Want to Improve Your Intranet? Ask Your Staff to Find Out How

author Kerensa Johnson, June 19, 2017

Intranet Team | Claromentis

An intranet could be in danger of lagging behind at any point in its lifecycle. An unsuccessful launch, an outdated system, or a change of working practices can all contribute to an intranet which no longer gets used as it should.

Your intranet should play a fundamental role in your workforce’s day-to-day activities, helping them achieve their goals rather than hinder them. So if your intranet software isn’t making that happen, it’s time to step back, assess why, and look for a solution. If the software is difficult to use, perhaps some refresher training is needed. If your intranet’s capabilities no longer match modern working practices, like smartphone compatibility and remote working, then it’s time to update the software.

But ultimately, the best way to get to the bottom of a struggling intranet is to ask the very people who use it – your staff. Guesswork will only get you so far, and you risk missing the bar if decisions are made without any data to back it up. Your employees will have first-hand experience of using the tools your intranet offers, so they are best qualified to explain what works and what doesn’t. So by consulting with your intranet users, you can rest easy knowing that you have the information you need to improve the system.

Open the feedback floor

The first step to getting feedback from your staff is to ensure they know that their opinion is valued. In some corporate cultures especially, there can be a top-down approach to management which is inflexible toward letting employees voice their ideas, but this can lead to a loss of valuable contributions. Innovation often starts with the employee, and by allowing your staff to have their say on the software they use, you will be able to provide them with a solution that actually works.

Something as simple as a survey, discussion forum, or Q&A session can be a great way to gain feedback, and it needn’t be a one-off process. Regular reviews of intranet opinion will ensure that the system stays up-to-date.

Assemble an intranet team

Once you have a good stash of feedback, take it to the next step and assemble a dedicated intranet team. Ensure you choose employees from all levels of the business, not just management, to get a wide array of opinions and perspectives. Equally, choosing staff from different teams is key, so that you get a good idea of how different areas of the business use the intranet. It’s no use having representatives from just the IT or Human Resources team, for example, as this will only give you a one-dimensional view of intranet usage.

Meet regularly

With your team assembled, ensure time is set aside regularly to review feedback and assess if any improvements that were made were successful. Continuous improvement of the software is much more fruitful than simply letting it get stale or pushing through with a change that isn’t going to work. By meeting with your intranet team frequently, you can address any potential issues quickly and resolve them before it’s too late. This process is known as “inspect and adapt”, a tried and tested method taken from the Agile framework.

Once you have a process in place to gather feedback, collaborate with intranet users, and inspect and adapt improvements, your intranet will always remain relevant.

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