Opinion

3 ways to build strong intranet community

How to get people coming back, again and again

Connor Ward

Connor Ward

Intranet rollouts are an opportunity to build a real workplace community.

They give you a chance to improve collaboration, transform work culture and, above all, keep your employees happy. But it takes time and effort to build the foundations, and even more to keep it going.

So how you do it?

Set out a roadmap

Before you do anything, set out a roadmap. This should include your community’s initial adopters, discussion groups and objectives. Ideally, you should do this before you roll out your intranet.

If you’re following the tips from our last blog on internal content, you’ll know how important it is to understand your employees needs before planning change. With an intranet rollout, it can feel like your company is going through disruptive change, so to make the most of this opportunity your community will need guidance.

Start by creating a basic plan in something like Trello. First, set up different lists for each team at your organisation. Then, get your initial adopters to contribute cards for the topics they think your employees will need. Finally, enable the voting power up and send it around your organisation. This will give you a good picture of the community your employees want.

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Keep it relevant

Keeping your employees interested in the intranet can be tough if you’re not prepared. And, as we just learnt, your launch is essential in setting the momentum of your community. The best way to ensure your intranet has an active community is by building it around your employees.

From your rollout plan, you’ll have an idea about the common areas your employees want to see. Assign writing privileges to expert employees to build up a suitable knowledge base for your intranet. These will be essential in ensuring that employee queries can be resolved.

It’s also important that you include general interest groups alongside these specialist ones. For example, in your community a specialist group could be a web development team sharing news on the latest tools. Whereas, a general group should be cross-team, such as organising the monthly social.

Twine’s Groups feature does this perfectly. You assign groups to separate teams, giving them the space to get work done, or you could make certain groups open to cross team discussion. Either way, you can ensure your employees have a place in the community.

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Develop a collaborative work culture

Intranet rollouts are a chance to transform your work culture. If you build collaboration into your intranet you’ll ensure your community is always active. This starts with employee training, at rollout and beyond.

When it comes to new starters, make sure they use your intranet on their first day. At Twine, we get all new starters to introduce themselves in their team’s group. Whenever someone posts here, the entire team gets an email notification. This will prompt them to join in, turning this induction into the employee’s first successful collaboration.

When you’re up and running, start sending weekly internal newsletters. This could include interesting blogs, company updates and reminders about the knowledge library – one company using Twine even uses newsletters to organise photography competitions.

Keeping the momentum up

Over time, the members of your community will change, but with strong foundations you will be able to keep your employees active. Build your intranet around them and they’ll keep it going for you.

And if you’re looking for the tools to start building your community, try a free demo of Twine.