10 Tips to Building an Intranet Employees Will Actually Use

build an intranet that employees will actually use
Today, we are providing 10 battle tested tips that will go a long way towards creating an intranet that employees will actually use.

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The great intranet engagement mystery! Does your organization have an intranet, but employees don’t engage? Are you at a loss to figure out why? Perhaps you have the features you thought you needed and a ton of content besides, but engagement just isn’t occurring the way your team hoped it would. If you work in Internal Communications or IT, you can feel like your best efforts aren’t translating to the right outcomes.

Often this frustration has led our clients to rally the troops and move forward with an intranet redesign effort, but they don’t know where to get started.

We wanted to give you a few ideas from our engagements that you can think about before you even begin such a project. When these ideas are woven into the planning and implementation process they can help assure that your intranet is a meaningful and engaging tool within your organization. After all, what’s an intranet without its users?

10 battle-tested tips for an intranet redesign

These tips that will go a long way toward creating an intranet that employees will actually use.

  1. Move or create leadership blogs on your intranet. It’ll encourage people to interact, and your employees are always interested in getting insight into leadership’s perspectives and personalities. One pro tip: keep the content human.
  2. Give users an experience. Carefully craft an experience for your employees, not just a portal. Walk yourself through your intranet experience from your employee’s perspective and make sure to leave time and budget in your planning effort for feedback.
  3. Plan for governance. Do it before roll-out, too. Don’t turn your intranet into a content and file jungle.
  4. Think strategy. Think of the intranet as a tool that you can reinforce strategy through both communications and context. One way to do this is to centralize your strategic/communication planning processes. Move away from siloed, unmanaged planning process and create a hub for centralized communication planning. This will improve collaboration and transparency and in turn create better engagement.
  5. Plan your intranet for a mobile, work-from-anywhere workforce. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly technologies and that the mobile experience is carefully planned around key scenarios that your users need to accomplish. Ensure to test on several different platforms and in various environments. Make sure it’s search-friendly and that team sites are easy to find and navigate across devices.
  6. Build your intranet based on your organizations’ goals and needs, not on what you think other organizations are doing. Intranets may seem generic, but a good intranet takes into consideration your industry and its specific challenges.
  7. Visualize your most important organizational metrics to your users. Everyone is interested in the metrics related to his job. When you convey important information accurately and visually, it empowers users to make the right business decisions and drive engagement like few other things will.
  8. Get into the heads of your users. If your planning team includes people from only Internal Communications or IT, you have already lost. Make sure to include stakeholders from all different departments and skill sets in the organization. Consider sending a survey out to your staff to gather as much information as possible before the project begins.
  9. Use your intranet as a hub for “pull” communications and your news archive. For example, have HR post internal communications like newsletter and other company news onto intranet and then direct traffic there to read and interact with communications.
  10. Have your leadership team and executives commit to using the tool. Town halls and key initiatives are great ways for leadership to exercise the tool in visible ways.

If you’re struggling with intranet adoption, ElevatePoint can help you find a great mix of technologies as well as a focus on creating the experiences that will draw your employees back to the intranet.

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