Many organizations I work with come looking for an out-of-the-box intranet solution to replace the one they have which was built in house. Why? Because their current one is old, outdated, boring and employees can’t find any of the intranet content they’re looking for. Heck, I wouldn’t use it either, that sounds awful!
Problem is, these intranet admins now have a huge fear that they will put all their time and effort into finding a new intranet solution, only to end up with the same result. So, how do we ensure employee adoption of your new, out-of-the-box intranet?
What Makes an Intranet Champion
Simply stated, an intranet champion is someone who loves the intranet and has the drive and motivation to foster the use and benefits of the intranet within their organization. Here are four steps to build a community of Intranet Champions:
1. Make Your Site Engaging
Firstly, good intranet design drives intranet adoption and employees engaged, and frequent design updates continues to drive employees to the intranet. It gives them something to talk about, and has them frequenting the site to see what’s changed.
At Intranet Connections we update our site theme whenever there is a new milestone, holiday or season. Our current intranet theme is Summer in the SQintranet (based off of our legal company name, SQ Box).
Using the Simple Theme Editor, updating your intranet site is extremely simple. Right from the home page, you can pull up the editor tool to pop in a new logo, insert custom banners or backgrounds and select from a variety of suggested logo matching colors for the rest of the page. BAM – an engaging, new intranet design.
2. Delegate Intranet Management
There are always some employees who are more excited about work place initiatives than others. You probably even already know who they are. So, take that energy and steer it towards bettering your intranet!
With granular Security Permissioning, you can give someone ownership over one specific application, or multiple applications on the site. For example, hand off your company Buy ‘n Sell application and Recipe Exchange application to Debbie in accounting – she LOVES that kind of stuff, so you know that these applications will always be up to date.
Essentially, you want to delegate intranet management to those who want it. It is important to find out who these people are, and give them the responsibility of updating, monitoring and maintaining certain areas of the site, such as a page, application or other type of content. Doing this will ensure your site stays up-to-date, as well as help build up your list of intranet champions.
3. Make it Simple
The intranet should be the first thing employees see when they open their browser. A best practice is that they should be automatically authenticated (using Active Directory Single Sign-on), making accessing the intranet quick and seamless.
From there, your intranet home page should have a simple layout, making content easy to find. Highly used or important areas of the site should be apart of your top navigation, as well as quick links to other important areas of the site easily accessible on the side navigation. It’s also helpful to have your search bar prominently displayed on the top right corner so that if employees are in a hurry they can quickly type their keywords into the Quick Search box and have their results displayed immediately.
4. Engage Your Employees
Sure, your employees will need to access the intranet to download documents and fill out forms – things they need to do on a regular day-to-day basis. However, we also want employees to get excited about using the intranet. How do we do that? We actively engage them.
An out-of-the-box intranet means that employees can post content and make updates to areas of the site, without the help of IT. For example, they have their own My Bookmarks & Links area on the home page specific just to them, and they only need to click the “add” button on this feature to add links they’d like to access on a daily basis.
Approval Manager workflow on our applications also means that employees can go into any application they choose, such as the company Buy ‘n Sell, or Idea Share Exchange, and add in their suggestions. These are then routed through an Automated Approval process before displaying on the site. The fact that they can actually go to the intranet and post the item themselves though, rather than putting together an email and sending it off to IT, greatly encourages intranet adoption, involvement and usage.
Those are just my top four suggestions for building a community of intranet champions, but I would love to hear yours! Leave your comments below.