by analyzing global metrics to set goals and deliver content that drives usage, employee engagement and channel improvements.
She recently led a cross-functional team to redesign the global intranet experience, building a digital communication ecosystem within the Microsoft 0365 toolkit, which launched in May 2021.
Jennifer is an expert publisher in SharePoint and Sitecore.
we.CONECT: Has 2020 changed anything in your communication/digital workplace/collaboration strategy ?
Jennifer Wright: The majority of our employees have been working remote over the last year and we were fully set up using 0365 to reach our employees. There was little change in how we were communicating. But we did make a shift in what we were communicating and the focus of keeping employees connected.
we.CONECT: What was the most difficult, and what was your professional highlight? What have you learned?
Jennifer Wright: The most difficult thing for me is creating and protecting my work life balance. It is extremely easy to work more than before and not carve out the mental or physical space to separate the two. My professional highlight was leading the digital workplace project for our intranet and enabling a more cohesive intranet experience. I have learned that balancing work and life is more important than ever and that taking care to protect my family life is more critical than ever.
we.CONECT: How are you approaching communicating with fully remote, as well as hybrid workforce?
Jennifer Wright: Kellogg has been a hybrid company for some years. Our employees work globally and we have some remote employees on staff. We haven’t changed a lot in how we communicate. There has been a significant shift for our organization in providing access to our leaders through more frequent and timely townhall meetings. We have also seen an increase in video calls among our employees. Our HR team has enabled our total health program to provide virtual programming to support people’s physical, mental, social and financial health. We have brought in outside speakers to address these pillars and also address social topical concerns like racial equity and diversity. In the US we also did a cooking series with our on staff chef, which helped people to connect on quick and on hand ingredient recipes. People want to connect and be seen during this time when we are working remote. But overall, we had the digital communications in place to support reaching employees where they are, when they are working.
we.CONECT: Do you think digital engagement will stay as high as it was in 2020? Or will it go down?
Jennifer Wright: As part of the Covid response, our company will be more remote than ever before in the future. We will be offering more flexibility in work options and hours. Prior to Covid we on a journey to improve our digital workplace by redesigning the corporate intranet, implementing Team, increasing the value of Yammer and launching Stream, as well as other 0365 products. We anticipate that these steps will continue to build engagement and enable our hybrid workforce going forward.
we.CONECT: How can we transform digital employee experience in a remote/ hybrid environment?
Jennifer Wright: This can be done by enabling the technology and educating employees on how to use it. It is also about finding those connection points for people to stay and feel engaged and connected. There is also a lot more information coming at employees through written and visual communication, by setting guidelines and streamlined tone of voice you can help employees sort through the clutter.
we.CONECT: 2020 pushed digital employee communication tech 5 years ahead. Did your target audience go along with this rapid change? Or do you still put a lot of effort in convincing them in the benefits of the digital tools?
Jennifer Wright: We were already on the path of a digital workplace. Some things that were accelerated was the onboarding of teams, stream and other tools. We were already on a path of enhancing our digital workplace through a better intranet portal experience to enhance our ecosystem and drive usage.
we.CONECT: What do you see as the biggest post-COVID challenges for communication/digital workplace/collaboration?
Jennifer Wright: I think the biggest challenge ahead for our company will be to continue to deliver both a virtual and in person experience to keeps employees connected. We will have some employees going back in person 100%, some choosing a hybrid work style and some remaining mostly remote. We need to continue to build a culture that isn’t driven around what happens at the water cooler. We also need to continue to focus on solutions to help our employees work smarter, not harder be connected.