Intranet strategist Tammy Dudek gives her advice on how to improve intranet content, structure, and employee engagement in 2022.
For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite activities has been sitting down with pen and paper (yes, I am still a fan of good old-fashioned handwriting) and planning. Over the years, I’ve taken several different approaches, but in recent years I’ve been inspired by one of my favorite podcasts (Happier with Gretchen Rubin) to create a list of things I want to accomplish based on the current year. So, earlier this year I created my own 22 in 2022 list of goals.
Once I finished my personal 22 in 2022 list, I felt inspired to continue creating. In the spirit of helping our customers build and optimize their internal communications, I started thinking about the 22 things that internal communicators could do to improve their intranets this year. Hence the list below was born.
Whether you’re building a full-scale intranet and communications strategy plan for the year to come or are planning a new intranet entirely, this list gives you 22 tips on how to improve your employee experience platform.
Improve intranet awareness: Gather data and make a plan of action
1. Get clear on your goals
What are your overall communication goals for the year? You must have a clear picture of what success looks like before you begin planning how to get there. With an internal communications plan in place, you can decide what role your multichannel tools will each play in creating and distributing comms.
2. Gather user feedback
When was the last time you solicited feedback on your intranet? Understanding user sentiment is important for ensuring that your intranet is delivering what your users need, in the format that they need it.
3. Review your intranet success plan
Is your intranet success plan up to date? Do you even have one? This is only relevant for those of you who work with an intranet software vendor (if so, connect with your Customer Success Manager), but even if you don’t it’s worth creating a strategy to develop your platform. Once you know your organizational communication goals, a success plan is the next step in determining how you will make progress towards those goals. There are lots of metrics that you will want to track, such as pageviews, so make sure to include what you would like to reach and how you will get there.
Go back to basics: Establish a firm foundation
4. Revisit your operational governance
When was the last time you reviewed your governance plan? Intranets need guidelines, standards, and processes for good long-term maintenance, so now is a great time to review and update your governance document. Ensure that it aligns with the best practices you have identified for your organization.
5. Review your intranet team roles
Have you identified the right people in your organization who play a key role in supporting the intranet? Though it may sometimes feel like it, managing an intranet is not a one-person job. Ensure that the people you need to improve intranet performance are clear on their expectations and responsibilities.
6. Re-engage your stakeholders and improve intranet adoption
Are all the members of your intranet management team still aligned and invested in the success of the intranet? Recirculate your intranet success plan and operational governance to ensure there is alignment. It’s also good practice to find out what information your stakeholders need access to in order to support you in running a successful intranet.
Content is everything: Develop compelling intranet material
7. Do some spring cleaning
A platform is only as good as the intranet content ideas it houses. Create a plan for auditing your current intranet content for timeliness, relevancy, uniqueness, and overall general best practices. Use intranet analytics to find pages that haven’t been viewed in the past three months and review page quality scores to determine areas of focus.
8. Recruit or re-engage your content authors
What does your cadence of communication look like with current content authors? Do you have the right subject matter experts in place to keep content fresh? Are your teams engaged and aligned, or could they use more training? You should regularly evaluate your content authors to ensure they still fit their roles and if there is a need to recruit new authors from across the business.
9. What gets recognized, gets repeated
Is there a content author who writes compelling content or an employee who actively participates in discussions? Find a way to recognize those who contribute to your intranet’s success, and you’ll see that those behaviors get repeated.
Knowledge is power: Arm yourself with the latest tools
10. Explore a new feature
Interact is constantly introducing new features and improvements to current features. Check out our recent launch of what we think is the world’s easiest intranet content editor!
Whoever your intranet is with though, identify one new feature on the intranet that you want to try out, then dedicate time to learning all you can about how to use that feature.
11. Join a webinar
Interact offers free informational webinars throughout the year, with topics ranging from Interact features to internal comms best practices. You can see the list of all our upcoming webinars here. Go ahead, sign up for some and subscribe to the calendar so you don’t miss events in the future.
12. Attend a community meet-up
There’s a special kind of magic that happens when you get together with peers from your own community. While in-person gatherings are sadly on hold during the pandemic, we’re still offering virtual meetups for networking and the exchanging of ideas. Make sure that your intranet software provider offers the same.
13. Share the wealth
Whether it’s learning about new features or best practices, it’s important to share the knowledge with your content team. Make it a regular part of your communication with them to share tips, tricks, and best practices to raise the expertise level of everyone who contributes to your intranet’s success.
It’s all about the (user) experience: The easier, the better
14. Start from the top
Review your top menu navigation to ensure it makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for. Use search analytics to determine the terminology your users include when they are looking for content and incorporate those terms into your navigational naming conventions.
15. Make it personal
What is the intranet experience like for users from different areas of your business? Are you serving up content based on where they sit in the organization and what they need? Creating a personalized experience for your users on the intranet will continue to build their trust in the platform. Consider targeting content in your homepage widgets or simply providing guidance on how your users can adjust their own personal notifications to suit their preferences.
16. Bring it home
Is the information you are sharing on the homepage supporting your intranet’s purpose and compelling users to visit the site regularly? Make a plan to evaluate your homepage content, including gathering user feedback, then use that data to decide what changes you can make to improve the experience.
17. Stick the landing
When was the last time you evaluated your landing page layouts? Landing pages are a great way to visually introduce users to the types of content they can find within that particular area of your site. Using landing pages to highlight a mix of static and dynamic content can increase visual appeal while keeping them populated with fresh content that drives users back repeatedly.
It’s a numbers game: Assess your analytics
18. Define your KPIs to improve intranet measurement
If you already know what you want to achieve, the next step is figuring out how to measure it. Use your success plan and feedback from your stakeholders to understand which metrics you should use this year to show progress and measure success.
19. Find a focus
What is your most important intranet KPI? While you may have several metrics that you use to measure your performance, focus on the most important KPI and spend the next few months homing in on what actions or efforts influence it.
20. Add another layer
Do you want to dive even further into analytics? Consider incorporating Google Analytics within the data you already receive. This may give you an added layer of data to incorporate in your reporting and should be easy to set up.
Share your story: We are all learning and improving together
21. Connect with your Customer Success team
Our teams love connecting with customers and helping them build amazing intranets. We also love being able to connect organizations with each other, in an effort to continue learning and growing. If you are doing great things with your intranet, your Customer Success Manager wants to know (and that goes for every company). They can help you find outlets for sharing that story with others who may need that dose of inspiration.
22. Apply for intranet awards to showcase yours
Every year there are lots of intranet awards that celebrate innovation – we even have our own, the Interact Excellence Awards. Keep an eye on events like the Inspiring Workplaces Award, so you can show the world your great work too.