Without strong, consistent intranet adoption, target outcomes will never be achieved. One of the questions we are asked most often is “What is the best way to drive intranet adoption?”
Unfortunately there is no single magic fix to drive adoption. Creating and executing a comprehensive adoption strategy is the best way to ensure intranet success.
Compelling Intranet Content
Priority content should grab the attention of the user. Elements to consider include:
1. Define intranet success
What does intranet adoption success mean to your organisation? When we conduct Customer Success workshops prior to designing an intranet solution, this is one of the first things to be defined and the answer should be tightly linked to the purpose of the intranet. Is it communication reach? Content submissions and reactions? Access to information and resources? Increased usage of technology platforms?
The next logical question is “How will you track it?” How will the success of the intranet adoption be quantified? Ideally you will have reporting and analysis processes in place before launch to benchmark any existing KPIs and measure changes.
2. People first
An adoption strategy is about people first, then technology. The user must be the starting point for every decision because that’s the way they will view any new platform: what’s in it for me? What problems are people experiencing and how does the intranet help solve these problems?
- Automating manual processes
- Surfacing information, documents and forms, including from other systems
- Idea generation and review
- Project management and task status dashboards
- Collaboration spaces
- Welcoming and onboarding new staff
Asking people what they want and allowing them to participate in the solution will create a feeling of ownership that will directly translate to usage. Approaching a new intranet purely from an administraive perspective will make adoption very difficult later.
“Even when the new tools are powerful and well-designed, the ‘build it and they will come’ approach has held back the true potential of new ways of working.”
3. The place to be
Where can I find project document templates? How do I request a new keyboard? Where is that video from last year’s conference? How do I contact someone who speaks Mandarin? How do I pronounce her name?
The answers to all these things should be “the intranet”. The more you can incorporate the platform into everyday activities, the higher your adoption rate will climb. Get into the habit of referring people to the relevant intranet page instead of just answering their questions, and get HR, IT and other internal service departments to do the same.
10 Keys to Intranet Success
4. Single Sign On
Successfully communicating your intranet’s fantastic value is pointless if there are barriers to access. People will do what is easiest and fastest and if they must log in to reach the intranet, usage will stall no matter how great it is.
This is where building an intranet on a platform like SharePoint online really helps. Not only can users automatically reach the intranet with their Microsoft 365 login, they can also launch into other apps like Teams, Planner and Stream, plus you have the ability to surface this content within the context of intranet pages.
5. Champions and influencers
Every intranet launch article will tell you to use champions to promote your launch, and with good reason. Chosen well, champions provide both social proof that using the intranet is the right thing to do, and technical assistance for those who need a bit of guidance.
But how will you support them after the launch cupcakes are gone? Make sure your champions are the first to know about new features and try providing them with fun merchandise to hand out. Regularly acknowledging and rewarding your intranet champions will also help maintain their enthusiasm.
In many cases, the best influencers to boost intranet adoption are senior leaders. These highly visible team members must take an intranet-first approach to org-wide communications, announcements and shout-outs. They will probably need reminding of this, and regular communication around intranet successes will reinforce their behaviour.
6. It’s all about you
If social media has taught us anything, it’s that we engage most with things that are – well – about ourselves. Your intranet should be a place where employees are celebrated, their ideas and contributions are highlighted and any anniversary, new family member or educational achievement is applauded – preferably automatically.
Allow people to tag each other in comments and share content. Notification functionality should ensure no one misses any good news but make sure to keep it relevant. Remember – about ME.
7. In context guidance
If employees don’t understand how to use your new intranet, they will find ways to work around it. It can be very frustrating to get halfway through a process or a search and then realise you are stuck. Having to find someone to help, wait until they’re available then explain the issue is time-consuming and annoying. If you have identified this as an issue, you can apply a quick fix. Tools like Appcues, Walkme or Whatfix provide in-app announcements and guides to meet users where they are, increasing engagement and adoption as well as providing useful analytics.
Intranet user adoption doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right approach, a few helpful tools and some decent content, you can reinforce the value the intranet brings to your workday, every day.
The WebVine team work with clients from every industry across the globe to build and maintain intranet engagement. Get in touch to discuss your intranet challenges and how we can help.