Here’s 5 tips to make your intranet go boom
Are you bored with your intranet? If the answer is yes, then the good news is you’re not alone.
In a recent Knowledge Hub survey, a massive 72% described their intranet as ‘dull.’ If you are one of these people, you should be concerned. Why? Well, according to OfficeVibe.com, companies with engaged employees make 2.5x the revenue. There’s money to be made here people.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news, and there are ways to make your intranet both more engaging and get your money’s worth from it.
So, here are 5 quick and easy tips you can use to get you back on track:
Tip 1. Make a plan to keep content fresh
Treat your employees as if they are your customers. In a busy world of constant distractions, you need to fight for their time and attention. I’d argue this is probably the most important thing to do.
Why would anyone keep coming back to look at the same unchanging content again and again? Make sure your people are seeing something new daily or at least every week, such as latest news, new starters or fresh blogs. In our experience, most organisations we work with have a pipeline of one month’s worth of content prepared in advance, so there’s always a steady stream of activity on the intranet.
If you’re lacking regular internal content, then a great trick for effortlessly ensuring fresh content is making use of an external news feed. The company Twitter feed is another great source of regular news.
Many of our Oak customers appoint ‘Intranet Ambassadors’, who are in charge of regularly updating content for a particular area of the intranet. One customer has an Intranet Champion from each department, who are responsible for creating two new pieces of content every week. In a company with 11 departments, this generates a whopping 22 new pieces of content per week. It’s also a great way of breaking up the workload and getting the ‘whole’ business involved.
Tip 2. Use images that make you go ‘ooh!’
In an article by my friend Kate (our Customer Services Manager) on ‘Why do we love images so much?’, she mentions that our brains process images 60,000x faster than they do text. So it’s a no-brainer that you should use ravishing imagery/animations to make your intranet more enticing and act as a hook into important messages, stories or features.
If you’ve got a load of tedious stats that you need to share with people, spice them up by creating an infographic. There’s a really cool free tool online called Canva (a favourite of ours here at Oak) which enables you to easily create attractive designs that make an impact.
If you’re in need of some other free fancy stock imagery, here are some great places to nab some pictures:
But don’t forget the advice from Tip 1, even fantastic engaging images need to be replaced regularly.
Tip 3. Don’t leave anybody out
Make your team feel like it’s their intranet – because it is!
Involve your employees and invite them to participate, discuss, share, joke… whatever it is that sparks people’s interest and gets them using the intranet.
You can make it fun as well. One of our customers, for example, has a monthly ‘silly awards’ that employees can be nominated for through the intranet, including the ‘Bermuda Triangle Award’ for the desk where things go in but never come out – every workplace has one of those. This way, everyone feels involved.
Here at Oak, we have an area on our intranet called ‘Kudos Corner’, where anyone can nominate a colleague that deserve a shout-out for anything they feel deserves recognition. Once a month, over a slice of (awesome) Costco pizza, Sukh (our MD) reads out all the nominations and people are acknowledged for the great work they have been doing. All the nominations are then put into a ‘spin the wheel’ app and one person is randomly chosen to win a mega gift voucher.
Kudos Corner involves everyone and recognises their achievements. It also becomes a talking point that brings people to the intranet and gets them engaged.
Tip 4. Make data your best friend
Stats, stats, stats – what do they do for you? Well quite a lot, actually.
Data is great, but only if you act on it. You can use it, for example, to see which areas of your intranet are being used the most and generating the highest levels of engagement.
Data can highlight the impact of content type, update frequency, layout difference, use of images. It can also emphasise the difference in usage between social and more business-focused functionality. The results of this can be surprising. At Oak, we’ve seen one customer generate an increased number of daily logins to their intranet by simply adding a ‘Quote of the Day’ applet to the homepage. This was because people would login specifically to check out the new quote each morning. You can use insight the data gives you to replicate success in other areas and make your whole intranet more engaging overall.
Many of our customers make use of search queries data to see what their people are looking for on their intranet. If the same search terms keep coming up, the admin team puts a banner linked to the relevant content in a more prominent place on the homepage. This insight can even highlight missing content, i.e. things people are searching for that doesn’t exist. Implementing little changes on the back of this type of feedback can make a huge difference.
Tip 5. Ask people what they think
This seems pretty obvious, but it’s so easy to forget to do. Ask your team to help shape their intranet, by providing feedback in short surveys and voting in polls on features that they actually need. Once you’ve done this, be sure to act and show you’ve listened. Make the changes, communicate them effectively, then report, monitor, repeat… you get the idea.
One of our customers hosts an intranet focus group every month of 10 randomly selected people from across the business. They’re asked a series of questions about their likes, dislikes, frustrations, challenges, what they want more of… all that jazz. The intranet team then collate all the feedback and make a plan of the changes they’ll make as a result, which are then communicated across the business. This is a great example of the company showing they are listening to and acting on people’s feedback. If you can do this, you’ll be on the journey to making employees genuinely feel part of the intranet.