How do you keep company culture alive in a hybrid world? It’s the number one question that many leaders are asking themselves. For many a digital hub – like an intranet – is a tool that empowers teamwork, improves collaboration, and creates a one-stop-spot to bring your dispersed team together. Often we see companies launch intranets but then struggle to get their people to engage with them.
5 Tips to Boost Employee Engagement with your Intranet:
1) Make It Your Own
If you’re just getting ready to launch a new intranet, or maybe you already have a generic one, putting some effort into branding it with a unique name and logo that is your own is a great place to start. Holding a naming contest to make the system part of your business is also a way to develop interest and hype. The communications that go alongside a contest, can be an easy way to share (or sell) functionality and benefits as part of the background information to educate and help spur name ideas.
2) Make it Part of Everyone’s Digital Environment
In a perfect world, everyone in your company should be visiting your intranet multiple times per day. The easiest way to do this is to make it the home page when opening an internet browser. Depending on your business size, an IT department can push a policy that automatically sets this up for your team behind the scenes. But, if this is not possible, take the time to send a note with instructions on how to set their homepage in their browser settings. If you’re using SharePoint and Teams, adding Microsoft Viva (1) to your licensing package can help here too as Viva Connections links your intranet directly into Teams. Got employees in the field that don’t work on computers, there’s a SharePoint app to help with that too. It’s a free download in your app store and it makes the user experience pretty great for those viewing from handheld devices.
3) Exclusive Content
Old habits die hard, and corporate email messaging is one of them. Breaking the delivery model of sending emails is hard. So the next time you have a key message from your leadership team to go out – consider only putting the full article on the intranet versus into the email. Don’t worry, you will still send an email to alert people to the post, but the note will only include a catchy headline and a hyperlink to the intranet. Doing this will help drive your team to read news online and hopefully build new habits. If you’re using SharePoint, a bonus idea is to consider Sway to post news or announcements. Sway is a presentation program that is part of Microsoft business licensing, it integrates with SharePoint and provides the benefit of high-level analytics and insights into the number of readers and how engaged they got with the post.
4) Embed Internal Champions into the Business
When adding a new system to the office, there’s always a learning curve and adoption can be slow. Establishing a group of power users can be a strategic play that many don’t think of with intranets. Ideally, the internal team is comprised of people from multiple departments, functions, and/or locations. With these folks all trained up and eager to use/show off the tool, they become an invaluable resource that will help drive engagement. Yes, a helpdesk person is an option here too, but they have lots to juggle and support in a day. Adding a dedicated team of intranet power users can make it easier and faster to answer questions and offer better support for in-the-business efforts. Take it a step further by getting your internal champions to hold “Lunch and Learns” as this is another tactic that helps to build skills and establish the internal champion team as a resource.
5) Make It Fun
In a hybrid or remote work world, random kitchen chat is largely gone…so creating a hub for this type of communication helps build community. Establishing a place on your intranet where chit-chat or informal shares can go will help to create a bit of a digital break room. If you’re using SharePoint as your intranet, a tool like Yammer can make it possible to share news and comment on a co-worker’s anniversary, birthday, or new baby. A digital breakroom is also a great spot to hold a contest and build engagement and culture with a dispersed team. The goal here is to build a place your greater community can feel a little closer to one another and share news as they would in the old days around the coffee machine, no matter where they are located. Your internal champion team can be a big help here too by getting the ball rolling with shares and comments.
Ultimately, the goal of everything you do is to help build engagement in creating new habits, driving interest, and growing system skills that will ultimately lead to improvements in communication, collaboration, and cohesion.
Convverge | SharePoint Consulting Services & Support
What SharePoint can do for a dispersed or hybrid working team is pretty fantastic, in our opinion. SharePoint has been around for over 10 years, so many folks know the system somewhat but haven’t always had the chance to keep up with all its added capabilities and growth. This is where Convverge helps. We’re SharePoint experts and it’s been our job to stay on top of technology and guide companies on best practices, setup, and expanded capabilities. Our team is here to add the horsepower you need temporarily to your team. If you think our SharePoint consultant’s support would be of help to you, please contact us.
(1) How to Battle Employee Turnover with Technology | Microsoft Viva