It’s a strange time right now in workplaces around the world as many of us continue the shift towards the ‘new normal’.
But, this current scenario isn’t forever; it’s for right now.
And just like many of us are using this time in our personal lives to declutter, and reflect, it’s equally wise for us to make the most of this time in the workplace. We might not feel motivated, but the small steps we take today can go a long way in helping position all of us for the rebound.
So let’s make the most of right now so that when things get back to ‘normal’, we are ready to go, and positioned to be successful.
Now is the perfect time to reset and refocus your intranet objectives. Here are 20 things you can do right now to better position yourself for the rebound.
1. Update employee profiles
From personal contact details, to org chart information, to areas of expertise, to affiliated groups and teams, an employee profile page provides tremendous insight.
Unfortunately, few of us take the time to keep it updated. Or, we complete our profile the day we are hired, and forget all about it a few years later. The good news is that this is one of the easiest activities to tackle. You could even gamify it, and create a badge for every section of the profile page an employee completes.
If you are looking for more tips to get the most out of your employee directory, you can read this article on maximizing your employee directory.
2. Organize sales content
Intranets are ideal for hosting a repository of information. Content and documents on your intranet can easily be updated, shared, and collaborated on jointly with other departments or individuals.
While every department is worthy of having their own section, sales is definitely one the most critical departments.
If you haven’t already created a department page for your sales team, now is the time to start one. You could include things like an RFP section, meeting minutes, a sales playbook, product brochures etc.
3. Launch a poll
The secret to a successful intranet is to populate it with content that employees want to read. A quick and fun way to take the temperature of staff opinions is with a poll. With the latest release of ThoughtFarmer, you can easily add a poll card to a news post to get instant feedback on how employees are feeling, or if they understand your communications.
Polls are a quick way to enhance engagement. It doesn’t have to be serious! In fact, it’s usually the frivolous ones that attract the highest interaction.
4. Take advantage of customization options
One of the best benefits to our intranet software is the ability to customize and brand information. While we take customization pretty far in our own intranet, it’s usually our customers that inspire us the most. You can see some of our best examples in our whitepaper 6 Award Winning Intranets.
Some of our customization options carry a fee, but many our free, and can be tackled easily and quickly. Check out our top requested intranet add-ons.
5. Add in some gamification elements
One of our customers incorporated gamification as a way to keep their employees constantly coming back to their intranet. They set up a system that awarded badges for tasks such as commenting on a discussion, or completing an employee profile, or completing relevant learning modules.
The gamification spurred immediate intranet adoption after launch and encouraged engagement. It also tapped into something more inherent—the enjoyment people get when they compete.
6. Organize policies and procedures
If you are like us, you have probably been relying more on internal policies in the last few months. Policies like remote work or COVID-19 are policies that may not have been on your radar six months ago, but stuff like this is mission critical as we go forward.
Take some time to consider what policies you need, and where to host them on your intranet so employees can easily access the information they need.
7. Dig into analytics
Now is the perfect time to dig into what is working on your intranet and what isn’t. Your intranet analytics can be an absolute gold mine for insight.
Having measurable data from your intranet readily available helps you make smart decisions, implement quick changes, and uncover extraordinary insights. And, it also probably helps you continue to justify the significance of your intranet. Modern intranet analytics measure everything from reach, engagement, to productivity.
We talk more about this here.
8. Perform a content audit
You’ve cleaned your bedroom, your living room, and probably your fridge. Now it’s time to clean your intranet.
While organizing intranet content it’s arguably a mundane task, it’s also likely the most rewarding thing to accomplish on your intranet. When done correctly, a content audit will result in increased engagement, stronger navigation, and the use of less server space. A content audit will also help determine any “ROT-ten” content; content that is Redundant, Outdated, or Trivial.
We’ve written a lot about intranet architecture and conducting a content audit, so if you have the time, I suggest starting here.
9. Feature an employee of the week
At the center of all the amazing work still going on are your people. But with the majority of us working remotely right now, it is more challenging than ever to get to know our colleagues.
At ThoughtFarmer we have a feature called TeamMate spotlight. It’s an add-on feature that works by randomly selecting an employee on a page load and displaying some information about this person. Users basically “meet” someone new every visit and are able to discover common interests and connect across locations.
This can be customized to include personal information like hobbies and interests, or details around their area of expertise and skills.
10. Create some employee centric news stories
What’s the most popular content on an intranet? It likely isn’t a four page document on technical specs; rather, it's probably content related to your employees.
Employees will always flock to stories about other employees, regardless of company size. This type of news is relatable, human, and interesting. So while you have some time to spare, create some fabulous human interest stories and watch your intranet engagement soar.
11. Recognize outstanding colleagues
It’s challenging times for many of us who are balancing remote work, caring for others, parenting, and/or educating our children. It understandably takes a toll on our mental health, which can make focusing on work more frustrating.
It’s times like these where employee recognition is more critical than ever before. Don’t wait for an annual employee review to tell a colleague how amazing they are—use that time now!
Intranets are a great place to recognize and applaud the amazing achievements by your employees, so don’t put it off any longer.
12. Launch a survey
Are you satisfied with your intranet? Do your employees like your intranet? Maybe it could be better? How do you know? One of the easiest ways to understand your intranet’s performance is by asking your employees.
We wrote a few articles about surveys that go into this further. A post about creating an intranet evaluation survey, and one about designing, launching, and analyzing an intranet survey.
13. Transform paper forms into online forms
Still relying on cumbersome paper and PDF forms? If there is another thing this pandemic has taught us is that traditional forms have their limitations.
Now is the time to transfer these forms onto your intranet. For example, vacation requests, hardware and software requests, and new employee forms.
In ThoughtFarmer we have a built-in form builder which makes it super simple to create. You can learn more about it in this brief tour.
14. Empower some content creators
Creating engaging content can be time consuming but it doesn’t have to be a one person job!
Also known as employee generated content (EGC), empowering employees to create their own content provides teams and departments with a voice, while reducing the bottlenecks typically endured with managing departmental content.
This is especially easy to do with our intranet software, as page creation and editing is simple enough for everyone to manage.
15. Personalize your home banner
Has your intranet looked the same from day one? Now is the perfect time to give your homepage a fresh new look—or as the kids say, a ‘glow-up’.
The latest release of ThoughtFarmer actually makes this super easy allowing you to have multiple themes on your site at once.
16. Create audio notifications
One of the best ways to get the most out of an intranet is to leverage unique customizations available. We had one customer that created seasonal auditory notifications on their intranet. For example, they configured a gobbling turkey during Thanksgiving.
As silly as it may seem, creating auditory notifications is a fun and engaging way to alert employees when they receive a new notification on their intranet.
17. Update or add a photo gallery
With many of us feeling disconnected from our colleagues, now is a great time to organize your photo gallery and add new images. Just because we aren’t getting together physically for team building events and parties, doesn’t mean there aren’t any pictures to share in a photo gallery.
At ThoughtFarmer we asked employees to upload photos of their remote work setup, and we ended up with some entertaining images.
18. Create some culture building pages
Intranets are a great place for sharing important policies and documents, but let's not forget that intranets are also designed to help unite your people and grow your workplace culture. Our intranet is full of non-work related pages including a recipes page, book recommendations, pet galleries.
One of our customers has even gone as far as to create a virtual vacation page. Sharing weekly content from travel site Travelling Cure, they continue to post themed food and drink recipes, movie and music recommendations, and activities to be enjoyed from the comfort of a living room.
19. Incorporate D&I measures
Inclusive language shouldn’t take a back seat in your crisis messages. Diversity and inclusion should be an essential consideration no matter what struggles we endure. Take some time to create and share D&I policies to keep your workplace connected, informed, and inclusive.
Here are some tips to help you incorporate D&I into your workplace.
20. Consolidate branding information
If you ever have inadvertently used the wrong corporate logo, you probably also remember the wrath you received from upsetting your brand police (and you probably muttered some excuse about not knowing where the correct version was).
Well, now is the time to change that. Use now as the opportunity to consolidate all your branding collateral (and brand usage guidelines!) in one single place. This will not only delight your brand ambassadors, but will also make locating a logo so much easier.
So what are you waiting for?
Let’s get busy and let’s do this! And let’s leverage our intranet to help unite us as we move forward.
Have questions? Get in touch! We're always happy to hear from you.