6 Intranet Best Practices For High Engagement
An intranet can make an incredible impact on your business if you invest in the right tools and follow proven best practices. Social intranets foster employee engagement, and, according to Gallup, the most engaged organizations achieve 4X more earnings-per-share growth than their competitors. So how do you get employees to fully participate and engage with your intranet? Here are six key steps:
1. Appoint a community manager
You wouldn’t open a store without someone to manage it. You wouldn’t hold a conference without a staff to host it. The same goes for an intranet. If you want to your intranet to be a thriving, vibrant community, you need a community manager.
Community managers help ensure that your intranet meets its major goals, which include high adoption, productive experiences and happy users. In small companies this role may be less than full-time, while big enterprises may need a team of community managers. In any case you’ll want your community manager(s) involved in every stage of your intranet journey, from initial planning through launch and ongoing growth. The focus should be to make sure that your intranet supports the evolving needs of your business; that everyone knows how to effectively use it; and that they’re highly motivated to do so.
2. Prepare for the most popular use cases
When you’re building your intranet, start by creating the groups, spaces and capabilities for a few high-priority use cases that can rapidly solve key needs and pain points in your organization. Prime examples include company news, employee onboarding and employee support. By providing new and engaging ways to meet these basic workforce needs, a social intranet can quickly become a magnet for users and fuel rapid adoption. To make this process simpler, Jive Interactive Intranet comes with pre-built pages and spaces for core use cases, which you can easily configure to match your company’s requirements.
And don’t forget to seed your new spaces with adequate content before going live, so new users see the value you’re providing from the get-go.
3. Empower company influencers and advocates
Just as brands leverage social influencers to help them engage audiences on social media channels, you can leverage influencers within your organization to drive intranet participation. Look for active users and subject matter experts and ask them to help train users, answer questions, share best practices, identify new use cases and evangelize the intranet. In this way, you’ll build a boots-on-the-ground support system that will extend the reach of community managers.
4. Have executives lead by example
Make your intranet the preferred channel for executive communications. Rich blogging features, such as those included in Jive’s intranet platform, give execs a way to quickly and easily communicate with their teams, their departments and the company as a whole – in highly effective and highly engaging ways. Employees can comment, ask questions and contribute ideas, igniting conversation and inspiring your workforce to rally around business goals. As your intranet becomes the go-to forum for executive-employee dialogue, it will take on a central role in the daily life of your company and its employees.
5. Incentivize participation
People love being recognized for their contributions. There’s a reason they give out gold medals at the Olympic Games. Your company can create a similar sense of achievement with your intranet—think of it like the “Olympics of Collaboration.” You can use built-in gamification features like those included in the Jive platform to create targeted missions, badges and rewards that encourage specific actions, like giving helpful answers, assisting other users and creating shared content. Use leaderboards to tap into people’s competitive spirit and acknowledge top community contributors.
6. Ask yourself, “What does success look like?”
Numbers don’t lie. To fully measure the success of your intranet, determine the community metrics you want to track before launch and then adjust them over time as needed. Success will look different on launch day than it will at six months, one year, and further down the road.
Spend some time thinking about what your community objectives are and what measures you’ll need to gauge progress. At the highest level, success metrics may be as basic as the number of active users and growth in membership, but you’ll need to get more detailed to measure specific use cases (active users versus contributing users, number of questions answered, support calls deflected, etc). To understand critical parameters like user engagement and productivity, you’ll want to dive even deeper, leveraging the more sophisticated analytics provided by platforms such as Jive.
Higher engagement is closer than you think
Following these straightforward rules of thumb can have a dramatic impact on the short- and long-term success of your intranet. Engagement may be a complex problem – but the solution doesn’t have to be.