Conducting an Annual Intranet Satisfaction Survey

By Simpplr Marketing
Intranet satisfaction - three faces from frown to smile on a light pink background
One of the secrets of an effective intranet is having a solid understanding of the information needs of your employees. What sort of information do they need to carry out their roles and key tasks? How do they currently use your intranet? What do they think of it? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you align the intranet to user needs and make relevant improvements.

There are numerous ways to understand your employees and how they interact with your intranet, including using analytics, conducting interviews and observing employees. Another great way is to conduct an intranet satisfaction survey with your employees. This is a relatively cheap, straightforward and efficient way to get valuable data on topics such as:

  • How people rate the intranet (potentially including a net promoter score)
  • Performance (is it slow or fast)
  • How it’s perceived
  • Favorite and most used sections
  • Pain points
  • How employees use related and alternative digital channels such as email
  • Scenarios when they use the intranet and any related context
  • Ideas for the future

All that information can be used as an input into designing and prioritizing new features and content, helping to support a process of continuous improvement for your intranetIt can also help you to measure progress, at least in terms of employee satisfaction about the intranet.

If you do decide to conduct an intranet satisfaction survey, here are some high level tips and approaches to help make it a success.

How to conduct an annual intranet satisfaction survey

Use the right tool

You need to make sure you have the right tool for your survey. It needs to be easily accessible, able to handle the relevant number of responses, and have the right features for setting questions and analyzing responses. An example of a popular choice for a survey tool is Survey Monkey.

Remove any barriers to use

You want to make sure there are no barriers to deter users from completing your survey. Make sure sure all sections of your workforce can easily access the tool, including non-office staff. Employees are very busy, so ensure that questions are clear and don’t make the survey too long. The survey should be open for a sufficient period for everyone to be able to complete it. Also consider using multi-language versions of the survey if necessary.

Use fun incentives

Sometimes providing some extra incentives can help drive up the number of employees completing the survey. A fun random prize for those completing the survey, or a charitable donation, can help drive adoption.

Be consistent year to year

Some teams run an intranet survey on an ad hoc basis when they’re planning a new intranet or making a significant change. However running the survey annually allows you to build more of a regular process. You can also ask the same questions year-on-year, allowing you to track progress and measure success.

Seek out the bigger picture

Your survey shouldn’t just be about the intranet alone, but should also seek some context about how people work, how the intranet could help them, and how they use related channels such as email. Seeking that wider context will give you a more holistic view of the needs of employees, which in turn can help with your intranet design.

Conduct extra questions for site and community managers

Your site and community managers will be able to give you extra valuable feedback on their experiences of running a site, and also provide insights from their users. Either target extra questions for site and community managers, or even consider running a separate parallel survey for them.

Ask both set- and free-form questions

After your survey you may have a lot of data to crunch, which is time consuming. When you design your survey, be pragmatic and consider how you format questions in order to be able to process the answers. Having set choices for questions should allow you to process answers more quickly and allows for easier measurement. Free text answers give you very valuable specific feedback, but take longer to analyze. It’s usually best to have a mixture of both question types.

Make it anonymous

In our view an intranet survey should be anonymous so employees feel free to give you honest, frank and open answers. However you may want to ask for some background about each employee, for example which group or location they work in or their level of seniority. This will help you ensure you have a representative sample of feedback from all sections of your workforce, and also identify any trends relating to different groups. This approach may not not be suitable for smaller organizations where some individuals may be identifiable from this information.

Publicize the survey

It seems obvious, but make sure employees know about your survey! Plan your communications properly to get the word out. Use the range of communications channels at your disposal, especially if you own them.

Position the benefits

In any communications about completing the survey, make sure you explain the value of it, for example, emphasizing how the feedback directly impacts your plans for the intranet. Giving a good reason for completing the survey will help drive adoption.

Publish the results

Make sure you publish the results for everyone to see. This is another opportunity to make it clear how you’re going to incorporate the feedback into a program of changes or an intranet roadmap. Doing this will not only raise interest in the intranet, but also show employees that contributing to the survey has real value, and results in improvements, making it more likely that people will contribute next year.

Intranet satisfaction - two men & a woman in suit & tie and different colored capes and masksSeek out champions or volunteers

Your intranet survey is a great opportunity to seek out engaged employees who are enthusiastic about your social intranet. These people may be prepared to give you additional detailed and valuable feedback about the intranet in follow-up interviews or workshops. They may even be prepared to be intranet champions or advocates. Although your survey is likely to be anonymous, allow people to ‘raise their hand’ and give you their name if they would like to contribute more.

Satisfying surveys

In our experience, running a survey can have real value in driving a better intranet, and also engaging employees. A social intranet serves your employees’ needs so it’s natural to seek their feedback. Conducting an annual intranet survey can be a key part of your intranet calendar, and the starting point for making changes and improvements. Let us know how you get on!

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