04 March 2015 / internal communication /

5 ways to make your colleagues actually use the intranet

Let’s state the obvious: the intranet is an important element in your range of Internal Communication tools. Approximately 97% of companies are aware of this and have therefore set up an intranet. However, creating an engaging intranet is not an easy task. Most people come up against 2 important questions:

 

  • How do you get your employees to use your intranet?

 

  • How do you make them come back to it?

 

Our experience shows us that there are 5 essential conditions for creating an engaging intranet.

 

1. Make it useful and relevant

Don’t expect your employees to log on to the intranet just because it’s there. Give them a good reason to do so, such as by incorporating HR applications everyone uses in it, or including team and holiday planning schedules. To further enhance its relevance, go for a tailor-made dashboard: either by allowing employees to create their own dashboard (as far as possible) or by adding a “favourites” section.

 

2. Functional - yes! Boring - no!

Make it user-friendly: nobody wants to spend more time looking for a document than actually using it. There is one fool-proof way of testing the user-friendliness of your platform: ask its users.  Set up user test groups to see what employees from all divisions of the company think about your intranet and how they (want to) use it. However, don’t get bogged down by too many design features. The look and feel of the intranet should be pleasant, so include visuals such as pictures, infographics, word clouds… but don’t overdo it!

 

3. Connect!

We believe every intranet should have a ‘Connector’: a user-friendly tool that stimulates internal networking by allowing employees to find (contact details of) colleagues, based on their department, location, interests and expertise. There even are tools that enable employees to ask questions over the intranet and, using tags, ‘push’ the question to the people with the relevant expertise to answer it.

 

4. Conversation and open collaboration

Make your intranet a place where employees feel at ease conversing and working together.  Be aware that if you don’t offer your employees these functionalities, they will start their own groups on other channels such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Note that groups on these Social Media are far less secure than your intranet. On top of that, once your colleagues are used to visiting these channels, it will make your job of getting them on the company intranet even more difficult.

 

5. Fun!

Last but not least: in order to make your intranet the place to be, make sure it is FUN! Share team pictures, organize a quiz or contest, announce birthdays…or why not implement a tool that allows employees to send personalized birthday and other greetings cards via the intranet?

 

Of course there are many more features to think of when setting up an engaging intranet. But if you use these 5 tips, your intranet is definitely going to be on the right track.

 

 

 

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