Increasing Social Intranet Adoption: Create a Plan for an Extended Rollout

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Earlier this week, we talked about ensuring your social intranet is truly social – it’s one of our top 10 ways to improve social intranet adoption. Today’s tip in our “Improving Social Intranet Adoption and Collaboration” series focuses on the importance of an extended rollout plan. Taking the steps to think more strategically about implementation keeps users engaged and gives your social intranet the best chances of surviving – and thriving.

If you launch a new social intranet platform and immediately leave people to their devices, its chances of succeeding are greatly diminished. Adoption and engagement of a brand new social intranet will suffer if you don’t invest time and resources into ensuring the rollout is successful. Instead, think of your social intranet rollout as an extended process rather than a one-and-done deal.

Following are some tips to ensure this process is a success. These best practices will help make sure your new social intranet is being used enthusiastically and is contributing to your overall business goals.

1. Rollout Incrementally

Let’s expand on this idea of an incremental rollout. A new social intranet should be nurtured and monitored, not simply launched at an unsuspecting workforce that’s left to fend for itself. It can be overwhelming for employees to change their workflow processes and ways of communicating.

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Launch your social intranet with a bang (a simple email just isn’t fitting to build excitement for such a work-changing tool), and try introducing one feature at a time. This can help employees feel more comfortable with the technology and more likely to use it.

2. Remain Engaged

An important part of making an extended social intranet rollout a smashing success is making sure the implementation stakeholder remains engaged. Pressing “go” on each new step of the rollout program with unengaged silence in between is a sure fire way to stop adoption and collaboration in their tracks. Lead by example, and show employees how a social intranet can be used to their benefits by actually using it.

By staying involved, you’ll also be able to monitor hot and cold spots (one of our 10 social intranet adoption tips!) and see which features are successful and which are causing employees to stumble, helping ensure they don’t feel like this:

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This evaluation and insight will help you identify when employees are ready for the next stage of your rollout plan, too.

3. Build on win-win situations

One of the benefits of a long-term approach to rolling out your social intranet is that it allows you to make adjustments that will benefit your business along the way. When you rollout incrementally, you can evaluate what works and what doesn’t, (see tip two above) and build on win-win scenarios to make your social intranet a perfectly tailored tool for your business.

This approach also enables you to more easily pinpoint features and uses of your social intranet that are both quickly embraced by your employees and capable of delivering on your business goals. You can also identify features that might not be a great match for your organization, too. Some just aren’t conducive to the way you work. Others might not help you move the needle on your business goals. If something isn’t working, don’t hesitate to customize and change directions as you rollout your new platform.

Maintaining a degree of flexibility and adopting an extended social intranet rollout plan will help you propel your business forward and increase adoption and collaboration. This step is just one of several to ensure that your social intranet is a success – don’t lose sight that this is an ongoing process that requires continual evaluation, adjustment and new steps forward.

For a complete overview of our Top 10 Tips for Social Intranet Adoption and Collaboration, you can watch our joint webinar with 451 Research on-demand. And don’t forget to join us next week for the rest of our blog series, where we’ll continue unpacking each of these tips to help you get even more from your social intranet.