Many intranet teams consider the real mark of their success to be levels of adoption. Naturally, they want to get more visitors to the intranet who are reading more content and making more contributions using social tools.
User satisfaction is also important. You want employees to be happy and engaged with their social intranet. Of course adoption and employee engagement are linked; more engaged users typically means more visits. There are a number of tactics that can be deployed to drive both adoption and satisfaction.
Design community group sites around different needs
In larger organizations, a distributed workforce with thousands of employees spread over many locations it can be very challenging to promote use of the intranet to the entire workforce with only a small central intranet team.
Some intranet teams choose to use a community of advocates from around the organization who act as local champions and experts, helping to promote use, answer questions and even carry out training. Some of these advocates might also be site managers, super-users or communications coordinators.
Often created at the time of launch to help spread the word, advocates are volunteers who are passionate and enthusiastic about the intranet.
Leverage this enthusiasm by keeping employees engaged as a community and making sure their efforts are recognized. They can make a massive difference, helping you promote new intranet features and drive up adoption levels.
Use a little gamification
Gamification is usually defined as the application of game design techniques and thinking to a non-gaming context. In the intranet space, gamification is used as a design or implementation tactic to help drive adoption and engagement.
A common approach is to award points and badges for specific achievements, such as sharing knowledge or making a contribution to the company’s intranet. Leaderboards can be created to show how people and teams are performing.
You can use a little gamification to help drive participation. In general keep it light, use a little humor, and ensure it is appropriate for your company’s culture. Accentuate positive behaviors rather than using gamification to point out negative aspects.
If your intranet has gamified elements baked in, you may want to turn those features on. If not, you can always apply gamification in different ways (e.g., create a league table to show which locations have completed most employee profiles). You might be surprised how this can galvanize site owners to take action to move higher up the table!
Inevitably, you will experience some successes and some road bumps on your intranet journey. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Make sure you celebrate the successes! Tell others about your successes to encourage use and to make those involved in the intranet feel that their roles have value. Let your stakeholders know! Create credentials and statistics to show the value of your intranet.
One tactic that social intranet teams often employ is to encourage advocates, site owners and groups to make sure they describe successes within their community. They might use the hashtag #intranetsuccess for example, so you are alerted to the good news. You can use these examples to continue to drive adoption and keep the success stories rolling in!
Focus on change management
In order to drive adoption, you will need to focus some of your efforts on change management. A mixture of tactics is required, such as traditional communications, roadshows, workshops, one-on-one sessions, and training. Target your efforts to the needs of groups so it is relevant to them, including when working with senior management. If necessary, leverage the knowledge and enthusiasm of your network of advocates to help you.
When considering training, take into account a varied range of needs and abilities. You can design self-help areas which use “how to” videos, some of which could be already produced by your social intranet software vendor. And don’t forget to make sure you familiarize new hires with the intranet as part of the standard onboarding process!
Use the intranet for campaigns and events
Your intranet should be your number one communications channel – so make sure you use it! When there are major events and initiatives (both internal and external), make sure that they are covered on the intranet. This can help increase the number of visits.
Quarterly results, major conferences, new strategies, or new CSR campaigns should all be covered on the intranet. You could run a live Q&A with a new member of your leadership team.
You can also run major events which are specifically designed to encourage contributions to the intranet. For example, you might have a week dedicated to new ideas or debating values, which could focus on using social features within the intranet.
What We Learned
- Manage a community of advocates
- Use a little gamification
- Celebrate success
- Focus on change management
- Use the intranet for campaigns and events