It’s the new year and with it comes resolutions. We’ve compiled a quick checklist of five simple resolutions to make your organization’s digital workplace more engaging in 2015… and it doesn’t even require a new gym membership.

goodman_intranet_resolutions(ragan.com)

Make It Easy To Use

Don’t recreate the wheel in your design and functionality; instead use best practices already established within website and social media design that are popular externally, such as search placement, Facebook activity streams, and profiles.

That way it will be easy for your employees to know how to navigate, search and share information because they will intuitively know how to use it.

Make It Quick

While conducting intranet usability sessions at a Fortune 150 company, I constantly heard various levels of employees say they do not have time to hunt and peck for what they need to find on a company intranet because they already have too much to do in their regular job to waste time.

This follows how people use the web as well. According to usability experts Nelson Norman Group, people go to the web with a goal in mind.

Same with a company intranet. Employees typically launch it to find a specific piece of content fast. Give your users what they are seeking as quickly and as straightforward as possible.

Do so by periodically looking at your intranet’s search analytics, gather feedback via surveys, and watch employees actually using it to understand what matters most.

Then provide that content as directly as possible, whether it’s on the home page, in the top navigation, or in the mega menus. Since you saved them so much time, maybe they’ll have a few more minutes to read the company news, leave a comment, or like a post.

Encourage Visiting And The Habit Of Collaborating

At the end of the day, using an enterprise social network is a still a newer concept within a company, especially compared to external usage, but contributing to it could have impactful results.

  • Use direct managers as a channel to encourage the importance of visiting the company intranet and foster sharing on it amongst your individual contributors. Over-communicate its importance to people managers and share ways their employees may use it in a productive way, such as seeing valuable updates or sharing answers to questions your team redundantly receives.
  • Train “collaboration coaches” across the organization to foster engagement and encourage employees to use your communication channels according to predetermined use cases, whose goals may impact efficiencies, key performance indicators, or company culture.
  • Try simple gamification on your intranet to encourage engagement. For example, running an enter-to-win contest that encourages employees to comment on a news article for the chance to win a small prize works wonders to encourage participation with a low-investment, high-ROI engagement.

Listen A Lot

Gather feedback from the intranet’s various users constantly. Whether it’s in the discovery phase of selecting the right platform or years after the launch, constantly seek user requirements and feedback from your employees and leaders.

Instead of solely relying on survey results or gut instinct, do simple usability sessions on key communities and areas of your intranet, basically watching employees use it to find popular items. What people say and do are two different things.

So watch how your end users find content and use that information to increase the value of the intranet.

Strengthen Leadership Support. Better Yet, Strengthen Leadership Usage

From firsthand experience, it’s key to find a supportive leader of your intranet or enterprise social platform, and one who preferably reports directly to the CEO or has top leaders’ ears.

If employees don’t see leaders value it, why would they value it? Even if your employees do see value in your digital communications channel and use it, you need leadership support to finance the budget to keep it top notch.

Plus, it’s even more ideal if a leader actually uses the intranet him or herself, such as posting comments to it, to show employees it’s a priority.

Do you have additional ways or questions on how to engage employees in 2015 on your company intranet? We’d love to hear them and engage with you here.

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