What to do to make your employees willingly use the intranet? What functionalities should it have to keep them coming back to it with pleasure? In this text, I present some suggestions for solutions that may contribute to achieving this goal.
Chat in the intranet
Our Drupal consultants say that good communication is the basis for every project to run smoothly and for the time spent on talks to be used effectively. Thanks to communication via the intranet, you can improve this process. Instead of exchanging countless e-mail messages which sometimes concern many people, and in which they find important attachments, you have the option of exchanging information via the intranet, e.g. by using the chat and, e.g.:
- creating conversion groups involving people working on a given project, thanks to which during a live conversation every participant can control the development of the thread and react to substantive changes
- organising important attachments and finding them easily, which allows you to ensure you have the most up-to-date version of the document
Chat also allows you to see who is online. When you write an e-mail message, you never know if the recipient is active at that moment, and even if you enable the option of reporting reading/opening the message, the waiting time for a reply remains unknown. But when you see active users of the chat, you can immediately contact the given person. In addition, the notifications inform about a response, which in turn allows you to react quickly.
The chat is also an easy way to look through your conversation history. It is often enough to enter a keyword to find a thread where you exchanged important information and attachments.
Added value? Of course. I mentioned the project, which is – in other words – the works carried out on behalf of the client. Thanks to the improvement of the communication process, the project gains dynamism, and thus – the client has the opportunity to collect their order without unnecessary delays and/or contact with the client, and the questions important from the project's point of view can be defined by the team faster. Therefore, the added value is the client's satisfaction.
Is there any other chat-related added value? Yes – money savings. If you are working on several projects, you can participate in several conversations at the same time. Therefore, you do not have to organise meetings or arrange teleconferences separately, so you save time and thus – money. This time can be spent on other tasks.
As you can see, using the chat brings benefits. When developing the architecture of your intranet, it is worth to look at it as a functionality, thanks to which the benefits can be measurable, and your employees will use the Intranet willingly.
Forum or discussion groups
This is another functionality that allows employees to take an active role in the Intranet, and thus – in the life of the company. Forum discussions bring real benefits:
Searching for solutions: by developing the topic at hand, ideas and/or new initiatives related to this topic may arise during the discussion. This means that the needs for changes and the propositions for solutions related to specific tasks are being indicated bottom-up, i.e. by the employees themselves. This may concern the functioning of the company and its organisation, but also the projects-related issues. Therefore, in the intranet, you can create new threads, write down ideas, develop them, and finally – document them in the form of a defined process. Thanks to running a forum, you give it all a chance.
Creating a knowledge base: following the above, it is natural to enrich the intranet content with specific knowledge. Thanks to having a forum, you can effectively identify the necessary knowledge segments that are important in the daily work of your team. Employing the collected information in this way allows you to save time on searching for the same information "from scratch" and unnecessarily involving more people. What is more, thanks to having a forum in the knowledge segment, this base can be expanded by adding missing items.
Intranet development: I mentioned this in the introduction to this paragraph, but it needs to be emphasised. The intranet is an internal platform responding to the needs and expectations of users. Therefore, nothing works better than discussing the intranet improvement directions. A forum is an ideal solution for this: it encourages using the intranet, and thus – provokes a conversation about its development.
Still following the logical direction, one should mention the notifications. Because if communication and forums are to thrive, the more tools to manage them, the better. Therefore, every message, new discussion thread, new attachment or entry dealing with an important issue should reach the widest possible recipient group.
Thanks to the employee choosing the topics about which they want to be notified, no content will be overlooked, and it will encourage them to re-visit the intranet. This is another way to keep your team members interested in your intranet.
This is surely one of the most useful functionalities that effectively saves time and makes using the intranet more enjoyable.
Therefore, when designing an internal platform, it is good to make sure that the content search is dynamic. By entering a given keyword, a suggested phrase to choose from appears, which allows you to immediately select it from the list. In addition, the phrases in the search engine window can be divided into categories, e.g. articles, documents.
An attractive functionality will also be the addition of the "search request" option – the administrator can view the search history of phrases so that they are added and may appear in the future as the phrases to choose from.
Smart search has the ability to make your employees treat your intranet as their primary source of knowledge.
An important part of increasing the employees' involvement in the intranet is the use of social aspects. Just like on social media websites, every person from your company can create a profile, and thus – present themselves, share private information, show their achievements, reveal what they are interested in.
The profile will turn out to be a great way to strengthen the relationships between the people in your organisation, the measurable benefit of which is more effective cooperation between the team members.
When designing your intranet, consider what fields the users may fill out in order to make the information engaging and causing mutual interest.
It is about engaging and motivating to act with the use of game elements. Any employee activity that can be tracked and documented in the intranet can be a scored game.
Each award is an incentive to take up a challenge. If e.g. you want to hire new, competent employees, the recommendation system may be the subject of gamification. The current employees will be happy to engage in the search, and you will receive more analysis applications.
The number of “competitions" is not limited and can cover almost all challenges found in an organisation: both related to its internal functioning, and in the context of projects. All training courses, including the onboarding, can be animated through a scoring system. In addition, you can create blog posts, forum threads, as well as enrich the substantive contents of the knowledge base. Thanks to this, employee involvement is kept at a high level, and the intranet is the best medium for achieving these goals. The aforementioned chat or intranet forums are the elements the use of which becomes obvious in gamification.
Gamification can be part of your company's organisational culture, and therefore – one of the aspects that set you apart from other employers. It increases productivity and thus contributes to the reduction of downtime in business processes.
If you want your organisation's system intranet to be a thriving platform, you should encourage users to actively use it. The intranet investment must pay off, and the methods described in this text, which we have carried out many times in our Drupal agency, are designed to attract your employees to the intranet.