At Bonzai Intranet we work with companies of all shapes and sizes, across disparate countries and various industries. Time and time again we're asked, "How do we engage users on our Intranet?". Over the past five years, we've deciphered patterns in the types of content that really resonate with people. Today I will share the top 3 not so obvious content pieces that engage all types of intranet users.
Content About Your People
I am shocked at how few corporate Intranets have content about their most valuable asset—their people! People love to read content about others in their organization, but there is a catch. We have found that users really resonate with content about employees that share a common characteristic. This could be the department they belong to, the region they are located, the position they hold or even company-specific topics they are interested in learning more about. It's common for an Intranet to dedicate whole sections about their leadership team, CEO or Board members but we seldom work with companies who dedicate space on the Intranet to employees.
What does talent-centric content look like? There are many topics you can use, I challenge you to get creative! Here are a few that we find works well…
Employee Spotlight Stories
This type of content spotlights employees and is a popular item to include on the homepage. Employee spotlights can contain stories about good deeds, promotions, interesting facts or the good work people are doing in your organization.
Content about new employees is a great way to warmly welcome new starts at your organization. Having an Intranet like Bonzai that can target content makes is easy to target new start stories to specific locations, offices or business units. If your intranet has social capabilities like commenting, sharing and liking then you also have mechanisms to measure engagement. It also means that employees can welcome their new colleague and put a face to a name. Here’s a case study that explains how a software company uses social features and virtual reality to increase engagement on their Intranet.
Marketplace or Buy & Sell
I know it’s hard to believe, but more often then not, the Buy & Sell area on an Intranet is often the most visited space. If you’re not familiar with what this is, it’s like Craigslist just for your organization. Here, employees can buy, sell, exchange or giveaway items that would otherwise be posted elsewhere. A space like this is also often used to promote employee meet-ups. For example, an employee at a company we work with promoted free yoga in the park during lunch and had many people attend. It was also aligned to the company’s values of self-care and work-life balance.
Due to the fact that the marketplace can be one of the most visited areas of an Intranet, here are a few best practices to follow when setting yours up:
Charitable Initiatives: A great marketplace can also be used to promote donations to charities or promote initiatives that align with company values. We’ve seen a few companies who use Bonzai Intranet donate 1% of total marketplace purchases to a pre-determined charity. This is a great way to drive adoption and do some good.
Links to Items People Use Daily
This may seem obvious but the intranet content that people like is the content that they use daily. Some of the most popular are the following:
Personalized Application or Document Lists
A list of commonly used applications, regardless if they are applications integrated into your intranet or a separate system like Oracle, is something that people really like and use often. Bonus points if users can customize these applications or documents to those that they frequently access. Extra bonus points if you can target the application listings to specific job roles or business units.
Quick or Important links
Common links that are accessed by users frequently can also be very helpful for any user. Having a centralized list of links that can be accessed and even categorized can be very powerful and engaging.
What content do you most like seeing on your Intranet and why? Please share with us in the comment section below.