How to Drive Intranet Adoption Within Your Franchise Business

author Brett Dixon, April 21, 2017

Implementing an intranet in your new franchise business is a great idea in theory, but the concept will only be successful and add value to your operation if you can persuade your employees to adopt and use it.

Make your company intranet name memorable

Your first challenge is to persuade your employees to associate your company intranet with a useful function and the best way to do that is to give it a memorable name that translates. For example, ‘Google’ is now used in common parlance as a verb; people refer to ‘Googling’ something in order to find the information they require.

Try to decide on an intranet name that is meaningful, memorable, and resonates with your employees. A name that addresses what staff members can do on your intranet will inspire adoption much more than something bland.

A great example of an intranet name that does what it says on the tin is that adopted by the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA – ‘Fetch’. ‘Fetch’ effectively describes retrieving information and resources via the organisation’s intranet, as well as being a pertinent word associated with the dogs they rescue and care for.

Personalise your company intranet

When designing your intranet, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Not all your staff members will want to look at the same content, feeds, and resources so be sure to provide areas that employees can personalise to their own preferences, driving engagement and improving adoption rates.

Some ways in which personalisation can be permitted include:

  • personal bookmarks and tools
  • employee profiles that can be customised
  • user alerts and subscriptions
  • employee message boards
  • employee status updates

Providing opportunities for employees to personalise the intranet to their own preferences allows them to feel that they have a stake in the intranet and adoption rates will increase.

Make your intranet an essential element of your digital workplace

Your employees will use your company intranet if you make it an essential tool for their work. A good way of achieving this is to create a centralised document management facility, effectively making the intranet a go-to resource for all approved company documents essential to your employees’ daily work. Automated workflows are another good way of making accessing and using the company intranet an essential part of your employees’ day-to-day routine.

Other ideas to make a visit to your company intranet an essential daily event include:

  • a company news bulletin board with announcements and news
  • events calendars
  • team or department sites where important specific information is shared

Your aim is to make your company intranet an essential port of call that your staff access daily as part of their work.

Collaboration is essential

Rather than simply forcing information on your employees and using your company intranet as a one-way communication system, it’s important that you encourage their input and feedback too.

If staff members buy-in to the idea that they can use the intranet to have their say and that their opinions are sought after and valued, intranet adoption rates will improve. Within your intranet software are various collaboration tools that you should use to your advantage, including:

  • team or department specific sites and project management sites where team members have a dedicated space where they can collaborate
  • idea share exchanges where employees can give feedback on any aspect of your organisation
  • discussion forums are great spaces where employees can have ongoing conversations on matters that impact on your company

In addition to business-related matters, you can also use the intranet to encourage social collaboration, which helps to build company loyalty and promotes peer interaction.

Make your company intranet a fun place to spend time

A company intranet can also be used to provide a fun environment and to build a sense of community amongst your workforce. You can set up dedicated areas of the intranet to promote team-building events and to advertise upcoming social events and charity incentives, etc.

If your workers associate your company intranet with a fun experience, adoption rates will increase. A few other easy and rewarding ways to ‘fun-up’ your intranet include:

  • employee nominations and rewards
  • employee competitions and prizes
  • employee anniversaries and birthdays
  • employee weddings and births
  • a staff buy and sell exchange
  • recipe exchange
  • online photo albums with pictures of corporate events, etc

If the company intranet is seen by staff as a place to connect and have fun, as well as to seek information pertinent to their work, they will use it on a regular basis.

A well-conceived company intranet is only fully effective if your workforce can be encouraged to adopt and use it. Follow the tips given above to ensure that your company intranet reaches its full potential and maximum staff engagement.

For more information on how a company intranet could benefit your new franchise business, contact the experts at Claromentis.