Is your intranet suffering from a little neglect? It may be in need of a little TLC or a complete revamp. Before you dive in, there are tried and true steps that can be taked to kick start, or reignite that intranet project.
Here are our top tips to help you get started:
Plan where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. By mapping out your plans, you will be able to ensure your intranet reflects and supports your wider business strategy. Communicate regularly with key contacts to analyze your progress, wins and losses. Remember that reviewing your progress is vital to see not only where you are heading – but also how far you have come.
Building your intranet will require a project owner to ensure that tasks run to schedule. For ongoing management and development, a committee of intranet champions, representing various departments of the business will ensure that users’ needs are being met and help to ensure engagement by all areas of the business.
A group of 25 staff at FOX SPORTS got together to generate ideas and suggestions for their new intranet. Of this initial group, 5 team members continue to be involved in the project, taking ownership of managing and populating content moving forward.
We’ve all heard it before - Rome wasn’t built in a day. Implementing an intranet and asking employees to modify their habits is a big change. In fact, you might notice at first you lose some efficiency as employees adapt to new functionality or the new way of navigating your intranet, so it’s important to make small changes along the way to ensure that uptake can be regained quickly. Set clear goals about where you want to be after 3 months, 6 months, and so on, introducing new functionality as you progress.
The beauty of storing policies, procedures, manuals and more within your intranet is that:
a) users know this is the definitive and up-to-date version of the file, and
b) they can access them easily, even from mobile devices. Plan where you will store particular documents and who will be responsible for maintaining them.
Then, you can take things to the next level by leveraging metadata. (think of it as the tabs for an online filing cabinet). Healthcare providers Benson Radiology need to find documents for their patients and specialists, fast. By applying custom-metadata to files, they can categorize them for super-speedy search retrieval.
Let’s be honest, no one is going to use your intranet if it’s overcrowded, outdated or difficult to navigate. An intranet with a poor user-experience will cost users’ time, patience, and trust in their workplace. Ensure your Information Architecture is logical and conduct some user testing before going live.
An effective intranet is constantly developing to suit the needs of its users. Remember to ensure that staff from all departments have the opportunity to submit suggestions and have the intranet meet their needs. The easiest way to do this is to create an ‘Intranet Suggestions’ online form or a GreenOrbit #Channel. Either way, provide some guidelines as to what kind of feedback is appropriate, and how suggestions will be considered.
Search is the glue that binds your intranet together. As discussed earlier, metadata, will allow for optimal enterprise search, so make sure you plan how you’re going to leverage it.
Nowadays, we see that many companies no longer follow a ‘top-down’ internal communications model. Instead, they want to encourage conversations and knowledge sharing from all corners of the business. Implementing Enterprise Social Network Functionality will empower a wealth of user-generated content, encouraging collaboration and team culture.
If you want your employees to use the intranet every day, it must offer something they need every day. No matter how much effort you put into building an intranet, if you fail to maintain it, usership will drop.
Remember, your intranet is the ‘source of truth’ so all stored policies, procedures, templates etc. must be the most current versions. When files are updated, make sure you share this with colleagues. A simple way to connect people to content in GreenOrbit is to assign a #Hashtag to the file, or use @Mention to alert the relevant contacts.
Why shouldn’t people enjoy using the intranet? Get brainstorming and come up with some new ways to share content or engage users.
George Washington University post a monthly article to their intranet titled ‘Up Close & Personnel’ featuring an interview with a particular staff member. GWU Learning & Development Consultant Kadie Groh says, “It’s an opportunity to get to know people as people, which is really nice. We are big supporters of getting people to bring their personal selves to work- after all we do spend 40+ hours a week together.”
If this has inspired you, don’t forget that we are always here to help. Simply contact us.
Here’s to a collaborative 2018!
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