By Cathy Dew
It’s a two-way street.
If you want a successful employee intranet, you’re going to have to depend on buy in from pretty much everyone in the company, and that includes executive, mid-level management, and rank-and-file users. The best way to get this buy in is to cultivate passionate intranet cheerleaders who can sell the tool internally up and down the chain of command.
Identifying and nurturing these intranet champions can make or break the success of your intranet. But before you focus on how to create a cadre of committed intranet supporters, you are going to have to earn their enthusiasm, authentically and organically. In other words (with a hat tip to Sally Field), they have to like your intranet. They have to really like it!
Create an intranet that champions your employees.
As long as you engage employees during the development process and put their needs front and center, you will have taken the most important steps in cultivating their genuine enthusiasm.
A well-conceived and crafted intranet supports (and champions!) its users. A successful intranet connects and engages employees. It is a hands-on tool that improves efficiencies, decreases workplace frustration, and provides access to training. If you start with an intranet roadmap that puts user experience (UX) at the top of the to-do list and includes a mechanism for updates and continuous improvement, your intranet will produce its fair share of potential champions.
Intranet champions are brand advocates.
An intranet champion operates much like a brand advocate, someone who promotes a company’s products to the people in their network. Unlike professional spokespersons, brand advocates sign on to promote products and services because they really like and use them. A brand advocate has credibility because they come from the same social and professional circles as the consumers they influence. They understand their needs, share their concerns, and want to solve the same problems.
Like a brand advocate, your intranet champions are people who see how great your product (in this case, your intranet) really is. They want to help their peers appreciate what a valuable tool the intranet is.
Intranet champions should be qualified as well as enthusiastic.
While being an intranet supporter is certainly the threshold requirement for an intranet champion, he or she also needs a few more skills in order to be successful at internal intranet promotions.
While an intranet champion doesn’t have to be as tech-savvy as the IT staff, he or she should know how to take advantage of all of the intranet’s functions. It’s also important that the intranet champion understand how different employees in different departments will use the intranet. Depending on the size of your company, you may want to appoint an intranet champion in each department or each office. The champion should understand what problems the intranet solves for their “client” employees and help them make the most of the intranet experience.
An intranet champion should also be comfortable working with all levels in the company hierarchy. And, of course, intranet champions, in true cheerleader fashion, should embrace their roles with enthusiasm.
Look for your employee intranet champions from the start.
The best time to start auditioning intranet champions is at the intranet planning stages. The ideal champions will be employees who want to sink their teeth into the project from the start. They are the people who accept the company’s invitations to participate in the intranet design process. You’ll recognize your future intranet champions because they show up early to the brainstorming sessions and take advantage of opportunities to email their suggestions during development.
2Plus2 can help you create an intranet worth shouting about. Go online to schedule a free consultation with our team or call 510-652-7700 today.