Some businesses make the mistake of thinking that once the office intranet is up and running – that’s it, job’s done! Making sure that the company intranet continues to be a success is often closely aligned to the quality of the intranet content and whether or not it is relevant and engaging for staff. How to produce engaging intranet content is, therefore, an important issue for organizations. There’s little point in having a flash company intranet if staff are not using it. In this article, we share 5 top tips that will help you produce engaging, relevant content that staff will want to interact with.
1. Write Intranet Content With The Reader In Mind
When you are writing intranet content, always have the needs of the end reader at the forefront of your mind. Jenny in Sales will have a high level of interest in the new product manual. Her job is dependent on having that detailed knowledge of the product range and all its applications. John in Distribution, by comparison, does not need to have the same level of knowledge, although it is useful for him to know something about the products he is distributing. So it’s important that the information being accessed by staff members is relevant to them and their job role. And it may be that the detailed information on the new product manual is only made available on a Sales team intranet page.
Allied to this is the need to write the content in a language that is accessible to staff. With an intranet site, you can probably afford to use more informal everyday language than perhaps you would on your public internet site which will have more of a professional/business tone. Staff members will engage more with intranet copy that mimics a conversational tone.
Another must is to avoid using acronyms unless you can be sure that all staff understand what they mean.
So when writing content, make sure that you know and understand the needs of the end reader. In addition, using language that is clear, concise and direct is more likely to be well received and acted on by your reader.
2. Pictures Are Just As Important As Words
Too often we focus on the words only and give only a passing thought to any visuals. The reality is that very rarely do people read every word of text. In fact, research suggests that when reading from computer screens, only 28% of the text is actually read.
Taking any opportunities you can find to break up large chunks of text with graphics, photographs or images will make the content more eye-catching and visually appealing. In fact, a picture can sometimes convey lots more information than is possible in a page of text.
Complex information around health and safety procedures, for instance, can be more easily and quickly communicated in a flow chart. Relaying the same information in writing could take two or three pages of copy.
This may sound obvious, but when using images make sure that they large and high resolution. In fact the larger, the better. Small fuzzy images will not cut the mustard and in fact are likely to switch people off the content.
Try to use images and pictures that are taken from your workplace rather than sourced from Google Images. Having real pictures of real colleagues in real work settings will be more meaningful to staff and will add credibility to your message.
So when assessing the overall impact of your intranet page, pay just as much attention to its visual appeal as you do to it the words.
3. Typography Tricks
The way you use typography in your writing can make a big difference to how it is received by the reader.
A great way to grab your readers’ attention from the outset is to use a bold typeface or larger font size for introductory paragraphs. This serves to draw attention to the key information and hooks your reader in.
Eye-tracking studies have shown that most online readers scan the content on intranet pages rather than reading every word. It’s important, therefore, that you write your content to suit the scanner and that’s where typographical tricks like bullet point lists and headings can make a huge difference. As well as once again serving visually to break up large blocks of text, headings and bullet points also act as signposts and help the reader to navigate their way through the information. Also, you can use them to summarise key information or highlight important points.
So incorporate as many of these typographical features as you can to add interest and visual appeal to your writing.
4. Make The Content Interactive
Making the intranet content as interactive as possible is another useful way to enhance engagement. Giving staff the opportunity to discuss, comment on or even share content in a similar way to what they are doing already on social media is a sure fire way to engage them. Blogs, discussion forums, collaborative workspaces, interactive news feeds are all possible ways of achieving this.
Try to use a little imagination too. Quizzes, surveys or quick polls are fun ways that you can boost employee engagement as well as serving a useful purpose in their own right. If you want feedback on the best day and time for team meetings, then a quick poll in which staff can give their views with one easy click is a great tool. Not only will staff feel as though their views matter, the company intranet will also enable you to give instant feedback to staff on the results.
So, inviting staff to interact with the intranet content and give their views is another important means of keeping the company intranet alive.
5. Keep Your Intranet Content Fresh And Updated
This last tip is perhaps the most important of all. It’s essential that all the content on the office intranet is current and up to date. There’s nothing more likely to disengage staff members than having an intranet landing page with the same information on it for weeks on end. Or the staff member who logs on looking for information on the company’s health and safety policy only to find that the intranet page hasn’t been updated for two years.
Make sure that you set in place regular mechanisms for reviewing intranet page content. The responsibilities can be spread across the organisation with a project team. The project team should be asking the following questions about each intranet page:
- Is it still accurate and relevant?
- Is it working for the organisation?
- Is it working for your staff?
Out-of-date information should be deleted on a regular basis. The content on all current intranet pages should be reviewed and refreshed on a quarterly basis as a minimum. Ideally, information on the landing page should be updated daily so that staff logging on receive important company updates and news immediately.
Gauge And Review Employee Engagement
The job doesn’t stop here either! Regular reviews of engagement levels and feedback from staff (maybe use a quick poll!) are essential. This will help to ensure that you stay on point and continue to develop content for the office intranet that is relevant and engaging.
Contact the team at MyHub for advice on a company intranet and how to enhance staff engagement with quality content.