“Only 13% of employees report participating in their intranet daily — 31% said they never do.”
When you are responsible for the success of your organisation’s intranet, it is incredibly frustrating when people don’t use it. The intranet was built for them! What is going on??
Before you move to Bolivia and take up potato farming, try asking these ten questions to pinpoint why no one is using the intranet. You never know, it might be something relatively easy to fix.
1. What is the purpose of your intranet?
Both the project team and the average staff member should be able to answer this question. A vision or purpose statement will provide the direction and intended future for the intranet. If your intranet vision was never established or has become vague over time, consider creating a concise mission statement to provide focus.
2. Are your leaders engaged?
Leaders set the tone for your organisation with vision, motivation and inspiration. When senior leaders are regular intranet users, they reinforce that this is the way we communicate and engage. If your leaders are not actively participating in the intranet, why should anyone else?
3. Is your intranet the single source of truth?
Your intranet is doomed to fail if people don’t feel confident in finding the information they need. Out of date information, broken links, missing documents… poor document management is one of the most common and serious intranet problems.
4. Has design been prioritised?
Fact: poor intranet design will inhibit adoption. And it’s not just about good looks. With inadequate usability, people will not find the right resources, or each other, costing time and frustrating staff.
5. Does the intranet make people’s lives easier?
Solving problems and improving productivity are essential to the success of an intranet. This can often be quickly achieved by digitising business process flows and presenting them within the platform. For organisations using Microsoft 365, Power Platform integrations with SharePoint and Teams can create huge opportunities for digitising & automating processes
6. Is your intranet hard work on a mobile?
A mobile-responsive intranet is non-negotiable. Identify top user activities and try to complete them using a few different phone or tablet models. Can you access everything? Is the text legible? Do pages load quickly? Can forms be completed easily? If not, you may need to look at some enhancements or even a new platform.
7. Have you created a governance framework?
Without a clear roadmap, the intranet can end up stagnant and forgotten or a chaotic mess. Your governance plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a 2-page document and realistically this is more likely to be used than a huge file. Just make it clear and keep it up to date: who is responsible for what, how will approvals be managed, which enhancements are on the radar and how often will it be reviewed?
8. Is participation encouraged and supported?
Users must contribute to an intranet to create a sense of ownership and responsibility, encouraging them to return. An intranet is not just meant to push communications out to staff, it must also create connections between colleagues. If you don’t already have a way to do this – a Yammer feed or social features encouraging comments and likes for example – consider enhancing your intranet with some new functionality.
9. Are you effectively leveraging technology?
Many people complain about their organisation’s technology. They want to use Confluence, Dropbox and Slack to fix company problems. But which technology do you already have? How could it integrate into your intranet to deliver an even better experience? If your organisation is using Microsoft 365, you are already paying for many applications that can offer exciting new functionality to your intranet.
10. Is your intranet a bit stale?
New technology, branding updates, evolving design aesthetics or simply a lack of attention can make a once-shiny intranet seem dated. As the heart of your organisation, the intranet must remain dynamic and vital – the central destination for finding things out and getting stuff done. Develop a plan and allocate specific responsibility for updating content and reviewing the platform regularly.
It's a lot to think about and sadly there are often simply not enough resources to achieve everything you would like to. The right priorities will be different depending on company culture, user digital skills, proportion of frontline workers and complexity of resource requirements.
For more practical ideas on how to identify and solve these problems, download our new report: 10 Keys to a High Performing Intranet
Need a new intranet strategy or just some help with process flows or document management? Contact Us today.