Make your intranet launch a success with clever ways to draw employees to your new site.
The launch date for your new or revamped intranet is finally around the corner. Time to celebrate?
You may be sitting on a compelling intranet that looks great, has a smart content strategy, is user-friendly and easy to navigate. But even the best-built intranet won’t promote itself.
So here comes the hard part: rolling it out and making sure people actually see the fruits of your labor.
Here are some tried and tested strategies:
1. Round up a team of intranet ambassadors from across the organization
During the intranet design phase, we recommended assembling a team of cross-functional stakeholders to understand their wants and needs for the site.
If you have this roundtable in place, or something like it, now’s the time to tap the members for help. Ask them to serve as ambassadors during launch. That could mean a number of things:
Alerting their teams: Managers can plug the new intranet and what’s on there, especially in relation to what’s on there for the team itself, during meetings. They should lay out their expectations for how the team will use it, why they should use it, and share any other information about the rollout you make available to them.
Modeling proper usage: Managers should use the intranet, talk about it, link to it—ask them to show their teams they’re taking the new intranet seriously so direct reports follow suit.
Enforcing adoption during day-to-day work: Folks on your roundtable can refer co-workers to the intranet until they go there themselves unprompted. That might mean, for example, politely reminding a colleague that certain documents live on the intranet instead of sharing it in a chat.
Another way you can use your roundtable during launch: Probe them for ideas to build more hype around the new site. Teams tend to have unique work styles and might respond well to different types of incentives.
2. Try a teaser campaign
Ahead of launch, give employees a reason to look forward to the new intranet by dripping out details ahead of time. Everything from the site URL to team-level landing pages to pullquotes from a planned blog post can serve as teaser material.
Other ideas include:
Leaks: “Leak” some info, like preview or blurred screenshots, on your company’s chat.
Lottery: Run a lottery for a beta access and a feedback offsite (with perks).
Contest: Run a contest to pick the intranet’s new name or URL. Winner gets a prize.
3. Tie the intranet launch to a big company event or milestone
Have a company offsite or annual kickoff meeting that everyone gets excited about? Plan the launch to coincide with that event. You’ll have a captive audience, and it adds some weight to the initiative.
Is your company turning 5, or 10, or 100? Is it going through a rebrand? Opening a new HQ? Hiring a new CEO? See if you can tie the new intranet to milestones like these.
4. Make the intranet the default homepage for employees
Have the intranet set up across the company as the default homepage for all employees’ browsers. That way, they automatically land on it every time they go online. If you’re using Refined and Confluence, configure View Permissions to ensure that all users see what’s relevant to them.
5. Host trainings
Conduct trainings to familiarize everyone with the new intranet. How many sessions you host and who’s invited will depend on a number of factors including the size of your company and your own capacity to host, but even just one company-wide training that walks through the intranet, explains how to navigate it, and shows off the content users can expect to find there goes a long way toward boosting awareness.
Being flexible: Several “live” trainings over the course of a month or a quarter may be better than one so that everyone can find a time to join that works for their schedule.
Perks for attendance: Lure more sign-ups with incentives for joining, even if it’s something seemingly small like a free lunch.
Recording a demo: Recording a demo and posting it to the—you guessed it—intranet is a good way to make sure latecomers can get the details of the site on their time.
6. Get—and promote—buy-in from executives
Now is the time to let employees know that company leadership is on board and promoting the new intranet. Have the CEO or another C-level exec post a prominent welcome message (a blog or vlog, preferably) at launch, explaining their support for the intranet and why they’re excited about it.
7. Games: bingo, scavenger hunts
Get creative with competitions and contests. Creative contests (with prizes) like an intranet scavenger hunt or intranet bingo serve double duty: they help users familiarize themselves with the site and also create buzz around the launch.
8. Ask for feedback
Collect feedback starting on day one, so you know what’s working and what’s not. Right at launch time, when people are most motivated to try the intranet and help you perfect the user experience, is a great time to ask for their input.