You’re coming close to launching your intranet. It’s been a long journey. You’ve either built an intranet from the ground up or have purchased an intranet — configuring and branding it. Your launch date is within a few months.
No problem because people people will just come to it, use it, and love it. Right?
Sorry to burst your bubble.
You’ll need to do a few things to get them not just excited, but ready for the change and eager to use it. If you’re struggling for ideas, here are a few:
1. Get employees involved from the beginning to increase buy-in
There’s a truism that internal communicators know and understand: no one likes having change thrust on them, but everyone likes being part of the change. For example, most people would rather be part of a committee that helps get change through an organization than be one of the people that change is forced on.
It’s just natural human nature. So instead of fight it, embrace it.
Many organizations do things like have contests to name your intranet. Maybe that works for your organization; maybe not. You can always get them involved in providing their opinions. Here are a few ideas to get employees involved in your intranet.
Ask employees to:
- Help identify important information, including what should be on the home page and their department pages.
- Determine navigation through card sorting and usability tests.
- Provide opinions on design and brand overall and on specific pages.
- Read intranet information and provide feedback about whether it’s understandable.
- Help roll out the intranet, including talking to their colleagues and friends at work.
- Recommend for who can help own and update content. That may help identify content authors, if you don’t have any now.
- Vote or provide opinions on features. They may think they want specific features, but as you dig in, they may want something else.
The more employees involved they are, the more you can give talking points to them about what’s happening, how your intranet has been improved, etc.
After they’ve helped, thank them, recognize them (including your newsletter), and as you roll out the intranet remind employees how they assisted you. Don’t forget to use their opinions to remind employees this is what they helped build, design, request, and update.
It’s buy-in, but it’s also more collaborative. You’ll be happy with the results even if it takes longer. Better yet, they’ll be happy with the results.
2. Make the launch match your brand, and make it fun
How you roll out your intranet should mimic your brand. If your brand is innovative, consider some really unique ways of introducing the idea. If your brand is high-touch, gather people together and talk about it.
If you’re struggling for ideas, here are a few we’ve seen work!
- Create a scavenger hunt and search for things online. Give prizes to people who find it quickly.
- Have an all-employee party, where people get cookies in the shape of your logo and see the new intranet in action.
- As people work and surf to pages, provide instructions for them to win prizes on the page. When employees perform those directions, they get those prizes! Then take the prize off the page.
- Create posters and distribute them around your office. The more fun and innovative they are, the more successful they’ll be. For example, you can always parody a marketing campaign in the wild.
- Provide prizes based on metrics, who has used it within a day, week, etc. Include prizes for teams who used collaborative parts of the intranet to get real work done.
- Ask employees to give tips on using your intranet and publish them! When they do, they get prizes for participating.
3. Keep up the enthusiasm and governance
Many intranet launches happen and then fade away. (As actor Clancy Brown’s character said in The Highlander, “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away.”) After the enthusiasm wears off, so does the zeal for updating pages and ensuring information is compliant. Don’t let that happen!
Instead, find ways to keep the love of your intranet alive.
- Keep asking employees’ opinions and ideas on everything from better information and design to things they want and need. As part of your yearly internal communications survey, ensure your intranet is on it with questions that get their opinions. Include asking what isn’t there that they need.
- Continue rewarding employees for using it! You should have metrics down to the employee level — such as ElevatePoint provides. Use that and give prizes to people who are using your intranet the most to be productive.
- Give people recognition for updating pages and communicating those updates. For example, part of your intranet budget could be to provide something to your content authors and governance team as thanks.
- Use the governance your intranet provides, if it comes with it. ElevatePoint intranets come with governance.
- Meet regularly with your extended governance team to review updates. If your team is large, consider meeting less often with every member and instead meet more often with involved content authors from your major departments.
- Ask for your quality assurance team and information managers to join in! They’re motivated to ensure the intranet is compliant. Then, thank them.
- Make a big deal when major sections or new functionality is added to your intranet. Consider renewing the theme you used for rollout.
Launching an intranet takes work, but your effort, interest, and collaboration will make the endeavor more successful. It’ll ensure your intranet is adopted … and even loved.