By Cathy Dew
Will Rogers was right. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This maxim applies to romantic dates, job interviews and, yes, employee intranet launches.
Get it right and you’re a hero. You’ve just introduced an invaluable tool that every executive, manager, and employee in your organization will use on a daily basis. Successfully launching an awesome employee intranet is like winning the Super Bowl of employee engagement.
Get it wrong and you’re a zero. There’s nothing worse than creating a great productivity tool that nobody knows about or uses.
So how do you set up a launch that’s sure to produce a really big bang?
Meet your target market’s expectations.
Preparing for your intranet launch is like preparing for any important new product rollout. First things first, you need to make sure the product itself will meet market expectations.
This meeting expectations part should be a done deal, as long as you put employees front and center during development.
By the time you are ready to launch, your employees should already be anticipating the new tool, understand how a great intranet will improve their lives at work, and feel confident that their concerns and needs have been addressed. In short, if the employee experience around the creation of the intranet has been favorable, you are in a great position to promote a very successful roll out.
Build up your intranet pre-launch buzz.
Have some pre-launch fun! Think about eliciting help from your marketing department to create a sense of excitement for several days prior to the launch. Some suggestions for creating a buzz around the office include:
- Announce the results of your intranet-naming contest and include a rollout of the intranet logo/design.
- Send teaser emails to employees counting down the days to launch and offering fun facts about the company
- Conduct an intranet launch trivia contest where you can ask employees to guess at the number of documents uploaded onto the Document Management System (DMS), or how many unique user IDs will be issued for intranet access.
- Pass out some swag. Create mouse pads, coffee cups, baseball caps, and commemorative pens with the intranet’s logo and URL and leave them on each employee’s desk the day before launch.
Whatever you choose to do before launch, make sure it puts smiles on your co-workers’ faces.
Make launch day a big deal.
On launch day, set aside some time where everyone can just explore and engage with the intranet. You might:
- Hold a No Meetings Morning to free up employee time to get comfortable with the new internal tool.
- Encourage employees to upload a new profile onto the intranet. Think about allowing them to replace profile pictures with avatars.
- Conduct interactive intranet training sessions (and make them festive by serving pizza or popcorn).
- Pre-train at least one individual in each department to act as intranet guru, and have that person circulate throughout the office on launch day offering assistance (and maybe handing out more swag).
- Welcome your new little bundle of intranet to the world by holding a birthday party. Don’t forget the cake.
And after you launch it, promote it again.
Will Rogers’ wisdom notwithstanding (and with apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald), there are second acts in an intranet launch’s life.
It’s important to keep promoting your intranet to your employees. An intranet is a dynamic tool, so don’t let your promotion of it be a one-note or static. Map out a timeline for the first few months after launch to incorporate strategies to keep the momentum going.
Let 2Plus2 help you go from intranet design to launch and beyond, beginning with a customized road map. Go online to schedule a free consultation with our team or call 510-652-7700 today.