Studies have shown that only 58% of employees use the intranet on a weekly basis. If you’re aiming for massive adoption on a daily basis, this figure simply doesn’t cut it.
One hard lesson that many companies have learned over the past few years is that having an intranet doesn’t mean your employees will actually use it.
No matter how sophisticated, cool or user-friendly your intranet is, if your users don’t see value in it, they won’t bite. They’ll continue to use email, groups and other third-party chat services to get work done.
So how do you get them on your intranet?
According to industry experts, a high percentage of adoption is easy to achieve as long as you remember these three magic words: Engaging user experience
This means that your intranet has to create a user experience that’s exciting, filled with updates, features and news that make them come back again and again—even when they aren’t at the office.
Still wondering how to get your employees active on your intranet? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. We’ve put together some best practices from some of the most successful intranets in the world to help you build one that isn’t boring.
1. Let users personalize their experience
You may be surprised at how many of your colleagues want an intranet ‘of their own’. Something as simple as allowing users to upload background images, choose color schemes and create their own preferences can get people using the intranet.
2. Personalize messages from the CEO and HR
When a memo, reminder or announcement comes up, consider creating content that is tailored to each user—even if it’s just to use the user’s name and position in the content. They’ll be more interested in things that concern them directly.
3. Provide new content regularly
A company blog or news posted regularly can keep your users coming back to check for updates on projects, HR announcements and even messages from top level management. Discuss with your managers when is the best time to post updates and how often.
4. Give them ownership of their own space
Just like their workspace, your staff want to have their own nook online. Allow them to create profiles so they ‘see’ each other and interact just like on Facebook or Twitter. They can upload photos, post statuses, messages and videos that they would like their colleagues to see.
5. Allow them to create non-work-related groups
Aside from being co-workers, your employees have common hobbies, interests and other similarities. Create groups for sports, games and interests. You can have a group for pet lovers, parents, runners, hobbyists, arts and crafts enthusiasts, prayers and any other demographic in your office.
6. Create polls and questions
Soliciting answers and participation from your employees on matters both professional and fun always works. Let them vote for their favorite sports teams, celebrities and even managers to keep the intranet exciting.
7. Let them track their benefits and compensation through the intranet
When it’s something that concerns their career such as pay, leave, benefits and training, letting your workers see their full employment history, vacation or PTO balance, pay package and benefit details online can help ease the burden from HR and keep your users returning.
8. Allow people to become thought leaders and experts
Create message boards that let people ask questions on certain topics and rate the answers for helpfulness. This raises a user’s rank and can eventually lead to a worker becoming the expert or thought leader on the topic.
9. Give recognition through the intranet
Don’t ask your users to click a link to see the top performers or leaders—showcase them on the very first page! People love getting recognition and a simple mention of their name and achievement on the front page can motivate your whole workforce.
10. Encourage users to generate content
Solicit answers, ask for blog posts or provide thought leaders and experts with platforms where they can talk to everyone in the company. Allow opt-in apps for blogging, sharing and other collaboration functions for your employees.
Concentrate on culture
While all your staff expect to see communication, workflow and business functions on the intranet, the most successful social networks are those that provide a complete and engaging user experience to people, not just employees.
Keep in mind that each company’s demographic, interest and needs are different. A feature may be a hit for one company but a flop for the other. In the end, the decision for user experience has to come from the IT experts and the users themselves, translating into a culture that is supported by the intranet.