Your Intranet: The Power of Suggestion

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Your Intranet: The Power of Suggestion

By | 2017-09-15T09:49:56+00:00 March 1, 2011|Social Intranets|

Your Intranet: The Power of Suggestion

In today’s world of social media and communication, the word collaboration is freely bantered about, helping us all to re-think our intranets. We want to promote community, a connection to employees, build on corporate culture, and provide a social experience with a social intranet.

For many organizations, the social intranet continues to be a struggle. Even the concept is a struggle. Where to begin? For us a social, and successful, intranet begins with participation. You need to seek out ways to allow and encourage employees to contribute and engage with the intranet. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Start small. Start simple.

I recently read an article about how AT&T took staff brainstorming online, and they did it through the simple idea of a suggestion box. Employees post ideas and suggestions, others can comment and rate a thumbs up or down. AT&T built more around this concept for their tSpace communities, and used discussion forums as the platform, but the idea is simple. What better way to promote and encourage participation on the intranet than giving voice to employees through a suggestion box? The intranet can be the great leveler of an organization where an intern or the CEO can both contribute in the same space. It’s the power of suggestion, and it can have a big impact. It can get people talking, sharing, connecting, and using the intranet.

What about you? How have you used your intranet to help motivate employees to participate?

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By | 2017-09-15T09:49:56+00:00 March 1, 2011|Social Intranets|

About the Author:

Carolyn Douglas, Founder of the software Intranet Connections, started her endeavor of creating intranets out of a passion to cater to employees rather than technology. Her philosophy is your intranet can have all the bells and whistles but without employees using it, your intranet is gathering dust. This commitment to simple and easy to use intranet software, combined with amazing customer service that delivers the best of employee engagement ideas and practices, has secured Intranet Connections as one of the leading intranet solutions since its inception in 1999.


  1. Andy Jankowski March 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Great post Carolyn. I’ve researched many failed social intranet efforts. The formula is quite simple and almost always the same. If the focus is on the tools being used, the effort generally fails. If the focus is on people and process, the effort generally succeeds. I firmly believe that any enterprise social implementation should begin by looking across a business at which business processes can and should be improved by changing the process to leverage enterprise social capabilities. I also believe that training people on tools puts the emphasis on the wrong things (e.g., which buttons to click), but that training people on new socially-enabled ways of working is paramount. Companies will know they have succeeded with their social intranet effort when employees independently start to think through processes, issues and challenges in context of what is possible in a socially-enabled enterprise. Social business is a way of thinking.

  2. Carolyn Douglas March 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Andy, thank you for your comment. Whatever the endeavors on an intranet, ensuring the focus remains on people and process is key. I also like your emphasis on training people on the new socially-enabled ways of working vs. tools.

    For more information on Andy’s research and studies on social intranets, visit his value-filled site at

  3. Dan Larkin March 2, 2011 at 12:35 am - Reply

    Time and again I find that you need to find willing folks and show them how to model the behaviors you desire. Many people freeze because they are not sure how to participate. Helping them through it and asking them to model the behaviors for others provides motivation. More models creates pull in participants and as a critical mass is reached participation takes on a life of its own.

  4. James March 2, 2011 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Hi Carolyn – a thought provoking post. I’m afraid I have to agree with Dan though in that it can be difficult to find individuals who are willing to participate or get involved at least it has in my experience. I wonder if you could turn this concept slightly on its head so instead of employees posting suggestions, intially at least employers post suggestions which employees have an opportunity to vote on. Perhaps then once employees have seen how useful the tool could be they might start posting their own suggestions.

  5. Carolyn Douglas March 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    James and Dan: Definitely some good points to consider, and if the organization is top-down, having managers on board leading the way is good endorsement. Another consideration is to ensure there is someone monitoring the suggestions, providing positive reinforcement, building confidence, and that action points are in place for execution on incoming ideas and suggestions.

  6. IntranetLounge March 3, 2011 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Your Intranet: The Power of Suggestion – Carolyn Douglas…

    This article has been submitted to IntranetLounge, a website with a collection of links to the best articles about intranets…

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