If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our related resources. We recently published the Intranet Health Check Video, Intranet Evaluation Guide and the 6 Step Guide for a Social Intranet Business Case.
When performing an intranet health check, following these steps will ensure the best results:
- Revisiting your intranet objectives
- What to measure and why
- Tools to measure
Revisiting your intranet objectives
Your existing intranet should have been built to meet some organizational goals. If you’ve been using an intranet platform for a while now, remind yourself what you hoped to achieve and whether or not you have reached those goals to the fullest extent.
For instance, does your intranet…
- Make it easy for people to find the right resources?
- Increase collaboration across departments?
- Ensure use of most up-to-date documents?
- Enable more efficient organization of meetings & resources?
- Enable people to connect regardless of location and device?
- Support the need for natural social interaction?
If you answered no to any of these points, it’s worth taking the time and effort to do a full intranet health check. You will gain a better understanding of how your intranet could be updated and more effectively used to increase employee engagement as well as streamline organizational processes.
Revisit your organization’s business case for implementing an intranet and analyze the objectives stated. Some of these goals will no longer be relevant and there will be new goals to consider.
Your current business strategy will determine how your intranet is to change and develop, therefore it’s important to meet with stakeholders and figure out to what extent your current intranet is:
Some (or all) of these areas might require rethinking and redesigning to meet current strategic intranet goals. Conducting an intranet health check helps to identify the categories where the majority of your objectives fall. Once you have a few key categories in mind to be improved, updating your intranet is easy.
Categorize your objectives into groups and identify which types of metrics would be most appropriate to measure your success in those areas of your intranet:
- Financial - measure using metrics that relate to cost saving i.e. decreased travel expense.
- Behavioral - measure using metrics that show how staff are using the intranet i.e. search, content sharing.
- Attitudinal - measure using metrics that show staff enjoy using the intranet i.e. social channels, surveys.
- Technical - measure using metrics that show usability improvements i.e. faster page load times, fewer IT helpdesk cases.
- Experiential - measure using metrics that show increase in productivity i.e. faster work approval, less time spent on basic admin tasks.
What to measure in an intranet and why
Figuring out where your intranet needs to be updated to align with changing business goals is the first step in the intranet health check process. In order to increase the value of your intranet to the business and the workforce you need to measure what matter with appropriate metrics to collect the data you need.
For instance you might measure:
- Cost Saving
Engagement is one of the most important measurables for your intranet. Not only does engagement increase employee morale, it also facilitates a better quality of work throughout the organization. A motivated workforce means enhanced productivity. Measuring engagement can help you to decide what is working it what is not being used on the intranet at all.
Some questions to ask when measuring engagement include:
- What % of the workforce uses the intranet daily?
- Why are some staff not using the intranet daily?
- Which intranet features are being used most?
- Which pages of your intranet get the most visits?
- What content on your intranet home page gets the most clicks?
A social intranet with powerful collaboration tools allows the workforce to share knowledge and work more efficiently as a cohesive unit. Most intranets these days are equip with time management, budgeting, management, automation and training features, all of which increase productivity.
Some questions to ask when measuring productivity include:
- Are there any productivity features which are not being used?
- How many tasks/workflows get completed in the specified time?
- Are projects sticking to budget which the help of budgeting features within the intranet?
- How many workers access your intranet from mobile devices?
- Do you know which sections of your intranet should be optimized for mobile and which sections should not?
A good intranet pays for itself in a number of ways. It could reduce costs associated with software licensing, improve processes to increase productivity and workflow or require fewer resources to operate than other methods.
Some questions to ask when measuring cost saving include:
- Has email usage gone down? How has this impacted time & cost for the IT department?
- Are projects being completed faster and with fewer external resources?
Intranets make standardization across the workforce simple. By increasing transparency, standardizing processes, providing up-to-date information and alerting staff with important messages, intranets are a tool to help organizations manage risk. Compliance via an intranet will reduce the likelihood of mistakes occurring during basic procedures.
Some questions to ask when measuring compliance include:
- What % of your workforce are aware and knowledgeable about the policies of your company?
- If in a regulated industry, can you accurately report that all staff are in accordance with the latest legislation updates?
Intranet health check tools
Now that you know what to measure and why, you need to decide on what tools will help you. Different tools can offer different benefits for your intranet. Here are just a few:
Google Analytics on your intranet can provide reports on traffic, page views, clicks, user location and source and much more. elcomCMS users can easily add Google Analytics features. Follow the instructions here to see how this integration works.
Google Analytics can produce hundreds of reports so it can be a bit overwhelming. Two reporting options to focus on when you’re starting out are:
- How users are accessing i.e. direct or from Google?
- What users are accessing i.e. content via home page or bookmarked landing pages?
Check out our recent “Top Google Reports for Your Intranet” article for more ideas.
Polls and surveys are your best friend when gathering data about the way your intranet is being used. Polls can be inserted into content and pop up while users are reading. This means a higher chance of users responses. The CMS of your intranet should have poll and survey features. Surveys are another tool to gather data which, when analyzed, will help you measure the effectiveness of your intranet. Make polls and surveys user-friendly with checkboxes, ranking options and by avoiding open questions.
Heatmaps improve your site by providing a visualization of where users are clicking on the pages of your sites. This data can help you determine the best position for new or important content or CTAs. At Elcom we use HotJar, but there are many other providers (HeatMaps, Inspectlet, Mouseflow, Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange).
For more information and practical ideas for evaluating the effectiveness of your intranet check out our latest video.