Follow these suggestions to boost traffic to your internal Web site
If used correctly, intranets have remarkable potential for employee communication. Unfortunately, many intranets are neglected and outdated, and consequently undervisited.
Here to help is Nova Newcomer, internal communications consultant and founder of Blue Hill Solutions, and Peat Bakke, senior Web analyst and engineer.
Follow these 10 upgrades to increase employee traffic to your intranet—from the easiest to most difficult.
1. Get blogging
How to do it: Bakke recommends checking out the companies KnowNow and Roller for your internal (and external) blogging needs. He notes that IBM and Sun Microsystems use Roller for their blogging platforms.
2. Bring critical work flow online
|CEO Mark Ragan tells communicators what seven elements every intranet should have.|
If you place information that employees need on your intranet they will visit the portal. Once they are there you can drive them other places on the site. Bakke suggested establishing a wiki for your site, which can serve as a kind of information dump.
3. Get relevant information to individual employees
4. Harness employee creativity through multimedia file sharing
How to do it: You don’t need to reinvent YouTube, Bakke said. Instead, relax. If you’ve followed through with No. 10, then chances are your blogging platform allows embedded video.
5. Search, Google-style
A common complaint of employees is the inability to find information on an intranet. So build a search engine into your intranet.
How to do it: Google sells servers you can plug into your network, explained Newcomer and Bakke. The software starts at $2,000 and it’s easy to use, Bakke said.
6. A management question and answer tool
How to do it: Newcomer’s own company offers a platform called Chatter Mill for interactive questions and answers.
7. Online polling and rating
How to do it: PollStream offers excellent polling packages for companies. Digg.com-like software will need to be built, however. Bakke and Newcomer recommend cozying up with your IT department.
8. Social networking for your employee network
How to do it: Newcomer and Bakke again suggest making friends with IT, because they’ll have a hand in implementing this kind of network.
How to do it: It isn’t difficult, Bakke said. Just make sure you have the information available, which can be done through RSS feeds.
10. Customizable portal
How to do it: Bakke recommends Jive Software, which offers a comprehensive toolkit for blogging, wikis, RSS feeds, widgets and more. You can always look into your own systems, Newcomer noted, because there might something in your own system.