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Carbery CIO on Workvivo: ‘It’s music to my ears’

How Workvivo has transformed Carbery’s internal comms and engagement with minimal IT requirements


IT resources dedicated to Workvivo implementation and upkeep


weeks from kick-off to launch day


of staff onboarded with zero training requirements

Before switching to Workvivo in June 2020, global dairy and ingredients producer Carbery Group was using a mix of Workplace and a legacy intranet for its internal comms and employee engagement. But with low adoption rates and an unrealistic amount of work involved in maintaining them, those solutions and content quickly became stale.

The company’s CIO, Anthony O’Callaghan, explained, “It ended up being primarily a SharePoint site, a file repository, rather than a dynamic intranet.” In their quest for a replacement that truly solved their problems, Anthony and his team began looking for “something very dynamic and community-led”.

A CIO’s priorities

Carbery Group historically operated digitally as three distinct companies under one roof. As CIO, Anthony’s task was to “come in and bring down those digital walls and bring these companies towards a single operating company model from a technology perspective”.

Anthony knew that to achieve this, Carbery would need to find a new technology that aligned more with the company’s goals and values and that was accessible for all of its employees, even those working in areas like production operations who wouldn’t have access to a company email address.

“We didn’t want a collection of disparate systems. For us, anything we brought on board had to tie towards our end goal here, which was as few vendors in place as possible that all talk to each other seamlessly.

“That’s where Workvivo really helps. It was the first platform we rolled out that was a group-wide platform.”

Anthony was on a mission to transform Carbery’s IT infrastructure for internal comms and employee engagement, setting out on a digital transformation project to 1) create one Office 365 environment across all of Carbery Group and 2) launch Workvivo to bring down the digital walls that existed and allow everyone to collaborate seamlessly as one group globally.

“Workvivo was the primary space where people would engage with that experience. And we did it all in a style that’s quite unique to us: complete transparency, complete openness – just building as much trust as we possibly could.

“I was looking for something that would kill the legacy intranet,” he said.

I think what we ended up with is far superior. It doesn't require marketing or comms teams to keep it current; it's the community that keeps it current. To me, there's no comparison between the traditional intranet and Workvivo.

Anthony O’Callaghan

CIO of Carbery

We were looking for something that was going to scale with us globally across the organization and that was quite easy to implement. But a big thing for us was also around the culture match from a company perspective.

Anthony O’Callaghan

CIO of Carbery

So, why did Carbery choose Workvivo?

“We were quite siloed internally from a digital perspective,” Anthony said. “The ability of Workvivo to bring down all those digital walls that existed and allow us to communicate and collaborate as one company was a huge selling point. And because it didn’t require a huge amount of re-plumbing from an IT infrastructure perspective to get this up and running, we could work with what we already had.

“From a CIO’s perspective, it’s music to my ears, a platform that’s so heavily relied on across the organization, but requires such minimal administration. That’s ideal.

“It addresses the comms piece as an absolute must, but it also emphasizes the importance of aligning with company values, which demonstrates a high level of intelligence.”

Workvivo: A natural solution

When it came to implementing Workvivo, Anthony said that any concerns his team may have had about training and keeping momentum around engagement were quickly alleviated.

“I’ve never had that scenario in the past where we just implemented something so quickly,” he shared.

“It’s the ease of doing business as well. You don’t need a massive detailed requirement-gathering phase.”

This meant that people could dive right in and start engaging with Workvivo as soon as it was set up – a process that took just five weeks.

“We saw it immediately off the bat that people felt like they could just engage and comment and share, and it was just so natural to them as well.

“We have an employee directory there, we had an organizational chart from the get-go, and we have content that stays fresh and everyone is aware of what’s going on. That’s all you ever want from an intranet site, really.”

Supercharging with Workvivo:

  • 10 global offices using Workvivo TV
  • 78% of employees registered on Workvivo
  • 68% of employees active every month
  • 45% of employees active every week

The main thing Workvivo has given us is visibility and connection to all our sites around the world. It has connected us culturally as well.

Louise Kelly

Communications Manager at Carbery

Productivity wins

As an IT leader, Anthony knows that traditional intranets might solve some issues, but they also create more requirements and put a heavy weight on IT to maintain. He said, “The beauty of Workvivo from an IT perspective is that we don’t need to have people dedicated to it. The community keeps it updated and it’s always fresh. We put the platform in place and the community keeps it alive; I don’t have to have someone on my team dedicated to Workvivo because it’s just so straightforward, so simple. It’s easy and intuitive. There’s minimal training involved.

“We did have a network of employee Workvivo champions who were so helpful in launching and driving adoption of the platform.”

Savings on time, energy, and money in these ways have allowed Carbery’s comms and IT teams to be more productive in the areas that matter most.

Helping leaders to ‘communicate seamlessly’

Anthony commended Workvivo for allowing Carbery’s leadership team to “communicate seamlessly across the entire organization with minimal effort”.

“Increasingly, comms is becoming a far more important item, as is being open and honest with employees.”

In his own role, he uses Workvivo to share IT project updates, build cyber security awareness, recognize colleagues after their promotion, and welcome new joiners to the IT team.

After launch, 6% of people told us they needed more training. 94% of them were great, getting on fine and we did very little training across the company.

Anthony O’Callaghan

CIO of Carbery

It helps people understand the scale of the organization and makes sharing their stories a whole lot easier; it makes the company feel a whole lot smaller.

Anthony O’Callaghan

CIO of Carbery

The cultural impact

What are some of the standout impacts of Carbery’s Workvivo journey so far?

The company’s Communications Manager, Louise Kelly, said, “The main thing Workvivo has given us is visibility and connection to all our sites around the world. It has connected us culturally as well. It has improved our employee engagement scores and in the analytics, we can see how people are interacting with the content, which helps us make decisions when planning future content.”

When Carbery hires new employees, they’re acknowledged in ‘Welcome Wednesday’ posts. They’re invited to share fun facts about themselves including their favorite flavor. At every level, right up to executive leadership – colleagues can comment. “It makes it feel like a much closer company,” Anthony said. “It’s phenomenal.”

Safety is crucial at a company like Carbery, and it uses Workivo to help build “safety as a culture” rather than just a directive. By sharing ‘Safety Catch of the Month’ posts, for example, Workvivo is the “primary way for people to share those stories”.

For both Anthony and Louise, Workvivo TV has been a game changer. Louise said, “Something I really like from a communications manager perspective is the seamless integration with the Workvivo dashboard and screens. This has saved me a lot of duplication of effort.”

“We love it,” Anthony added. “We put it on every shared TV screen that’s around all our global locations. People see this constantly, and because of that, they feel part of the wider organization and constantly connected to what is going on.

“It’s really useful for the employees that are not sitting in front of a screen day in, day out. They’re critical employees that are working within our production process, and they get to come in, and within a very short space of time, see news stories that are going on across the company.

“It helps people understand the scale of the organization and makes sharing their stories a whole lot easier; it makes this large company feel a whole lot smaller.”

Workvivo’s language translation feature has massively boosted Carbery’s company culture too. Anthony said, “The ability for our team sitting down in Jakarta or Brazil to post in their native language and that I can comment back to them – that’s incredible.”

Workvivo has been a great asset for Carbery’s internal comms program. “For anyone that’s sitting in comms or comms management, Workvivo makes their job much easier.”

“Sometimes it’s quite easy to get lost in a thousand-plus person company,” Anthony said. “I think our biggest success with Workvivo is the instant connectivity it has brought.

“Employees can engage, they can see what’s happening. For employees who have been here 20 years or so, we’re celebrating them online. They may be based in Brazil, and have people from Ireland now congratulating them on that milestone anniversary.”

“For us, Workvivo is the hub now. It’s where people get to their apps if they need to” Anthony said. “It’s a destination and there’s a reason to go there; it’s not just a homepage that you never look at.”

Louise added, “Our employees, with very little encouragement and guidance, have embraced Workvivo. People’s desire is to connect, and the Workvivo platform made that very easy to do.”

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