Intranet adoption: 5 ways our customers excelled

Intranet adoption: 5 ways our customers excelled https://www.thoughtfarmer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/TF_ILL_Owls_small.png

As leaders in the intranet space we have a lot of ideas on what contributes to high intranet adoption, however it is our customers who are the real experts.

March 23, 2021

We all like to think we are open to change, and trying new things. But think how you might feel if you were asked to suddenly try a new or different phone operating system?   

Maybe change isn’t that easy after all right? 

As humans we are actually hardwired to resist change. This is why many  people in an organization, when presented with a new technology like an intranet, will resist it. Even those who see the value may struggle with the commitment and patience to learn something new. 

Yet, when it comes to intranet software, adoption is critical. Apart from meeting obvious objectives like an ROI, a well adopted intranet ensures employees have access to the people and resources they need to do their job. In simplistic terms, it makes employees’ lives easier.

As leaders  in the intranet space we have a lot of ideas on what contributes to high intranet adoption, however it is our customers who are the real experts. Below are some examples of how our customers created strong intranet adoption and lasting engagement past launch day

A focus on information architecture 

One of the best ways to achieve strong intranet adoption is by establishing superior information architecture. Legal firm Lenczner Slaght excelled at this by focusing on simple design and functionality. This included limiting the overall number of clicks on their new intranet, employing a consistent format across pages, and creating an intuitive search function. 

They also worked hard to ensure the branding on their intranet closely aligned with the branding of their corporate website.  

Once their IA was established, they worked to maintain engagement intranet engagement through a series of campaigns that highlighted and celebrated new features and milestones. For example, they had a virtual countdown leading up to their intranet launch to bid farewell to their old and outdated intranet. They also celebrated their intranet’s half-birthday, proving that even the smallest of milestones are worth celebrating. 

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Ten Steps for a Successful Intranet Launch, cover

A single source of truth

When Publishing company Hachette launched a brand new intranet, they were lucky their employees already understood the value. Their previous intranet may have been insufficient, but employees already referred to their intranet as a single source of news and information.  

Adoption of their new intranet was aided by an internal marketing campaign that included emails, and placement on the internal visual messaging system. Hachette was also fortunate that they had not only executive buy-in, but executive involvement. Their CEO actively posts videos and other announcements. As stakeholder adoption grew, the success of the intranet continued to spread. 

Adoption was further propelled by the pandemic. Overnight, employees turned to their intranet to find news, information, guidance, and resources in a single spot as they transitioned to working outside the office.  

A gamification strategy

Many intranet projects fail because there isn’t enough activity or incentive for employees to continually visit. But just because it’s a common problem doesn’t mean something cannot be done about it. MedData, a national provider of technology-enabled revenue cycle management solutions for hospitals, turned to ThoughtFarmer’s Professional Services team for help in developing customized content and tools to keep employees continually returning to their intranet.

One of the first things they did was incorporate gamification elements. Complete your profile? Get a badge. Comment on a discussion? Get another badge. There were also rewards given when employees completed relevant learning modules. The gamification spurred immediate adoption after launch and encouraged engagement. It also created some healthy competition. 

Even though the gamification was an enormous success, MedData still sought even higher engagement. With further help from the ThoughtFarmer Professional Services team, they created auditory notifications. This included a holiday-themed "Ho, ho, ho" in December,  and a gobbling turkey for Thanksgiving.

A winning form-ula for intranet adoption

For many organizations, intranet software is a risk. For VHA, a not-for-profit charitable organization, this risk was especially high. Most employees worked remotely, and their experience with technology varied between each employee. 

One of the first things VHA did was to automate many employee forms onto their intranet. Through ThoughtFarmer’s FormFlow, an online form builder, VHA automated tasks including employee training modules, and communication requests. Having forms automated through an intranet is particularly useful for organizations like VHA, who have dispersed and remote employees.  

To further encourage adoption VHA initiated an extensive communication and training campaign to get the word out as widely as possible about the benefits of a new intranet. They also ensured that the new intranet was as easy as possible for every employee to access.   

A reason for employees to access their intranet

PCI, a publishing company, had never had an intranet before. This meant that employees were used to receiving information through email, and to change that would be challenging. 

The team at PCI solved this by first understanding that employees needed a valid reason to visit their intranet. From there they made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of information contained in organizational emails, and instead included links to their new intranet. When employees request information, they are now directed to the intranet, rather than being given the information within the body of an email. 

As you can see, there are many different ways to ensure intranet success. It won’t happen overnight, but with a dedicated strategy, and incorporating some of the tips above, you will soon start seeing a slow and steady climb. 

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