Intranet personalization increases innovation and collaboration.
Your employee restocks some household items after a reminder from Amazon, uses Google maps on the way to the office to check traffic, and receives a push notification of a new development in a news story they are following. Digital experiences are completely personalized for your employees – except on your corporate intranet.
The problem with this is that as your employees’ experiences as consumers become more personalized and relevant, the gap between their expectations for personalization and the capabilities of your intranet grows. Your employees will find using the intranet more and more frustrating and use it less to find the valuable insights and knowledge they need. They need those task-relevant insights to do their work. When you neglect intranet best practices, your employees are not able to meet their potential and are less challenged at work. Instead of finding the insights they need on your intranet, they are recreating them on their own. Sixty-one percent of knowledge workers access four or more systems to find information and 13 percent access 11 or more, according to IDC.
It’s time that HR and IT leaders invest in bringing those same contextually relevant and personalized experiences from the consumer world into your digital workplace. Improving your intranet will make information and knowledge easier to find, which will break down organizational silos and improve employee engagement. Start by transforming your website user experience best practices into your intranet best practices.
How to Automatically Personalize Your Intranet
Yes, that headline is correct – it is possible to automatically personalize your intranet using search. You may not even need an intranet overhaul to personalize it; upgrading your search capabilities will allow you to get the right knowledge from the intranet into the hands of the right employee at the right time.
How? The difference between personalizing and automatically personalizing is AI, and specifically AI that works within search. Rather than investing in an expensive and time-consuming overhaul to tag content and set up profiles of employees to manually personalize, AI will learn from users’ online behavior – without human intervention.
For example, you are a remote employee who lives in the U.S., but works for a company based out of Canada, the existing holiday calendar that the majority of your coworkers use will not work for you. When you search for “holiday calendar” on the intranet, you don’t want to see the Canadian calendar; you need the U.S. one, and likewise for your healthcare and insurance options. While it may be tempting to conclude that you can either set up separate intranets or tag the content according to the user’s IP location, this gets complicated when you consider that not all states and provinces follow the same regulations and calendars. This idea of separate intranets and tagging content becomes even more complicated when you consider how different departments need different information from the intranet.
A more effective and efficient route is to personalize the intranet. An intranet search solution that automatically learns from your users will understand that the user’s IP location determines the relevance of the holiday calendar, healthcare and insurance options, as well as provide more relevant content based on the user’s role and department.
Here’s how to improve your intranet:
- Investigate your digital workplace to identify the outcomes you need to achieve by upgrading your intranet. Personalizing your intranet will transform your workplace, but that will not prove your ROI at the end of this project. Start by taking a snapshot of how the lack of a personalized intranet is affecting your organization with specific and measurable data points to support your case. For example:
- How well are your contact center employees able to resolve customer issues on the first try? This is often referred to as “first-call resolution.” If this is lower than your goal, then this is a sign that your employees, especially your new employees, need better access to the relevant knowledge on the intranet.
- How long do new employees take to become proficient? A more relevant and personalized intranet will upskill employees as they work, so they should become proficient faster.
- How often do employees use the intranet? Intranet adoption is a sign that the intranet is useful for your organization. Keep track of how many search queries, page views and sessions your intranet users log.
- ..and many more. Choose the outcomes that will have the most impact for your business’ bottom line and in line with strategic priorities.
- Identify where your current intranet fails to meet users’ needs. Now that you have looked at the “macro” level of outcomes, it’s time to look at the “micro” by examining what your users need from the system. Consider the following when identifying how to improve your intranet content experience:
- Mobile-responsiveness. Not all intranet are optimized for mobile, but increasingly, employee want more mobile tools. Identify how important of a priority this is for your intranet, and if need be, investigate if a new intranet provider is needed.
- Integrating with the programs they use to store knowledge. How well are you able to find documents across the enterprise, barring any security issues? Too often, separate digital applications create separate digital silos – which the search solution on your intranet can solve. This may not require a full intranet overhaul, just a search upgrade.
- Relevance. This one is harder to gauge, but for many organizations, a major issue with the intranet is that it is difficult to find knowledge. It’s difficult to find knowledge because the intranet does not have a system for relevance, or understanding what is relevant to each user and providing results that they need. Consider this: According to McKinsey, the average knowledge worker spends 20 percent of their workweek tracking down internal information.
- Pro tip: If you do decide to change your CMS, you may want to look at your marketing department for guidance. Find out what CMS the marketing team is using to determine if it would be a good fit. Sitecore, for example, has an excellent intranet offering.
- Establish your business case. Merge what your users need with your business outcomes. Connecting the dots between the insights from your users and your own strategic goals will help you to ensure that both are achieved in your solution.