Digital Skills Hub Launch

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The Launch

On the 31st May 2022, we were finally able to launch our Digital Skills Hub. The hub provides an area for employees to get the information they need to support them with the various digital tasks their role requires, as and when they need to. This support is available in the form of quick video tutorials, written step by step guides, on demand video workshops, virtual training courses and find a digital champion. We had originally wanted to launch the hub a couple of weeks earlier, however we needed to get our technical team to make a few adjustments to the app that enables employees to access the hub via Teams. Another set back was with trying to understand SharePoint permissions, as the hub is designed on a SharePoint communication site. I would like to say I now fully understand permissions however I would be kidding myself. It's more realistic to say that plenty of surfing the web, watching YouTube tutorial videos and luck is probably closer to the truth. The most important thing is it was enough understanding to get it working.

First few weeks

Those that have accessed the hub have been really positive in their feedback. The things that people are enjoying are the simplicity of accessing the hub via Teams, the layout of the landing page and ease of finding content that is relevant and being able to have a place, that in a sense is a resource bank that they can dip in and out of. The analytics for visits to the site are encouraging, however we have a long way to go. We are currently relying on employees reading the launch information on our intranet, the global newsletter or word of mouth via the Digital Champions. 

Building Engagement

We have lots of opportunity coming up to increase awareness of the hub, the staff briefings at the end of September will be a great opportunity to have a stand for 2 days promoting the hub. We are also trialling a Digital Skills Hub Roadshow with one of our service areas at the beginning of September. Other opportunities are to link in with Business Ops, who will promote the hub at various meetings they attend with services across the council and Teams Week.

Teams Week

Teams is the only product we have added to the Digital Skills Hub so far. Launching the hub with just one product was something we decided on after doing some user research with other councils who had already launched their hubs. Launching with one product only allows employees to get used to the navigation and layout of the site without feeling overwhelmed with different content. Each time we add a new product it will keep the same look and feel of previous ones and employees will be familiar with how to get the best out of their visit to the hub. We chose Teams because this was the first product we had to roll out in the pandemic without any training and although many of us are using it, only a small percent of us are aware of it's full capabilities. We are also planning on moving from Skype to Teams for external calls by the end of 2022. The week will consist of virtual and in person drop in sessions to provide support for using Teams with the help of the Digital Champions as well as daily advice via our intranet. Hopefully we can run Teams week the week after the staff briefings so that we have been able to engage with a much wider number of employees in person.

Next Steps

  • Look at getting the best analytics from the hub with Power BI
  • Add the next product content, OneDrive, to the hub
  • Push out the Skills Survey to all employees to help with hub content

By Lara Lowe on 19th Jul 2022
Lara is an assistant Service Designer at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.