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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Nine Ways to Earn and Keep Executive Support for Your New Intranet

Employee experience is becoming increasingly important to companies that want to thrive in the modern and changing market. More and more companies are embracing digital collaboration, remote work, and even fully dispersed teams. These new work models and technologies are changing the business landscape in profound ways across a wide array of industries. 

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Nine Ways to Earn and Keep Executive Support for Your New Intranet
Woman sitting using her laptop at a table behind glass wall

One of the core assets a company can have in this new era is a powerful and comprehensive intranet. As companies adapt to shifts in how and where people get their work done, they need to be able to provide employees with the most relevant, personalized resources and content possible. They need to be able to put the right information and tools at their employees’ fingertips in a reliable, consistent way. 

But how do you get C-level buy in to build a contemporary, state-of-the-art workplace experience? How do you demonstrate the business value of such an asset? And how do you make sure that, once you’ve built it, your leadership team will continue helping you drive consistent employee usage and engagement?

In our experience, which includes rolling out best-in-class digital workplace experiences for more than one million users, there are nine key things you can do to earn (and keep!) executive support for your intranet.

Top Ways You Can Secure Executive Buy-in for Employee Experience

1. Define your purpose.

As Simon Sinek said, “Start with why.” When you’re pitching stakeholders on a new or upgraded digital workplace, it’s not enough to say you want/need new technology. You need to be able to articulate how a better intranet will support business objectives. You need to show that an intranet isn’t just about communication and convenience; it’s about business strategies and outcomes. 

2. Show that knowledge-sharing saves time and money.

It’s never a bad idea to start with the bottom line. And since time is money, it’s usually not that difficult to make a solid case for how an intranet might increase efficiency and profits. 

3. Use data insights to sustain post-launch success.

The tactics you use to drive long-term use and deep engagement with an intranet is not that different from the tactics any software provider might use. You start by using data to understand how employees are using (or not using) different features and functions, and then you use those insights to identify opportunities to get more people using more features more regularly.

4. Improve operational efficiencies.

It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, which is why one of the most attractive benefits of an effective intranet is its ability to save your employees valuable time. Employees typically waste literally hours and hours over the course of a year searching for this document or that image or some policy or other. It’s a frustrating experience for the employee and a wasteful one for the organization. A well-organized intranet with a powerful search function can give your users the gift of time while helping to improve your company’s overall productivity.

5. Offer a one-stop shop for truth.

Rumors. False information. Outdated documents. These things not only have the potential to harm your company’s culture, they can also hurt productivity, endanger deals, and even affect share prices. An updated and up-to-date intranet gives employees one reliable source for information and news in their day-to-day lives and in times of crisis. 

6. Deliver better collaboration.

Whether you have teams collaborating from cubicle to cubicle or continent to continent, the right tools make a huge difference in their success. Access, version control, and team communication all need to flow smoothly to enable the best output. Even if your organization has modern collaboration tools in place, those tools may not be fully activated across all your resources. In that case, an upgraded intranet can help create channels and campaigns to get everyone on board with the same tool set.

7. Let them know a smart intranet boosts retention.

Most companies say that their people are their most valuable asset but still fail to provide employees with the tools they need to thrive. A lousy intranet that delivers a frustrating, time-wasting experience can contribute to employee turnover. When that happens, you’re not only losing someone with valuable knowledge and experience about your business and your customers, you then have to spend time and money to recruit their replacement.

8. Boost efficiency with digital architecture.

Take the user perspective when designing the way employees interact with the intranet, including instances where it syncs with other tools like Workday for HR, Concur Travel for your road warriors, or Jira for engineering knowledge. Making sure you have a plan in place to integrate all the tools your teams are already using will help ensure a smooth transition as people begin making the intranet their go-to tool. 

9. Create content to solve problems.

Develop a proactive content strategy designed to keep your intranet fresh and updated so that it’s always relevant and helpful. This may involve getting multiple content owners—such as HR and IT—on board to help with clearing out old content, collecting current content, and committing to creating new content as needed. 

Transform your employee experience—transform your business.

There’s no question that technology is a powerful tool for driving business success and growth. But it’s important to make sure that your technology is built for humans. In the case of an intranet, this means developing a strategy and plan that starts with why and then following through with the tools and features that enable your employees to deliver the desired results.