When your company has implemented a new intranet, the last thing you want your IT department to tell you is no one’s using it.
You know SharePoint is a good investment.
You’ve told your employees how much it will help them.
Everyone has been trained on its functions and uses, so how do you keep them engaged?
The key is to develop appropriate metrics for measuring your digital transformation’s success and then tailor realistic goals based on those baseline numbers. We’ll walk you through it.
Gather Key Metrics and Give People What They Want.
For a baseline assessment of your SharePoint intranet’s performance, compile data on your clicks, hits, users, login activity, search terms, and how long it takes to find information when a user logs on. These simple metrics will give you an idea of what most people are looking for when they visit the platform.
If the bulk of your users visit it for the same reason, find a way to provide the information they’re looking for more quickly and your intranet’s performance will automatically increase.
For example, if it’s November and it’s open enrollment season for the next year’s health insurance, temporarily place a link to those documents on the homepage instead of keeping them buried in a stagnant location on the Human Resources page.
Build Realistic Metrics Based on Employee Profiles.
If you’ve launched your intranet and set a goal of 80% usage company-wide, but your metrics only show 15% of employees using it, you might think your adoption rate is anemic.
However, healthy usage looks different for every company. If your organization has a lot of workers in the field and a smaller office staff, your numbers may naturally be lower because many workers aren’t sitting at a desk. They may only access SharePoint to log details related to their work, rather than visit the company’s news feed or access a social forum. And, you may not want them on the intranet while they’re working in the field.
Eighty percent is a daunting number. Aim to increase usage incrementally, 20% by next quarter, 25% the quarter after that. Build your benchmarks around an increasing number instead of a flat, specific number.
Homepages aren’t the only way to communicate with employees, and they aren’t the only metric for measuring success. Don’t wait for every employee to wander over to the home page. Highlight what’s important wherever employees are likely to see it. For example, you might add a banner with snippets of important news at the top of the app field workers access on the go.
Direct Traffic and Update Content Frequently.
If the goal is to get people to your SharePoint as much as possible, you have to provide a reason for them to go there.
This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways.
If an employee visits the platform three times per day, but the content is exactly the same all three times, you know they’re only going there for what they need. To ensure staff is using the intranet for certain purposes, you can direct them there by providing links to files that might have been emailed between staff members in the past.
But for more effective, sustained traffic, you’ll want to provide fresh content on a regular basis. Think about why people are on their mobile phones all the time. It’s because there’s a steady stream of content on all their favorite apps, and no one wants to miss out. The same principles apply to your SharePoint as well.
Company news that changes all the time can entice people to visit the homepage more often. A fun place on your Yammer feed where colleagues can socialize is even better. Employees will start logging in because they’re curious about what is going on.
When your traffic increases and you’ve got your staff’s attention, then you can post important information that used to go in all-staff emails that went unread most of the time.
Add Content Creators to Increase Stakes.
Ideally, new content will be added to your intranet several times per day.
That sounds like a full-time job, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be.
You’re probably not going to hire a full-time employee whose only job is to maintain content on SharePoint. However, you can spread the responsibility around by selecting groups of content managers within each of your company’s departments. Everyone in these groups can post news to their team page, and they’ll already have the best understanding of what should be posted. If there’s something really important that affects a lot of people or extends beyond their department, they can post it to the homepage.
When you have a lot of people trained on adding news, they keep the content fresh because they have important information they want to share. Multiple stakeholders from different departments who are invested in the content is a more effective strategy than an intranet controlled by one person, one department, or by the company itself.
Every company’s usage numbers look great when a new product is rolled out, but the real indicator of success is how those numbers look a year or two later.
Building true adoption takes some effort and time, and the fastest way to impede intranet performance is to make it hard to use.
Start with your key metrics, fulfill simple search requests by providing what users are looking for quickly, and then work on strengthening usage by leveraging diverse content in efficient ways. When people can’t remember what work was like before you introduced them to SharePoint, you’ll know you are getting somewhere.