How To Ensure Your Employees Use The Company Intranet

You’ve spent several months behind the scenes designing and devising the content on your flash company intranet. It was launched with much hype and fanfare three months ago, and yet the statistics say that staff members have not adopted it in the wholesale fashion that you were expecting. If this is the scenario facing your organization, then read on for some ideas as to how you can motivate employees to really engage with the intranet portal. We also offer some tips on what to include in an adoption strategy as part of the intranet planning process.

Adoption Strategy

Coming up with an adoption strategy is almost as important as the needs assessment and design stages in an intranet implementation project and ideally, should be addressed at the earliest opportunity.

The adoption strategy should encompass the following elements:

  • Design options that will enable adoption
  • Engaging content and interactive features
  • Staff training and induction
  • A go-live date.

Let’s look in more detail at each of these elements.

Intranet Design Options

When considering the overall look and feel of the intranet, be mindful of incorporating features that will aid adoption. For example, a clean, uncluttered look with intuitive menu navigation and design will make it easier for staff members to use the intranet. Furthermore, staff need to be quickly and easily able to find information, and an advanced search capability is an important part of this.

Engaging Content And Interactive Features

Again these will enhance the overall experience for end users. Content that is straightforward, direct and appealing to staff members will make the intranet more useful and relevant. Long-winded or stilted content is likely to be perceived as being boring and irrelevant by staff, so it’s worthwhile spending time on getting the content right. And content is not just about the written word either. Including visual elements with graphics, videos and photos will enhance the overall appeal of your intranet. Also, make sure you have mechanisms in place to regularly review and refresh the content and visuals.

Bring a fun element to the intranet experience by including interactive features such as quizzes, blogs, and discussion forums or more social features including messaging and activity walls. This will also reinforce the idea that the intranet is a two-way channel of communication. Staff can feed their views up to management and the board as well as be receivers of corporate information.

Staff training and induction is a critical part of the implementation process. Making sure that staff understand how to use the intranet and fully appreciate what it can do is fundamental to ensuring it is widely adopted. Careful thought and consideration, therefore, needs to go into this process.

An excellent way to introduce the concept of the intranet portal is through interactive tutorials. Instead of passively watching a how-to video, interactive tutorials guide a user through completing an actual task on a step-by-step basis. So, for example, the tutorial could take a staff member through the process of setting up a new supplier, processing a new order or submitting a claim for expenses. It’s a great way to introduce staff to the capabilities of the intranet and can subsequently be used for induction purposes when new members join the team.

Intranet Go-Live Date

the go-live date is not just about the launch of the intranet, it’s also about setting a date from when key documents and processes will only be available on the intranet. Making the intranet indispensable to staff in this way is one technique to guarantee its early adoption. Furthermore, senior managers should model the same expectations, and there should be no more all staff emails sent around the organization from the go-live date. The intranet should be the indisputable source of company news or key announcements going forward.

Post-Implementation Adoption Tips

If, however, you neglected to fully consider an adoption strategy at the outset, there are still steps that you can take to ensure that the intranet portal is fully utilized by staff and achieves its total potential.

Email Digest

This is particularly useful for those organizations were the usage of the intranet might have slipped and where staff need to be reminded of its value. A personalized weekly digest of the most popular or relevant content on the intranet is a great way to entice staff into exploring the portal.

Once staff have logged on to the intranet again, seeing a customized news feed with all the updates relevant to them, their team or job function will make the intranet experience meaningful and relevant. Make sure that news feeds are refreshed on a daily basis so that staff want to keep logging on.

Personalized Company Intranet

While you’re at it, why not allow staff more options to customize their intranet experience. This could involve user alerts and subscriptions, personal bookmarks, employee status updates or customizable staff member profiles. Allowing staff to take control of the intranet increases their sense of ownership. Staff members that feel as though they have a stake in the company intranet are more likely to want to continue using it.

Company Intranet Competitions

Never underestimate the inducement that a good old-fashioned competition offers! Perhaps you could invite staff views on a catchy name for your relaunched intranet? All participants could be entered into a prize draw and the winner publicized on the intranet news feed.

Reset The Go-live Date

A moratorium on paper-based forms and systems is guaranteed to get employees using the intranet again. And so if all else fails, reset the go-live date from when key documents and business processes will only be available online. Staff that have to book their annual leave through the intranet will quickly start to log on again!

And once they’ve had the experience of the personalized news feeds and maybe an interactive tutorial or two, employees will be reminded of the inherent value of the intranet and how it makes their working lives easier.

For more information on how an intranet portal can make a difference to your organization contact the team at MyHub. The wealth of experience at MyHub also means that we are well placed to advise you on any issues or concerns around adoption, so get in touch for an informal discussion.

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