A social intranet is an easy-to-use tool that incorporates social technology, powerful search, multimedia creation and sharing capabilities, and more to create a communication and collaboration hub that can be easily accessed to get work done. Sounds great, huh? So how do you lead your organization down this path? We’ve outlined 7 steps to take… you can also read more in our recently published eBook: “The New Social Intranet: How We Collaborate in the Digital Age.”
Step 1: Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
Begin by Pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in categories such as organizational awareness and culture, senior leadership’s involvement and buy-in, existing tools, and overall strategy for digital workplace development.
Ask: How well does your current intranet address your digital workplace needs? Does it address any of your business requirements well enough to keep and build upon? Are your teams, departments and business units using external tools as well? Is the number of tools out of hand? Are any of those tools keepers? Or, do you need to start over with a whole new approach?
Step 2: Determine Goals
Figure out where you want to be in terms of your digital workplace maturity.
Ask: Are you just starting out, and you’d like to be at a developing level within the next year? Do you have some momentum but would like to implement a more strategic digital workforce plan?
Step 3: Evaluate Your Current Intranet
What does a successful social intranet look like for you? The 5 essential purposes of the intranet are to:
1) Deliver content
2) Work as a key communication tool,
3) Enable collaboration
4) Support the culture
5) Create efficiencies.
Step 4: Research and Compare
Take a look at other companies; do their approaches suit your people, processes and technologies?
To advance along the digital workplace maturity continuum, organizations must recognize and embrace these 6 emerging trends, according to a recent intranet study:
- Breakthrough of mobile
- Increasing social features
- Wider collaboration possibility
- Integration into operational management
- Emphasis on transparency
- Explosion of video content
Step 5: Get Buy- In
To ensure that your solution actually serves employees’ needs and will be used once adopted, get employees at all levels and throughout the organization involved in the process of selection and implementation
The three biggest factors contributing to the most successful intranets are:
- Start with the needs of your users
- Establish a community manager
- Keep the content up-to-date
Step 6: Identify Barriers
Identify, minimize or eliminate barriers of implementation.
Jankowski describes the most common barriers to implementing successful social intranets from the perspective of a consulting partner in enterprise intranet design:
- Internal Politics
- Lack of Communication
Senior managers in many enterprises are simply failing to take the needs of the new digital workplace seriously. McConnell’s research reinforces this assumption, demonstrating that, in the majority of organizations, more than 80% of managers provide only vocal support and/or resources versus sustained commitment, conviction, AND participation.
Step 7: Think Mobile
Mobile is woven throughout the entire process of digital workplace change. Implementation and an intranet that is not mobile-friendly is an intranet that will languish, unloved and unused. The new digital workplace is a mobile workplace. Therefore your social intranet must be as well.
To explore what the future holds, check out our eBook, “The New Social Intranet: How We Collaborate in the Digital Age.” It reveals how the companies with high social intranet innovation and maturity will set the standard in the digital workplace.
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