10 tips for achieving sky-high intranet adoption

A digital workplace is meaningless if employees aren't engaged with it. Gartner reports year on year growth for IT spending, indicating an arms race amongst enterprises striving to empower their workforce with innovative technology.

Intranets have the potential to revolutionize a workforce by streamlining communications, boosting employee engagement, and driving productivity to new heights. Unfortunately, when a platform fails to gain traction these pay-offs remain out of reach.

To steer an enterprise towards sustained engagement and the revenue boost that accompanies it, we've pulled together some of our top tips for ensuring intranet success. 

10 tips for driving intranet adoption

While intranet payoffs are apparent, the path to high adoption is far less clear. Some key steps are as follows:

#1. Make your launch strategic

Launch is the first opportunity to get employees invested in your platform and excited by the new capabilities available to them. There are three common launch styles:

  • phased or pilot - starting with limited features
  • regional or departmental (rolling out to business units one at a time) 
  • big-bang (a maximum impact company-wide launch)

Consider the approach that's best suited to your organization's culture and overall digital workplace strategy. Find out more about how to stage an effective launch by downloading our ultimate launch guide. ​

#2. Echo your brand

A good intranet slots neatly into your existing technology landscape. Take time to develop a look and feel that corresponds to the enterprise it is designed to support. Incorporate the color schemes you utilize throughout your branding, as well as font stylings, and an authentic narrative voice to give your intranet a familiar feel from the get-go. 

#3. Go mobile

Employees are consumers too - and that means they expect consumer-grade experiences in the workplace. An intranet that isn't accessible on mobile and tablets will struggle to achieve optimal engagement with a demographic that are used to consuming information on-the-go. For enterprises with front-line or mobile workers who lack access to desktop devices, a mobile solution is imperative for creating an inclusive environment.

#4. Provide guidance along the way

If employees don’t understand how to use your new intranet, they will find ways to work around it. To avoid this, set aside time to create training resources that will help employees make the most of the technology available to them. FTSE 100 tech manufacturer, Micron, created a bespoke help site to keep all support materials in one, easily-accessible place. The site features a comprehensive list of FAQs, a library of video explainers to demystify new features, and a social feed where users can report issues and request support.

micron help page

#5. Lead by example

'Lead and they will follow,' the old adage goes. And it applies to your intranet too. The team tasked with launching the intranet should involve C-suite and department heads wherever possible and encourage senior members of staff to be vocal about their intranet usage. If the Head of Sales publishes weekly content, for example, it is likely that the entire department will log on to stay updated.

#6. Establish destination status

The platform needs to become a go-to for a diverse array of functions. Employees should navigate to the intranet throughout their onboarding process, to book a vacation, and every time they are looking for updates. The more you can incorporate the platform into daily functions, the higher your adoption rate will climb.

#7. Make it a home for recognition

Create a positive impression by turning your intranet into a place where employees are celebrated. Leverage blogs to spotlight employees' achievements, encourage managers to give shout outs on social, or develop a custom peer-to-peer recognition widget like Ellie Mae (below). For a deep dive into Ellie Mae's award-winning approach to employee recognition, download the complete intranet case study.


Ellie mae cheers for peers widget on mobile


Top tip: To encourage best practice use of your intranet, think about creating reward badges to recognize users that are demonstrating exemplary behavior of your platform like 'top social contributor', or '100%' profile completeness'. 

#8. Set your default homepage

One of the most effective ways to increase adoption is also the simplest: make your intranet the default homepage. Even employees who are reluctant to explore the new platform will have the opportunity to skim headlines and get a taste of what you are offering them.

#9. Collect and respond to employee feedback

Intranets that put users at the center are those that succeed. To guarantee ongoing use, give employees the opportunity to become the architects of their own experience. Use feedback forms located strategically on key pages to encourage users to suggest improvements or report issues. Not only will this keep employees vested in the evolution of the platform; it will also ensure the platform stays functional and relevant on an on-going basis.

Gain employee feedback through your intranet

#10. Get the conversation flowing

Intranets boast social networking functionalities, including bespoke reactions, @mentions, and #hashtags. When users start turning to an intranet to chat and share updates, more team members are likely to adopt the practice to stay connected to colleagues. 


intranet adoption guide cover

10 essentials for creating an intranet your employees will love

We've partnered with Ragan Communications to bring you our top tips for creating an intranet your employees will want to keep coming back to.

Download Guide

Ensure consistent intranet adoption for years to come

The best intranets withstand the test of time by adapting to suit the evolving needs of the workforce. If you are looking to create a bespoke platform that will pave the way for enterprise-wide adoption, get in touch with our digital workplace experts.

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