Today's intranets are changing the way we can engage with our users. Adoption of social media trends, video, chat and mobile are enabling us to create vibrant intranets that become the epicentre of our business.
In the past we may have engaged with our users through flat content, images, polls and aptly named pages, we assumed everyone would find and use. Today we can fully embrace our intranets capabilities to create a truly interactive user experience that drives engagement.
It's also important to highlight that the role of the intranet is changing as its capabilities and technology develop. Given the changes in the way we work, with more remote working, flexible work patterns and the blurring of our work/life balance, our intranets are doing much more than they have in the past. They are no longer a contacts directory and document repository, they are the epicentre of our businesses, the glue that holds our business together, our virtual business community.
Here are our suggested new rules for intranet engagement
- Make it easy
Assume most users do not spend the day locked to their laptop these days, instead they use multiple devices, and images and video are captured on their phones. Ensure your intranet makes it easy for your users to access your intranet from any device and anywhere and upload content, whether that be images, video or copy.
- Maximise ways your users can engage with your intranet
Users today, still want to be able to find a person or a document quickly and easily, but they also want to comment, say what they feel (and how they are feeling today) and see who else is commenting on their content. Behaviour and emotive traits adopted from social media are today basic expectations of any software. Like, share, comment.
- Lead by example
Your content contributors need to lead the way and use videos, polls, and groups to engage with your users on a regular basis. Think about how often you want your users to login to your intranet? Daily, twice daily, more? The need for fresh relevant and useful content is critical.
- Can your intranet do that?
Today, your intranet can do more than ever before, but because of habit many of us need to stop and think intranet first. And if its something that everyone does that your intranet can’t then, maybe you’ve just discovered your next new improvement. Keeping in touch with your intranet community and listening to their frustrations, asking for feedback to make it the best it can be and observing how your business operates is essential to ensuring that your intranet reflects your business needs. Don't be shy in providing feedback to your intranet supplier, a good supplier will be excited to hear new ideas!
Traditionally, this has been the responsibility of the intranet steering committee that meet regularly, but today it’s everyone’s responsibility to give feedback to make your intranet the best it can be. As an aside, you need to make it as easy as possible to do this and be transparent and open about what improvements you are working on.
- Analyse your performance
Many of us produce performance reports for our websites, but our intranet can sometimes be left behind. Your intranet stats will tell you all you need to know about the journey your users are taking or why they aren’t. It’s a great insight, when matched with UX input can enable you to test small changes that can make a big difference.
I hope you have found this useful and it of course goes without saying all of the traditional content and campaign ideas to encourage more engagement still stand.
Today’s intranet means we need to be great multimedia content creators, understand our user’s behaviour and needs and interpret all of this to continually improve our intranets performance.