Summary: We address 5 common intranet complaints with ways in which you can solve them.

Your intranet portal is a valuable tool which helps to connect your employees, collaborate on documents/projects and create content to improve overall business efficiency.  However, if you aren’t getting the engagement you are looking for from your users, you may not be harnessing all the advantages your intranet has to offer.

To zero in on the lack of engagement on your intranet and within your company, you may want to check your Intranet Stats/Analytics to determine which areas of the site are getting the least amount of traffic.  Or, add a Quick Poll or an Online Survey to your home page to get feedback from your employees.  While each company is different, over the past 16 years we have worked with a variety of stellar customers to uncover and resolve these engagement issues.  Below are the 10 most common complaints about your intranet portal, and suggestions for resolving them:

1. “I Can’t Find Anything on Our Intranet Portal”

More often than not your employees will hit the intranet home page with something specific in mind that they are looking for. If an initial scan of the menu options doesn’t immediately yield their desired result, you bet they’re headed straight for the search box. This is fine if they are continuously using the search and finding what they’re looking for, but it doesn’t help them understand where things are located on the site and other content that is available to them. Ideally, a site should be laid out in a manner which is easy to navigate, and simple to find content right from the home page.

The three click rule says that it should take no more than three clicks from the home page to find the content they are looking for.

What exactly is “simple navigation” though? Well, organizing your intranet portal into sub sites to group content is beneficial in finding HR documents, for example. Mega Menus also help you add content to the main menu navigation, grouped under headings to help organize content, and makes commonly accessed documents and forms accessible through one click from the home page. No need to use that search box when everything is organized neatly on the home page!

2. “It Takes Too Many Steps to Access Documents”

Before purchasing an intranet many companies would keep their documents on the shared drive. This is pretty easy to get to with one click from the desktop. Even though employees perceive opening their browser, navigating to the intranet URL and logging into the site as a longer process, their  documents are much easier to find on your intranet than digging through the shared drive and various folders.

Since documents are more organized and up-to-date on the intranet we want to make sure that the intranet is easy to get to, in order for your employees to reap these benefits. That’s why  we integrate with Active Directory, to encourage employee single sign on. Pass-through authentication and adding the intranet as the user’s homepage means the intranet is also only one click away – accessible simply by opening your browser.

3. “I’m the Only One Adding Content”

You’ve been given the task of intranet management, and therefore you should control all the content on the intranet, right? Problem is, the intranet isn’t just a place to post Company News and employee information. It’s an internal business system full of moving parts for every part of your organization, including Online Forms, Blogs, news, Photo Albums, Company Store items, Employee Profiles…you get the drift. One person controlling all the information on the intranet is more than a full-time job and we know that you have lots of other things to take care of.

4. “Our Intranet Portal is too Crowded”

If you’ve had your intranet for a while you’ll know that content tends to build up. Eventually, this content becomes stale and makes more relevant content harder to find. This is usually when your employees start to default to that trusty search box.

Rather than mixing in your old content with your new posts, turn on archiving to automatically move this old content into a separate archive folder after a certain date. You can set an automatic archive date for all posted content, or allow the user posting the item to choose their own date. Archived content is still easily searchable should you need to look up dated material, but does not affect the searchability of your more relevant items. Take things one step further by turning on automatic clean-up to permanently delete archived items off the site after a specified number of years.

5. “I Don’t Know How to Use Our Intranet”

Whether you’re an admin unsure of how to manage the intranet, or an end-user unsure of how to find what you need and add content, not knowing how to use the intranet efficiently can lead to frustration and certainly affect your intranet engagement.

Our outstanding Support Technician, Michelle Desmarais, outlined various methods to deliver intranet training in one of her blog posts – “Formulate Success with Intranet Training“, which includes utilizing your intranet Tutorial Builder, Online Training Calendar and Online Form Builder to educate admins and users.

5 More Complaints About Your Intranet Portal

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we list 5 more common complaints about your intranet portal.  Have your own intranet complaints? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment below.

Editors Note: This post was originally posted on April 14th 2014 and has been edited for updates and accuracy.

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