Rolling out a Social Intranet in the complete company will have an effect on your company culture. An intranet 2.0 is a tool that will start an orientation towards employees and self organization. And it is absolutely essential to involve the employees from the beginning. Which strategies are useful for the rollout? How to approach critics? Here are some useful tips.
Communication strategies for the introduction
For many years we have been assisting companies in rolling out social collaboration systems. Some best practices have prevailed:
Images convey more than words. A professional trailer video that shows the opportunities and key advantages of a social intranet can touch and inspire the audience. Users can be prepared for the project ahead and volunteers can be recruited for testing. We have created such a video for our customer DER Touristik - to present the project to the employees and to make them curious about Intranet 2.0:
Mega Touchscreen in the entryway
No matter how intensely you advertise for a new system - it is most effective when employees can see it and directly be in touch with it. It is a good idea to provide a tangible intranet during the rollout phase. You can set up a big touchscreen at a point which is often frequented in your company. There you can display a prototype of the intranet that can easily be tested. In collaboration with the Swiss provider RenTouch we offer our clients to use a version of the 55 inch touch screen Flextouch for a limited amount of time. In that way you can use it to get your employees in touch with the intranet system before and during rollout.
Posters, stickers, pop-ups, notebooks and other marketing tools with the right message will create visibility of the intranet. Find some examples for such gimmicks here.
Risks and counter measures
A tool that will change company culture, often has to push through prejudices and doubts. There actually are risks. Three counter arguments are:
Too much work
One concern is that all employees will begin to write uncontrollably and the company won't be able to pinpoint and correct all false information in the intranet. However, such problems do not occur. The group dynamic of the users creates self regulation. Phenomena such as vandalism and editing wars known from public collaboration systems such as wikipedia do not happen due a lack of anonymity in the social intranet.
Another prejudice is that user generated intranet content is not reliable: Unsystematic and unscreened individual opinions decrease reliability of the system. This can be avoided by creating an editorial team where the responsible "owner" of a space makes sure minimum requirements are met.
Chaos and Redundancy
A third case is fear of an information chaos - where it is not clear what is real and reliable, and what might just be opinions. In addition, finding the right information could be difficult. This is where using the above mentioned intranet charter is a great first measure. It can function as user manual and offers guidelines about what should be in the intranet and what shouldn't. A social intranet like LINCHPIN also offers intranet 1.0: The management has the opportunity to broadcast important information in a targeted manner. In addition, the personalized navigation creates a structure and helps users work efficiently.
Some additional tipps for a successful and effective rollout of the social intranet:
- Don't solely understand the project as an IT project but include it as a change project in your company culture. The key to a productively used social intranet is culture, not technology.
- The management should be transparent from the beginning of the new project and officially announce the new project (such as in a trailer video). Management should prepare employees and define expectations of the use of the intranet 2.0.
- If you have a workers council, include them in the project from the beginning so that there are no misunderstandings.
- In order to track and document the progress of the project, regular project status reports should be offered in sprint reviews during the rollout.
- Report news and accomplishments regularly via a project microblog in an "Intranet Rollout Space" in the new system.
- At the time of the actual introduction, the management can consider a roadshow and offer internet presentations at different company sites.
- Surveys during realization and rollout of the intranet system help better understand the requirements of the users.
- If employees are involved in identifying a name, the intranet will be more visible and an identification with the system is higher.
- Users should be able to easily learn about the new tool: Give them flyers, FAQs, internal blog posts, training material, presentations, and more.
- The new social intranet can be installed as the home page on the employees computers.
Launching and establishing a social intranet is a challenging project that needs the full support of the management and at the same time involve employees early on. The listed strategies can lead to reaching more users and to gain their support for the collaboration in the system. We are happy to tell you more!
LINCHPIN: Social Intranet based on Confluence
You are interested in a Confluence based intranet? Would you like to enhance an existing platform by helpful enterprise features? With LINCHPIN we offer a mature solution that makes Confluence a full fledged social intranet suite. Find additional information on features and advantages on our special LINCHPIN page.
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