The very human face of PANDORA’s digital workplace story

pandora jewellery

PANDORA jewellery is sold in more than 100 countries on six continents through around 8,100 points of sale, including more than 2,100 concept stores. It’s a company of some 21,500 employees and one of the largest and fastest growing jewellery businesses in the world.  Unsurprisingly, communication was a big challenge, with siloed tools, limited collaboration technology and a handful of people at the Danish HQ using the old intranet.  Morten Dal, their Global Intranet Manager, knew there was a better way to do things, based on his experience from other globally operating companies, and has been instrumental in the creation and management of their Global Digital Workplace, INFORA.

A year after go-live in the first markets, Alison Boothby caught up with him to find out more about the herculean task of launching a new platform on such a scale.

Change management on a massive scale

“This is a major change management and teamwork exercise,” explained Morten Dal, “and so much more than a new intranet. We have bundled together the best of Office 365: SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, Yammer and Delve into a single solution, and consequently we are expecting a great deal of our people in changing the way they do things. It also coincided with a general globalisation across the business where in effect we are tearing down silos, understandably creating pockets of uncertainty and insecurity initially. It’s my job also to overcome any organisational resistance, and make sure that everyone understands what the new tools and apps can do for them and their teams. Our aspiration is to create a PANDORA Global Digital Workspace that will boost organisational cohesion, transparency and corporate culture – and grow into a really vibrant digital workplace with a strong sense of Pride, Passion and Performance.”

Morten Dal (centre) and his core INFORA team

Over the past year Morten and his core intranet team have travelled the world offering training to all users in how to use each app. Working in agile sprints to fine tune INFORA , they launched initially in Denmark as well as to 5000 people across core business areas. As feedback was gathered, adaptations were made and the global rollout continued through Asia-Pacific, the USA and Western Europe – now with 57 countries active on INFORA. The final phase of rollout has been opened up so that thousands of PANDORA stores, franchisees and external partners can start joining the global digital workspace and collaborate across business units, timezones and geographies.

This very human approach to the launch has had tremendous impact, with global roadshows and classroom-training, face-to-face meetings, VIP sessions, and townhall meetings helping users to get to grips with the functionality in their own language, and also to understand the benefits of moving to a digital workplace.

Internal communications campaign

With so many new applications being introduced at once, PANDORA planned an extensive international internal marketing campaign alongside a comprehensive training programme which included:

INFORA Thai team
INFORA Thai team

Local training sessions:
In the first phase there were local on-site training sessions for c90 editors and 35 intranet site managers across the globe including USA, Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Australia, UK, Denmark, Thailand, Dubai, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Poland.  These ‘super users’ would be the people who have responsibility for particular portals within INFORA, covering all fields of expertise.  Once people had developed content for their areas, the global familiarisation roadshows began.

Intranet champions:
Known as INFORA ‘troops’, many of the super users trained in the first phase became intranet champions and local ambassadors too.  They are on hand in all locations to provide desk to desk help.
Giving INFORA  personality:
Three cartoon characters have been developed to represent communication, collaboration and sharing. Life-size standees of these characters and posters were arranged in every global office, to reinforce the importance of these three key concepts which underpin their goal of creating a unified digital workplace.
Local celebrations:
Go-live celebrations,  with plenty of razzamatazz  from the INFORA core team and local communications departments, were an important part of the process. INFORA playlists with music being played during go-live helped create the right atmosphere along with gamification through mobile quizzes for all participants and cake-cutting ceremonies – effective tools used to create hype and traction around INFORA.
Several of these are captured on film so colleagues can share the excitement around the world.
Animated videos:
Fun and informative animated videos were created to share the intentions of INFORA and to show people how it would work, typical of PANDORA’s open and personable culture.
Online training modules:
There are 9 different 1-hour training webinars covering all aspects of the new platform.
Each employee received a goody bag with merchandise, power banks and information to help get them started.

More about people than technology

This approach of multiple activities to support the global launch and inspire employees won PANDORA  recognition and a CIPR Inside Story award earlier  this year.  Morten Dal added: “We were really proud to receive the CIPR Award for Best International Campaign, in recognition of our high-paced but thorough worldwide roll-out and adoption of our new intranet and global digital workplace.”

Also PANDORA won the Intra.NET Reloaded Jury’s Special Award at the large international digital workplace event in Berlin in April this year.

The INFORA implementation was divided into three clear parts. Firstly, the platform itself which was built fast, but more time was dedicated to the training and communication rollout than the build. Morten again: “The strategic approach of focusing not only on the implementation of the tool itself, but  also on the buzz surrounding it and on making sure there was the knowledge across the business to use it effectively has really paid off. Creative marketing and sustained training and adoption efforts are really key to a successful implementation and delivering business value.”

INFORA graphic
INFORA graphic

Next steps

Right now all users are active on the intranet and Skype for Business and Yammer are well used too. Adoption levels are generally good but in order to reach their ambition of using INFORA as a real one-stop-shop for business, there’s still a way to go. Morten and his team will continue to provide training around the world as well as getting feedback from the business via surveys and focus groups in order to stay ahead of the curve. Changing habits takes time and commitment, and certainly PANDORA have no intention of taking their foot off the pedal.

You can read more about PANDORA’s story at