Communicating your intranet purpose
First and foremost, you need to outline why your employees need a new intranet. Start by explaining the purpose of the new intranet. As intranet managers and key gatekeepers, you have been working with the intranet for several months before launching it to the rest of the organisation. The purpose is obvious to you, but remember that the official intranet launch day is probably the first time the rest of the organisation sees the intranet. Your colleagues don't have months of experience working with the intranet.
They are probably doing their daily work, and all of a sudden, they are introduced to this new platform, that intranet managers tell them is valuable - but why is it valuable? It is not enough to just say it; you need to show it. If the purpose is not obvious to the end-users when the platform is launched, it can be difficult to get employees interested. So, the first impression is important.
We talked about intranet ideas you can use to increase early and rapid adoption in this blog post: 12 intranet content ideas to secure intranet adoption.
How to make it meaningful?
Knowing your purpose is the first step. The second step is to communicate it in a meaningful way that resonates with every employee. This can be a challenge in a big organisation with a lot of different groups of employees. Start grouping them about their needs compared to what the intranet can offer this specific group. Maybe you divide the organisation into only two groups; Mobile users and PC users. Planning a launch day presentation or video or whatever feels right for you, this distinction already talks more specifically about the employees' needs, which makes it more meaningful for the individual user.
Maybe you have different groups; the typical communicators and the non-communicators. How do you talk to these groups when describing the new intranet? Or maybe you are dividing the organisation into even more groups. It all depends on your context and what kind of needs the employees have. The more meaningful and valuable the new intranet seems towards the employees from the beginning, the better. Turn it from the organisations perspective to the employees'. What would be meaningful to them?
Involve the management in your launch day plans
It is important that you involve the management in your intranet launch day plans, as it is motivating for the end users, that the management is visible in the intranet project. Here are a few tips to involve your management in the process:
- Talk about the intranet at meetings - eg. Show a demo of the intranet that display what options are available on the intranet and how your organisation will use it
- Encourages executives to create news that welcomes their end users on the intranet
- Make sure that all information and news from management is sent on the intranet, rather than on mails.
Consider if you need a public or quiet launch day
Do you need a big launch party to get a successful onboarding? Not necessarily. It is also perfectly fine to plan a quiet launch day. Here are a few things to consider:
Public launch day
A public launch includes marketing and promotion before launch day; launch date announced several weeks before the launch, marketing campaigns and activities to create awareness among employees. Make a public launch day if you are sure that the intranet will be ready for the launch day, and you have experienced few previous failures by IT to meet delivery dates.
Quiet launch day
Plan a quiet launch if the intranet development is continuous, meaning a formal launch day may not be applicable. If your organisation has experienced previous failures by IT to meet delivery dates, a quiet launch day might also be a good idea. Furthermore, you may consider quiet launch activities if you have previous experience with users not reacting well to previous public system launches. A quiet launch day may include marketing and promotion after system launch, internal launch day targeted at development and content team and system awareness after intranet release.
What does a fun launch day look like?
Intranets are boring to a lot of people. We know. But it doesn't have to be. See if you can find creative ways to make the launch day more fun. Intranets are all about making your organisation even stronger and better. At the same time, it is all about the employees. So, celebrate your organisation and make it all of the employees. Take a starting point from your organisation's context and overall strategy, and let the technical part be secondary.
Depending on the size of your organisation, have a get-together where the entire organisation is gathered. If your organisation is too big for that, or if the employees are spread out in different locations, have a virtual get-together, and maybe make sure that the different locations facilitate something in their physical space as well.
You can also do the launch online with a mail series, videos, live chat or webinars to have everyone gathered to make sure that everyone is getting the same information.
Planning your intranet launch day
There are a few elements that we recommend for a successful launch day.
- Communicate the purpose of the intranet with emphasis on your organisation's needs
- Have small presentations with focus on different groups (have a key person from the specific group to the presentation to make it more credible)
- Introduce the platform with a focus on the overall principles
- Make sure to take time to answer any questions there may be
- Consider if there should be any gadgets to create more awareness to the new intranet (power banks, stickers, t-shirts etc.)
- Make sure that everyone knows what to do from now on and remember to follow up
- If you have a lot of mobile users, have a session where you show everyone how to bookmark their new intranet on their mobile phones
If you need guidance or assistance in planning your launch day, Colibo is always available to facilitate this process with you.