Hints to enable adoption and prepare your social intranet launch

social intranet is leading digital workplace transformation. With many organizations shifting to the digital workplace, the way employees collaborate changes. This new workplace allows stakeholders to communicate and collaborate beyond their physical location. social intranets are the core of the digital workplace.

They provide new opportunities for real-time collaborations and more substantial exchanges.

This intranet 2.0 supports the shift of your digital transformation. It provides powerful features maximizing employees engagement, knowledge sharing, and productivity.

In this article, we will hint you on how to launch your social intranet. To leverage it, you will need to prepare your organization.

We will pinpoint some key things that your organization should address, before implementing your social intranet.

Plan your social intranet strategy

Align your intranet and corporate strategy

Understanding where your organization is going is crucial. Whether your company is dynamic or stable, expanding or contracting, you should align both strategies. By doing so, it will show how your social intranet will support the achievement of your corporate strategy.

To formulate your strategy, you need to take into consideration some preliminary factors. Indeed, the type, size, complexity and purposes are key considerations. As a matter of fact, strategies vary depending on your situation.

For example, a start-up with a small team will adopt a different approach than a global organization. What is valid for a government body would not necessarily work for an IT company.

The same applies to the type of activity (manufacturer, public sector) or its complexity (a global company based in different time zones).

Have a vision for your social intranet

The key to success to implement your social intranet is to know what you want. Having a vision will help you craft the architecture to best achieve your goals and prioritize your needs.

It will also help your project team to stay focused on what to do, and ensure the relevance of future changes.

Besides, with strategy and vision comes mission statement. Your social intranet mission statement will clarify to key stakeholders its reason for being, and how it aims to serve them.

An example could be: “Our social intranet will be the place where employees can communicate and collaborate, to improve our service excellence and drive innovation”.

You also need to give consistency to your vision, here are hints on what you should keep in mind:

– What are the expected outcomes of implementing our social intranet?

– Are there any KPIs that might be relevant?

– How will this social intranet affect the working day of a typical employee?

– What is the scope of our social intranet?

Detailing your vision as much as possible will help you build a clearer picture of its targeted use cases and ease its achievement.

Involve key stakeholders

These are the departments that will most likely be involved in managing the intranet after its launch. Or who will be its most influential users.

Most probably we can think of IT, HR and communication. Include operational stakeholders, as their input as main users should be helpful. Also, it will help them take ownership of the tool.

Finally, do not forget to include senior management. Their input, engagement and leading by example are crucial.

How your intranet supports your organization

Identify areas of value

After the planning of your strategy, certain areas of value should emerge from your social intranet. The project team should show what is the biggest benefits of adopting this new tool are.

The focus of this process will allow you to show the impacts on the different business functions.

Also, it shows which business functions will have the biggest impact on the success of your intranet rollout strategy.

To do this, some research on what will be the use of your intranet 2.0 is necessary.

Typical areas of value might be:

  • Top-down communication via blog or news, if and how these will be juxtaposed to social interactions for driving your internal communication culture
  • Knowledge management and sharing for a particular business area
  • Identification of experts in your company via a research tool or a directory company of profiles
  • Group for business teams to collaborate and share experience on serving customers
  • Area for all HR information, including training, or relevant forms or requests
  • Groups for project teams to interact

Differentiate between communities and sites

Identifying and managing properly your communities and sites will decide your intranet’s impact:

  • A community (or group/space) is generally departmental or project-based. Its members usually use it to collaborate, share resources, updates or ask questions on ideas.
  • A site, however, is more content-based. You are more likely to find separate areas for news, documents or other features.

One way to successfully manage those is to assign each site or community to an owner (or community manager).

Go Mobile

You need to take mobility into account while thinking about your social intranet. Your employees will be likely to be able to access it with their phones/tablets.

In addition, going mobile is a driver for adoption and engagement of your social intranet. Make sure that it is available from day one!

Plan your social intranet launch

Build momentum

Creativity will allow creating excitement around your new social intranet. You may create videos to tease its launch, or even organize a company event to unveil your new project.

Momentum will help your organization create engagement and ownership around your social intranet.

Launch in phases if necessary

In a previous article, we mentioned that launching in phases is a way to avoid failing to roll out your intranet. Indeed, as every organization is different, you might want to make it available step by step.

Perhaps it is because you need a pilot project to get buy-in from your stakeholders, or to harvest information and feedback from a smaller group of users, and using it to adjust and perfect the final solution.

Take a prior time to ensure success and leverage your social intranet.

Make your intranet launch day a special day

Again, to involve as much as possible you employees, try to make your intranet launch a day to remember.

By making your launch day fun and participative, you will increase your chances of adoption and engagement of your intranet. You can, for instance, organize fun activities with prizes to win to ensure engagement. Or organize a trivia game on how to use your social intranet.

Another example could be a photo contest in which participant should upload and vote for the winner. Be creative and keep in mind the two core elements of launch day: Having fun and your social intranet.

With that said, one important takeaway is that your social intranet rollout is not a finite action but continuous process that needs to be maintained.

After its launch, other phases needs to be taken into account beforehand in order to ensure its impact. Encouraging early adopters and empowering champions that will advocate its use, and drive adoption among your collaborators.

Populating key intranet areas and coaching owners to create engagement, and communicating best practices is also to be kept in mind.

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Walid Hamrouni

Product Marketing Specialist

I am a product marketing specialist and tech enthusiast. My role at eXo is to support marketing and operational activities for our digital collaboration tool. I will mainly blog about digital transformation, collaboration, open-source tech, and how to navigate through eXo platform.

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