In 1913, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) began its mission to champion better work and working lives. For the last century, the organization has held close its guiding principle: what benefits people also benefits their employers, and by extension, economies and societies. For the last few years, CIPD has focused on bringing people together, regardless of where they’re working from. At the time, it would have been impossible to know just how relevant this approach would become when work from home became the norm across the globe in early 2020.
A good fit
Solutions like Microsoft Teams fit extremely well with CIPD’s mission. The organization already had an existing Microsoft 365 implementation, and when it began looking for new ways to connect its employees and a global network of HR and learning and development professionals, Microsoft Teams was the obvious choice. Rebecca Fox, CIPD’s new Interim Director of Digital and Technology, quickly deployed Teams across the organization.
“I knew that Microsoft 365 includes a rich set of features that CIPD could use to drive collaboration and streamline our IT landscape”, says Fox. “In order to introduce these broader capabilities, we embarked on a project called ‘Leveraging Microsoft 365 through Teams’ together with our IT partner, Content + Cloud.” CIPD enjoyed numerous benefits of the shift, including ease of collaboration through standardization, reduced third-party application licensing costs, and increased security by bringing communications into the Microsoft 365 environment.
CIPD has since used Teams to co-author important documents, run remote training sessions, and effortlessly connect with external partners. “We work with a lot of partner organizations,” says Louise Robinson, IT Product Management Leader at CIPD, “and Teams has been great at enabling us to quickly set up video calls with people outside of CIPD and collaborate more efficiently.”
The organization’s internal meetings have also been revolutionized. “I really appreciate participating in Teams meetings, because everything you need is in one place,” says Fox. “There’s no more searching for documents or versions or emails.”
Moving 100 percent remote
“We could see the changes on the horizon,” says Robinson. “We got laptops assigned to the majority of the staff and, working closely with Teams and our telephony providers, assured that they can work from home and provide the same level of service as before, which I think is an amazing achievement.” In May of 2020, CIPD used Teams live events to hold its first all staff briefing since lockdown measures were put in place. The event re-established direct dialogue between senior leadership and staff, an important part of the organization’s structure.
CIPD also has an established Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, and uses Microsoft Intune to manage employee devices through integrated data protection and compliance capabilities to grant conditional access to sensitive information. Intune also helps ensure organization-owned and BYOD devices are managed and always up to date with the most flexible control over any Windows, Apple, or Android device. “Microsoft Intune helps us ensure security around any devices or applications our workers choose to work through,” says Fox.
The way forward
At CIPD, Fox is seeing extremely positive feedback around Teams, Intune, and the secure remote work they promote when used together. In fact, she anticipates positive cultural change to result from today’s necessity-driven work landscape. “It will be interesting to see, after we get back into the office, how many people actually come back, or if we shift to a majority work-from-home organization,” she says.