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Since its start over 100 years ago, the NRMA has expanded beyond its iconic roadside services and today includes a network of unique holiday parks and resorts across Australia, vehicle rental, an electric vehicle fast charging network, several cruise and ferry services and a new membership program that rewards members every single day.

This year alone, The NRMA team has responded to nearly 1.5 million calls from members needing assistance and rescued over 1,500 children and pets locked in cars. More than one million visitors have travelled further to one of their incredible holiday destinations, and its EV (Electric Vehicle) charging network has provided more than 74,000 charging sessions across Australia.

With a workforce of over 3,000, more than 80% of whom are on the frontlines interacting with members and guests every day and away from a desk, the NRMA is continually striving to provide a work environment that allows its people to develop, thrive and deliver fantastic member experiences.  It is why 87% of its staff feel proud to work for the NRMA.

The NRMA understand that attracting and keeping its people is imperative to delivering exceptional member experiences, so its focus is on unlocking people’s potential, unifying its culture, and positioning the NRMA Group as an Employer of Choice.

To do this, the NRMA recognise that investing in people management systems and technology is essential since providing quality digital experiences increases people’s ability to communicate and collaborate across the organisation and provides data and insights for better decision-making. 

The Challenge

As a company with a predominantly desk-less workforce, cut-through is the heart of the issue for digital communication and collaboration.  On top of this, outdated information, loose governance frameworks, duplication, and an absence of structured document organisation made matters worse. These challenges resulted in a convoluted user experience that staff didn’t trust and led to disengagement from the intranet and low active users.

Technically, their current intranet system was built on the classic SharePoint framework which presented an array of limitations that forced the migration to an updated system using SharePoint Online.

“Effective communication is the lifeblood of any organisation. Unfortunately, many in our workforce receive messages second or third hand — or not at all. If we are going to deliver on our member experience vision, we must strive for better cut-through and explore mobile-friendly, integrated solutions that empower our people and connect them with our purpose.”

Harris Hutkin, General Manager for Enterprise Products, The NRMA

The Solution

The proposed solution for NRMA involved modernising their intranet using SharePoint Online, built on Microsoft 365. This approach seamlessly integrated Microsoft Teams and Viva Connections, prioritising a mobile-first strategy crucial for engaging their frontline workers. 

SharePoint served not just as a communication hub but also as a powerful document management platform. The teams collaborated closely with stakeholders to set up a relevant lifecycle management process. Leveraging the Power Platform, especially Power Automate, ensured regular reviews by business, page, and content owners, guaranteeing proper actions and storing the right content.

The team relied on a meticulously planned and gated project structure to navigate these challenges, the cornerstone of delivering this solution. This structured approach smoothly transitioned through distinct phases—discovery (gate 0), design (gate 1), and implementation (gate 2) — each addressing specific aspects of the intranet overhaul.

The solution aimed for a user-focused design, achieved through human-centric design workshops. It included integrating tools like Viva Engage and Reward Gateway to encourage engagement. Additionally, carefully crafted custom components using SPFX web parts tailored the intranet’s features precisely to align with the organisation’s unique needs.

The Result

The Antares team worked with NRMA resulting in an array of tangible benefits.

  • Dramatic Overhaul of User Experience: The user experience underwent a significant transformation, increasing adoption and gaining positive feedback throughout the organisation.
  • Substantial Uplift in Content Management: Content management experienced a substantial uplift, leading to increased user adoption rates.
  • Establishment of Content Owners’ Community in Microsoft Teams: A content owners’ community was set up within Microsoft Teams, fostering a collaborative environment for idea-sharing and communication among champions across the organisation.
  • Significant Timesaving: Notably, timesaving appeared as a significant benefit, as users found it markedly more straightforward to find pertinent information, cutting down search times.
  • Significant Increase in Staff Knowledge: Even in its early days, The NRMA saw more news posts and a 124% increase in readership, resulting in a positive uplift in knowledge of what’s happening across the group.  The new group-wide calendar also supports this.
  • Heightened two-way engagement: The new platform allowed NRMA to open more avenues for two-way conversations, bringing in more enriched insights to better serve people and member needs.

At NRMA, our revamped intranet is one of our key initiatives transforming the employee experience.  It’s not just a platform; it’s a tool that enhances collaboration and communication, knowledge-sharing, and fosters a culture of shared purpose.

Jo Cullen, General Manager for People Experience, The NRMA

Looking forward

With AI (Artificial Intelligence) top of mind, The NRMA continue to focus on improving the governance and quality of information that is available on its intranet.

The NRMA are looking to introduce a chat-based knowledge base powered by standard language processing. Such integration would revolutionise search functionalities, enabling users to interact with the system conversationally, enhancing the overall experience, and making information retrieval more intuitive.

In addition to these advancements, efforts are being made to simplify the overall digital employee experience by implementing Viva Connections to create a one-stop-shop that connects its people with the information they need to deliver the best member experience. This integration will foster seamless connectivity and collaboration among team members to create a more inclusive and integrated workplace.