How Virgin America Built an Intranet Their Employees Love

Virgin America prides itself on shaking up the airline industry; not only with its products, but also the service level it offers its customers.

A key to their success is a rich company culture that strives to take the same principles used for guest-facing products, and apply them internally. The California-based airline knows that if they keep employees excited and engaged, those sentiments will be contagious to customers.

When the time came for Virgin America to create a new company-wide intranet, they needed something with a wow factor and value that was consistent with their brand, and would appeal to their team. With the help of and Appirio, VXConnect was born.

Here are four things they kept in mind during development.

1. Go where your employees (heads) are.

90% of Virgin America’s employees do not sit at a desk. Thus, every feature offered on a desktop version of their intranet needed to also be accessible on a mobile device. In addition, the airline recognized that each job function and team member has different needs and personalities. Departments customized their own spaces within VXConnect so it shows the information most relevant to them.

2. Make it easy to use.

Virgin America applied a consistent look and feel across VXConnect, and put extra effort into user design and experience. They also made it easy to navigate by keeping clutter to a minimum. One of the biggest improvements is a site-wide search function, which their old intranet did not offer.

3. Give them a hook.

A mobile-first social intranet is only successful if there are users. Virgin America moved their company-wide deals and discounts from an email blast to a special section on VXConnect as a way to bait their employees to login. They also offer frequent company contests using the app. The only way to enter and win is to participate via VXConnect.

4. Remain responsive and engaged.

Many of Virgin America’s team members are from the social media generation, and as a result, expect real-time reactions. The airline built a group of approximately 30 community managers, representing each department, to coordinate responses, often replying to an employee within seconds. By using Chatter within VXConnect to answer questions, there is increased efficiency and reduced workload overall. The same inquiry doesn’t have to be answered multiple times because the original response remains for anyone to view at any time.

To hear more on how to successfully build and implement your own mobile and social intranet, watch the free webinar, Virgin America Takes Off With a Mobile Social Intranet.

Learn more on the best practices for creating a successful mobile social intranet, by downloading the free clickbook, 7 Tips for Making Your Intranet Mobile, Social and Usable.