Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Intranet Site

You’ve invested time and money into the design and implementation of your intranet site. To be sure that you get the most value possible out of your intranet site, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Define the Problem Your Intranet Site Will Solve
An intranet site has a huge potential to streamline your business functions. But do you know what business functions you want to streamline? Once you have identified the problem your intranet site is designed to solve, then you can investigate what intranet software will solve that problem best.

Understand the Capabilities of Your Intranet Site
Mobile phones are a perfect example to use here. Most people use their mobile phones for making phone calls, answering email, browsing the Web, taking photos, and interacting on social networking sites. Much fewer people use the many additional capabilities built directly into their phones. They also ignore the thousands of capabilities that mobile apps add to their phone.
Intranet sites are just like phones. You can use just the basic elements of your intranet site, but if you do then you are ignoring many of the features and qualities that make intranet sites so valuable like document searches, file repositories, micro-blogging, polls, and forums.

Create a Culture of Collaboration
Just because you’ve built the ultimate collaboration tool it doesn’t mean that your employees will use it. Some may not use it because it’s new and they fear change. But there will be much more people who don’t use your intranet site because they don’t have a clear understanding of the power it gives them to collaborate. In many ways, you are changing what collaboration looks and feels like. It’s your job to teach them how to effectively use this new tool.

Make Using Your Intranet Site Mandatory
Making your intranet site mandatory may seem heavy handed, but it’s a necessary part of getting the most out of it. Your employees are less productive every time they use an old, offline method of accomplishing a task that they could do easier and faster on your intranet site. Start by encouraging adoption of the site. Then teach them to use the site. Once you explain to them the value of your intranet site, making it mandatory won’t seem so heavy handed.

Treat Your Intranet Site as a Platform, Not an App
We live in the age of apps. Apps have a specific function. Take out your smartphone and browse through your apps. You’ll see that each one has one primary function. You open the app, use the function, then close the app. When you are ready to do something else, you go to a different app.
Your intranet site is not an app. Your intranet site is a platform through which you can accomplish an enormous amount of functions. It is a platform for communication, collaboration, knowledge sharing, document curation and retrieval, social networking, and reinforcement of corporate culture. Forget the app concept and leverage the platform.

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