A digital workplace is not just for Christmas...

It’s coming up to that time of year where we look back on our progress and what we have achieved throughout the previous months. So what better time to do the same for your digital workplace and try to plan what the New Year means for your platform.

We often find that our clients spend lots of time and resource orchestrating the initial project and planning their launch but they rarely take the time to evaluate and review in the following months and years. The launch is just the beginning and this blog aims to highlight what you should be thinking about once the stress and excitement of launch are over.

Review your original success criteria

Start by revisiting your original project objectives which should be outlined in your business case. How have you performed against these? Analytics are an obvious place to start to measure success. The simple data to get an initial engagement indication should be around number of hits or unique users, dwell time and search terms. Essentially, are people coming to your platform? Have you achieved your target of 80% corporate communications readership?

As the digital workplace is embedded in the business, look more at which parts of the business are active, which topics of content are popular and measure adoption rates. This can involve measuring monthly session frequency and analyzing where and what devices users are choosing to access the site from. Assess what features and content have been a success and identify any functionality that has failed to gain traction. If something has not worked, don’t be precious, not all elements in phase one will work as you anticipated in planning.

Analytics and metrics are not the whole story however!

Get feedback from the business and not just the happy people

Alongside metrics it’s important to reach out to the business (like many of you will have done pre-launch to gather requirements). Surveys and polls are a good way of getting a temperature check and to gain an understanding of the common gripes. We advocate performing a survey at the start of a project and then every six months thereafter so you have a comparison of results. This will help hugely when asked to prove the value of the intranet, as you’ll be able to clearly show the difference and growth in activity across the old and new platform.

Once you have an insight from the survey, you can seek out specific areas of the business to interview and run focus groups. This will help you find the route of any problems and allow you to speak to those who are positive, gathering an armory of use cases that may inspire future plans, and also potentially finding some new intranet Champions!

Write up use-case success stories

Once you’ve identified successful use cases and positive stories around the intranet, write these up into short success stories. This can help to not only prove the value of the intranet to end-users, giving them more ideas on how to use it, but also proves the return on investment to stakeholders.

Get as much anecdotal evidence as you can and publish this across your site. Highlight time savings, effective project collaboration and idea generation. This will help you win over those intranet scrooges! Take a look at our blog with Informa’s Digital Communications Manager here to get an example of the intranet success stories they have gathered.

Once you have an understanding of how things are progressing, you can plan for the coming year.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

The next step is to plan how to progress and improve. We recommend establishing a steering committee if you don’t already have one. This group should involve key stakeholders- the intranet team, a representative from IT, HR and key business areas. Try not to let this team grow too big as they need to be decisive and flexible. Keep this group focused around your key objectives and use this audience to help implement change in the platform.

Now look internally at what’s happening in your organization. Are there other projects or initiatives your platform could be complementing? Should you be integrating new tools or using your digital workplace to leverage business change? We have plenty of Unily clients that support their IT Office365 rollout by integrating new workloads into their intranet as and when the business is ready. Whether it is putting OneDrive at the user’s fingertips or using the platform to support the launch a new HR system.
Find those strategic projects and hook your intranet into them to boost engagement.

With an evergreen intranet platform like Unily, you will also need to plan for any new features you could introduce. Blindly turning on functionality may overwhelm your end users so make sure to carefully consider how to introduce them. Many of our clients choose to introduce shiny new tools as part of a wider communication campaign. Here’s some festive ideas to get you thinking:

  • Launch your new employee recognition program on the homepage as Santa’s nice list and utilize push notifications to get the message to those on the move.
  • Encourage global networking by enabling employees to send Christmas wishes or online cards to colleagues using a widget on the intranet.
  • Promote a new online marketplace for selling those unwanted Christmas presents.
  • Launch new polling functionality by kicking off with a festive themed question such as favourite Christmas movie – did someone say Home Alone?!
  • Promote your updated mobile app with a festive giveaway exclusively for mobile users.
  • Highlight event functionality by asking staff to register for their Christmas party via the intranet or promote a Christmas Jumper day for the global organisation.
  • After the events, make the intranet the place to go to see photos too!
  • Keep content on the intranet fresh with a homepage-takeover focused on a philanthropic initiative e.g. a charity supporting the elderly at Christmas.
  • Add something fun onto the homepage such as a Christmas countdown.

 

By putting these initiatives into practice and gathering the data you need, you can ensure you’re kicking off the New Year with plans based on real results. To recap, here’s what you should aim to do:

  • Re-visit your initial intranet objectives set out in your business case.
  • Review analytics looking at metrics such as unique users, dwell time and search terms.
  • Assess what features and content have been a success and identify any functionality that has failed to gain traction.
  • Launch an end of year employee engagement survey – ideally using the same questions as your pre-intranet survey to compare results.
  • Gather intranet success stories from around the business and write them up formally.
  • Establish a steering committee if not created already.
  • Review business plans for 2018 and see how the intranet could support.
  • Get employees engaged with a bit of Christmas cheer – using some examples from above.

Remember, intranets have a life of their own so keep revisiting these topics throughout the lifecycle of your platform. Afterwards, you can sit back with a glass of mulled wine and mince pie ready to kick start your 2018 digital workplace plans.

Speak to us about about reviewing your intranet platform.

Hannah Unsworth Senior Business Analyst

In Hannah’s role as consultant, she gets involved at the very beginning of a project, running workshops to understand the client’s needs and wants. Her British Computer Society training certainly helps with this vital requirements gathering stage, but her work doesn’t end there. As well as putting together wireframes for new solutions, on Unily projects Hannah also becomes a Customer Success Manager. This vital role involves working with clients to prepare them for product deployment, and ensuring a successful launch and continued engagement. Hannah enjoys the challenge of understanding how business work and working out how her solutions can improve it.

Outside work, Hannah is sporty and outdoorsy listing rowing, skiing and camping as some of her favourite activities.

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