Issue: Your intranet is packed with valuable HR information, but few employees are using it.
Benefit: If employees see the intranet, not your office, as the first stop for HR info, you'll free up time to become a more strategic player.
Action: Use the solutions listed below and watch the traffic flow.
You've invested lots of time and money to create an intranet site where employees can access insurance forms, learn about their benefits and pose questions to HR. You've built it, but no one has come; they show up at your door, instead.
Advice: Teach employees to think of the site as their first stop for HR forms and information. That will free up more of your time to focus on strategic aspects of HR, which is where your boss wants your head, anyway.
Here are four ways to help your intranet gain the attention it deserves:
1. Brand it into employees' computers. You can remind employees to bookmark the site. But go a step further: For computers assigned to new employees, add the site to the "Favorites" list and make it the default home page.
New employees generally have the most questions, so this ensures they have answers at their fingertips. (Tip: If you're running Microsoft's enterprise directory service, Active Directory, your network administrator may be able to auto-configure shortcuts and default pages on each employee's computer.)
2. Cut the cord. If you're committed to reducing your print costs and administrative burden, don't offer paper. Make the intranet site the only place where employees can access forms, directories, etc. They'll face a learning curve and you may receive a few barks, but they'll get used to it. Keep files in Word format so everyone with a PC can open and print them.
3. Add new features to the site. Add interactive elements that regularly draw users back to the site. Two ideas:
- Classifieds. Create a bulletin board where employees can post items for sale. This isn't a business-focused part of your site, but if you're looking for an initial burst of traffic, it could prove a useful addition. It will also cut down on the mass e-mails that can plague a system.
- Suggestion box. Create a section where employees can post ideas for improving business or morale. Review the entries every month or two and reward the best, those saving or making the most money (or time), with a prize. Announce the winners in an e-mail that includes a link to the site.
4. Design the intranet to be intuitive. Your employees are used to clicking around sites such as Amazon.com and eBay. Implement design elements that make those sites so usable. Resource: UseIt.com, which offers advice and reports on creating usable intranet sites.
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