5 Magic Ingredients For The Perfect Intranet

The biggest challenge that organisations have with an Intranet is to gain constant engagement from employees. Or as I’ve heard some people say, “how do I get the buggers to use the bloody thing?!”
So here are my thoughts of what to include in your intranet, that your employees will love.

You’ll already know that there needs to be a balance of fun and serious stuff in an intranet (fun doesn’t need to mean putting staplers in jelly wacky zany type of fun, but more from the applications that people actually want to engage with). An intranet that stimulates the minds of employees, encourages their creativity, boosts their productivity and hopefully promotes positive reactions in the process.  Things like:

1. Employee recognition
We all love a pat on the back. Some prefer a hug, but that may involve HR… so stay on the safe side and create a culture of appreciation using your intranet.

Seriously, lack of recognition is what employees complain about the most, so provide an area with the right tools to persuade a high five from your colleagues. Or, even better; a cheers-from-your-peers, a ta-from-your-mentor, credit-for-your-merit, praise-for-your-expertise, gratitude-for-your-attitude… I’m done now I promise!

2. Social tools
Sometimes this is a touchy subject. “What?! Encourage wasting time, messing about with non-work-related stuff, on social sites??!”
Empower employees by providing a space for open communication. Allow for status updates, messenger services and chat features within the intranet. Because if they’re not there, an employee’s smartphone will never be more than a foot away…

(image courtesy of StartBloggingOnline.com)

Also include social newsfeeds; these are a starting point for discussions, debates and conversations. Engagement here means you are helping employees connect with each other, providing an excellent collaborative environment in the process.

3. A Q&A module
Call this whatever you like, but having an application where employees can easily pose questions and quickly get answers back from colleagues, makes the intranet a place to go whenever a difficult subject arises. Responses are rewarded (or rubbished) with votes, meaning those who regularly provide good answers, quickly establish themselves as trusted ‘go-to’ members in the workplace.

We recently ran a poll on what this area should be named in our intranet, I submitted ‘Foggiest’. As in ‘I don’t know, I haven’t got the foggiest’, you need to visit ‘Foggiest’. It didn’t get any votes.

4. Blogs
Blog off! Or should that be blog away? Anyway, if you ever asked the question: “How can we share information between team members in an easy and efficient way?” – this is the best answer for you.

Community and individual blogs allow colleagues to be creative and inspire others with topical posts. This is brilliant for provoking responses, feedback and good food for thought.

5. Project areas and forums
Perfect for facilitating creativity, sharing innovative ideas and visions, but also for making quicker, better decisions.

Stop emailing each other backwards and forwards! Just post your comment on a project discussion board for everyone to follow. Forums create rich conversations that keep employees engaged and connected. They unlock the knowledge, ideas and questions trapped in people’s heads. It gives a voice to those employees who are usually quiet, sparking further discussions around problem-solving and decision-making.

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