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15 Simple Ways to Increase Intranet Engagement

2/26/2020 12:21:12 AM

15 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Engagement on Your Intranet

employee intranet engagement

The majority of our customers at Axero Solutions come to us with a common goal:

Improving employee engagement.

Internal communication is the most common complaint from disengaged employees. This is why our customers love our product. People are the heart of Communifire; every need, knowledge resource, and person are inside this digital platform. The more that users log in, the more connected they become with colleagues and the company.

That is one of the greatest advantages of intranet software. It drives conversations, knowledge sharing, and engagement.

But it’s not enough to assume your intranet software will take care of itself. You need a thorough understanding of its features, what your employees need, and how you want to communicate with them. You also need a rollout plan and leadership who prioritizes your workplace culture. When you put all these pieces together, you build a place where people want to show up and do their best.

Here are 15 easy employee engagement ideas you can do to get the most out of your intranet:

1. Keep things simple.

employee intranet engagement

The beautiful thing about today’s intranet software is that it can be tweaked, customized, and configured in so many ways that companies can build a social community that is unlike anyone else's.

Sometimes companies take this flexibility too far with platforms that are difficult to use, overwhelming to the eye, and congested with unnecessary tools. If your company intranet is too much work to use, people are not going to use it. This is why we always recommend a "less is more " approach to planning your intranet design and layout.

A digital workplace that is easy to navigate will be far more enticing to staff members than a complicated one. The goal is to make their lives easier by connecting them to important information quickly. If you keep this in mind, you'll see adoption rates and employee engagement in your intranet increase.

2. Use employee surveys.

Employee surveys are wonderful opportunities to get direct feedback from your entire staff at the same time.

The trick is to be thoughtful with the questions you ask and do something with the information afterwards.

This is your chance to pinpoint specific areas in your intranet and organization that could use improvements. Don’t forget you are guiding the conversation with your questions, so leave room for open-ended answers. Don’t be afraid to take criticism. And always remember, creating a strong employee engagement strategy is an ongoing project. Send multiple surveys throughout the year – if you want employee engagement to improve, you must engage with your employees.

3. Implement a launch plan.

You need your entire staff to be comfortable with your company intranet for them to use it. The best way to get everyone on the same page is to have an intranet launch plan. Whenever you’re looking to improve employee engagement––whether it’s with your intranet or company––strong communication from the top down and bottom up will always be your foundation of success. The same goes for your rollout plan.

Every company is different, but there’s a couple key elements you’ll want to incorporate into your launch plan. First, communicate the importance of your intranet to your entire organization. Also, make sure you share a clear set of goals to your managers so they can get their teams using the intranet for the right reasons. You’ll also need to spend time training everyone – make sure every person understands the software and all questions are addressed.

We’ve also found from customers that offering both in-person group training and video demos make rollouts far more successful. You can even have some fun with a scavenger hunt, or champion different employees in your intranet.

4. Clarify goals from the beginning.

For staff to be engaged with your intranet software, they need a clear set of expectations from the get-go. As you know, chances of success in any aspect of business will always be higher when you communicate clear goals to your team.

employee intranet engagement

You’ll want to articulate how your members should be using the intranet. If increasing collaboration is a goal, explain to your staff that projects will be assigned and stored in the Cases tool in your intranet. This way, everyone understands what they should be doing, how they should be doing it, and will turn to your intranet to get stuff done.

5. Make your intranet the home of important information.

If you want to increase intranet engagement, give members an important reason to go there. Use your document management system to store pivotal documents in your intranet, making it a resource library for your entire organization. When an employee needs a legal form, company logo, or any other material, they’ll turn to your intranet to find it.

You should also use your intranet to post announcements and updates. Share monthly notes from your CEO and company updates. You can also guide users to specific content with quick links on the top of your homepage. Make your intranet the voice of your organization. By opening up dialogue and getting higher-ups to be a part of the conversation, you’ll create a true community in your intranet.

How to launch an intranet

6. Use employee profiles.

A huge component in improving employee engagement on your intranet is using the social aspects of your software. People don’t want to engage with a computer, they want to engage with people. Employee profiles will put faces to names and build a directory that connects colleagues.

employee intranet engagement

Have members fill out their profiles and upload headshots. Encourage users to also include personal interests, a bio summary, or even a fun fact. This allows your staff to connect on a deeper level. It can be confusing remembering who’s who in any size company so by keeping an updated employee directory, members will use your intranet to find who they need.

7. Hold focus groups.

No matter how fine-tuned you think your digital workplace is, it's always important to strive for improvement. Focus groups are an extremely effective way to find the areas that could use some attention. Your staff members will also appreciate that you care enough to meet with them during the workday.

I previously discussed the power of a stay interview, and if done right, how they can keep your rockstar employees. Just like a stay interview, you need to determine who should lead your focus group. Your CEO? Your HR Director? A department head? To have a productive conversation, you need to make sure the right people are part of it.

The best way to get to the root of employee engagement issues is to ask your staff what needs tweaking.

8. Market your intranet.

Consistently market your intranet. It doesn’t matter if you just launched your intranet or you’ve been using it for years, think of ways to attract members there. You can stream pages from your intranet on monitors in your office. Or, if your company sends a weekly or monthly newsletter, include links to blog posts inside the intranet. You can also use your intranet gamification feature to highlight different employees in your company email and intranet.

employee intranet engagement

You don’t want to force your members to your intranet. By showing them how it’s important, and letting them do exploring on their own terms, they’ll want to come back.

9. Take advantage of your intranet's newsfeed.

employee intranet engagement

The newsfeed is your community’s livestream of everything happening within your organization. Encourage users to check it throughout the day! There is no quicker or more direct way to see what colleagues are up to than your intranet newsfeed.

When you convey the benefits of the newsfeed – seeing peer achievements, latest questions from colleagues, announcements, and ongoing projects – you’ll see your employee engagement greatly improve.

10. Onboard new employees with your intranet.

employee intranet engagement

If you want to increase employee engagement, get your new hires on the intranet as soon as they start. Your intranet will not only be your right hand when it comes to training, but it will also express the importance of your intranet to new employees by introducing it immediately.

Your intranet will also be the right hand for your new hires. Training videos, Q&A forums, and the employee directory will help them learn more about your organization and their role. They will be active participants in your digital community from day one.

How to launch an intranet

11. Make your employee intranet fun.

This sounds obvious, but people enjoy what they’re doing if they’re having fun. If you want better intranet engagement, make sure you include entertaining content! What good is developing a digital social community if there’s nothing social about it?

employee intranet engagement

Post photos from company events, create a Space for everyone to socialize, and encourage emojis and interaction on posts in your intranet. Stiff environments are uncomfortable ones. Make your workplace culture one that motivates and inspires everyone.

12. Update your calendars.

employee intranet engagement

Of all the tools in your arsenal, intranet calendars are one of the easiest and most common ways to improve productivity and employee engagement.

Keep your staff informed about everything important – holidays, meetings, special events, etc. Some platforms (like Communifire) sync with Outlook so every calendar is consistent and updated. Every Space can also have its own calendar, so different departments, projects, or company initiatives have a place to share important dates.

Calendars are imperative for organization, so if you use your intranet calendars, your members will too.

13. Encourage content creation.

employee intranet engagement

When everyone is contributing to your intranet, your community grows. Encouraging your staff to create wikis and share articles is extremely powerful – you are motivating them to engage with their peers and your organization.

You are also creating an environment where everyone has a say. When employees are empowered to contribute to their organization, they feel valued. Use your intranet to boost morale and employee engagement.

14. Centralize all apps.

employee intranet engagement

Your intranet will be far more appealing if it’s convenient. And these days, everyone – customers, employees, and even you – value convenience. The majority of modern business models share this trait.

Make your intranet a place of convenience by centralizing all the apps and software your business uses on a daily basis in your intranet. You’d be amazed how appreciative your staff will be when you organize essential software for them in one easy-to-reach place.

15. Lead by example.

You can articulate wants and desires to your staff all day long, but you're not going to get what you're looking for if you don't practice what you preach. Employees will have a hard time taking you seriously if you're sitting back and doling-out orders without actively participating in your company's intranet. Leading by example is perhaps the most important thing you can do to improve employee engagement on your intranet.

employee intranet engagement

Make a point each day to be visible within your social community in as many ways as possible. Leading discussions, posting relevant content, and checking-in with community members are great ways to be present and set an example.

The bottom line.

There are so many ways to improve employee engagement with your intranet. Put in the effort, and watch your business grow.

intranet software

Tim Eisenhauer
Written by Tim Eisenhauer

Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.

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