Has your non-performing intranet portal started to worry you? Is your intranet portal failing to engage your employees to the level you have expected? After all the investment, both in terms of time and money, under performance of such a powerful tool of internal communications can be really frustrating.
What is intranet portal?
An intranet portal is a kind of website which runs on an internal computer network (intranet) and caters to a limited number of audiences, often inside an organization. Intranet portal or intranet website provides its users with various tools to share information designed to facilitate collaboration and increase productivity. It is also a supremely efficient internal communication tool to keep employees informed, engaged and motivated.
However, there are strong factors which determine the success of an intranet portal. If not handled in a right manner, these portals can easily turn into dump yards for official data, remain underused by employees, sparks little to no collaboration among work forces and worse even being hated.
Well, if there is a problem then a solution is what we need. Here are 10 no-nonsense intranet portal engagement ideas, to boost up your internal communications effort:
- Keep your portal elegant, user friendly and easily navigable: First and foremost, examine the visual appeal of your intranet portal. Is the overall layout clear or cluttered? How user friendly is the navigation? Finding answers to these questions holds the key to the success of your intranet portal. It is a human nature to appreciate something which is easy on eyes and is visually elegant. A corporate environment doesn’t necessarily mean that you should cut on the visual appeal, simply because you are still dealing with people. This however, doesn’t give you liberty to start using flashy colors and quirky design style. A stylish intranet website or portal with clear navigation path, user friendly design and fast loading speed can go a long way in registering a strong and positive impression in the minds of your workforce. This can certainly entice them to utilize this wonderful platform.
- Keep the textual content crisp, easy to understand and useful: Who doesn’t love to read good information? While taking care of the content of the intranet portal, a great idea is adopt a news editor like approach. The textual content before being published on the portal should be checked for brevity, comprehension, syntax, typos, punctuation and relevancy. Employees in an organization are usually chasing their ever increasing deadlines and will always be short in time. Reason why, any information appearing on the portal should be ‘to the point’, engaging and designed to inform the reader in the shortest possible time with clarity and in an unambiguous manner. Also, it is very important to support the textual content with relevant images, illustrations, graphs and even better videos. This will help in conveying the inherent message clearly and effectively.
- Limit mass mails: If I am tasked to increase employee’s intranet portal engagement level in my organization, it will be idiotic on my part to not take a strong step in limiting the sending of mass mails. Mass mails are one of the biggest roadblocks for intranet website’s success. By reaching right into employees’ mail boxes, mass mails can disseminate the information you would have preferred to feature in your portal and thus eliminate the need for employees to visit the portal. Mass mails can be intrusive, misinterpreted, often written in a hurried manner and can give rise to rumors and grapevines. An effective solution would be to try persuading the senders in using the intranet website instead and offer them help in any possible manner. Explain them the merits of the portal in a way that they feel valued and convinced about its information disseminating abilities and they should hopefully come along.
- Dynamic and updated homepage: Intranet portal’s homepage with frequent updated topics keep its visitors interested and curious. It is the intranet manager’s and the editorial team’s responsibility to maintain a content calendar and ensure that the information on homepage remains informative and newsworthy.
- Maintain an accurate and complete profile page: Care should be taken to ensure that employees’ profile pages remain up-to-date and complete. The profile page should display key information about employees like their name, designation, image and contact details. Intranet portal’s usage as a platform to share and propose ideas and suggestions by the employees makes it vital for them to be properly identified and acknowledged.
- Maintain an efficient search engine: An intranet portal should have an intelligent search engine that should show only relevant searches. Use of proper titles, keywords and tags in the textual content will help in making the search easier, faster and more importantly relevant. Keep a close watch on how the search engine works and sort out any glitches or bugs with the help of your tech team.
- Quick and easy access: An easy access to the intranet website is vital for its success. A good idea is to have the portal as the default homepage across all the browsers in the organization.
- A place to ask questions: Maintaining a FAQ section on the intranet portal can be very helpful for employees to get answers to their doubts and queries instantly. This minimizes the need for employees to approach various departments like admin, human resource and finance for their questions. The intranet manager should keep the FAQ section updated and keep adding more questions of general interest; this will ensure that employees keep coming back to clarify their doubts.
- Encourage employees to contribute content: Humans by nature like to be valued and recognized. Intranet managers should encourage employees to contribute ‘how to do’ and motivational articles, industry best practices, puzzles and quizzes. This will do 2 important things – first, this will allow the content contributors to show their expertise and gain respect among peers; second, it will ensure a constant flow of content to be fed in the intranet portal. However, this content has to be moderated and an explicit protocol should be in place to avoid uncomfortable situations. Ideally, an editorial team comprising of representatives from different departments headed by the intranet managers can make the whole process of managing the intranet website an efficient one.
- Promotions: Promote your office intranet portal like you would promote your own business website. Sending internal newsletters to employees at regular intervals is a great way to attract visitors. Also, using the portal to organize various competitions with prizes to be won is sure to draw employees’ attention and participation. Promotion is thus one of the most potent intranet portal engagement ideas, which can breathe a new lease of life to your under performing intranet portal.