Monday, 27 January 2014

22 killer features to attract your employees to intranet

A popular intranet leads to an open sharing culture.
So you are having tough time to attract your employees to the intranet? Worry not. Once you make the intranet a happening place, you will see the engagement growing day by day.

First and foremost, name and brand the intranet. It creates the feeling of ownership among the employees. Seeing the corporate colours, strategic design and the bits and pieces related to the brand personality, they feel like the site belongs to them. And it is where you start adding further information. Remember, “Hit the iron when it’s hot.”

Letting the page stand alone will not make it interactive. So, breathe life into it. Ask your CEO to write monthly, if he is not able to jot down a weekly motivating column. Though we always advocate for a horizontal structure where there are no hierarchies, we still look up to the senior management to guide and motivate us towards the organisational goals.  

Let the employees comment freely to the CEO’s column. This will invite an open platform of sharing ideas. Don’t edit the comments unless they are nasty and derogative. At the end, every employee has the rights to put forward their views.

We are always eager to know what our colleagues in the adjacent department are doing. Make a point to gather updates from each department and if your orgnisation is spread over many countries make sure to upload the recent news from each department and each country. It keeps all informed of the recent happenings in the organisation.

Another biggest crowdpuller is a column comprising the recent appearances in the media. Though we don’t admit, each of us has a little bit of Narcissus inside us which feels happy when it gets the limelight. Post the recent appearances of your work in the media and never forget to provide a link to the original story. It adds credibility.

A calendar of events and upcoming opportunities is another way to attract visitors to the intranet. They visit the page to check whether there are any opportunities available for them.      

It’s the age of knowledge sharing. Your credibility increases with the knowledge sharing. Make sure that you add a column “Interesting reads” where you share the recent happenings and any new document published in the areas you work. Employees will find this useful. Instead of searching in Google and other search engines, they will flock to the column for new reads.

Another way of engagement is putting a snapshot of your e-newsletter in the main page. Make the e-newsletter more collaborative, give chance to each office and each department and staff to write down their views. It is quite common that all are busy in their respective works. But it’s the responsibility of the communications department to encourage them to jot down their feelings and experience. Put snippets of the articles with “read more” buttons that lead the readers to the related pages.

Navigation is always an issue with the websites. The visitors leave the main page if they don’t find the relevant information. To keep them visiting the next pages provide the important links on the main page itself.

We keep on making simple mistakes while writing. It’s generally using wrong fonts, colours and tone of voice and even using the logo in a wrong manner. To avoid these petty mistakes, put a “Communications Toolbox” with the organisational house style, corporate identity guidelines and downloadable logos at a prominent place in the main page which takes the employees to the brand page.

The next important thing the employees look up to is the decisions made at the senior management level. Never forget to put a folder containing the senior management team meeting minutes. It enhances the transparency within the organisation and makes the staff feel that they are part of the decisions made.

People like to discuss and healthy discussion makes the management easier to decide on a certain topic. Make sure to provide links to the discussion topics within each department and offices. The trending topics will invite more participation and employees will visit the pages to put forward their views.

A section leading to the “New staff orientation” page attracts new employees and if you are able to keep on supplying interesting content to the new recruit s/he becomes a loyal visitor in the process.

Links leading to the pages “Staff directory”, “Benefits and services”, “Policies and procedures”, “Forms” further help to attract employees to the page.

A column on “People updates” leading to the details of newly hired staff, anniversary, birthdays, special achievements, birth of babies and other personal news is a way to create ownership aong the staff. It subsequently leads to greater traffic generation.  

Snapshots of the major activities that lead to the image gallery or the Flickr/Picasa based is another way to attract visitors. Instead of reading the full news, people like flipping images with right captions.

Looking at the popularity of microblogging, it might be a good idea to include the Twitter feeds of your organisation at a corner of the main page.

Even simple applications like “Booking a meeting room” and columns like “FAQs” and “Important/Urgent phone numbers” can be a way to generate more traffic to the intranet.

Word Clouds show which topics are trending and people are currently discussing about. It encourages and motivates the page coordinators to add more relevant and useful information in their respective pages so that they attract more visitors.

At the end of the page, a section “Browse the intranet” displaying the major pages with live links makes the navigation much easier. 

User of the month is another source of motivating the employees to visit the intranet. If you put a small picture and bio of the user who visited the intranet the most, it will encourage others to follow on the footsteps. It will generate more traffic to your intranet.

Sending page analytics to each offices and departments at the end of the month makes them informed about their performances. In a way it creates a competitive environment, encouraging the teams to perform better.

Having shared all the good things, it’s not a good idea to jumble up everything on the main page of the intranet. It will create confusion having so much information at one go. So, have faith on your conscience, choose the right and most important things to display on the main page, and go ahead with engaging your employees.

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