Friday, 24 January 2014

Brand the intranet, engage employees

Brand your intranet, it also needs a name! (C)
“I never feel like visiting the intranet.”

“It’s boring.”

“I don’t see any value getting there. It doesn’t look like our website.”

You must have heard these murmurings in your office. And especially if you are responsible for communications, it seems that the grapevine is abuzz with denials and negativity all the time.

In spite of being one of the tools to facilitate communication between employees, the intranet turns out to be a tedious task to handle, if not used properly.   

While the intranet needs killer features to attract employees (I will talk about it in my next post), the step preceding the content creation is branding. Branding the intranet. In terms of organisational culture, mission and values. 

Naming the intranet
The first and foremost step in branding is to come up with a name which connects well with the purpose and organisational mission. I like the name of WWF’s intranet. It’s called “CONNECT” and it lives up to its name connecting employees across the globe. Naming can be rhymed like “Pipeline”, the newsletter of an oil company and “Inner Sole”, the newsletter of a shoe manufacturing company.

You can find a list of creative names at SnapComms. Though they are meant for employee newsletters, you can get a cue for naming your intranet from them.

Look and feel
The intranet should don the corporate colours and their variants. Although the corporate typefaces cannot be used all the time, the alternative fonts like Verdana can be used to give it a decent look. Too many pictures in a page or a bland page without any image, both are a complete No-No. Try to maintain the visual balance on the page.

The masthead
The masthead or banner should boldly spell out the name of the intranet along with the corporate tagline. While designing the masthead make sure to use the motifs related to the organisation’s strategy, mission and values, if you are using one. Otherwise, bold type typefaces or specially designed fonts can be used. Sometimes, calligraphy can do wonders.     

The master page
The main page of the intranet should carry the zing thing. By zing thing, I mean to include an inspirational message every week from the CEO, news from offices across the globe, appearances in the media, useful links, navigational links to important pages and other important stuffs that you think should be there in the main page.

The design, look and feel of the following pages should be consistent with the master page. So that you don’t juxtapose oranges with apples!

Now, if you are done with the initial branding, you can start creating killer content to attract your colleagues to the intranet. You have crossed the first step. The branding will help build the initial trust and ownership, instigate the engagement, subsequently leading to employee loyalty towards the intranet. 

1 comment:

  1. It is important to keep in mind that other than the main reason why employers create social intranet, which is for communication and business purposes, it is also a good payoff to keep in mind that an intranet should be fun and light, presented in a well designed website and promoted diversity, private and secured and allows open communication between employees and employers. Here is an article that lists some good tips to promote employee engagement in regard to social intranets: