Making Your New Intranet a Success: Change Management Tips to Encourage User Adoption Rates

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You could spend thousands of project dollars developing and designing a new intranet, but if it isn’t going to be used (or used to its potential) what’s the (Share)point? Here are three common threats to successful adoption and some suggestions on how to avoid them when developing your Change Management Plan.

Lack of engagement with staff during decision-making (staff don’t want to use the new platform)

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You could build the most visually stunning intranet design with every possible feature of the cloud, but if your staff feel disenfranchised and not involved in the process, they will be reluctant to use it. It sounds strange to say, but your staff need to feel a connection with the new platform, that their input has been valued and appreciate the intended benefits of the change – early on.

Our top tip to avoid this is to have a communication plan that engages staff early and informs them:

  • What the change is about

  • Why it is being introduced

  • What the expected benefits are

  • The impact to their work

  • When it will be happening

  • Where they can find out more

Ensure information is available to everyone in the organisation and provide them with a mechanism to participate. Messaging needs to be clear and cohesive with visible support and leadership from an ambassador or sponsor.

This may mean different types of engagement like workshops, video conferences or something more straightforward such as an intranet portal with direct information sources. Incorporate feedback channels into your communications plan so any queries or concerns can be addressed before a system-wide change is made.

Inadequate support or training (staff are resisting the new platform)

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If your staff don’t know how to operate their new platform, or how it will make their life easier and more effective, they will be reluctant to use it. Ensure that the training needs of staff are well understood and remember that we are all different and have different learning styles so think about training and support that is multifaceted. The days of just running a traditional classroom training course are over!

Once the design is complete and deployed, organise training sessions for your staff on how to use their new solution. Factors to be considered when designing a Training Plan include:

  •  Are some staff members time-poor?

  • Would they benefit from short demonstration video clips, or would they prefer to flick through a procedure manual? 

  • Would you be better off arranging a Change Champion to spend time walking the floor and troubleshooting face-to-face?

Lack of UI/UX (staff don’t like using the new platform)

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are an essential component of any intranet design. The layout and look and feel of the new site must inherently make sense to your end-users otherwise they won’t use it. One way to prevent this from happening is to widely consult your organisation and find out what your staff like about their current site and what they would like to change. Collate these responses and incorporate the feedback into the design process. Just because the legacy system is outdated doesn’t necessarily mean it should be scrapped altogether. Make sure the features and design choices that still work well are retained in the new solution. Remember: incremental change is just as important as revolutionary change.

Another recommendation is to make sure the naming system and menus of the final design are clear so any user from any department of the organisation can easily navigate their way around.

A new intranet is an exciting time and can be a great step for any business offering a new and innovative way to operate. Focusing only on the completion of the project and not the bigger picture could jeopardise your user adoption rates and value of the new site.

Engagement, and early engagement, is key. Set out with a clear vision of what the project is, what it means and why you’re doing it - then communicate widely and in a variety of ways. Allow the whole organisation to be as excited about the change as you are.

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Cheers

Ben
Ben.Creamer(at)sharingminds.com.au

Are you interested in Change Management Services? For more information, or to book your first Change Management consultation, please contact us via the form below or call 1300 611 359.

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