A famous African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child.
The same theory applies to your intranet; it needs strategic management and visionary direction to succeed.
When I think about my company’s core values and vision, I see the need to tell customers that we care about them and that we value integrity and transparency. We must infuse the passion and heart of our entire team into everything we do, but that alone won’t ensure our success.
We still need leadership and vision, and so does your intranet.
Here are the components you need to ensure that your intranet consistently delivers value to employees:
1. Instate a CEO.
The CEO is the company’s visionary, the person who dreams up ideas and is eager to see them come to fruition. A CEO looks for ways to do things better, save more money, direct success and ensure employees are happy and productive. The CEO steers the ship and sets the tone for company culture.
This type of person should be in charge of your intranet. Choose anyone in your company, but he or she should have the qualities listed above.
2. Create a leadership team.
Running a successful intranet takes teamwork. Look for department leaders who are eager, caring and passionate about their jobs. Your intranet CEO should bring these leaders together to help execute their visions and ideas. The leaders should meet regularly to share their progress and success stories.
Collaborate on ways to increase success and reach immediate goals. As you develop ideas and implement them with your intranet, calculate the return on investment for each initiative. This will show the rest of your company why the intranet is crucial to the organization’s and employees’ success. It might also help you get more money for future intranet projects.
One of the top teaching hospitals in Australia, Gold Coast Hospital, built a simple and secure application on its intranet that enables senior physicians to rate interns’ performance and share notes and comments on how the intern handled diagnoses, medications, procedures and bedside manner.
The online assessment eliminated a laborious process that required time, paper and resources for data entry. The assessment is private, searchable and accessible to senior physicians through tablets, iPads and kiosks. An internal audit showed that the assessment saves $10,000 annually.
3. Find cheerleaders and champions.
Every department has cheerleaders. Find the people who love to be social, enjoy their work and want to spread that joy. Then, ask them to contribute to and drive support for the intranet.
Cheerleaders have passion, and with a little encouragement they will be happy to promote your intranet to the rest of your staff.
Karleen Murphy is my company’s cheerleader. It’s not in her job description, but she genuinely enjoys organizing team-building events, posting customer kudos on our intranet and sending cute, funny memes based on what’s happening around the office. She loves the intranet and brightens everyone’s day. You don’t need many intranet cheerleaders, but having a few to drive adoption helps significantly.
4. Remember your intranet’s primary goal.
Not many companies can survive without paying attention to customer service. Although your goals for the intranet might vary over the years, remember that your intranet’s fundamental purpose is to help employees. Consider these questions:
- How can the intranet make life easier for employees?
- How can it ensure employees’ loyalty and retention?
- Which company processes frustrate staff?
- How can I better communicate the company’s vision?
One of our clients, a bank, has a mature intranet with a ton of features and content. The client’s top priority is customer service, and the organization is constantly seeking innovative ways to improve its customers’ experience.
The bank uses its intranet to drive innovation. All employees who interact with the public know they can go to the intranet for any resources that they need to help a customer. They heavily use online forms to create data points about customers, as well as surveys that front-line staffers complete while they are with a customer.
Intranet management doesn’t have to be a full-time job, nor do you have to create job descriptions for each role identified here. Make sure you have a dedicated intranet champion (your intranet CEO), and regularly look for leaders and cheerleaders to help you achieve your intranet’s goals.
Like other enterprise software systems, your intranet has a direct and lasting function: to serve staffers and improve your employee’s workplace experience. Like every successful company, your intranet needs vision and leaders.
If you have experience creating an intranet management team, please share your insights in the comments.
Carolyn Douglas is the founder of Intranet Connections. A version of this article originally appeared on the Intranet Connections blog.