5 Tips to Designing an Engaging Intranet for Awesome Results

How to design an engaging intranet and keep it fresh.

Is your intranet drier than a microwaved chicken in a Saltine-crust?  

So monotonous, your insomnia was instantly cured at work and you woke to find the c-key drowning in drool?  

So humdrum, your intranet could be dubbed “The Most Boring Intranet of all Time”, and still be rejected by The Dull Men’s Club for being even more boring than the Most Boring Man in Britain 

With 72% of employees agreeing intranets tend to be dull and 57% say intranets are too corporate, it’s time to change things up and make your intranet more interesting. A challenge worth taking on as disengaged employees can cost your company a lot – especially if there’s a surge in new keyboard requests. 

Here are five tips to get a more engaging intranet:

You don’t have to get a comedian, wordsmith or even a Red Bull-smashing extrovert to manage interesting content. But you shouldn’t actively seek out the most boring person in the company either. You just need to keep content fresh and updated so people can find what they need, share the latest doge meme, or read interesting facts, like, did you know you’re likely to eat 35,000 cookies in your lifetime? (By the way, that’s an approximation and not a goal. But you do you.) 

Companies with active and engaging intranets have at least a month’s worth of prepped content, an active RSS feed, link to the company Twitter feed, and frequent internal competitions or trivia games. Even something as simple as adding a “Quote of the Day” to your intranet homepage can increase daily logins. 

How do they do it? With Content Captains, of course. 

Content Captains are representatives of a team’s best interests and responsible for their respective team’s information, such as regularly providing new, relevant content on their team’s intranet homepage. An example of just how much content that is, imagine a company with 10 departments, with 10 Content Captains producing 3 pieces of content a week. That’s 120 new, original, fresh content pieces a month. Wow indeed, Levar Burton. Wow indeed. 

1) Content and content. Get it? It’s a homonym. 

2) Seduce with images.

Visual communication is imperative to get your message across and capture your reader’s attention. This doesn’t necessarily mean placing a prancing unicorn pic on a policy update, but choosing an image that is helpful and relevant to the content. Infographics are another way to break the monotony of a report, and you can use CanvaPiktograph, or if you have the skills, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop 

When it comes to stock images, however, watch out. Quickly placing one for the sake of it screams laziness. We’ve all read the same guides on how to make content interesting, and while some people are satisfied to pick the first stock image that pops up under their keyword, you can do so much better. Try personalising those stock images through Photoshop or Gimp, and make them more interesting. Other options include sharing gifs, Imgur posts, or links to online magazines – just be creative. Dust off those critical thinking skills and actually think about what would help your reader. Ask yourself, does this image convey my message? Does it add anything to my content? Like the very helpful gif above.  

To get you started on your image search, check out PexelsUnsplashGratisography, and a couple others. 

3) Sharing is caring. 

You or any of the plethora of Content Captains should actively involve fellow colleagues and share ideas. Get people to participate, share, chat, share jokes, connect on social hubs, ask for feedback, and share whatever piques their fancy – pretty much do your research and brainstorm how to get everyone engaged.  

As an example, contests are a fun way to get people ramped up, especially if it’s for a great prize around holiday season. Or, just have a silly contest, like all departments competing against each other to fit as many marshmallows into their mouths as possible while saying “Chubby Bunny”. Winner gets to choose a charity of their choice, an insulin shot, or more marshmallows. Maybe all three. Even better, think of the hilarious videos on your homepage timeline that people can comment on and share.  

4) Data is your friend. 

Find out what content generates the most engagement through insight reports, and then act on it. Data highlights the impact of content type, how often a homepage is updated, who is contributing the most, A/B testing to see which layout more effective, and what images get the best reaction from people.  

Curious what employees are looking for when they log in? Check out the data from search queries and put the top five searches directly on the homepage for easier access. Are people searching for content that doesn’t exist yet? Boom! You’ve got another way of engaging them. 

With the insight you garner, you’ll be able to replicate success in other areas and confidently give direction to Content Captains and encourage others to contribute in like.

5) Who’s awesome? You’re awesome. 

You care about your team’s feedback, which is what makes you so great. Getting other’s comments on how to shape their intranet homepage gives them the opportunity to become involved. Use your intranet’s survey and polling option to gather ideas, and then make those changes so they know you’re listening.  

One great way to get ideas rolling in is to host a focus group of 10 random people every month. They’re given a short, anonymous questionnaire of their likes, dislikes, challenges, what helps them unwind, focus – whatever information you’d like to find out. Content Captains can collate that information and build a roadmap, then share future content plans to everyone in the company. Doing this ensure employees feel they genuinely have a hand in the building of their intranet and their contributions matter. 

With clear communication and collaboration with your teams, your intranet will become the engaging intranet your employees deserve.

To find out more about how you can keep content fresh on your intranet intranet, contact us for more information or book a demo. We’re happy to help.  

Your employees and success are your priority. Your triumph and glory are ours. Oak is there to make that happen. 

Image © Allegra Santis 2018

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