Collaboration Articles

5 Ways to Encourage Your Staff to Use Social Intranets

by Diana Berryman
Published on 17 March 2015

Interconnectivity of team members in a company

Encouraging staff members to try out and use new systems is always a challenge. A social intranet can be particularly intimidating and difficult to establish, especially if you have a large number of employees. How then, do you help get employees on board, keep them engaged with your new software, and make your social intranet an interesting and informative place to hang out?

1. Make it user friendly

Not everyone in your company will be completely tech savvy. For those who aren't, a new software application can be intimidating and cause more stress than it solves. To ease their fears, provide an information training package to walk the more nervous staff members though the ins and outs of your new social intranet. Make it clear and concise so that you don't intimidate them, keeping in mind that you're trying to get your entire team on board.

2. Create and share interesting content…

….and encourage your staff to do the same. Have a section of your social intranet specifically for content sharing, whether it is original or curated from other places, to get your staff involved. It doesn't necessarily need to be work-related- give your employees an outlet for their creativity and let them share their own blog posts or YouTube videos. It will build engagement between staff members, get everyone involved, and build rapport with employers and employees.

3. Don't make it all about work

Get social! Most people have busy lives, and work is often a main source of social interaction. Utilize your social intranet as a platform where staff can share things like social events and get-togethers. Your staff will appreciated the gesture, and it ensures that everyone gets involved.

4. Give the people what they want

Ask your staff what they want from their social intranet. Find out what people want to use it for by asking questions or running surveys- whatever it takes to engage your team and get them interested and enthusiastic about what you are doing, will work to your advantage.

5. Encourage remote working

Social intranets allow your staff to be better connected, meaning that you can let your staff work from home if they're sick, or have access while they're attending an event or meeting outside the office. You can also use this as a way to leverage remote workers; here, a social intranet can function as an online office with the ability to share and store files and documents in one place. Another bonus? Overhead costs will significantly decrease.

Social intranets in the field

Lots of organizations (and, more specifically, their employees) are already reaping the benefits of social collaboration tools like eXo Platform. eXo is a social collaboration app designed to be user-friendly, professional and social. For example, the local government of Val d'Oise chose eXo Platform to provide its employees with a new collaborative intranet. This serves as a "virtual office" for staff members working in a variety of departments and locations across the region. Employees benefit from a single access point to institutional information, third-party business applications, collaboration tools, and dedicated social workspaces for various local projects.

Over 5,000 government employees of Val d'Oise now rely on the eXo-based intranet for daily access to information, resources, and collaborations with colleagues. At the same time, the solution provides citizens with visibility into local government initiatives, enabling feedback and participation, while keeping certain types of information secure. New information is regularly shared with citizens through customized content publication workflow and built-in CMS capabilities.

eXo was also successfully rolled out to all HSBC France employees and ex-employees. The bank needed a platform where users could access information about their retirement plans and manage them. In particular, it wanted to be able to provide a number of investment vehicles with different risk profiles. Users needed to access information about their retirement savings portfolios in real time and allocate investments by choosing from the investment vehicles provided. Today, the platform serves more than 10,000 users, providing them with a secure and user-friendly way of accessing real-time information about their portfolios and managing them.

Axero Solutions have more great ideas about how you can benefit from using a social intranet. eXo explains how you can make a success of a social intranet, and GetApp even talks about how internal social networks can boost employee satisfaction. Check them out to get some great ideas for how to implement your social intranet.

You can't lose sight of having a social intranet to increase productivity by providing an effective means to collaborate and communicate within your business, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun.


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