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The Team Collaboration Blog

4-12-2017
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High Engagement after Intranet Launch

Get tips and inspiration on how to keep employee engagement high after launch.

Once you have had a successful launch day for your new intranet, it's important that the work around the intranet doesn't just end, but keeps being prioritized and seen as a process rather than a project that's done. It is important to keep engaging your employees and work with the intranet to reach your intranet goals.

There are several ways to do this. This blog post will guide you through some of the activities that Colibo recommends. The key is to continue keeping a positive attitude towards the intranet and educating the employees to take responsibility for the ongoing optimization of their use of their new intranet. The more they see the value of it, the easier will it be for you to secure high employee engagement.

 

Keep engaging ambassadors

One of the key factors to successfully engage the end users in using their new intranet and getting the most out of the platform in their work life is to educate and engage ambassadors throughout the process. This can either be the key gatekeepers in each department or employees who show extra interest in the intranet. The intranet managers should work to nurture the employees’ already existing interest and engagement in the platform, which in turn will make them great ambassadors for the organization.

As they will naturally share their enthusiasm and perspective, the employees around them will automatically be affected to use the platform even more. You can see it this way: The ambassadors are your link to the end users. By engaging the ambassadors, you have come a long way to make the end users enthusiastic about the intranet too.

For this to happen, the management should allocate time and resources for the ambassadors. Setting up some guidelines will make it easier for the ambassadors to spend some time producing different kinds of material and campaigns and hold meetings with the end users.

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Engagement through a series of digital content

Most organizations’ communication is digital, which therefore can be a useful channel to create attention around the new intranet once it's been launched. You could for example create interesting content on the intranet that makes employees want to visit and engage. For inspiration on content ideas to secure intranet adoption, take a look at this article:

 

12 Intranet Content Ideas to Secure Intranet Adoption

 

The first period after the launch, it can be beneficial to remind the employees about features and how to use the intranet in the best possible way, e.g. in smaller bites through a series of emails or intranet news articles. For example, you can choose to focus on a new feature each month and upload a video or a news article which shows in which situations it is beneficial to use the feature.

You can also create small news stories that tell or show how other departments are using the intranet or you can guide employees through the features and how they can be used in your organization. If a department has done something particularly well, you should share it with the rest of the organization. The more examples you can provide, which show the potential of the intranet to the employees, the better.

By dividing the information into smaller pieces, you have the best preconditions for everyone to slowly learn how their needs can be met on the intranet, and at the same time, you avoid them being overloaded with information, they probably won't remember anyway.

 

Facilitating intranet work in the individual departments

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One aspect is how the organization plans on using the new intranet in general, another aspect is what needs every individual department has. Make it easy for department managers to facilitate the intranet work and make decisions regarding their specific use of it. The more freedom they have to form and use the intranet the way it is most valuable to them, the better.

As intranet manager, you can create a framework for the department managers or key gatekeepers to facilitate intranet work in their department after launch. It doesn't have to be a huge setup, but some guides on how to work with the departments' needs in relation to the intranet. It can be recommendations on how to include the intranet on weekly meetings or facilitating individual workshops with employees in the department. It is also a good idea to make a system for feedback; in this way, the employees have the opportunity to come up with ideas or questions. That will also keep the engagement high, as they will feel they are a part of forming the intranet too. It is also possible to make a workgroup for the ambassadors on the intranet, where they can discuss different issues related to the intranet and share tips and inspiration across departments.

 

Offer departments to book an intranet session

Once you have launched the intranet, you will already have several super users or ambassadors, who can give meaningful intranet sessions or introductions to the rest of the organisation.

As your employees have already got a general introduction to the intranet, the key is now to offer courses in how to solve specific daily tasks, as your employees will have different needs and thereby different priorities. It is therefore a good idea to offer a range of different courses, so they can pick what is relevant to them. If you have many employees who use the intranet through their mobile, it is for example important to focus on this by e.g. educating in best practice. If the intranet is not user-friendly for mobile users, it is more likely that they simply won’t use it. Therefore, it is important to teach the employees how to communicate on the intranet, e.g. by using pictures, small amounts of text, etc.

It is also a good idea to educate them on how to communicate. Many employees are not used to publishing news or posts themselves – this is typically the responsibility of the communications department. Therefore, for the employees to use the intranet and make them feel ‘comfortable’ producing content, it is a good idea to make some guidelines as to how to communicate. Otherwise, you risk that some employees will hold back because they are not sure how to do it.

Every department doesn’t necessarily have to book an intranet session. Just offer the departments a one or two-hour session with an intranet expert from the organization, who can help them get the most out of the platform. Not everyone will find it necessary, but it can be valuable both for the departments, but also for the intranet managers to know what is challenging for the end users in relation to onboarding users. In this way, the intranet managers also have a better starting point to deal with the issues or questions that might arise when the employees start using the intranet.

 

Intranet contests

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Have small contests on the intranet to get employees to visit the platform and engage with it. You don't have to be worried about employees visiting the intranet only because of non-work-related content or events. The interest for the more work-related content will come along with the less work-related. And contests are an excellent way to get the employees to engage. If one of your goals with the intranet is to raise employee engagement, or employee satisfaction, this is also a brilliant tool, as the social part of a digital workspace is just as important as the professional.

In December you can make a Christmas calendar that requires employees to visit the intranet if they want to participate. It can also be a contest where intranet managers leave small clues around the intranet to solve a riddle, which again requires the employees to navigate in different areas of the intranet.

One example from the Colibo customer, FAB, where they arranged a competition, where employees could win tickets to the zoo if they were the one who had made the most seen news-update.

You can also make the employees use specific features, such as producing a news article, and see who gets the most views. Or make them create a group and see who gets most members. By actually making them use the features from the beginning, the employees will be more likely to get back to the intranet and use it in their workday in the future.

This is just a few examples. There are a lot of ways to facilitate online contests, just consider what your desired outcome should be and start planning.

 

Internal intranet campaigns

Throughout the intranet process, it can be beneficial to create internal campaigns to remind employees of the intranet and different areas, features or new ways to use it. Your campaign can last for as long as you wish, e.g. a few days or you can even create a month-long campaign.

For example, find out what challenges the employees are facing, and focus on them in intranet content, meetings, emails etc. for a given period and maybe mix it up with physical activities or events.

After six months or so from the launch, you can also create a campaign that once again focuses on the intranet goals for your organisation and how departments and employees can work to optimize their use of the intranet in relation to these goals. Keeping the attention on the intranet as an ongoing process will also educate employees to think the same way, which means that they eventually will keep optimizing their use without the reminder.

 

Regular presentations or webinars

As intranets constantly develop, it can be a great occasion to gather the organisation either online or to a physical event to go through new features and once again focus on intranet goals and change through the intranet.

 

Evaluation

A part of organizing the work after your launch day should involve an evaluation plan for the year to come. Evaluating your intranet as an ongoing process is one of the best ways to keep focusing on change and improvement of your use of the intranet. You can decide to have an evaluation once a year or break the evaluation down into smaller pieces that become a part of the ongoing work with the intranet. This is also a good idea to keep the employees’ engagement high, as they will see how a continual improvement makes their workday more effective.

 

Concluding remarks

There are a lot of other ways to organise the work with the intranet once it's launched. First of all, take a look at your organisation and try to identify what would work in your specific context. What works for one organisation might not work for the other, and you are the expert on your organisation.

While the launch day is a brilliant tool to raise awareness towards the intranet, it takes time for the employees to fully integrate the intranet into their daily workflow and use it is their digital workplace. Only then will you experience the change you want to see in the organisation, so be patient and put a great deal of effort into the period after launch.

Colibo can assist in guidance on this topic, if you need advice on how to structure the future work around your intranet. Learn more about how Colibos Customer Success team can help you.

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Julie Tobiesen
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Julie Tobiesen
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