The WonderWall module of GovIntranet has been in place on a number of client intranets for a few years. And now we have seen the first self-nomination on a wall.
A disgruntled member of staff decided to add their own thank you message on the wall. And it was quite clear that this was due to not having received any other messages of thanks or commendations.
The WonderWall module allows staff to post thanks and praise for other staff and teams. It has been working well on a number of client intranets and really makes a positive impact.
Until someone posts an entry to theirself.
The situation raised concerns internally and our communications contact was in touch on the help desk enquiring whether this was a software bug and whether people should be allowed to nominate themselves on the wall.
To be honest, it is not something that I had considered. The wall has been in production on intranets for years with the ability to choose your own name. But nobody has ever done this.
Of course this raises wider issues about line-management and employee satisfaction. But the popularity of the wall and how much it means to people wasn’t 100% apparent to me. One member of staff who didn’t receive any thanks was negatively affected to the point that they felt it necessary to post publicly. This wasn’t a situation that we’d anticipated or planned for. The wall was designed to bring some uplifting positivity, but the social validation aspect has thrown a different light on the wall. As with social media, there are positive and negative outcomes.
On a positive note, the wall has become so popular that I’ve heard stories of people taking along their wall mentions to staff performance reviews. Entries on the wall are categorised and some of my clients are aligning these with organisation values, making wall entries an ideal topic for discussion in a performance review.
We’ve extended the intranet staff profiles to include wall mentions and have been asked to look into developing management information reports for wall entries.
And I’m still wondering whether to turn off the ability to add an entry for yourself on the wall. What do you think?