simply ask these 5 questions to make sure your new platform is fit for post-pandemic hybrid working.

If your colleagues are socially distancing themselves from your content; WFH is showing up your creaky search; your firewalls are leaking and managers have taken to collaborating on WhatsApp then now is the time to get yourself a new intranet.

  1. Is hyper-personalisation important – or, err, just hype?

If you haven’t upgraded your intranet since the Spice Girls disbanded, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. One of the biggest changes with the new generation of digital platforms is that they can now recognise each of your users as an individual, so you can better target messages and campaigns.  Your colleagues will embrace a new intranet that has news, stories and connections that are tailored to them; after all who wants a homepage of recent sales wins (unless they are your sales wins).

Hyper personalisation implies tailoring to an audience of 1 – a bit like your Facebook or Twitter feed. That might be a little too intrusive, but if you can target news and content to geography, function, seniority and interests then you will start to deliver a personal user experience, which means higher engagement and richer conversations.

  1. Is your kneebone connected to your thighbone?

We spend our days looking at all kinds of intranets from the stupendous to the sclerotic and the first sign of a standout success is an intranet that everyone uses. The biggest driver of 90%+ usage is to include all those other essential apps that staff use to get their jobs done. If the intranet portal is the easiest route for me to check my shifts, see my payslip and get notifications about what needs doing next in my workflow, then that’s where I’ll go first – especially if it’s all in a handy mobile interface that includes my email and diary.

Deep integrations are key to the modern intranet.  This does not mean having an array of buttons that lose you off to another application. What we are talking about here are those friction-free integrations that allow you to sign off a holiday request within your activity feed, or make a change to that vital presentation and embed it back into the CRM – all while making a cup of coffee.

3. Could I have found a better vendor for my new intranet?

Choosing an intranet is like choosing a partner – you’re going to be stuck with your decision for some time, so swipe right with caution.  The 200 or so candidate platforms will all promise the earth but how do you decide whether they will be faithful in the future? The simple answer is that you can only really make a good decision when you really know yourself. It takes two to tango and your organisation is infinitely more complex than the software you are signing up for.

So the first step is to do some discovery around what your senior team are looking for from a personalised digital intranet.  Then do some focus groups with staff to find out what they want from a platform. Before you know it, you’ll have an intranet strategy based on high level user requirements, which will soon reveal which kind of vendor you are likely to hit it off with.

Then you can set up a beauty parade of the top 4 or 5 and take your time on a series of dates before you settle on the technology partner of your dreams.

simplycommunity members can read the full guide here. Not a member yet? Join us!

THE AUTHOR

Marc Wright, simplycommunicate founder & consultant

Marc started his career in television. He wrote and produced the drama 20 Steps to Better Business for the BBC, and his passion for the way organisations work led him to run a series of agencies including Crown and MCA which was sold to WPP in 2001. He is author of the Gower Handbook of Internal Communications and is a former President of IABC EMENA. He founded simplycommunicate in 2005.

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