Monitoring performance is critical to the success of your intranet and establishing the value of your digital workplace to your employees. However, metrics rarely come with hard and fast rules, or present a one-size-fits-all solution to determining the effectiveness of your intranet.
The business case for developing a robust set of metrics is straightforward. By demonstrating the success of your intranet you make the case for sustained investment. But on a more fundamental level you’ll be motivating individual communities to optimise their own areas of expertise and driving forward a culture that feeds on continuous improvement. Therefore it’s fundamental to the success of your intranet metrics they they’re introduced alongside any new intranet software and that you measure and track consistently from the start.
Planning your metrics strategy
Deciding what you will measure is critical to determining the progress of your intranet over time. However, it’s essential that you focus on a range of metrics to develop a more complete picture of how your intranet software is performing. There are several areas, however, that are crucial to determining the overall health of your intranet.
• Usage: Whether you use built-in metrics or third party analytics, you need to establish simple usage metrics including unique visits and users, bounce rate and average time spent on-site. Take the time to understand the context of these statistics – for example, are visitor numbers artificially high because an intranet home page autoloads each visit?
• Engagement: You can measure that your workforce are accessing your intranet but how many are actively engaged with content and communication? Consider user engagement metrics including shares and comments, participation rates, user generated content and completed employee profiles to measure engagement and gain a deeper insight into your organisational culture. For example, provable employee interaction may be an indication of increasing connectivity and transparency in your organisation.
• Satisfaction: These metrics alone can’t measure user satisfaction and can in some cases mask dissatisfaction with a confusing layout or frustrating search mechanisms. Consider using an on-board or third party tool to deliver user satisfaction surveys and measure not only overall satisfaction but satisfaction with, and awareness off, key areas and features within your intranet. When you introduce new intranet features, use polls and user ratings to immediately capture user reactions.
• Efficiency: If your intranet is working efficiently as part of your wider digital network then you’ll be enabling users to share and collaborate with faster enterprise processes and better access to information. Look at metrics related to usability including task completion rates, HR self service uptake and load times as key indicators of time saved and overall productivity and efficiency. This is a critical metric when making the business case for new intranet software, demonstrating minutes available for the performance of higher value work and estimated cost of efficiency savings to the organisation.
• Impact on the digital workplace
If your intranet is conceived as a self-service hub then its performance can directly impact on other channels. Sample metrics including volumes of emails and help desk tickets overall and per department can become key indicators of the value of your intranet and the impact on other channels – for example, is there an uptick in online training because of clear signposting to available programmes on your intranet homepage?
• Impact on the organisation as a whole
As part of the wider implementation of the digital workplace, an intranet is also a means of achieving key strategic goals and objectives. Demonstrate the impact that your intranet has on your organisation’s success and you can make the case for greater investment. Pulling metrics from as wide a sample size as possible allows you to make the best possible case for funding. Keep mapping back to your strategy to capture the information you need to support your aims and objectives for future development.
Metrics don’t tell the full story
Numbers alone can’t deliver a true picture of the success, efficiency and impact of your intranet. Adding context with narrative and anecdotal elements is more illustrative and relatable than statistics alone. Likewise, long term trends are more useful than absolutes so take a deep dive into your data to pinpoint the underlying trends across a range of datasets.
In order for your data to deliver real value to your organisation, integrate your analytics as part of a wider and ongoing formal review process. Optimising your intranet using metric and benchmarking data can deliver the kind of deep and powerful insights that help your intranet either fail fast or deliver faster.
Planning what you measure, and how and when you measure, is ultimately of no value if you don’t act on what you find. Using metrics and data analysis can prove the business case for further improvement or validate previous decisions. Never run metrics for the sake of measuring but always with a view to evaluating and improving the performance of your intranet, your digital workplace and your organisation as a whole.
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