Social media tools (web / intranet 2.0) are so simple and inexpensive to deploy that it’s incredibly easy to be lulled into complacency until your initiative begins to fail.
Often, failure is simply a lack of use or adoption by users, sometimes its misuse of the tools particularly blogs, discussion forums, and user comments.
Last year’s Intranet 2.0 Global Survey revealed low satisfaction levels with social media on the intranet:
- Only 29% of organizations rate the tool functionality as good or very good; 24% rate them as poor or very poor
- Satisfaction rates with executives is dangerously low: only 23% of executives rate the 2.0 tools as good or very good; 38% rate them as poor or very poor
There are two primary reasons for the low satisfaction levels:
- Vanilla or free / open source solutions with poor functionality (e.g. MOSS 2007 or MediaWiki)
- Little or no change management / communications planning
Ironically, the success of intranet 2.0 has more to do with the latter, change management (not technology). If you build it they will not come necessarily. Most employees haven’t heard of a wiki so why would they use one? Employees need to be educated, sold, and cajoled to use these tools initially until they become a repetitive action that is part of the culture.
Here are 5 steps for intranet 2.0 change management planning:
1- Intranet governance model (if you don’t have an explicit, documented governance model for the overall intranet, you’re going nowhere fast).
2- Social media policy (who can do what, when, how, and the rules for doing so).
3- Executive sponsorship (ensure you have a senior executive in your corner to help promote your new tools).
4- Communications plan (promote these tools by email, newsletter, the intranet home page, and buzz marketing activities).
5- Active conversations (lead and promote the conversation with topical posts (e.g. new blog post or wiki) that are well targeted and promoted to potential subject matter experts and keeners).
Intranet 2.0 tools require careful thought and planning; yes they’re easy to deploy, but they’re not easily adopted without the requisite change management.
Also read: The Great Intranets (whitepaper)
Toby — agreed. I have found that employees generally want places to COLLABORATE, but not necessarily to blog. They are either too afraid to express their opinions or they don't know what they would say given the fact that the blog could be potentially viewed by anyone (i.e., managers). If they want a voice, they tend to find it through other means.