Another NSPRA SuccesStory — Capital Region BOCES

NSPRA’s Gold Medallion Award is the highest award given by the Association in recognition of outstanding educational public relations programs. This is the second in a series highlighting the 2017 winners.

Gold Medallion Winner — Capital Region BOCES, Albany, N.Y.
BOCES Employee Resource Tool (BERT): Using a Social Intranet to Increase Employee Engagement

Connecting with colleagues and associating a name with a face is a big challenge in the Capital Region BOCES, which has more than 1,000 employees spread across six divisions, 11 BOCES-owned buildings and 150 school districts statewide. Employees cited problems such as an over-reliance on email, existence of various versions of internal documents stored in multiple places, and a need for better ways to collaborate.

BERT logo

A number of solutions had been offered over the years, such as an all-staff e-newsletter, use of shared network folders, and mock group work areas. All of these efforts failed, in part because they were silo-based and unconnected to the central human resources and business office operations.

After trying several iterations of an intranet, the BOCES had all but given up on the idea before partnering with a social intranet vendor. Soon after, a broad cross-divisional group of employees helped set the overall strategy for the intranet and developed four key performance indicators. An intranet work team met weekly from February to June 2016 to launch the BOCES Employee Resource Tool — or BERT.

Make Your Messages Connect with Your Community
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Site analytics and anecdotal feedback show that employee engagement is up, particularly in areas where leadership is engaged. Whether it’s birthdays on the homepage, updates in the activity feed or a group forum, employees have been interacting with each other more than ever, enhancing effectiveness and efficiencies through interdivisional cooperation, collaboration and innovation.

Read on to learn more about BERT and the Capital Region BOCES successful employee engagement effort.


Contact: Deborah Bush-Suflita, director of communications, Capital Region BOCES, Albany N.Y.,