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10 Ways to Attract Employees to Your Intranet | Article | Social Media

Source: 10 ways to attract employees to your intranet | Article | Social Media, Ragan

Follow these suggestions to boost traffic to your internal Web site

If used correctly, intranets have remarkable potential for employee communication. Unfortunately, many intranets are neglected and outdated, and consequently undervisited.

Here to help is Nova Newcomer, internal communications consultant and founder of Blue Hill Solutions, and Peat Bakke, senior Web analyst and engineer.

Follow these 10 upgrades to increase employee traffic to your intranet—from the easiest to most difficult.

1. Get blogging

This is an easy upgrade, Newcomer said. “Look for good writers that can create good content.” Get employees involved.

How to do it: Bakke recommends checking out the companies KnowNow and Roller for your internal (and external) blogging needs. He notes that IBM and Sun Microsystems use Roller for their blogging platforms.

2. Bring critical work flow online

CEO Mark Ragan tells communicators what seven elements every intranet should have.

If you place information that employees need on your intranet they will visit the portal. Once they are there you can drive them other places on the site. Bakke suggested establishing a wiki for your site, which can serve as a kind of information dump.

How to do it: Bakke suggests checking out Confluence, which is good for SharePoint users, or MediaWiki, the wiki technology used by Wikipedia.

3. Get relevant information to individual employees

This means placing RSS feeds on your intranet, so employees can subscribe to various feeds and receive the information they want when it is available.

How to do it: Bakke said the RSS market is competitive. He suggests trying NewsGator or Attensa, which he calls the more mature of the technologies. KnowHow also offers RSS services.

4. Harness employee creativity through multimedia file sharing

Give employees a multimedia outlet to share their creativity. Ask that they make a video about something relevant to your organization. “It’s not about being zany,” Newcomer said. Rather, it’s about getting employees to share their creativity.

How to do it: You don’t need to reinvent YouTube, Bakke said. Instead, relax. If you’ve followed through with No. 10, then chances are your blogging platform allows embedded video.

5. Search, Google-style

A common complaint of employees is the inability to find information on an intranet. So build a search engine into your intranet.

How to do it: Google sells servers you can plug into your network, explained Newcomer and Bakke. The software starts at $2,000 and it’s easy to use, Bakke said.

6. A management question and answer tool

Create dialogue on your intranet, Newcomer advises. Give employees a chance to ask management questions and then, of course, give management the ability to respond. The information from these online conversations can later serve as a resource.

How to do it: Newcomer’s own company offers a platform called Chatter Mill for interactive questions and answers.

7. Online polling and rating

Check out Digg.com for a good example of rating. This community news aggregator allows readers to rank stories so that the highest ranked materials appear on the site. Do this for material on your intranet. Also, place polling functions on your intranet as another way to converse with employees and pull information from them.

How to do it: PollStream offers excellent polling packages for companies. Digg.com-like software will need to be built, however. Bakke and Newcomer recommend cozying up with your IT department.

8. Social networking for your employee network

Adopt social network profile pages for your company directory. That way, when searching for an employee’s contact information you may also find that person’s interests, work and language experience, and much more relevant information. Check out MyRagan and Facebook for examples, Newcomer suggested.

How to do it: Newcomer and Bakke again suggest making friends with IT, because they’ll have a hand in implementing this kind of network.

9. Widgets

These are small interactive tools for your intranet—currently widespread on the Internet—that offer information in a small form. A widget could be (among many other things) a language translator. “Think innovatively about what kind of information [you can] deliver in a small form on your intranet site,” Newcomer said.

How to do it: It isn’t difficult, Bakke said. Just make sure you have the information available, which can be done through RSS feeds.

10. Customizable portal

Employees customize their own home pages. There’s a place on the portal for organizational information, but the rest is up to the employee. It gives employees what they need and want, Newcomer said.

How to do it: Bakke recommends Jive Software, which offers a comprehensive toolkit for blogging, wikis, RSS feeds, widgets and more. You can always look into your own systems, Newcomer noted, because there might something in your own system.

Source: 10 ways to attract employees to your intranet | Article | Social Media, Ragan

Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a strategic communications leader with nearly 20 years experience in both internal and external communications. She is a passionate advocate for developing communications that foster a stronger relationship between the organization and its employees. She is a global keynote speaker on employee engagement and HR communications. Elizabeth is a certified professional in Employer Brand through Universum Global's Employer Branding Academy.

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