Building a social intranet platform for your business is an effective way of boosting staff morale and engagement. However, the only way to ensure that you continue to get maximum value from your intranet and digital workplace is to ensure that your employees keep coming back to use the centralised platform time and time again.
The social intranet lifecycle
A company social intranet platform tends to have a natural lifecycle, regardless of whether it’s brand new or whether it has been in place for years.
When an intranet platform is first launched, persuading users to engage with and use the new enterprise social network is relatively easy.
Existing staff members are interested and intrigued by the novelty of a new system, and they will likely buy-in to it so long as you invest in knowledge sharing tools and training. New employees who have been introduced to the social intranet as part of their induction training course tend to be enthusiastic and keen to be seen using the technology.
However, it is common to see use of and engagement with your company’s social intranet begin to wane and user numbers often start to fall. This is an outcome that no-one wants to see, especially given the investment in resources, finances, and time that has been expended in order to get the company’s modern intranet launched and functional.
What is social intranet software?
Social intranet software is a platform that is designed to centralise your company’s content, information, and collaboration. From there, app and software integrations can be added to the social intranet so employees can access all resources.
Planning for maintaining future engagement
For your company intranet investment to be truly successful, you will need to make sure that your employees continue to use the platform regularly. This process begins at the very inception of the project and continues long after the launch of your company social intranet.
Right from the start, you must plan and consider the needs of your users. Skill levels and individual needs will vary tremendously across different departments, especially if you have remote working employees as well as regular site staff.
Think carefully about user content, usability, workflow tools, and other productivity-enabling apps. Your social intranet should grow and evolve with your business and it should reflect the changing needs of your users, especially in light of the new digitally focused workforce.
In a nutshell, your social intranet solution and accompanying digital tools should remain relevant and useful to all your users in order to keep them engaged and interested in using it. If your employees derive nothing of any interest or use by visiting the intranet, they simply won’t bother.
The following are sure-fire ways of keeping your users coming back to your social intranet again and again.
1. Make sure the search function is effective
One guaranteed turn-off for users is not being able to find the information or the forms that they need quickly and easily. Make sure that the search functionality of your intranet software is efficient, effective, and user-friendly.
2. Make your social intranet platform easy to use
Remember that not everyone in your business will be technically savvy and may find using an intranet platform daunting. Make your social intranet easy to use and navigate so that everyone can access, create, and edit relevant content regardless of their technical ability.
3. Provide users with the content they need to make their daily work easier
By integrating single-sign-on to your various different online workflow tools, you will provide your users with one place where they can access everything they need. A centralised intranet should enable users to access company information, social tools, workflow forms, and everything else that they might need in order to carry out their daily tasks.
4. Encourage collaboration and social interaction
These days, most people have at least one social media account that they use to keep up with friends and communicate online. You can tap into this by setting up forums, team spaces, and blogs to which staff members can contribute on your social intranet platform.
5. Reward collaboration and individual success
One of the best ways of boosting collaboration is to acknowledge and reward those who embrace it. Look at your usage metrics and reward your company’s intranet power users. Look to see if any ideas that were spawned from forum discussions or employee suggestion noticeboards generated success for the company, and if so, share and celebrate it with all your intranet users.
Offering small rewards and prizes to those who contribute to certain areas of the intranet is also a good way of encouraging employees to remain engaged and enthused about the platform.
Your company’s social intranet platform can be a very important tool in keeping your employees motivated and happy in the workplace. Keeping staff members engaged with and active on your intranet takes thought and effort, but the rewards you receive will be worth it.