On a customer visit this week, we were asked for best practices on getting employees to complete their profiles in the intranet’s people directory. While we had some anecdotal tips from our experience, we quickly realized this is something we need to better codify. Getting this right is a no brainer – especially since intranets exist to connect distributed employees.
Here are helpful tips to consider as you build your internal campaign:
Be explicit on the purpose and value
Be very clear that you are systematically trying to help your organization better connect distributed employees, locate experts, and surface employees with common interests. This only works when all employees have reasonably updated their intranet profile. This is a team effort!
Sell the intranet’s mobile app
Once people realize that the intranet can provide a full company directory within their pocket, employees should better understand the value of this exercise. They’ll be more inclined to update their intranet profile and additional contact details that are often optional (e.g., Skype handle, mobile phone number, etc.)
Tie the intranet profile update to another mandated process (e.g., Performance Reviews)
As part of your next performance management cycle, see if an updated intranet profile can be mandated with part of the process (such as self-assessments) and have managers sign-off on the updates. Both HR and Comms are in the employee engagement business, so this should be mutually beneficial.
Hire a photographer to freshen up intranet profile pictures
This is a perk that most employees love and will take advantage of it if their schedule allows. New photos improve public perception on LinkedIn and create a social obligation for employees to complete their intranet profile. You can even make it a requirement for employees to review their updated profile with someone in Comms or HR before they queue up for the photo.
Start with leadership
Leaders set the tone for the rest of the organization. Get leaders to participate first and endorse the campaign to affirm its importance.
Tip: Use one of your leader’s completed intranet profiles as the template for other employees to follow.
Train employees on what a great profile looks like
Unlike internal communications professionals, most employees don’t write for a living and may struggle with the exercise. Provide everyone with an exemplary intranet profile update. An enablement tool, like the graphic below, will be helpful:
Consider Q&A formatting
Some Simpplr customers have their employees answer a series of questions to make the process easier. This way, the profile section within the intranet follows a consistent Q&A format. Below are some examples that we’ve seen used:
- What led you to our industry?
- What makes you most excited about being part of our team?
- What should people know about your working style?
- If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
- Who inspires you?
- What’s one word to describe yourself?
- When you’re not at work, how do you spend your time?
- What’s the last book you read?
- What website do you visit most?
- What was your first car? (This one was contextually important for a customer in the automotive industry. Be clever in your own tie-ins!)
- Tell us an interesting fact about yourself or something people would be surprised to learn about you:
Block off time on employee’s calendars
Consider it a company-wide, management-blessed, intranet profile-building hackathon. If you block the time for people long enough in advance, then you’re likely to have more engagement.
Encourage employees to tag their coworkers’ expertise
Much like endorsements in LinkedIn, Simpplr profiles allow users to tag either their own or their coworkers’ expertise. This is an important component in profile-building because these tags help improve search and make it easier for employees to find experts. By requiring employees to tag their coworkers, you’re making the exercise social which will encourage more employees to work on their own intranet profiles while crowdsourcing the record-keeping of much of your organization’s expertise.
Quick Tip: Start with asking 5-10 tags!
Gamify the process and make it fun
Plant easter eggs throughout your intranet and reward coworkers with special swag who happens to find the coworker who is a national ultimate frisbee champion, compile a list of everyone who knows how to write SQL queries or whichever scavenger hunt you choose. Be creative!
You’re not only making this fun, but you’re teaching people the power of this exercise and forcing them to use the intranet’s tool. In addition to scavenger hunts, many companies will encourage nominations for the best intranet profiles and then have employees vote on a shortlist.
Project-plan and track updates in an easy, step-by-step process
You can’t simply wish for the whole organization to make these updates. This will require coordination, communication, and a clearly outlined process. Most importantly, communicate timelines and deadlines.
Here is an abbreviated example of what needs to be communicated:
All profile updates need to be completed by December XX, 2019.
- First, click through to company intranet and update your profile image
- Ensure your contact information is correct
- Supplement your organizational data with two paragraphs about yourself and what you work on here
- Tag 10 of your coworkers for their expertise
- Notify email@example.com when your profile updates are complete
- Once employees have had a reasonable time to make their updates, we will be taking nominations for and eventually voting on the most creative intranet profiles. And we will be holding a prize-back scavenger-hunt based on employee profiles
Hopefully, you get the idea.
Include this as a part of the new hire onboarding process
Once you’ve done your surge and gotten critical mass, you want to keep things current on an ongoing basis. Incorporate the process within new-hire onboarding and consider a refresh/review cycle every year or so.
Connect your workforce
Again, intranet profiles are an immensely important component of connecting your distributed workforce. Going through this process will help whether you’re just launching a new employee intranet or simply looking to re-engage employees in your existing one. In addition to connecting employees, you’re mining coworker information and expertise that may otherwise go unused and you’re training people on how to use the intranet.
These are a few ideas that we’ve come up with from talking to our customers. For more content ideas, follow our Intrant Blog Content Series. Let us know what you’re doing and we’ll add it to our list!
Keep your organization engaged! Check out our intranet content blog series:
Create a “person on the street” videos for engagement
Creating a roadmap for your humans of New York-style videos
Using the intranet for digital coffee breaks
Intranet content CEO playbook
Essential content every intranet needs
Intranet topics to engage employees for every month