Engaging Intranet > Lame Intranet

Engaging Intranet > Lame Intranet

Our most popular blog post to date is this one, which is about the problem of SharePoint user adoption across an enterprise. Then we gave you some solutions here. We’ve talked about engaging employees through the use of SharePoint, and we even went on (and on!) about the social workplace and how SharePoint can facilitate giving good social. Furthermore, we made the bold statement that everyone needs an intranet.

How do all these pieces fit together? How can you use your SharePoint intranet to get employees engaged, mission-focused, productive, and using the heck out of your SharePoint investment? Especially when you’ve gone to the mat to get SharePoint in your org. Well. Glad you asked.

  1. Make it look freaking great. Gosh, it’s jerky to keep linking to our own stuff, but we talked about SharePoint “branding” here. Creating a sexy intranet will inspire users to use it. It’s basic but true–if it looks good, employees are far more likely to use it. Brand it, brand it, brand it so that your intranet represents your organization, and you have the perfect mix of pretty and practical.
  2. Make it mobile friendly. We all live on our phones. I’m drafting this on my phone right now. The harder an app or site is to use on my phone, the less likely I am to care about it. It feels like a waste of time, right? And that’s why your intranet has to be mobile friendly. Like… super-mega mobile friendly. Think about what you expect from an app: notifications, updates, refreshes. Your intranet needs to do all of it. SharePoint has gone through a mobile evolution to keep up.
  3. Make it relevant. We read news online because it’s evergreen. This is one trend we can’t thank Steve Jobs for. I think it’s a direct response to the “24-hour news cycle” that hit in the 90s. Your intranet content should be as fresh as possible. Otherwise, why would your users bother.
  4. Make it personal. Engaging content sounds subjective, but I’m not big on feelingsand think a formula can be applied to almost anything. So here’s the secret sauce to making your organizational intranet personal: Do some analysis. Who are your users? What do they need? That’s it. That’s engaging content. To further personalize, target content to specific audiences. We built a cool tool for this where audiences can be defined by admins and news can be targeted with specificity. What’s better than news created just for you?
  5. Make it functional. You can build a beautiful intranet app, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. In fact, it is likely to put some stink on your intranet’s reputation. “Oh, it’s always broken,” employees will generalize. I once reported to a CIO who used to say we are only as good as our last release, and that is a truism for intranet functionality as well. When you make changes, test them before unveiling them to the enterprise. Work out the kinks, make sure it’s awesome, then show off that new feature with confidence, like a boss.

Even when we are doing all the right things, remember it’s important to measure it. Know that your formula is working. Is your intranet truly beautiful, mobile, relevant, personal, and functional? You sure? Let us know if you need help. I know a guy. 

Thanks for reading!

M

 

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