The era of standardized, austere and unattractive intranets is over! We now know that good internal communication plays a role in the well-being and motivation of employees. Hence the importance of optimizing the company's communication tools, in particular by setting up a central place for information exchange. A place that generally takes the form of a personalized intranet. But from theory to practice, you need to take the plunge...
Here are 6 steps you need to follow to install an effective communication intranet, in the most concrete way possible.
What is an effective communication intranet?
When properly used, the intranet is a real performance lever in terms of internal communication. It is indeed at the heart of employee engagement: not only is it the first tool that new staff meet, but it is also an interface that most employees use on a daily basis to find information. Hence the importance of taking care of both the content and the form.
A PwC study published in 2017 also shows that the most successful companies (i.e., those whose revenue has increased by more than 5% over the previous 3 years) adopt a broader definition of digital, which goes beyond the common analogy between digital and IT. For these companies, digital transformation is not only about changing their work tools: it is also about rethinking the model on which they are based, and transforming in depth their employees' practices. It is, in this sense, a true cultural revolution.
As the nerve center of internal communication, the intranet must be adapted to the company's structure and uses. This is why it is important to personalize it, by integrating customized features, and also to make it a central tool and a daily entry point for all employees.
How to create a good communication intranet?
Here are the steps to follow to take action.
1/ Establish an inventory
Before setting up an intranet, it is important to carry out an audit (or inventory) which will allow to determine :
- The company's strengths and weaknesses;
- Its needs, especially in terms of internal communication;
- Current use of the intranet;
- Any user feedback from the current intranet.
In other words, it is important to answer the following questions:
- What solution does the company currently have?
- Is this solution satisfactory (this can be done through user surveys and/or in-depth analysis of KPIs)
- What is its current use?
- How does the company want to communicate with its employees, and who are its targets?
- What are the company's plans for the next 5 years? How will the current intranet be able to respond to the uses of tomorrow?
As such, this model can be used to establish an internal communication strategy.
🎁 To inspire you, Mozzaik365 has decrypted 6 examples of internal communication strategies
2/ Drawing up the specifications and the appropriate schedule
The creation of a list of specifications is one of the most important steps, which comes right after the inventory. The purpose of this bill of specifications is to formalize the users' needs. In concrete terms, it must be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the internal communication objective? What information does the company want to share?
- What are the uses and media used to achieve these goals?
- What IT resources does the company have?
- What are the technical requirements?
- What is the compatibility of the current tools with the proposed solution? What is the company's environment (formalization of technical constraints)
- What are the expected deliverables?
- Finally, what is the schedule for achieving these objectives?
Here are some examples of uses to consider in your specifications:
→ A secure intranet that will grow with the company's growth;
→ Integrating your social networks to turn your employees into ambassadors;
→ Options for targeting internal communication to better disseminate information without overloading the intranet;
→ Customization of users' news feeds, thanks to thematic subscription (the "My feeds" component at Mozzaik365).
📍 Don't know where to start? Mozzaik365 offers you a specificationlist to help you in this phase.
Once the needs have been identified, major milestones can be set to establish the project schedule, in consultation with the project teams.
3. Choose your partner well
Now is the time to target your potential partners and request a demo to fully understand the tools they offer.
Now that you have concretely identified your needs, choose the partner who will be able to meet your requirements, both in terms of technical implementation and project support.
You don't know how to make your choice? Choose a partner who will be able to offer you a complete service: support in the design of your platform, choice of tools, collection of needs, expert advice, adjustments, etc.
It is then necessary to make sure that the solution implemented is easy for the employees to use. This is a key point: your intranet must absolutely be intuitive (with various formats, a Responsive design, distinct headings...) and the information it contains must be able to be found quickly. Hence the importance of involving users from the beginning of the project, by collecting their needs, their expectations, their recommendations, and their possible need for training.
📍 To best guide you in the design of your intranet and ensure its perfect integration into your environment, Mozzaik365 works with a network of partner integrators.
4. Build a project team and launch operations
Once the project is underway, it is important to build a team that includes members from different departments within the company, both at headquarters and in the field (if applicable). All employees should be represented. The questions to ask are: who will be in charge, and for what tasks? How will the work with the chosen partner be carried out, and with what method?
Each member of the project team must have a specific role and responsibilities. If necessary, an informal engagement letter can be used to detail the roles, missions and objectives of each member.
Several tools can be deployed: Gantt chart (to have a vision of the tasks to be accomplished over time), reverse scheduling, Kanban board... Overall, we will think of making a schedule with deadlines for each deliverable, and major steps that allow to mark the progress in the project.
Note: during the launch of the intranet, the project teams must become true ambassadors of the tool. At this time, they can publish content and guide employees in the use of the new intranet. Employees will be more likely to get used to it if they have examples of how to use it on a daily basis.
5. Train users and communicate
Has your new tool been deployed? Now it's time to train users, both on the internal communication side and on the employee side.
5.1. The realization of a campaign of communication campaign to announce the release of the new tool
This is an important step in making both the intranet and its methods of use known. After having defined the objectives and identified the target, it is advisable to choose the message to be conveyed, as well as the adapted format.
Depending on the company, it can be a physical campaign (posters in the premises, welcome booklet, etc.) or digital (emailing, social networks...).
5.2. User training on the internal communication side
The intranet will become the working tool of these users. Hence the importance of determining the use that will be made of it: what information will be disseminated, and how? How often? Which features can be put in place to make the intranet more attractive, and to make it an everyday tool? For example, it could be the News, Knowledge Management or Social Networks features, depending on the needs expressed by the users.
5.3. User training on the employee side
The objective is to train the employees on the new uses induced by the implementation of the intranet. Collective training sessions can be organized with the IT department and/or the project teams that participated in the implementation of the new tool. Long-term support and follow-up can also be deployed. Finally, think about preparing supports: video tutorials or written documents, Playbooks, etc.
To check that the tool has been well adopted, measure the KPIs and collect user feedback. This is a step that should not be neglected, as it allows you to measure the adequacy between your project and the reception it has received!