W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Vine

An employee engagement case study boasting 200% increase in intranet usage.

The Opportunity

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. The foundation uses its resources—finances, knowledge and relationships—to help change conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Insight

The foundation actively pursues its mission with a staff of approximately 200 people, most of which are located at its headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich., but a growing number of employees are working in satellite offices in the foundation’s priority places for its work across the U.S. This geographic disbursement combined with multiple, outdated and insufficient intranet systems offered an opportunity to create a new, visually compelling, integrated intranet site—called the Vine—that could better connect WKKF’s people and teams with one another and with the information and tools they need to be effective.

The Solution

Guided by three words, informed, engaged and productive, The Vine launched in November 2013. It is WKKF's go-to resource for employees to learn about what is happening across the foundation, stay better connected and engaged with staff/teams and access the news, information and resources they need to be productive. The Vine’s social collaboration capabilities are an integral component to the overall experience focused on supporting conversations and interactions: person-to-person, person-to-team and person-to-company.

The Result

WKKF committed to a successful launch of the Vine by holding an all staff, full-day training session with an on-site intranet support “Genius Bar” that remained open for the entire week of launch. The success of the launch was just as much of a priority as creating the site itself. To ground the launch, WKKF created a launch video to open the training day to introduce the site to staff and highlight the ultimate goals for the site in serving, supporting and engaging employees:

In comparing The Vine to WKKF’s former intranet site (Ktoday), during the Vine’s first month after launch, the average time an employee spent on the intranet increased 481%, and page views increased by 344%. Since then, engagement has stabilized, but continues to boast impressive numbers:

  • 500% increase in pages visited per visit
  • 205% percent increase on average time spent on site
  • 51% percent decrease in bounce rate

The foundation’s former intranet sites had been a source of frustration for many employees who were used to not finding the information they needed. These numbers, as well as qualitative feedback from staff about the ease with which they are finding resources, are promising indicators of the site’s results.