How to Increase Intranet Adoption with your Employees

Mins Read

An adoption strategy is about people first, then the technology. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you hear this sound - ‘Aha’ coming from your teams when they use the Intranet.

See CentricMinds Intranet and Employee Management App for yourself!

Discover CentricMinds Intranet App, explore its features and benefits, and see how it can boost your organization's success.

What exactly are ‘Aha’ moments? They are the enthusiastic responses new users have when they discover a feature that unlocks value for them. When people can extract value, they achieve progress, and statistically, they’ll be more driven to use the Intranet fully.

The question in your head right now is how we will get there?

With some smart moves, you can excite, inform and guide users to experience the value for themselves from your Intranet.

First rule of adoption

The first rule for user adoption is to keep focused on the goal of the Intranet. Why are you doing the project? Where should the company be in 6 or 12 months? How will the Intranet contribute to the overall journey of the organization? Do you understand the business problems that users are facing, and how will the Intranet address these? Will it deliver any unexpected gains?

Driving adoption begins with being able to connect and communicate the goal of the Intranet. You’ll need to be able to tell a convincing story so you can assemble an Intranet success team. With the help of your Intranet team, you’ll be able to identify how the Intranet will solve daily work challenges and deliver value across your company.

Identify & establish your Intranet Success Team

Next, identify and assemble an enthusiastic crew of individuals that represent different areas of the company to be part of your Intranet Success Team. Ideally, these people will be persuasive communicators that can influence and encourage change in others. Executive sponsors will also need to be on board to promote and commit resources to support your efforts. It sends the right signals to everyone that you have full commitment to realize gains from the Intranet.

Business user story cards

As a team you’ll want to quickly figure out how you can demonstrate to users the 'why' and the ‘how’ of the Intranet and what it will do to improve their day to day work life. You can’t expect people to spend time figuring out how the Intranet will enhance their day to day work. With their help, you can discover their daily work challenges and determine how people will use the Intranet to achieve their goals

The fastest way for you to uncover this is by using our business user story cards.

Why business story cards are useful

  • They help people to understand how the Intranet will help them
  • You can measure and validate results
  • It gets people to start to thinking about how things can be improved
  • Enables you to solve distinct, measurable business challenges
  • Helps users ramp up quickly and realize their 'Aha' moment by using the business stories as training tools

Using business user stories

With your Intranet Success Team, you’ll want to identify specific teams or business units that are in the best position to drive and support change in your company. Invite 2-3 teams in your company that can participate in some small business story card activities. Alternatively, do this exercise with your Intranet Success Team and validate it with a few users from their teams.

1. Prime your people first and introduce the Intranet initiative along with the challenges it will help the company to solve. Share with them that you’re undertaking some research, and their participation and knowledge are essential to understand how the Intranet can address their day to day work needs.

2. You’ll want to dig deeper into their day to day work challenges. So as a starting point, try some of these questions to help spark identification of problem areas or needs:

Can you think of the difficulties you have in your day to day job in these areas?

  • Processes that could be automated
  • Problems collaborating, sharing or knowing the status of tasks
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Access and findability of documents
  • Team status, communication and collaboration
  • Onboarding information

    Can you share any challenges around productivity, organizing and finding information, and communicating, sharing and tracking work tasks? What challenges do you have for team members that work remotely? Do they have access to information they need to do their job?
    Asking questions helps to generate ideas and opens up how work could be more productive and improved.
  1. Ask people to write their story using the Business User Story Card and provide them with examples so that it gives teams an idea of what you are after.
  2. It’s best to break out into groups to fill these out.
  3. By the end of this session, you will have a stack of business stories.

Sort and Rank your business story cards

  1. Prioritize and rank the business stories that deliver the most value to the company and your people. It’s essential to work out how you can have some quick wins. So include the ones that will deliver some significant value.
  2. Where possible, add success criteria to the card. How will you measure the impact of the Intranet in improving the business story? Try and use SMART criteria.
  3. Identify what specific application or feature of the Intranet will help you achieve the result.
  4. Select the business stories and set them up in the Intranet. You’ll use these to train your champions.

We are the champions - Intranet Influencers

Champions are people who are well networked within your company. They tend to be very outcome-driven and have a depth of knowledge across the business and within a team and are often empathetic and committed to continuous improvement.

What is their role:

Champions help to convince and communicate to their teams ‘what’s in it for them’.

They help to drive improvement and engagement by collecting feedback and looking for ways to improve the Intranet experience. They are a crucial part of the success of the Intranet. They will be the promoters and influencers. Their role will include identifying what’s working in the Intranet, what isn’t and providing that feedback to the core Intranet team.

Your early adoption program begins with your champions

Undertake an initial training session with your champions and Intranet team. Ideally, you would train them in the functions of business user stories that you developed as a team along with other features that would deliver the highest value to the company. Running an early adoption strategy with your champion group allows you to test the waters to get early feedback.

Once you’ve completed this, you can fine-tune your Intranet and training based on the feedback before you roll out further training and release it to the whole company. This phased approach ensures that you are working with a group of team members you trust. They will also be more adaptable and willing to make adjustments to ensure users get the desired outcome.

Most importantly, it allows you to gather some early success stories that you can use to promote when you launch to the company.

Shout it out - Awareness and Communication

It’s fundamental to create a communication strategy to generate engagement and nudge people regarding the changes that are coming. Make sure messaging includes ‘What’s in it for them’ and why the initiative is rolling out. Include some of the business user stories as part of your comms strategy so people can quickly identify the value it will bring to the daily work routine.

Utilize a range of activities including posters, emails, social and newsletter drip campaigns to keep users interested and aware that the Intranet is launching how it will benefit them.

Adoption plan what does it look like

Adoption strategy is not a one size fits all it is dependent on your user base, resources and time.

At a minimum, your adoption plan should include:

  • Onboard your Intranet team - people that represent teams from across the business including executive sponsors.
  • Identify and Prioritize Business User Stories.
  • Train your champions and gather feedback and fine-tune.
  • Collect your success stories and communicate these as part of your Intranet communication strategy.
  • Create a training plan and rollout.
  • Follow up with a survey and understanding where you can make improvements.

Intranet user adoption doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with the right approach, you can guide your users to recognize the value the Intranet brings to your workday. If you consider a user adoption strategy from day one of your project instead of an afterthought, you’ll have a higher success rate of helping people change their behaviors and reaching their ‘Aha’ moment.