7 things you should do to Kick start your intranet and get it rolling

An  intranet can be the backbone of a business, if it’s done right. It  should focus on the needs of people—provide an enjoyable experience,  relevant content, and an easy way to connect. However, an intranet is  only as effective as how it's being used. The problem for most companies  is getting employees to start using the intranet. Hence the saying - it  is always the start that requires the greatest effort.

Over  a period of time we have found that the best way to ensure smooth  sailing is to start at the top. Improving employee engagement with  social intranet software may seem like a difficult process, but it  doesn't have to be.

Here are 6 dead simple things you can do to help lead you in the right direction:

1. Launch with a bang

With a good launch, half your battle is already won. The launch does not need to expensive with town halls, lunch/snack/dinner/drinks, or entertainment. Launch in this case can be as simple as strategic mails and messages to the employees about the intranet. Here are a few ideas you can use to help you with the launch -

  1. Message from CEO about the new intranet to say what excites him about it
  2. Release a Beta version to the Intranet Champions for testing and  to get them talking about it to their peers
  3. ‘Leak’ some screenshots and use posters, screensavers and team meetings to communicate a live countdown to launch
  4. Spreading engagement with a teaser campaign and Intro videos


2. Identify Intranet Champions

In any community, be it an office intranet or facebook or twitter as well, there are 5% of the people who create content, 65% consume the content and 30% react to content (by liking, commenting, etc). So, getting the right 5% people is very important, these are what we call Intranet Champions

These intranet champions will act like your social media influencers. They will drive the intranet in the beginning. The Intranet Champions can be your top and mid management. The people your employees look upto. Whose content are sure to be consumed.

Remember a thumb rule of the intranet – the three requirements to make your intranet a success are Content, Content and Content. But in its nascence, the source of the content is equally important. This is where the intranet Champions come into the picture. They will drive the intranet for you, by word of mouth, their posts and activities on the intranet.


3. Keep creating Content

Content is the King. Even if you have identified your Intranet champions, you can rely only on them for the content. Remember, these champions are extremely busy and may not be in a position to create content at the rate that is needed to make your intranet successful. Hence you need a team of content creation. You can task your managers, communication team and HR team on this. Make sure they schedule their day in a manner to create at least one content per day. It is very important to have a database of content ready incase your champions don’t have content to post. Post the created content from the champions logins to get the engagement either as a Notice board item, blog, discussion, poll or a simple activity


4. Keep Engaging people (Give them a reason to come back)

Engage your employees, by getting them to interact with the intranet. Here are a few options you can use –

  1. Send them connection/colleague requests with your login, send it to influencers too, ask them as well to send connection requests. Check this link to know how to send a colleague request: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/35-how-to-send-a-colleague-request . This seriously works, people feel that they are also important when someone sends a connection request and if some senior sends it, they get excited too :) (A good reason to come back for anyone)
  2. Upload photos regularly and tag people (This also sends the user an email, hence giving them one more reason to come back)
  3. Create different groups to share ideas and add them: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/intranet/37-how-to-create-a-group (This also sends the user an email, hence giving them one more reason to come back)
  4. Create events and invite people: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/intranet/39-how-to-create-an-event (This also sends the user an email, hence giving them one more reason to come back)
  5. Create polls like suggesting names for the portal, etc: https://docs.uknowva.com/all-posts/10-core-features/18-polls
  6. Like and comment on what others have posted. Use @tags to tage people or a group of people as explained here: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/general/180-how-to-use-tags-in-comments-and-feed-to-improve-collaboration (This is very effective, it also sends all users an email, hence giving them one more reason to come back)

5. Update employee profiles and Organization chart

Every employee is always interested in seeing where he stands in the complete organization heirarchy, it gives many people a sense of the corporate ladder they would want to climb in building their career. Showing the organization chart of every employee seriously helps. Ensure, you set the managers of each and every user so that your organization chart is automatically created. Check this link on how you can update the manager of any user: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/hrms/106-how-to-set-a-reporting-manager-of-any-user-in-uknowva 

Updating employee profiles like their date of birth, work anniversaries, location, department, etc also helps a lot. This gives first hand information to any employee about any other employee of the organization. It helps the intranet become the one single source of true information. Also, if you set the birthday and anniversary dates, the system automatically send the user an email on the special day and also informs their managers, colleagues etc. Imagine your manager coming to your desk and wishing you Happy Work Anniversary - You are a start member of this team:) Many times this does not happen because many managers do not know when is their team member's work anniversary. Check this link to see how you can update profile:  https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/hrms/133-how-to-edit-profile-details

Encourage people to upload their pics, this really gives a beautiful face to the intranet, it makes it much lively. Encourage employees to upload their photos (I know of a CEO, who made it mandatory for anyone who joins his company to upload his profile pic on day 1). If users are not doing it, you can also do it as an admin, refer this link: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/hrms/133-how-to-edit-profile-details (point no. 2)


6. Reward and motivate people for participation

Use the Analytics engine/Dashboards to find out who is the most active guy, most useful content, etc. and reward people for sharing and participating, this motivatews them to share more and also motivates other non-participants to start participating. Reward could be a certificate, a cash reward or a trophy in an annual day function, etc.

You can also feature their profiles on the intranet so that their profile is star-marked. check this link on how to do so: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/intranet/76-how-to-make-a-profile-feature-this-in-uknowva 

We at our own company, use the profile statistics .i.e. total points, activities, etc also into consideration while doing appraisals, this enures people keep engaging themselves from day 1


7. Link all other useful application into the intranet, Make intranet as the default home page in all browsers

This will make the intranet a one-stop place and make it a gateway to all other applications. You can also do a single sign-on with all other applications like CRM, HRM, Project management, Travel booking, reimbursements, etc. so that the user need not login again into those applications. Check this link on how your IT/Tech team can make it happen: https://docs.uknowva.com/how-to/67-how-to-set-up-single-sign-on-for-external-applications 

Also, ask your IT team to make your intranet as the home page in all the browsers, such that as soon as any employee start's the system, it opens the intranet first, thereby making the user consume new information by default and also enable him to react to it (by liking, sharing, commentin, etc)


Using these techniques, we hope you will be able to get your employees engaged on your intranet quicker. However, growing an audience that is highly engaged completely will take time. The strategies will help speed up the process. However the thing to be noted is that intranet engagement needs continuous efforts till the time your employees are engaged enough to take it forward and keep it growing organically.

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