This is quite a common question. Once time, effort and resources have gone into creating your intranet, how can you be sure staff are even accessing it, let alone reaping any of the hard-earned business benefits you have so carefully laid out? Like a parent on the first day of school, you can pack their lunch, dress them and drop them off but you can’t sit in class to make sure they’re learning. Don’t despair though, there are ways…
One approach, and perhaps the most obvious, is to track users’ access. Reporting tools such as iD’s Statistics Reporter can provide you with a quick snapshot of the traffic to your intranet, to give you a feel for what’s happening, to who, and when. What it can’t tell you, is whether or not your users are getting anything out of their time on the intranet.
Time would be better spent focusing on making your intranet engaging, useful and business-critical, so users will not only want to use it, but will depend on it to complete their daily duties.
There are a lot of factors which influence user access to the intranet, including:
Culture – Is using the intranet an integral part of your company culture i.e ‘Have you seen what’s on Flowercorp today?’ or ‘That’s a great idea, let’s create a forum topic on Flowercorp to get some feedback’
Content – Does the intranet contain relevant, up-to-date information that users will want, but more importantly need, to access?
Contribution – Are users trained and actively encouraged to contribute to the Intranet?
Importance – Is it the main repository of information – the source of truth – where users know they will be able to find exactly what they are looking for, quickly and easily?
Something as simple as moving the weekly newsletter onto the intranet instead of offering it via email or in paper-based format can have an enormous effect on users, pulling them to the system to get the information they need.
Another interesting idea is to create an area specifically for users to interact socially. This gives them a relaxed environment to start contributing to and encourages them to log on to see the latest information. An example is shown below using iD’s Coffee Break site.
So rather than focus your energies on monitoring the usage behaviors of your intranet’s users, why not take a closer look at exactly what you are offering and what you could do to improve your user experience. Make it as engaging as possible and they’ll actually want to use it.