How to gain a succesful intranet

07-11-2016 How do you make the intranet succesful with just a few ressources?

How many people are part of your intranet team? If the answer is ½-1 people your organization is similar to many others. Most organizations today find the intranet to be a neccesity and want it grow and develop, but these ambitions are rarely reflected in the allocated ressources. Luckily, this doesn't mean that you can't succeed with your intranet after all. 
Super users, ambassadors, champions, change agents and so on. All are important in ensuring commitment, involvement and optimal use of the intranet. You probably know how a recommendation from a person you know is valued higher than another recommendation. That's why it's important to have dedicated employees surrounding the intranet that can see the opportunities and values of the intranet and spread the message to the rest of the organization. 

The question is, how do you find and engage these people?

How do you find them?

The first step is to consider what part you want the super user to have. Are they supposed to teach others how to use system, are they to create a positive attitude towards the intranet or maybe both? Both are essential for success so it's good to use terms as ambassadors and change agents since they have a broader meaning than just being good users. 
What we often see is that these ambassadors are selected per department. This can work but what's most important is that the ambassadors are volunteers and that they believe in the project. That makes it necessary to do campaigns to attract ambassadors and ensure that they see the value of their intranet. Instead of selecting a person from each department or location, consider analyzing who in the organization are well connected and well liked. These are often the persons who will succeed in the role of an ambassador. 

How can they contribute to intranet success?

The ambassadors can contribute by spreading positive messages and help guide users. In practice they can use concepts like floorwalking where they visit coworkers and ask how they use a certain feature and tell them how to do it smarter. Other tools could be:

Department meetings where they share a tip for using the system in a smarter way
Talking to their co-workers by the coffee machine about how they work and offer ways to work smarter 
Info cafes where ambassadors are there to answer questions about the system

How can you help the ambassadors?

Maybe you're lucky but rarely the ambassadors will have allocated time available so they have to help out of their own free will and interests. That's why it's important to help them as much as possible. You can give them conditions they need to do their best. 

  • Create a community

  • Share good ideas

  • Give them tools and messages to provide

  • Keep them updated

  • Listen to their inputs

  • Make sure to communicate your expectations for their role

Intranet ambassadors are without a doubt an important asset in ensuring success for your intranet.