Seeing Is Believing – Intranets are a Commitment to Communication

Have you overheard your employees saying things like “I don’t know where to go for company news” or “I feel like we don’t hear from company leaders enough” or, worst of all, “We have an intranet?”

As many companies reach the one-year mark of shifting many employees to remote working, it’s critical for companies to have a robust intranet that keeps colleagues informed and connected.

Here are five simple tips for upgrading your intranet without breaking the bank. And, best of all, you can institute these changes by the end of next week.

1. Keep your site short and sweet. Colleagues are busy; they don’t have time to fumble around on the intranet trying to find important information.

How do you streamline? Top company news and updates should always be front and center. It’s fine to have lots of subpages – in fact, it’s encouraged if your company or division encompasses many roles, responsibilities and regions. But that’s not an excuse for burying important content. There’s a fine line between making the intranet feel like a one-stop shop, and having so much content it’s impossible to find anything. Finding that sweet spot will improve engagement and keep employees’ eyes on the most important news.

2. Add video. The data continue to show that video is one of the most effective ways to convey messages to employees. According to one study, people stay on a webpage that contains a video about 2.5 times longer than they do on webpages without video. And you don’t need fancy equipment to start incorporating video into your company messages. A quick and minimally edited video recorded on an iPhone that is authentic will likely get your employees to pay attention to the message more than a written communication. As workers continue to stay remote for the foreseeable future, video is an easy way for colleagues to feel like they’re seeing and hearing from company leaders.

3. Look at metrics. How do you know you’re communicating effectively across the organization if you don’t measure the success of your tools? Communication effectiveness can be measured in video views, page hits, how long colleagues spend on intranet pages and more. Google Analytics is one free tool that can track this information, and it’s compatible with most platforms. If content is underperforming, switch it up and try something new—perhaps a video, infographic or interactive approach—with your next message. It’ll likely boost engagement quickly as viewers are drawn to something new and innovative. If your content is performing well, hey, great job! Keep it up. But you won’t know that until you look at the numbers.

4. Conduct a survey. I get it: “survey fatigue” is right up there with “Zoom fatigue” these days. But your site metrics will only get you so far. They’ll tell you what types of content people are—or aren’t—consuming, but it doesn’t get into the explain the “why.” Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues what they like and dislike about the intranet.

In my experience, the results of an intranet effectiveness survey can provide your team with immediate direction. So, conduct a survey and see what you can do to make the intranet experience more enjoyable. But remember that like metrics, you should develop a plan to act based on the results. Survey fatigue grows like a weed when employees don’t see a connection between their feedback and change.

5. Empower your employees to create a positive experience on the intranet. Communication is not a one-way street. Colleagues who feel they can’t communicate effectively with each other and management are more likely to feel burned out, frustrated, and leave the organization. Whether they’re using an integrated messaging system or an external tool (like Yammer from the Microsoft Suite), your employees should feel empowered to create a community and culture they’re proud of.

Having an intranet that employees enjoy visiting can improve your company culture and prevent messages from falling through the cracks. But you can’t take a “set it and forget it” approach if you expect engagement to stay high. Intranets are living, breathing online communities that need (and deserve) continual maintenance and adherence to everchanging workplace trends. These five steps can help get and keep you on track.

How do these steps align with your approach to managing your corporate intranet?

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