Celebrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives is a great way to connect everyone in your organization and internal communications and design can be at the heart of that. That’s why we’re sharing tips to give your intranet software a themed intranet makeover that will inspire and engage your people!
Ahead of Pride month in June, February in the UK is also known as LGBT+ History Month. While organizations now recognize that celebrating LGBTQIA+ individuals is a year-round priority, research also shows that many LGBTQIA+ people still fear bringing their full selves to work. For that reason, events like Pride and LGBT+ History Month can be good moments to reflect on progress, re-encourage inclusion, and promote further awareness.
How to mark a celebration with an intranet makeover
As the digital home of your organization, you can use your intranet not just to highlight how your events schedule is engaging with broader socio-cultural moments, but to create and distribute themed content and activities. Even more importantly, it’s a perfect way to share the love.
A thematic intranet makeover is one great way to use design and content to embed a theme like DE&I recognition within your organization. This isn’t just true for events like LGBT+ History Month, but for so many other important dates such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI).
You may also have dates that are especially important to your organization, such as a landmark anniversary since the business was founded. Whatever you choose to celebrate, these are our tips for making that theme front and center on your employee experience platform (EXP).
Update your intranet theme
A great place to start is by updating the look and feel of your intranet by making use of the theme editor, if your intranet has one. Here you have control over many of the design elements that make your intranet site appealing and have the ability to upload new themed versions of your logo, wallpaper for your sign-in landing page, and even the bookmark and responsive web app icons for your intranet.
We recommend that you have a backup of any logos and wallpapers before making a change to help you revert back in the future.
Themed backgrounds for Zoom or Teams
You can extend your theme to your organization’s video calls by providing themed and branded backgrounds for employees to use. If your intranet has an image gallery that your employees can access, you can store these images there so your people can browse, like, and comment on them, and save their favorites to use as they wish.
You can also help people to find and use these themed backgrounds by posting an article on your intranet homepage feed, complete with download links, or attaching to a dedicated page that they can download them from.
If you don’t have internal design resources, your design team is too busy to help out, or you just need inspiration to get started, free-to-use visual content creation sites can be a great help. Canva has all the tools and images you need to create themed backgrounds – they even have a Zoom background template!
Community Book Corner or Club
Why not celebrate your theme on your intranet by sharing and asking for some relevant reading recommendations? You can generate engagement by asking employees to share their favourite titles and authors on an open intranet forum which could be used all year round, or by creating a dedicated intranet page with a call to action for people to share their contributions in the comments section. Both options will surely get your employees engaging and sharing with one another.
Do some content planning
The power of content planning in advance cannot be overstated. A quick brainstorm can often generate a few ideas for articles that you can create, publish, and share through your intranet. If your organization has an active community connected to your theme, such as an active LGBTQIA+ community, asking for advice, or better yet, inviting people from that community to contribute will not only give them a platform to amplify their voice, it will also help to ensure your content is both meaningful and authentic.
Another way to encourage an all-company conversation is by sharing an article with a call to action to share words of encouragement or support for their peers using the comments of the article page. Alternatively, a way of bringing other user-generated content into your intranet is to create a themed photo gallery for staff members to share how they are marking the occasion.
Some quick example ideas for an LGBT+ History Month intranet makeover include:
- Spotlight local LGBTQIA+ partners or charities that support the communities external to your organization. Connecting staff to community charities and partners will allow them to find creative ways to get involved with the community.
- Share stories of diversity and inclusivity in your workplace.
- Present opportunities for training and learning about allyship and support for relevant communities. There are a lot of great resources out there that will bring belonging, inclusion, and diversity to your workplace.
Build a themed community space
We have seen our customers build amazing online Communities through their intranets and it is inspiring to see many create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ communities and allies in this way. A workplace Community on your intranet are perfect for starting conversations, offering specialized support and resources, and even gaining valuable insights that help you make better organizational changes to support a more diverse workforce.
Intranet Communities are easy to create, but they do require a little bit of love to keep them updated and useful. We recommend that you find a few willing colleagues to stand up and be caretakers of the Community to ensure questions are answered and staff using it feel validated.
If you already have a Community available for employees to use, the period that you use to celebrate your chosen theme is a great time to advertise and grow that Community. Ensure that articles are pointing staff to the Community and, if it makes sense, make use of navigation or a dedicated widget on your homepage to drive traffic there too.
Host a virtual or hybrid event
Virtual or hybrid events can bring people together and help to ensure that those who work remotely also feel included too. We have seen stories shared about hosting games and fun activities over Zoom or Teams. The sky is the limit here when it comes to bringing colleagues together in meetings convened for a specific purpose, but if your organization also runs regular town halls or all hands meetings, it could be a great opportunity to apply a theme to them as well.
Curate a themed playlist
Music can bring such energy to any occasion. Creating and then sharing a playlist of artists and songs relating to the theme on your intranet is a great way to get your employees moving in their chairs, workspaces, or vehicles. Some intranets allow you to embed the playlist in the software, so take advantage of sharing your themed songs as widely as possible. Best of all, employees can follow the account for more playlists in the future and can even encourage your people to contribute to playlists as you create them.
Whatever you choose to celebrate, and however you choose to celebrate it, we hope you find these tips helpful for creating a themed intranet makeover!