The purpose of an office intranet is to provide staff with the tools and information that they need to get the job done more quickly and easily. A successful intranet is one that meets the needs of employees such that they see the intranet as being an integral part of their daily work. However, it’s easier said than done; and increasing intranet use is the greatest challenge facing today’s intranet manager.
Involve staff in the planning
As staff will be the end users it’s critical that they are involved at the outset of any intranet project. Rely on staff for direct feedback:
- Design options that will enable adoption including an uncluttered look, intuitive menu navigation and advanced search capabilities.
- Identifying work processes and tasks that are suitable for automation on the intranet.
- Key information needs within the organization and opportunities for the intranet to improve the flow of information.
Engaging content & interactive features
Every intranet MUST have engaging content vital to comprehensive staff adoption of the intranet:
- Make sure the content is engaging and concise. In addition, review and refresh the content on a regular basis to make sure it is still relevant.
- Content isn’t just about the written word, but is also about the visuals. Using lots of graphics, videos and photos will enhance the overall appeal of your intranet.
- Introduce a fun element to the intranet experience with quizzes, polls or social intranet features like messaging and activity walls. It doesn’t all have to be dull and boring; introducing a light-hearted element that also has a serious point to it is engaging for staff.
Piloting & staff training
If you want staff members to wholeheartedly engage with the intranet, then they need to fully appreciate what it can do and how it benefits them:
- Pilot the intranet software to test that it is fit for purpose before you deploy it throughout the organization. Mistakes are harder to rectify after the go-live and any unforeseen glitches could affect its adoption by staff.
- Use interactive tutorials to introduce the concept of the intranet to staff. Guiding a user through an actual work task, for example setting up a new supplier, is a great way to familiarize staff with the intranet’s capabilities and usefulness.
- Consider having staff ‘champions’ who as well as speaking out about the benefits of the intranet on the shop floor, can also act as troubleshooters and enablers for other staff members. And having a peer rather than a manager as an intranet champion will have a much greater impact on the staff adoption rate.
Investing in an office intranet is one of the most important decisions a business can make. And having made that decision, you will want to make sure that the intranet meets the needs of staff and is enthusiastically embraced by all employees.
Helen Borich is part of the team at MyHub that offers a simple, fully customizable, intranet, with powerful features, all for $99 USD per month including unlimited users and unlimited storage.