All month long, we've been investigating the company intranet. We've defined it, considered its relevancy and secrets for strategic success, as well as examined a possible intranet identity crisis. But how do you measure its value — that is, how do you know if your intranet is working?
How Valuable is Your Intranet?
You could look for statistics that show how much intranet use deems it a successful initiative, but when it comes to tools designed to make businesses work better, smarter and more efficiently, it's often best to incorporate a qualitative component into your research.
Technically, your company's intranet is just another website. And like other websites you may manage, you could look at traditional metrics to determine how well it is working. You might look at the number of page views or time spent on a page, for example.
With an intranet, however, these same metrics may not measure the same thing — in fact, they may be a measure of what is not working rather than what is.
That's because an intranet is essentially a tool to help employees do their jobs better. If employees are spending too much time on an intranet, it's not doing its job.
Chances are they're getting waylaid with irrelevant information or getting lost in a maze of clicks and pages instead of finding the information that they need to be productive and well-informed. To keep employees from getting overwhelmed with information, there are a few things you can do to streamline your intranet to make it more successful.
To measure its success look to data that shows you how users are using it. Have they completed their profile and do they keep it updated? If so, this is a good sign. Just like any social media profile -- one that shows a photo and brief bio is an indication that the user is invested and active within the community.
Additionally, how many unique logins are they per day, per week, per month? Do they match up with the number of users in the system? If your average is 80 percent or higher, a majority of employees not only know about the intranet but are actively using it to engage with colleagues and seek information.
Clear, Concise Headlines
When it comes to evaluating time spent on the site, numbers can be misleading. Any website should make information easy to find, but for customer-facing sites, the goal is to make the site sticky -- a video here, a blog post there are great ways to keep your customer engaged on their journey to transaction. For employees, time spent searching for information on an intranet is time wasted. Show that you value their time by making headlines informative, so they need not have to click through to read the whole article if it's not relevant. Create meaningful, concise summaries so users don't have to guess about the contents of a blog post or PDF.
Is Your Intranet Working Hard or Hardly Working?
Once information has been written and organized in a way that makes it easy to search, scan, read and process, there are additional ways to make it so your intranet is set up to succeed. Whether it's improving the site's speed or making it mobile friendly, or utilizing online forms to collect feedback, measuring the value of an intranet can be as easy as monitoring the productivity of its users. If using an intranet impedes the ability of employees to do their jobs better, it's not working. Conversely, if employees actively avoid using an intranet because it's too complicated, cumbersome and time-consuming, it's time to re-evaluate the purpose of your intranet altogether.