4 Reasons Employees Don’t Use Your Corporate Intranet

Posted by Joshua Steiner on March 23, 2015

4 Reasons Employees Don’t Use Your Corporate IntranetSome business tools are so ubiquitous and intuitive that employees will jump right in with little resistance or hesitancy. For example, nearly everyone knows how to use email, given its prevalence within our personal lives.

However, tools that aim to address collaboration and enterprise knowledge management typically require more curated training and guidance for employees.

If you’re having trouble with user adoption for your corporate intranet, here are four possible issues to address: 

  1. Assuming that “if you build it, they will come”: Developing a great intranet isn’t enough. For employees to get on board, they need to know exactly how they would benefit from using the platform. They need to see the direct correlation between using the technology and how it can reduce or eliminate a known pain-point, like spending a lot of time looking for information. Think of user adoption as you would pitch an investor – you’ve got two minutes to convince (read: show) employees how behind the technology is a new and improved process.

  2. One-size-fits-all training: As you build awareness for your new system, it’s a big mistake to treat everyone the same. When introducing a corporate intranet, people are going to start at different levels of familiarity with the interface.

    For many large companies, it may be too costly to provide one-on-one training, but there are still creative ways to tailor training to each user’s needs. The key in striking the budget balance is to take the time to segment your users, technically and demographically. Figure out their proficiencies, put them in different buckets and then define a training curriculum or track (i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert).

    While age differences may have some bearing on initial proficiency, avoid assuming that your youngest, most tech-savvy users don’t require training. You might find that while many millennials may have had exposure to the latest digital workplace tools, it doesn’t mean they have the context to begin incorporating it into their work activities.

  3. No visible progress: When companies implement new technologies without a clear understanding of what the finish line looks like, success becomes a moving target, or worse – unachievable. Do not be afraid to set goals. It’s perfectly acceptable to refine them during the first year a system has rolled out as data becomes available. 

    It’s not just managers that are interested in the weekly metrics reports. Employees want to know how the organization is performing and how they can move the needle. Make your usage reports easily accessible and celebrate milestones along the way.

  4. Lack of executive sponsorship: When a company’s leaders don’t have a presence on your corporate intranet, employees throughout the organization take notice. It sends a message to the organization that using the intranet is secondary and not a value-added activity. The more visible your senior leaders are in your system, the more adoption you’re likely to see.

    Lastly, one of the best ways to encourage user adoption is by organically recruiting champions that are vocal advocates of the tool. Find the people in your organization who are truly passionate about the company’s future and digital workplace technology. Give them opportunities to influence the decision-making process, especially if they aren’t on implementation team. In fact, early adopters often serve as a great public relations team when rolling out a new platform.

    To learn more tips about building a successful corporate intranet, download our free e-book, “Designing A User-Centered Intranet For SharePoint Online” 
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Joshua Steiner

Joshua Steiner is a Practice Director with Portal Solutions. He is a seasoned call center process consultant turned SharePoint therapist with nearly a decade of experience in launching intranet portals. Josh is a strong advocate for delivering tailored training programs by segmenting users within organizations.

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