How do you create an intranet that doesn't just meet your technical requirements, but resonates with your employees and garners true engagement? Too often we see technically sufficient platforms fall down because users simply don't feel comfortable or motivated to use them. Why? Because they're not engaging.
Years of experience supporting enterprises in creating effective digital workplace platforms has taught us what works and what doesn't. The key to developing an intranet that becomes a central part of working life is taking a user-centric approach. By understanding the mentality of your users, and putting their needs at the center of your strategy, you can create a solution that naturally fits into their working lives.
To give you an insight into the intranet features we have found most effective in driving engagement, we worked with Ragan Communications to put together our top 10 tips for developing an intranet your employees will love.
#1. Allow for mobility
Your intranet should run easily on any device anywhere, particularly for employees on the go who don’t spend most of their day at their desks. According to Shel Holtz of Holtz Communication + Technology, most workers today have mobile phones, and they expect to receive internal communications in the way they get other information.
“The most important thing is for it to be mobile,” he says, “and not just making the Web version of the intranet fit on a mobile phone, but rethinking it so that it is relevant to people who are not sitting at their desk.”
#2. Offer internal social capabilities
One of the hottest trends in intranets is making them social spaces where employees can converse and collaborate, as they do on external social media. This could be through an enterprise social network or on a platform such as Yammer.
Social business starts with allowing comments on articles so that employees can ask questions, share perspectives and post links. People in large organizations can also dig up knowledge they couldn’t otherwise access.
Internal social capabilities have allowed The Hershey Company to “connect people to people, and people to content so we are able to work smarter together,” says Michael Wetzel, manager of business transformation-corporate systems. “We have seen an increase of knowledge-sharing and collaboration across business units and even with our external partners,” Wetzel says. “Our new capabilities have allowed us to access information and knowledge anytime, anywhere, from any device.