Increasing Social Intranet Adoption: The Importance of Identifying Key Stakeholders and Advocates

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Anyone who’s ever tried to make changes within an office can tell you that it’s no easy feat. Employees are often resistant to change how they work – even when it can make them more efficient and effective.

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Implementing a social intranet and encouraging its adoption within an organization is no exception. But, all too often people give up prematurely because they don’t see immediate results or people taking to the social intranet like ducks to water. While we hate to see people discouraged or frustrated, this tendency to throw in the towel early breaks our heart because we’ve seen the power a social intranet has if management takes the right steps during roll out and gives employees time to stop feeling like this about change.

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The proper implementation strategy dramatically increases social intranet adoption and overall organizational collaboration, which is why we’re launching a 10-part blog series exploring this topic. We’ll share strategies that stem from our webinar with 451 Research analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe and hope these suggestions will spark inspiration in your own social intranet implementation.

Find Your Allies

Our first step to social intranet success is ensuring that you identify champions of the platform within the organization. Usually these are “early adopters” of technology, people open to change and those who can see the big picture. Find the employees who are most excited about a social intranet and the benefits it can bring to your company.

Make these “change champions” a part of your initiative to encourage adoption and collaboration, and listen to the feedback they’re giving you on employee engagement and the platform itself. Taking the time to single out these allies can make a dramatic impact in ensuring your new (or current but unused) social intranet has the best chance of succeeding.

Value Their Input

This brings us to our next point. It’s not enough to just ally yourself with people who have similar beliefs and visions as you. Meet with them regularly and ask for input on what’s working on what isn’t.

On top of that, value their opinions and actually listen. It’s unlikely you’ll find many other people who are as attuned to employee sentiments and attitude, so listen up when they tell it to you straight, and use their honest feedback to make improvements. You don’t want employees who are too afraid to speak up!

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Empower Them To Encourage Others

The last – but potentially most important – component of identifying and leveraging key social intranet advocates is to equip them to inspire. What good will your team of champions do if they can’t bring about change in others?

While you definitely don’t want to pit “them” against “everyone else” in your office, you can brainstorm non-threatening strategies to help your allies get not-so-enthusiastic employees involved in your social intranet. For example, have early adopters post accolades and positive feedback in the public space on your intranet. Or what about having your social intranet champions socialize with their colleagues using the chat function of your social intranet platform? There are various ways that employees who believe in this new change can get others on board.

Stay tuned for our next post on increasing adoption when implementing a social intranet. In the meantime, check out our on-demand joint webinar with Alan Pelz-Sharpe for an overview of the top ten tips.