Let’s take a look at a common frustration among Communicators, the dreaded company intranet. We’ll commonly hear how communicators are taking the initiative to do an over-haul of their company’s intranet. However, most Communicators fall into the trap of making the intranet “look” and “feel” good as opposed to improving upon its functionality and actually serving as a tool to help employees get the job done. It’s this latter point that differentiates the best in class intranets from the rest of the field. What the best companies understand is that their employees want an intranet that serves as a compliment to the way they already work, thus making the “look” and “feel” good tactic on its own insufficient to achieve your goal – to have your employees use and enjoy the intranet!
Now let’s get into those 3 things that will make your company’s intranet a success story:
- Employee Research
If you want to create a successful intranet where your employees actually want to use it to do their jobs better then you first must understand what your colleagues are attempting to accomplish. A common error that Communicators make is that they assume to know a lot more about their fellow colleagues than they actually do. Now it’s understandable for you to be skeptical, especially when you consider how many internal surveys you conduct – surely I must know what everyone is looking for, right? Unfortunately, that tends to not be the case. But worry not, because we have identified a number of techniques that used in combination will give you a much better understanding of what it is your colleagues want and need.
- Iterative Design
With this step you have to understand that your intranet is a constant work in progress – and it should be as roles and responsibilities within your firm are likely to evolve over time. Here, you really want to get to know your intranets core users, as whom better to provide feedback on what needs improvement and they can also suggest how to fix it. Take a look at the 4 Steps we have concluded will help your team successfully conduct the Iterative Design process.
- Ongoing Evaluation
This is similar to the Iterative Design process with respect to the fact that the success of the intranet will ultimately be judged on how well it keeps pace with the demands and changing dynamics of the employees. Sure we can take a pulse by analyzing the clicks and views metrics, but that doesn’t really tell us the whole story. For example, while beneficial on some fronts, these metrics don’t reveal why the user was accessing the intranet nor what they wish was available on the intranet. Fortunately, we’ve been able to uncover other means of obtaining this crucial information, so that you can create a strong intranet.
All in all, creating a successful intranet may sound like a daunting task, especially when you understand that it’s a constant work in progress. However, with the above advice that we’re able to provide you, this is something that is not only achievable, but something that your team can do on its own without the assistance of any external designers or vendors and your colleagues will thank you for it!
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