Those who spend time finding the right intranet to implement at their company have good intentions. They think an intranet will make jobs easier for their employees and that there will be a major surge in productivity as soon as it’s running. Generally, they are right.
There can be reasons why intranets don’t succeed but these can all be avoided through careful planning.
Let’s take a look at some reasons why intranets fail to take off and how to avoid them:
1. No engagement
Often when a business rushes into getting an intranet, they don’t consider who its main users will be and so their needs aren’t met. It, therefore, becomes old hat quite quickly if it’s not maintained or used.
To avoid this mistake, it’s best to set up a focus group. If this wasn’t done at the planning stage, you might like to invite employees from each department to give ideas as to what would make their jobs easier. You may find what you originally intended becomes changed to meet several purposes, but this gives rise to better longevity for your intranet.
The most important thing then is to act on people’s suggestions and prove you are making it a one-stop platform for everyone, which ultimately will save them a lot of time and hassle.
2. Poor user experience
One of the main reasons why intranets fail is poor user experience. Staff want to find what they need in a few clicks – not be totally enraged by being unable to locate something as the site is too cluttered. Nor do they want to be repeatedly sent to the wrong place or unable to find something they know is there, when they use the search tool.
When setting up a new intranet it needs to be created with the end-user at the center of everything. Can they easily locate what they need? Does the intranet help them achieve their goals? What do they use it for? What do they need to do? Of course, the needs of the end-user are different from the content managers who constantly need to supply, edit and publish new and engaging content.
Out of the box intranets like Attollo are configurable with incredible tools and functionality to allow customisation to complement your workplace. Overly-complicated navigation, badly-designed structure and poor search experience will turn users off – and once they’ve gone that’s another battle on your hands to get them back. Software must be designed with them in mind if a high adoption and engagement rate is required.
3. Old news
No one wants to click on their new intranet and read about a coffee morning happening in 2003 or a ‘new functionality’ that has since seen several major updates.
Content is king and it must be updated if you want staff to keep coming back. Your colleagues want to know what job promotions are available, if their job perks have changed, if there’s a new leaderboard with a prize, how many products their department produced or when the next 5-a-side match is.
To avoid no one coming back to your intranet because they think it’s outdated, you must put a content team in charge of updating their department news for the website. After all, the intranet is only useful if it serves the people who use it daily.
4. No one takes responsibility
We’ve seen intranets fail because no one takes charge. This means no one knows who to contact when things go wrong or who to refresh the latest HR forms for sick leave.
Some companies choose the Human Resources team, while others think the Communications team has a better chance of getting the word out there. As long as there are dedicated people signposted as those to go to, the intranet will run smoothly.
Without proper clarification, the chaos results in failure of the intranet to deliver its objectives.
The person who made the ultimate decision at exec buy-in level is a good place to start. If they are seen using the intranet, logging in to deliver their key messages, colleagues will start to realise its importance.
5. Staff don’t see the point
One major hurdle of intranet adoption is getting staff to let go of their habits and learn how much time a new intranet will save them. A one-stop SharePoint intranet is the place they can go and access every app and accessory they normally would but from one intuitive platform.
When implementing a new intranet there will always be those who are resistant to change, so if something is considered too difficult or time-consuming, it can be hard for those people to embrace it.
This is when it’s time for your intranet champions to stand up! These are the people who will sing for the treetops about how great your intranet is and why it’s useful. They can create a launch party to show it off! Your champions can also spend time educating staff or doing one-to-one sessions to demonstrate how much easier jobs can become.
There are several ways to train users including:
- User guides – Create a simple how-to video and upload it in Attollo’s Training Portal. Whichever you choose, they could revisit as a refresher if they need to at a later date.
- Superuser guides – Train a selection of tech-savvy colleagues to a high level and get them to train everyone in your organisation.
- Classroom – Use the hands-on approach where a teacher leads and everyone has a chance to follow and then try it out for themselves.
- One-to-one sessions – Let users drop to workshops in small groups or one-to-one and educate them in certain areas. They can bring their laptops along and ask questions.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to see a demonstration of award-winning Attollo, contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to show you around.