Improving Social Intranet Adoption: Have A Clear Purpose and Goals

arrows-on-target In our “Improving Social Intranet Adoption” series, we’ve been exploring the steps you can take to ensure your social intranet implementation is a success. Part of laying the groundwork for that success is establishing goals early in the process.

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Across the board, employees like to see a vision and purpose behind their work. Otherwise, you have disengaged and unenthusiastic workers on your hands.

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It might seem obvious to set a goal before implementing a new workplace collaboration tool or process, but all too often organizations think that the new technology will speak for itself, and everyone will magically know what purpose it serves. Being clear about the purpose and goals for your social intranet is a key step in the process. Without direction, it’s difficult for anyone to know how to approach a new tool or how it should be used.

Instead of taking that risky approach, follow our surefire steps to define and communicate your social intranet’s purpose and goals. Your new platform can’t be everything to everyone, so set expectations early on, and give employees everything they need to make the rollout a success.

1. Define your business goals.

The first place to start to think about your overall business objectives. Everything you’re spending money, energy and time on should relate back to your business goals – otherwise what’s the point, right? Be as specific as possible, and focus on a set number of goals during your social intranet launch so you don’t risk being too ambitious and overwhelming everyone.

It’s best to start small and monitor engagement and usage, then adjust accordingly as you continue to expand on the objectives that your social intranet is helping you achieve. And remember: Communicate goals early in the implementation process to increase the chances of meeting them.

2. Determine what your social intranet can help you achieve.

After you’ve defined the business goals for your social intranet, align them with the platform’s features. Start mapping out how a specific feature (or features) can help you move the needle on certain objectives. For example, one of your goals might be to create a better onboarding process for new employees. Social intranet features that could help you achieve that could include online chat, document collaboration and group forums.

Create a game plan that outlines relevant features for each objective, and communicate that plan during your education and training process in the rollout period. Make sure your employees are well equipped to take advantage of these specific features, for starters, and that they know the purpose behind each one. And don’t forget to establish metrics to help gauge your success.

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3. Communicate!

That leads us to our final non-negotiable tip in this process of making your purpose and goals clear: COMMUNICATE. Often considered the most important business skill, communication is a common pitfall for managers and employees alike. Whoever is managing the implementation or revitalization of a social intranet needs to be aware that what might have been discussed among management is not automatically communicated to those who are expected to deliver on those set expectations and objectives.

Training is an essential part of the rollout process and is an opportune time to present the goals and purpose of a social intranet. Communicate with excitement and enthusiasm, and emphasize specifically how this new technology will benefit employees as individuals and improve their day-to-day workflows. Making it first and foremost about them will sustain employees until they experience the benefits on a regular basis.

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So there you have it: A three-step process for defining the goals and purpose of your social intranet. Resist the urge to dive into your new social intranet without first considering how it will be used and how it can impact specific business objectives. You’ll be much happier with the results in the long run!

And that’s a wrap on our 10-part blog series on improving social intranet adoption. Read the first installment on identifying key stakeholders. Or catch all 10 tips in our on-demand webinar with 451 Research.