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Amplifying Employee Engagement and Connectivity with Plannera's Pulse Intranet

May 8, 2024
7 min read
Amplifying Employee Engagement and Connectivity with Plannera's Pulse Intranet


Plannera Pensions & Benefits is a leader in pension and benefit administration, serving 11 pension and 23 benefit plans with over 100,000 members. As they transitioned from a private (formerly the Public Employees Benefits Agency) to a not-for-profit company, Plannera faced several challenges in their digital workplace. They needed a new employee intranet to support and amplify their new organizational structure, culture, and vision.

Plannera engaged with 2toLead, a globally renowned agency for designing world-class employee experiences and improving digital workplaces. “After some initial conversations, it became clear that there was an opportunity for us to serve Plannera and partner together to help drive positive change inside their organization,” says Kanwal Khipple, CEO of 2toLead. “We wanted to design Plannera Pulse to be intuitive and one that put employees and their content one click away. We love that the vision came together as Plannera Pulse empowers employees to discover content and encourages employees to connect with each other,” adds Kanwal.

The Challenge

With a small team, Plannera wanted to ensure that the solution could be managed internally across I.T. and Communications. Plannera's previous intranet was built on legacy portal software. “We were working with an older system that was limited in its functionality,” says Janet Nicolson, who is a Communications Consultant at Plannera. “It lacked many features that are essential for today's digital workplace, such as social networking, ease of updating, personalization, and analytics,” continues Janet.

In addition to its impact on users, the legacy systems and processes put a strain on Plannera’s IT function. “We had to do a lot of things manually,” recalls Tyler LeCouffe, Director, Digital Business, and Information Services. “Maintaining the legacy staff intranet was a lengthy and inconsistent process. Certain tasks relied heavily on the support of key team members, which added an extra layer of complexity. Also, we wanted to enhance our security posture.”

With all of this in mind, it quickly became clear that Plannera needed a fresh approach to their digital workplace that would:

  • Provide a single source of truth for all employees, with easy access to relevant information, news and resources
  • Enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing across teams, departments, and locations
  • Foster a sense of community and belonging among employees
  • Amplify employee engagement to ensure employee happiness and retention
  • Showcase Plannera's achievements, innovations, and customer stories
  • Align with Plannera's new corporate identity and branding  

The Solution

Understanding the need for a comprehensive and user-friendly platform, Plannera leveraged Microsoft SharePoint to build an advanced cloud-based employee intranet. “We value the tools’ ease of use, flexibility and the options provided out-of-the-box by Microsoft SharePoint,” says Tyler.

Enhanced Collaboration

Plannera’s users are experiencing less friction in their digital workplace. “Today, staff can begin their day on Plannera Pulse, and use these tools to help with their collaboration,” says Janet, “it’s just a lot easier for them to find documents, which is critical in our fast-paced daily schedules.” The new solution has been designed to foster a culture of collaboration, streamline information access, and provide modern employee experiences.

“We value the tools’ ease of use, flexibility and the options provided out-of-the-box by Microsoft SharePoint.”
Tyler LeCouffe, Director, Digital Business & Information Services

The intranet's collaborative features empowered multiple authors and site members, promoting a culture of teamwork and knowledge exchange. Streamlined processes and enhanced search capabilities reduced time spent searching for information, boosting overall productivity. Engaging content, interactive communities, and personalized experiences contributed to increased employee satisfaction and a sense of belonging. The new platform enabled easier administration and maintenance, alleviating the burden on the IT team.

Dynamic News, Centralized Communication & Employee Information

Real-time news updates and event calendars for improved communication. Enhanced onboarding processes to seamlessly integrate new hires. State-of-the-art search functionality ensures quick access to relevant information. Plannera is poised to foster a culture of engagement and knowledge sharing through online communities, with Viva Engage set to be a pivotal future phase of their evolving intranet.  

Expert Guidance and Training

Training sessions were conducted at key milestones, ensuring that authorized staff members involved in managing the intranet were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to maximize the platform's potential. This hands-on guidance played a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth transition to the new system. The new platform enabled easier administration and maintenance, alleviating the burden on the IT team.

The Outcome

The new employee portal was launched in January 2024. The feedback from Plannera's employees has been overwhelmingly positive. They reported improved productivity, collaboration, and satisfaction with the intranet. “The majority of Plannera staff are starting their day on the employee intranet. In the months since launch, it is quickly becoming the central hub for their digital workplace.” says Janet.

”72% of staff felt that finding and accessing information on the new intranet was easier than on the old one. While listening to staff, we have identified new areas for ongoing improvements that we feel will bring this number up!”
Janet Nicolson, Communications Consultant, Education & Engagement

Findings from an internal post-launch survey revealed that 85% of staff agreed that the new Plannera Pulse was meeting their expectations for a corporate intranet. Janet explained, “Staff are happy with the improved search feature, the updated design/layout, and the simple navigation (improved categories, structure, clarity).”

We also acknowledge how the employee intranet has become more user-friendly. Janet shared that ”72% of staff felt that finding and accessing information on the new intranet was easier than on the old one. While listening to staff, we have identified new areas for ongoing improvements that we feel will bring this number up!” Plannera Pulse has helped improve employee engagement by offering a modern, user-friendly solution that helps staff with their daily work tasks and connects them with their peers.

Strengthening company culture by highlighting Plannera's vision, mission, values, and accomplishments through the portal's design, content, and features. Further to enhancing their  team culture, Janet added that “We can see that the employee directory is a good driver that helps strengthen employee connections,” which is another key success factor when working together across different teams and departments. “Plannera, is dedicated to cultivating an exceptional employee experience,” Janet further explains, “Plannera recognizes the importance of a positive workplace culture in promoting employee morale, engagement, and productivity. By prioritizing the well-being of our employees, we can drive the success of our company.”  

Plannera Pulse homepage

In terms of fostering innovation and growth, Plannera was able to cut out risks by moving from outdated portal software to a cloud-based platform that provides security, scalability, reliability, and compliance. By embracing modern technology through Microsoft SharePoint and 365 cloud solutions, Plannera not only transformed its intranet but also revolutionized its approach to communication, collaboration, and security. Tyler emphasizes the additional value of moving their intranet to the cloud. “We are able to implement security features that we didn’t have before,” he continues, “and I can support the business more effectively within our dedicated team.”

The intranet solution was planned in phases to avoid overwhelming people, and the content migration process was tested and verified internally prior to the official launch. “We spent a lot of time on planning, from user communications to data migration to how we would recover in the event something unexpected occurred,” Janet explains. “Those efforts were not wasted and essential to the success of this project.”

The integration of these innovative solutions ushered in a new era of efficiency, connectivity, and safety, empowering employees to work together seamlessly while ensuring the highest standards of data protection—a testament to the company's commitment to harnessing technology for a thriving digital culture.

How We Can Help  

Are you looking for a similar solution for your organization? Do you want to transform your employee intranet into a modern digital workplace? If so, contact us today, and we can develop a platform that truly meets the needs of your organization's employees.

We would love to hear from you and help you achieve your goals with SharePoint and Microsoft 365.

Plannera Pensions & Benefits

Financial Services

Company Size
200 Employees

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada


Pension Plan Administration and Benefit Plan Administration

Discover How To Improve Your Employee Experience
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