If you're trying to determine how on earth to calculate the ROI of an intranet or digital workplace, you're not alone. While it is easy to see the qualitative value of a centralized and private portal, that allows your knowledge work to access key people, documents and procedures anytime/anywhere—quantifying the return on this activity is not as straight forward.
In fact, surveys show that only 6% of organizations undertake ongoing intranet ROI measurements. This is in stark comparison to the 76% of organizations who see intranet ROI as a priority, indicating that many like you are also looking for tips to calculate intranet ROI.
Benefits of Tracking Intranet ROI
To understand exactly how an intranet benefits your organization in order to justify further investment in it
To know where your investment is falling short to either draw back on certain areas or identify strategies to improve
To show exactly how an intranet will increase employee productivity, collaboration and enagagement
We've been in the intranet space since the first ones emerged in 2001 so have built up some best practices for calculating ROI. Here are some helpful tips that we provide to our clients before and after their intranet launch.
Critical to understanding any improvement or change, is knowing where you started. To do this, we recommend collecting some benchmark data that will allow you to see how you improved productivity, collaboration and engagement. To do this, administer a survey that approximately 10-15% of total employees complete. Here is a sample survey to give you an idea of questions you can ask.
Here are some examples of metrics you can track in each category:
- Time savings to locate key documents, processes and procedures
- Time decreased in locating the right person in your organization
- Time reduced reading, sorting and replying to email
- Time reduced on work duplication
- Number of people accessed through company directory form
- Forums participated in for knowledge sharing
- Documents with multiple contributors and edits made by each
- Efficiencies revealed via cross-department communication
- Events registered for and attended
- Content engagement: number of visits, likes, shares or comments
- Ideas contributed and implemented by employees
Once you have collected your benchmark data and your intranet is up and running, its time to start measuring your investment. Remeber the test you ran in your pre-intranet survey? We'll its time to test these metrics again, except this time, within the confines of your shiny new intranet. We recommend testing at 6 months past implementation and then again at 12 months. Depending on how fast your employees get up and running in the system, you will want to run the post-intranet survey at 2-3 different intervals to make sure your data is sound. This will also provide you with information to help you understand areas of weakness, in order to better allocate your intranet development resources.