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Delivering digital workplace training to 6000 global employees

Delivering digital workplace training to 6000 global employees

Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company with 2000 employees at head office in Denmark and thousands of employees around the world.

Frederik ZebitzFrederik Zebitz, Collaboration Manager, leads a small team supporting the company’s strategic goal to create a ‘high performance workplace’ by delivering training that covers people’s everyday software and specific tasks.

In 2011, the then Danish Prime Minister proposed people to work an extra 12 minutes each day, to help recover from the recession. Frederik says it wasn’t a popular suggestion, but it did inspire Lundbeck to consider the productivity of their digital workplace.

IT charted how Lundbeck’s use of email grew by ten times, yet nobody could be said to be ten times more productive!

Why not save 15 minutes per day to free up time to focus on what really matters?

Lundbeck launched their ‘Get 15’ internal campaign to encourage ‘productivity hacking’ – the adoption of new ways of working focused on effectiveness and efficiency.

Lundbeck upgraded to SharePoint 2010 and later carefully went went from Windows XP + Office 2003 to Windows 7 + Office 2010.

Yet many people still lived in their inbox. New collaborative tools did not reduce reliance on Outlook. So Frederik embraced Outlook as an important part of the digital workplace, and designed and delivered a wide variety of objective-focused training, including ‘taming your inbox’.

But it’s not just about optimising Outlook use, it’s about adopting new habits regarding where you save and how you share working files – how you work with others.

Frederik, as the Collaboration Manager, sits within IT, but all his training is focused on helping people achieve goals, rather than master the software.


Delivering multi-modal training

Frederik and team were aware of adoption lifecycles, and so targeted comms and training at stakeholders and key influencers, such as line managers, at different times during the SharePoint, Office, and Windows upgrades.

Diffusion of innovation

Everett Rogers – technology diffusion, used via Creative Commons.


Frederik offers several different opportunities to learn about, and be involved with, workplace changes.


  • Town hall
  • Bring your own lunch – 20 minute high-level sessions on specific topics – new stuff to try out at your desk
  • Group presentations


  • Hands on – custom, team, or department
  • Classroom
  • Web based – via Lync for individuals
  • Train the trainer – customised for ambassadors across the globe

Channels / media:

  • Intranet (called ‘BrainWeb’) via the ‘IT Campus’ and ‘Smarter working’ sites
  • Flyers
  • Videos (e.g. Lync)
  • Direct marketing – email managers with time saving stats and asking for a meeting.

The idea is to offer multiple chances to hear about the changes, and to get involved and see what’s going on, or directly engage. Repetition of key messages across different channels is recommended.

The different modalities address people’s different learning styles, and circumstances. The ‘IT Campus’ (a SharePoint Site) supports different learning styles by offering ‘how to’ guidance articles, step-by-step presentations, and videos. All the real-life training materials that Frederik’s team offers is here for reference, including video recordings. The ‘IT Campus’ supports self-led learning but also encourages people to take action and book training.

Business processes are more important than technology – IT and the Collaboration team make use of tech to support processes; they don’t wholly focus on the tool, but rather the goal and outcome.

The Collaboration team has broadened their focus from being a problem-solving team to being a helpful team; it’s not all about the process, it’s also about helping people, for example, helping people improve their Team Site and how they collaborate with others.


High performance workplaceThe High performance landscape

Lundbeck’s digital workplace is largely based on Microsoft products, but they also have iOS devices on the network too.

High performance landscape

People do a lot of productive work within Outlook – email is not a distraction, it’s a core communication channel. People use Outlook to plan meetings and track project progress.

While Frederik does not expect email usage to go down, he does believe that people now spend less time on email, owing to the ‘Get 15’ programme and other communication options.

Through 2013, Lundbeck saw more affiliates and partners adopt Lync, helping them stay virtually in touch with head office and core employees. People at head office still preferred walking around the building – Lync doesn’t replace other communication channels, rather it’s complementary. Lync is great for sharing screens, even in head office – not everyone carries their laptop around, so screen-sharing over Lync is very useful.


Working smarter

The ‘Smarter working’ e-learning site complements the ‘Get 15’ campaign and the ‘IT Campus’ site, and again offers a suite of topics that are goal-focused. Short videos walk the learner through key concepts as well as demonstrating the software.

Smarter working is based on Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people and so is about inspiring people to consider their habits and approach to work.

This is about topic based training – not trying to teach people how to be amazing with Outlook overall. It’s all about the task / process.

So it’s about ‘controlling your inbox’ rather than ‘Outlook’.

It’s about ‘automating Excel when dealing with reports’, rather than ‘Excel’.

While the e-learning site offers tips and videos, it also allows people to book face-to-face training for individuals and teams.

To work smarter with mail and ‘get 15 minutes’ back:

  1. Check email periodically through the day; never keep Outlook open all day (unless it’s part of your role as an assistant or customer service rep)
  2. No email should take longer than 2 minutes to process; touch each mail only once:
    1. File for later reference
    2. Act
    3. Delete
  3. Send less, and you will receive less
  4. Weekly planning: translate global strategy into actionable goals; frequently review your personal goals for the year, but plan them through each week to keep them actionable
  5. Prioritise daily – to accommodate the changing environment.

Perhaps it takes five weeks to change a habit; perseverance is needed to embed new ways of working. Everything gets easier once it’s second nature.


How to roll out new technology

In summary, Frederik advises these 7 steps to success in rolling out new technology:

  1. ‘Build it and they will come’ is not an option
  2. Never just ‘launch and relax’
  3. Deploy the right levers for change
  4. Use repetition when explaining benefits and the need for change
  5. Offer goal-focused training rather than application specific training
  6. Encourage change, rather than ‘drive’ it
  7. Give people time and space to adopt new ways of working

Focussing on delivering goal-focused training and getting everyone to save 15 minutes per day has embedded many new ways of working into Lundbeck’s culture. Frederik’s next focus is on increasing SharePoint adoption, by way of offering a ‘one hour university’ course, to help people get the benefits of SharePoint without having to learn all the technical background.

We’re very grateful to Frederik for sharing his succesful approach.



Wedge Black

I support ClearBox in everything we do online, and I assist clients that are considering redeveloping or replacing their intranet platform. I worked in global and regional organisations as the intranet manager as part of the comms team, before becoming an intranet consultant. I'm the founder of the Intranet Now annual conference. I’ve tweeted about intranets and comms for fifteen years now.

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