Adopting an intranet has its potential benefits that are also potential problems. It could mean time saved or time wasted. The user-experience could keep employees coming back or drive them away. Content creation will fall onto employees and it will be another tool used in the office, both factors that could complicate things further. Here are a few things to think about before implementing an intranet in your company.
Keep in mind...
- Time commitment
Humans are truly creatures of habit– researchers at Duke University found that habits account for around 40% of our daily behaviors. This means that if you want employees to use your new intranet every day, it has to become a habit first. But how long will that take? Oftentimes we hear that it takes 21 days to build a habit, when in fact it takes an average of more than 2 months (66 days actually) for a new behavior to become automatic. Be aware that adoption won’t come quick. Even if you’ve built or bought a beautiful and current intranet, employees will have to adjust to a new routine.
You’ve accepted that the daily adoption of an intranet will take at least two months. Now, what can you do to make sure employees enjoy using it and come back every day? First and most important is to make it user-friendly. It’s great to know your so-called “target audience”...who are you building this intranet for? Is your workforce filled with millennials or baby-boomers, are you a white-collar or blue-collar company, made up of deskless or office workers? You can tailor your intranet to your demographic but a truly successful intranet should cater to everyone. It should be easy enough for the least tech-savvy person to use, as well as engaging enough for your more tech adept employees.
- Assign leadership
Whether you build or buy your intranet, employees will need to be assigned leadership roles in order to create content. Even if you find a cooperative company to buy an out-of-the-box intranet from, they won’t be the ones posting company events, news, and updates. Employees will need to create and share content themselves. Expecting people to this on their own free is naive, especially in the beginning stages. This is why it’s necessary to assign leadership positions to some employees in the company. This can mean one of two things, you’ll need to hire someone to create content and oversee the intranet, or you can give these responsibilities to current employees and run the risk that their current work will suffer.
- Another tool
We’ve already gone over how multiple work tools aren’t fixing any problems. An intranet is no different, it is indeed another tool employees have to add to their toolbox. Sure, it can integrate with other company platforms being used, but that’s not a real solution to the problem. There are still just as many platforms used, except maybe now they can all be found in one place.
Adopting an intranet into your company is a big decision for leadership to make. In most cases, it won’t be cheap or quick. Its benefits may be challenges along the way. But that shouldn’t deter you from trying. If a company is looking to buy or build an intranet, it’s because they need it and have tried looking for other solutions. Do your research and set realistic goals for the company. As long as you go into it knowing possible hurdles to face, there is no reason why it shouldn’t succeed.