To give you a snapshot of the best of the bunch, we’ve evaluated the top ten types of news content we’ve seen across businesses of all shapes and sizes. These types of content have been published on almost every intranet site, consistently in the top 10 viewed articles from a cross-section of months. In no particular order, the winners are…
1. Say hello to the CEO
More and more, we’re seeing that the level of leadership support for an intranet platform will be influential in its success. If the senior team lead from the front, the rest will follow. Employees want to stay in the loop of bigger business conversations, so it’s no wonder that news from the CEO or senior team makes for consistently popular content. Making a schedule for content from the senior team is a wise strategy for on-going adoption. We’ve seen some great campaigns across our network, with monthly messages from the CEO to update on business progress, the chance to have a coffee with the CEO by completing a feedback questionnaire, and chairman’s thanks to the global team at the end of the year.
2. Critical corporate updates
Intranets are often launched to replace the need for companywide emails, helping to ensure important information isn’t missed. With Unily able to push out notifications to employees when new content is published, and with new mandatory read functionality soon to be implemented, businesses are able to move business-critical content to the intranet with the confidence that employees are getting the message. Information about company mergers, strategies put in place to simplify and streamline processes, quarterly results and live streams from internal company events were all popular across the majority of intranets in 2017.
3. Celebrating people
Any successful intranet revolves around people, from every department and role, rather than just those in the senior team. This year, we’ve seen a huge range of campaigns to spotlight employees around the business, whether they’re new starters or an employee of the month. Some of our favourites include communications introducing the year’s new interns, Q&A with new supervisors and managers and tribute articles to much-loved team members retiring. We’ve also seen news articles to highlight achievements outside of work, with employees awarded for services to their local communities and recognised for taking part in a live TV debate on Sky News. To take these campaigns further, we often see businesses implementing specific functionality to spotlight employees such as a Cheers for Peers widget. This allows all employees to publish a short shout out to fellow colleagues for a particular achievement.
4. Philanthropic initiatives
Intranet content shouldn’t just be corporate, it should be a platform to bring people together around a joint cause, whilst helping to communicate your brand’s culture and voice. In 2017, we saw a huge spike in the number of articles posted to support philanthropic initiatives, with many motivated by the devastating effects of hurricanes across the US and the Caribbean. With focus around driving awareness of a particular campaign or charity, we have seen a variety of content including plans to support local communities, welcomes to new sustainability champions, disaster round-up support and fund gathering initiatives. We have also seen a trend of supporting philanthropic campaigns with a Unily Tribe, which makes creating a central page for news articles, documents, social feeds, people and more around a particular topic quick and easy.
5. World news
Although intranets are an obvious place for internal news, we’ve found that external news articles are also popular across the Unily community. Whether this is critical news around a natural disaster which could affect travel, or the latest politics feed which the business feel employees should be aware of, these scored high. This validates the argument that your intranet can be a central hub for all kinds of information, and bringing in news from external sources can be a good way to drive new engagement. With Unily, you can quickly create RSS feeds from various websites and sources, rolling up relevant external news alongside your traditional internal news.
6. Technical help
With any piece of technology, employees are always going to need clear communication and support to get the most out of new tools. News articles are sometimes a good way to do this, highlighting the answers to the most frequently asked questions. Some examples of this include articles on ‘How to add company holidays to your Outlook calendar’, ‘easy ways to manage your password’, ‘how to recognise spam mail’ or announcements around a new homepage launch or new intranet functionality. To keep this announcement findable, we recommend creating a central site for IT Support where you can rollup any news articles with a particular tag e.g. technical support.
7. HR information
Every HR team understands the benefit of a central intranet to simplify everyday HR tasks. So, if you’re not currently using your intranet as the central channel for HR news and tasks, you should be! From our analysis over the year, some of the most popular articles across Unily were related to HR information such as: payroll and holiday schedule, employee discount programs, online professional development tools, employee survey results and new learning platforms. For obvious reasons, every employee has a vested interest in any changes to payroll or expense policy. Therefore, including this information on your intranet works to pull people to it, increasing their awareness of other company news at the same time. To maximise adoption, ensure Unily intranet notifications are set up for your organisation, alerting groups of employees when a new HR article is released.
If you’re looking for a way to drive engagement come January, why not look at an internal giveaway for your employees? Some of the most read articles across the community included announcements of free Superbowl tickets, baseball tickets, savings at retailors and reduced gym memberships. But this doesn’t always have to be a one-way street, why not use a giveaway to improve compliance across the intranet. In some examples, we’ve seen content managers testing employees’ knowledge and requesting feedback in exchange for adding employees into a prize draw. Examples include ‘complete the quiz on how to detect a fraudulent email to win a prize’ and ‘win tickets to see Beyoncé by completing the 2017 employee survey’. Use giveaways to get something in return, in the same way your marketing team would do for a customer facing campaign.
This year, there’s been a spotlight on mental health issues in the media across the world, with new campaigns aimed at helping people recognise and support those in need. We’ve seen the ripple effect of this on corporate intranets, with organisations increasing the amount of health related articles to keep their network informed. From articles teaching employees how to practice mindfulness, to helping spot warning signs amongst colleagues. It’s not just mental health related content which is making an appearance across intranets, it’s also articles to support physical health. With advice on hitting 10,000 steps a day to information on how to spot symptoms for viral meningitis, the intranet can be a hub for general wellbeing. Ultimately, the happier and healthier your employees are, the more productive they will be.
10. Social events
With the festive season upon us, this last trend has sky rocketed. With Christmas parties and Christmas Jumper Days headlining your homepages, you can’t avoid getting into the festive spirit. What we’ve learnt from our research is that content around social events is extremely popular across the intranet. Christmas parties, office social events and new starter meet and greets all feature across intranet portals in 2017 with consistently high views. If you’re concerned about using the intranet for less corporate communications, it might be time to adjust your strategy. Why not use the intranet to gather registrations or interest in a particular event, making the event planning more productive and giving your employees something to look forward to.
Hopefully these trends have given you some food for thought for your own intranet content strategy in 2018, with some new ideas for what to publish to re-engage your employees!