In considering the delta between expectations and reality – a void we all know too well – corporate intranets throw HR, communications, and IT employees into one of the deepest. Soon after deployment, the platform that stakeholders once envisioned as a glittering collaboration hub often resembles a sleepy town with poor trash management.

According to a recent CMS Wire article, Top 6 Reasons Employees Don’t Use Your Intranet, here’s why:

  1. Employees don’t know it’s there (and they don’t know or understand its value)
    Unless every single employee at your company had a hand in planning and launching your intranet, it won’t be on anyone’s radar. You’ll need to tell people about it repeatedly (at least seven times, if you want them to remember it. Or so the trusted researchers say). Once employees know about the portal, give them a reason to keep logging in. How will it help people perform better and with more ease? Find out and spread the word.
  2. Information is outdated
    Keeping your intranet perpetually fresh with relevant content is key – especially concerning explicit knowledge (phone numbers, job titles, etc.). Nothing tarnishes users’ trust in a portal like seeing five long-gone employees in the mug shots section.
  3. Poor search and navigation
    McKinsey says that employees spend 9.3 hours every week searching for documents. Make your portal a one-stop-shop for folks to find what they need with a user-friendly search app and intuitive navigation.
  4. Lack of executive ownership
    Your portal needs some solid evangelists in its court. Executive ownership and participation send the message to employees that your company intranet is a core business fixture (and not just a one-off corporate comms. project). It pays to have some power-users in each department leading the adoption charge as well. Word-of-mouth endorsements make more of an impact than any mass email campaign can.
  5. Generic or poor training
    One-size-fits-all portal training won’t work. Segment training groups to target the needs of various demographics, considering people’s skill levels, working styles, job roles, and general attitudes toward technology.
  6. Lack of timeline for launches, updates
    By launching your intranet gradually, employees will have more time to anticipate and digest the changes to come, as well as develop a sense of trust with the new platform.

No matter how powerful, new, and shiny your intranet platform is on day one, cultivating strong user adoption takes endurance. Check out this CMS Wire article for more tips on maximizing long-term portal engagement.

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