When deploying an intranet there is a lot of information and advice on what you should do to ensure adequate engagement and participation. However it’s equally important to understand what types of actions or behaviours can destroy your intranet.
While it is likely not someone’s intent to ruin an intranet, if we aren’t careful, one of these actions can really send us down the wrong path:
Get lazy with content
Unless you have an employee whose prime and sole responsibility is managing intranet content, it can be difficult staying on top of it. Posting a news item may feel like the lowest priority on your to-do list and the last thing you want to do, but when you let it slide once, it can quickly turn into a habit.
Make it department specific
That’s great that you work in marketing and that marketing had some fun last week. But what about the rest of the company? Make sure your intranet represents every department in your organization. If you can, designate departmental authors to upload their own content. Also, establish quick yet frequent content meetings so other departments are aware of what each other will be posting.
Make it hard to access
Employees aren’t going to log into your intranet if it is hard to access. For your intranet to be successful it needs to be mobile accessible with a simple way to log in. For many employees the ability to check their intranet during their commute home is a great way to catch up.
Forget to promote it
For your intranet to be successful your employees need to know it’s there. A lot of companies get overly confident after successful launch parties, but promotion can’t just stop there. Efforts must be made continuously so employees are always aware and reminded of your intranet; especially when it comes to new content, news, or events.
Continue to use other tools
It’s hard to get into the habit of using an intranet if you are still relying on other tools, processes, and paths that compete or conflict with your intranet. For example, you rely on outdated versions of documents because you’ve been accessing it off an old email copy instead of an updated online version. Or, perhaps you continue to send large quantities of emails to share information or have conversations when you could have shared a link to information on your intranet or encourage conversations / comments on your intranet.
Make navigation difficult
If important documents are buried in strange areas, you can’t expect users to find them. And when users can’t find what they are looking for on an intranet, they stop going to it altogether. Navigation can make or break your intranet, so always make sure everything–from documents, to news, to events–are easily discoverable.
Have you ever struggled with an intranet deployment? How did you rescue it?