Facts about Wawanesa


Rating for financial strength


Established in


employees across Canada and the U.S.

The challenge

Create a “One Wawanesa” culture

At the project’s outset, technology wasn’t doing Wawanesa any favors. Rather than bringing people together, it was driving them apart. There was a significant opportunity to connect and unify Wawanesa employees with an intranet that would offer relevant, reliable enterprise-wide communication — both in English and French.

Understand which content matters most

OnBoard did not offer insightful analytics or social-feedback features. Wawanesa wanted the ability to see what its intranet could—and would—really do.

Compel people to want to be on the intranet

In its former intranet, OnBoard, Wawanesa saw a triple-threat to usability: a site that didn’t reflect the company’s identity, poorly-organized information, and a long-past-its-expiry-date look and feel. In short, no one wanted to climb aboard OnBoard.

Reinforce a culture of recognition

A vital part of Wawanesa’s engagement strategy is recognition. Embedding a recognition tool in the new intranet was a huge opportunity to support the company’s engagement strategy.

The solution

Keeping people connected during digital transformation 

From the get-go, we had one goal: to connect people in a time of unprecedented organizational change. To this end, we envisioned blu as a place where interaction was not only easy but also fun and inviting, where, with just a click or two, employees could see relevant news, comment on a story, send a kudo, “like” a story or find a form. Because while content may be king, efficiency is no less an emperor.

Wawanesa Homepage

One Wawanesa

blu balances the individual need for personalization with the company’s need to communicate centrally. While employees set their own regional news and language preferences, the site also shares enterprise-level content so that everyone is connected to a single source of company information.

Wawanesa Buy and Sell

Diverse content

Not only does blu have a modern look and an information architecture that makes sense, it also offers an array of unique content to appeal to a diverse workforce. Social content, such as an Instagram-like photo gallery helps drive connection between people and offices. Corporate and regional stories are augmented by “likes” and social commenting. The company is further connected by community tools, such as a regional buy-and-sell board. These capabilities improve individual engagement, complement business processes, and build a stronger “One Wawanesa” culture.

Wawanesa Kudos


The kudos feature gives every Wawanesa employee a real-time tool for recognizing and celebrating colleagues. Whereas its predecessor, a print piece produced quarterly, was inefficient in both production and circulation, digital kudos make the practice of recognition central and convenient.

In blu’s first month, 110 kudos were sent (more than six a day!), making a strong case for easy-to-use recognition tools in the workplace.

Wawanesa Governance and Analytics

Governance and analytics

Before blu, content required central approval; translation was tricky, relying on an email back-and-forth between content authors and approvers to reach approval; and updates to corporate news had to be made in several locations in order to reach US and Canadian (including French-speaking Quebec) sites.

Today, content-authoring and publishing is seamless. The number of content authors has climbed from seven to 72, and each author works with a lead regional author. Translation review and approval happens in blu’s back-end, eliminating email back-and-forth. And news updates are made in one location, giving the author the power to choose which site to push it to. 

As for analytics, Wawanesa’s communications team can gauge engagement through employee interaction with social features. For more extensive data and insight, blu leverages Google Analytics.

The outcome

blu is a key part in the transition to One Wawanesa

“One of the things that stood out to me from the get-go about Habanero was their desire to understand who we are. They really wanted to understand us as an organization because they believe that understanding is at the heart of building something effective together.” — Jodi Carradice

“Starting out, we really wanted to utilize SharePoint to its full potential. We needed a vendor that truly understood the technology, and had a creative approach that spoke to our vision. Habanero was a perfect match. They took a genuine interest in our needs, and helped us develop long-term, fresh solutions.” — Rafal Miroslawski

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