PRODUCT MANAGER at Phaidon Press Ltd
26 February 2010 08:43am
Hi I have been asked to "improve" our company intranet which is dated, underused and pretty much unloved all round.
Does anyone know of any good top tip guides, quick but useful wins, or resources I can look at to help me make our intranet more engaging, meaningful, useful and relevant?
26 February 2010 09:24am
It’s hard to say – without knowing the features of your
current company intranet. A year ago, we had a company intranet which nobody
used. As part of a company project we re-branded the site, as Emerald Together,
and created content to help drive the usage. Below are some points/features
which I have taken from my final report for the project
Emerald Together is a fully
searchable and browsable staff directory and knowledge base for all Emerald
employees. This directory is designed to profile every member of staff
with basic details, such as job title, responsibilities, office, and contact
details. The search and browse functions enable individuals in
every office to easily identify the specific person they need to contact regarding
a particular query.
These profiles are also populated
with information to document employees additional skills (business and
non-business related), previous positions held in the company, personal
interests, and involvement in project work. By doing so, ET becomes a
knowledge base where skills and information are show-cased in order to maximize
their worth and use in the company.”
This knowledge base is further enhanced by the homepage
From the beginning, it was
essential that a key element of Emerald Together was to increase access to
available resources for overseas staff, and subsequently increase their
involvement in and understanding of the business as a whole. All company
presentations (launches, business awareness sessions, guest talks) hosted in
Bingley will be filmed and accessible via the homepage.
Ask the Board
This feature provides the opportunity for all members of
staff to engage in discussion with Board members on a number of matters,
ranging from business-focused to more general interest.
Alongside being a tool to aid
overseas employees, the site is also an easy-to-use ‘who’s who/ what’s what’
for new-starters. In particular, the Featured Member section should be
of assistance, changing regularly to highlight either long-serving individuals,
or to introduce new additions to the Emerald global family.
To raise awareness and
understanding of the global ‘hubs’, a different regional office will take ownership
of the content for this site on a frequently changing basis.
ET is a place for communities to
grow, as the site is to be used as a forum and knowledge-base for
information-sharing groups, project groups and also social groups.
ET instantly connects every member of staff to each other,
and all the business information they need.
Happy to discuss further, if you wish to email me or contact
me on LinkedIn
26 February 2010 12:22pm
Some excellent ideas here. Thanks. My first notion was actually to stop calling it the "Company Intranet" which by itself sounds bl**dy awful. So I really like how you tackled this!
Owner at Blue Thunder Creative Group, Inc.
01 March 2010 03:23am
What was the initial strategy behind implementing your company intranet and has that strategy changed over the years? Not knowing the answer to this right now, here are some initial thoughts:
1) Survey a key sampling of your end users to see what would need to be changed for them to use the company intranet more.
2) Consider partnering with local restaurants, shops, etc. to offer discounts on your company intranet. If your staff frequently patronizes local merchants, they would need to visit the intranet to benefit and/or learn about any discounts.
3) Do you have an online timesheet system? If you integrated that system into the company intranet, staff members would have to go into it to fill out and submit their timesheets.
Blue Thunder Creative Group, Inc.
01 March 2010 10:36am
I don;t think there was an initial strategy when it was deployed, other than for operational management teams to share documents. So now it's become a bit of a corporate dumping ground with very few people or teams actually using it in any useful format.
Yes I am changing the strategy to make is more engaging/beneficial for staff to use, without adding to workloads. So was interested in finding out how others have gone about similar projects.
Like your suggestions so thanks for that. Looks like a lot of work ahead
01 March 2010 14:53pm
Based on your comment regarding not having an initial strategy, I stand by my recommendation to survey key end users. The project will start to be more engaging when you involve staff members in the process of making the intranet more relevant/useful for them.
Wishing you much success with your initiative.
eCommerce Professional at Freelance (Directrix Digital)
08 March 2010 22:32pm
The primary purpose intranets are to improve staff efficiency. I've found that using this as a measuring stick is a great way to build and operate intranets. Getting an average measure for the cost of an employee hour is a good starting point.
An expert review of the intranet and talking to stakeholders will reveal a number of areas that can be improved, and opportunities to add new capabilities.
Improvements to existing capabilities can be measured in time saving to complete the task. New capabilities often have an offline equivalent for comparison.
Other measures such as the accuracy and timliness of the content on the intranet, and volume of usage are also relevant.
A quick win is to cull out of date or duplicated content (you said it is a dumping ground). This makes the reamaining content easier to find. Which may lead you into an IA restructure.
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