You successfully launched your intranet last year to much fanfare and pomp. Initially, the user engagement statistics were great with lots of staff members logging on and using the intranet on a daily basis. Over the last couple of months though, usage has tailed off with fewer and fewer staff engaging with the intranet. Does this sound familiar? Well, the truth is the job doesn’t finish once you launch your intranet. Ongoing adoption and engagement with the intranet can’t be taken for granted. And so, keeping a regular eye on user numbers will help you to spot any trends and address any issues before they become big problems. But what can you do to get back on track if you notice that user numbers have taken a dip? In this article, we share some ideas on how you can drive intranet adoption in your company so that you continue to maximize the organizational rewards the intranet has to offer.
1. Make It Compulsory
The easiest way to get people on the intranet is to make it compulsory, or at least make some business processes only available on the intranet. For example, if booking annual leave or submitting an expenses claim are only possible by completing an online form on the intranet, then quite simply, staff will have to log on. What’s more, make key business documents such as product brochures, marketing materials or HR policies only available on the intranet. Or why not set the intranet as the default web page so that employees wishing to access the internet have to first go through the intranet’s home page.
These are all tricks that you can deploy to get people logging onto the intranet again. And once they’re logged on, the chances are they will spend additional time on the site browsing the other features and information. Make it easy for them though by having a vibrant and engaging home page, perhaps with a how-to video or a daily special feature button to entice them to take a closer look at what’s on offer in the intranet.
2. Keep Content Fresh And Up To Date
Content that is static, or worse still, out of date is a big turn off for users. Logging on to the intranet’s homepage and seeing the same old tired text, images and content is not going to encourage your employees to adopt the intranet.
And so make the task easier by sharing the responsibility for content creation and updating of the site to a number of people across the organization. For example, Wendy in Marketing can be made responsible for the content on the marketing department’s pages in the same way as it’s part of Bill’s duties to update the HR section. Sharing the burden of content creation across the organization makes it easier on everyone. What’s more, updated content is near real-time which helps to keep the content fresh and current.
And so if your intranet includes a quarterly update from the CEO, then make sure that it’s updated when it’s supposed to be. Otherwise, your intranet will lose its credibility and staff members will come to see it as not being pertinent to them and their job roles. What’s more, make sure you hold staff members accountable for ensuring the areas they manage are indeed regularly updated and refreshed.
3. Ensure The Content Is Relevant And Engaging
Similarly, staff members are unlikely to adopt the intranet on a wholescale basis if the content is irrelevant, dull and uninspiring. Some businesses have made the mistake of putting every minute piece of company information or data on the intranet without really thinking about its purpose. Other organizations have focused too much on sales wins or success stories, and whilst these are important, it’s worthwhile asking yourself how relevant are they to all members of staff most of whom may well be outside of that core sales focus.
One way to make content relevant is to include departmental or team news feeds and pages and perhaps a local news section if appropriate. Staff members will be far more engaged with a local news story featuring a fellow team member than they will be about the success of some remote sales team located hundreds of miles away. A consolidated news summary on the home page will, however, give employees bite-sized chunks of information on what is going on across the organization as a whole so that team members have that sense of the bigger picture.
4. Make The Content Personal
If you can personalize the home page to each team member, then you’ll be on to a winner. You see, staff members are used to being presented with personalized news feeds when they log on to Facebook or Twitter and applying the same principle to your intranet homepage is a great way to drive adoption. And so a member of the finance team logging onto the intranet would be presented with the latest news from the finance team first and then overall company news. And if the finance team needs to regularly check up on the NASDAQ, then why not make it easy for them by linking it in an iframe on the intranet’s home page.
In addition, our experience suggests that employees enjoy reading stories about their fellow workers. They love that human element and can easily identify with this kind of content. Why not use the intranet to welcome new employees with a short biography and profile? Include items on team events, social outings, and acknowledge the significant accomplishments of staff members outside work. And whatever you do make it visually engaging by including lots of photos.
In addition, don’t overlook the importance of having a simple employee of the month nomination process showcased on the intranet. What’s more, you’ll find that the associated public recognition and thank you is a clear driver of employee engagement and so you’ll be killing two birds with one stone: enhancing employee engagement and driving adoption of the intranet.
You don’t need to go overboard on this, but including some social features such as messaging, activity walls and follow-me functions will be popular with staff. It appeals to the social nature in all of us and helps to connect employees while enhancing team morale. Similarly, some fun or light-hearted features on the intranet give staff another reason to log on. Quizzes, surveys or online staff noticeboards to share recipes or reviews of local coffee shops and lunch venues will also be very popular.
Make The Intranet A Community
Those companies with high rates of intranet adoption are not complacent. They continuously work at sustaining those high levels of engagement by ensuring the intranet remains relevant, engaging and up to date so that it is an indispensable tool for staff members when it comes to getting the job done. In short, they create an intranet community: where staff go to connect, collaborate and share. Create an intranet community in your organization for sustained adoption and engagement with staff.
Are you grappling with issues around intranet adoption in your business? Then get in touch with us here at MyHub for some advice on how to turn it around.