One year of UMployee: “fantastic”, “messy”

One year of UMployee: “fantastic”, “messy”

A rosy evaluation, but also grumbling among employees

21-02-2024 · News

MAASTRICHT. Internal communication has improved, information can be found more easily and the community spirit has been strengthened. These are the results of one year of UMployee, according to an evaluation of the new employee intranet, carried out by the Marketing and Communication (M&C) team. However, there is also criticism among employees: news items are drowning in the overwhelming number of messages.

UMployee went ‘live’ in November 2022. Since then, internal messages and news no longer end up in mailboxes, but employees have to actively navigate to the intranet. That was sorely needed, shows the evaluation that was discussed during the latest meeting of the University Council’s strategy committee. Of the ‘old’ news messages sent by e-mail, it is said that less than 2 per cent was opened. The messages on UMployee, on the other hand, were read by a quarter of the more than five thousand employees in the past year. When asked, the M&C team clarifies that these figures are based on the number of 'clicks', not the number of unique readers (an employee who clicks on a post several times may thus distort the picture). There are great differences: updates on travel expenses and the collective bargaining agreement were clicked on more than five thousand times, whereas a message about the Bachelor’s Student Prizes prompted less than a hundred clicks.

Nevertheless, there has been a lot of grumbling among employees. Especially about the large number of messages, as a result of which important information no longer stands out (ironically enough, this was the reason to abandon the newsletters: people didn’t notice them in an overcrowded mailbox). “Can we not return to the ‘familiar’ newsletters sent by e-mail?”, an academic staff member asked last autumn during a council meeting at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS). “Everyone around me is complaining about UMployee. People miss out on events more often, simply because they have missed the announcement.” Similar opinions were voiced in the University Council. As well as in the council meeting of the Faculty of Law, when it was mentioned that maybe a similar intranet could be developed for student communication, an academic staff member let slip: “Please, no, everything is better than UMployee.”


In a personal “tiny, non-representative survey among employees” by University Council member Collin Prumpeler (support staff), responses also varied, he said during the latest committee meeting. Reactions ranged from “fantastic” to “messy” and “too much non-information”. The search function was also criticised: “Use a slightly different term and you can no longer find anything”.

The overwhelming number of notices is also acknowledged in the evaluation, with the announcement that this “will be addressed”. That will happen this spring, the M&C informs. It will also try to reduce "the sentiment" that UMployee feels forced on staff.

A positive point seems to be the social groups that were introduced last autumn. Since then, the number of messages and likes have increased, for example, in groups in which employees show photographs of their dogs and cats to other animal lovers. The number of “active users” – people who "don't just read, but also take an action" – has risen, the report stated.

Image: screenshot UMployee

Tags: umployee,intranet,notifications,complaints,employees

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