8 foolproof ways intranet platforms can drive engagement

Intranets are no longer static tools to share intermittent communications; they have the potential to be living, breathing platforms that can support your employee engagement initiatives. From getting people around the world talking, to helping people share knowledge and collaborate, all of these activities can organically help to keep people more engaged.

From our years working on enterprise intranet platforms, we’ve learnt a few foolproof ways to get your intranet in shape, resulting in long-term employee engagement.

1. Personalize and target messages

If you’re planning to use the intranet platform as your main channel for corporate communications, regardless of how big your company is, targeting your messaging is essential to cut through the noise. We recommend breaking your workforce up into audiences, whether this be by Location, Department, Role, Interest or a combination. Like on Unily, your intranet CMS should then allow you to choose the audience for each of your messages; news articles, events, videos, announcements etc. This then personalizes the content a user is notified about and that appears on their homepage, ensuring they see the intranet as a place to go to find relevant news. Your intranet should also empower users to personalize the content they see further, choosing Topics they’re interested in and Following others in the network. They can then be notified when new content is available that they’ve specifically requested to see.

2. Provide social channels for individual teams, groups or interests

Enterprise social has proven itself as a valuable tool to drive employee engagement, helping people react to news and get a wide view of conversations happening across the organization. To embed this behavior more deeply around your intranet platform, we recommend allowing users to create social channels for teams, groups or interests. If possible, like on Unily, these social channels should then be integrated across collaboration sites and team sites, bringing the conversations into context for users alongside static resources. This can give people the avenue they need to participate in conversations, without feeling the whole company’s eyes are on them.

3. Set up intranet notifications to alert of new activity

Like the majority of Apps we have on our phones, notifications are a brilliant way to drive people back to an application with the offer of new activity. This can work as effectively on a corporate intranet platform, sending desktop and push notifications to users when a new piece of content is published, someone’s replied to a comment, viewed your profile, sent a new task to complete, shared a blog for approval and more. This not only helps to drive adoption of your intranet, it helps to keep people engaged with the bigger picture.

4. Reward participation and engagement with badges

Awarding badges is a way to nudge employees to subconsciously change their behavior on the intranet, making them think more about how they’re using and interacting with it. Each month, look to award your top contributors or most engaged employee with a badge and make a campaign out of it through your communications and on your social channels. If you’re a global organization, extend this out to heads of departments, giving them the power to recognize the good work happening locally to them. If your intranet has built-in analytics, use can also use this to your advantage.

5. Allow people to write and publish blogs

Sometimes, intranet communications can be seen as the realm of the corporate communications department. However, opening up content creation permissions for users across the business can help to uncover hidden gems of knowledge and help improve employee engagement. Allow users to log into the Content Management System, compose their article, add an image, add topics and tags that are relevant and either publish the article themselves or send to a manager for approval.

If this is a new concept for your business, it’s likely you’re going to have to ease people in to it. A good technique can be to host a competition, asking people to create articles around a particular topic or campaign. The most read or interacted with article author could then be awarded a prize. This helps to encourage people who wouldn’t normally participate to get involved, while setting the precedent for the types of themes people can blog about.

6. Give users control of their own profile

On Facebook or LinkedIn, people take pride over their own profiles. Sometimes, this attitude doesn’t cross over to a corporate profile on an intranet. To get employees to represent themselves effectively to the rest of the business, give them the power to own and edit their own profile. This could start by inspiring them to get a new profile picture. You could even host an intranet profile photo shoot day at your offices to really get people excited about it. Those headshots could then be used for LinkedIn too. Give users the power to also update and manage the Skills they highlight on their profiles, with a reward given for those with a 100% complete profile. This will not only help other colleagues to locate them, it will help them to see themselves as part of an organization, rather than just an email in a system.

7. Ensure mobile experiences are spot on

With work hours and locations becoming increasingly flexible, mobile intranet experiences need to become even better to make sure you don’t automatically exclude a large chunk of your user base. When developing your intranet or choosing a product, make sure it has a mobile-first ethos, with experiences adapted for the mobile user. Social tools, people directories, sites, documents and task management can’t be off limits for those working on the frontline.

Where do you go from here?

Whether you’re planning a new intranet platform or trying to drive engagement of an existing one, these are the types of techniques you need to consider to get the results you’re looking for. Intranet software such as Unily can help you get the baseline functionality you need up and running fast, giving you more time to focus on your communications campaigns rather than the technology. If you’d like to see how an intranet platform can support you with this type of functionality, talk to the Unily team today.

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