My Intranet Solution Isn’t Working! 3 Potential Problems and How to Correct Them

Apr 1, 2016 | 0 comments

Intranet Solution Not Delivering?

You didn’t jump into your intranet solution overnight. You took the time to do your research, choose the intranet software that would work best for your company, and test out the software before deploying it to the business as a whole. Unfortunately, things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. If you’re experiencing any of these common problems with your business intranet, don’t worry! You can still adapt your intranet to make it work for your company.

Problem 1: Intranet Software Confusion

intranet-confusionBefore your intranet went out to the whole company, you took the time to test it out. You were sure that the design was intuitive and that everyone would be able to take to using it in no time. The problem is, a large number of your employees still aren’t able to figure out how to use the intranet effectively. In fact, rather than improving communication and streamlining processes throughout your company, your intranet is slowing down employee workflow and making it more difficult for employees to communicate. When you talk to your employees, the message you’re hearing is overwhelmingly one of confusion.

Solution 1: Simplify. It’s easy to get bogged down in the bells and whistles that will help take your intranet to the next level. You might have installed multiple levels of security, included a maze of forums, and dumped as much information as possible onto the intranet. Your varied forms, stacks of documents, and other critical information were all uploaded at once. While it’s great that you’ve provided all the information, your employees could possibly need, simplifying your intranet can make it much easier for employees to figure out how to use it. There are several ways to make your intranet simpler.

  • Remove unnecessary features, including those you’d like to add back in later. These might include unnecessary forums, documents that aren’t really necessary for your employees’ current needs, and forms that are more easily accessible in other places throughout your office.
  • Keep your security simple. The harder it is to log in, the more complicated your users will find the entire process.
  • Double check your search function to ensure that it easily pulls up whatever your employees are looking for. Check it from both mobile devices and computers.
  • Streamline your homepage. While employees should be able to access the things they need straight from the homepage, you should also prevent it from becoming cluttered.

Solution 2: Provide training. Many employees may struggle to understand how to use the intranet simply because it’s unfamiliar technology. If you want to be sure that your employees understand the new software, it’s important to take the time to train them. It doesn’t have to be a complicated training process, especially if your intranet software is simple and intuitive. Providing basic training, however, will help ensure that everyone understands how to use the new intranet to full advantage–and that includes all those additional features.

Problem 2: No One’s Using Your Intranet Software

You designed your intranet according to the needs of your employees. You took each department from within the business into consideration, and you were sure that you’d offered benefits that were useful to employees across the company. Now that it’s been deployed to the company as a whole, however, no one is actually using it. Most employees seem to prefer their old methods for sharing information, accessing documents, and other critical processes.

employee-feedbackSolution 1: Ask for feedback from your employees. An anonymous survey, an app or document within the intranet, or even a comment box outside your office will allow employees to share their frustrations and explain why the intranet isn’t working for them. Make sure to take the feedback seriously. Look for patterns: are employees across different departments complaining about a similar issue? Do employees in certain departments seem less likely to use the intranet than others? There are several questions you want to ask–and they don’t all focus on what the intranet is getting wrong.

  • Why is the intranet difficult to use?
  • What would you like to see done differently?
  • What do you like about the new intranet software?
  • What additional features would you like to see added to the intranet?
  • Specific questions regarding little-used features or information that’s newly available on the intranet.

Solution 2: Check your mobile accessibility. One of the most critical features of your intranet should be its ease of use from mobile devices. Employees are accessing the intranet from everywhere: when they’re on the road for business, when they’re working out of the office for the day, or when they’re at home, checking up on something at work before returning to family tasks. If you want your intranet to be truly useful for your employees, make sure that it works well across mobile devices.

Problem 3: Use Falls Off Over Time

Your employees started off using the company’s intranet software extensively. In the early weeks following deployment, it was one of the company’s most valuable tools. Unfortunately, the longer it’s been in use, the fewer employees are using it! What you thought was a highly efficient, effective intranet solution simply isn’t working for your company anymore.

Solution 1: Provide new content. Things have changed at your business since the initial deployment of your intranet. The content that was so valuable to your employees months or even years ago is no longer useful, but you may still feature it prominently on your homepage. Your intranet should be a growing part of your business. Anytime your business changes, your intranet should change along with it. Remove old, irrelevant content and look for ways to add new, exciting content. Maintaining an employee blog, regularly updating the employee calendar, and encouraging forum usage are all great ways to improve the odds that your employees will use the intranet as it was designed.

new-contentSolution 2: Try using it from other employees’ perspective. If you’ve gathered employee feedback and still don’t understand why employees throughout the company are failing to use the intranet effectively, try using it yourself. Log in as a user with regular privileges. Try using the search feature from both a mobile device and a computer. Use search terms that your employees find themselves using most frequently and make sure that they’re getting current content. Check out the most common intranet features. What is clunky or hard to use? Which features aren’t intuitive? If you’re having trouble doing this on your own, work with employees from a variety of different departments. You can also try observing them as they go about their daily tasks to see where the intranet works efficiently and where it doesn’t. Keep an eye on load times: lags and slow-loading pages due to heavy graphic or video use can be enough to slow down an employee’s entire day.

Have you have encountered similar issues with your company intranet, please comment below, we’d love to hear and respond to your questions and thoughts. If your current intranet solution isn’t working for you or if you’re ready to deploy effective intranet software to help increase communication and efficiency within your company, contact us! We’ll work with you to troubleshoot potential problems even before your intranet is deployed to the company. We’re familiar with many common problems and can help you avoid them before they become an issue, but if you do have a problem, we’ll help every step of the way until the problem has been solved and your intranet solution is working effectively once more.

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