First Direct installs online social networking for staff

First Direct plans to add an online social networking facility to its intranet site, to encourage employees to interact and make use of the discounted events and trips that are available.

Employees will be able to use a “buddy up” facility on the bank’s intranet to post a personal profile detailing their interests so that like-minded colleagues can get in touch via email or telephone to arrange to meet on a social level or attend an event together.

The facility will be run on the intranet where a range of events such as theatre trips and concerts are already available to employees at either reduced costs or entirely free. Sarah Paul, social events co-ordinator, said: “[Staff] can meet up with other people who have similar, like-minded interests. We can offer them discounts, we can offer them trips. It is going to make their working week a lot more enjoyable.”

Paul hopes the buddy-up facility will begin to be developed in January 2008.