Let’s face it: Changing behavior is not easy. When it comes to engag- ing employees on an intranet, this seems to be especially true. Could it be partly because so much of what we do at work becomes a habit,
even rote? Even as intranets evolve into dynamic social collaboration and
community-building tools, many communication professionals have been
frustrated by how tough it is to get people to use that terrific tool that will
make everyone’s lives easier—and have had their efforts met instead with
continued reliance on email, general complaints or even plain old apathy.
Our authors in this issue explain what is so special about intranets today,
but even more important, they offer great ideas on what you can do to
avoid pitfalls and engage your employees in a new way.
I’d like to build on that great thinking with a few extra
nuggets of advice.
• Make sure your leaders are visible on the intranet. Nothing annoys employees more than seeing the managers of
the organization give themselves a pass.
• Illustrate how knowledge sharing will boost profits by
positively affecting productivity. One of the authors in
this issue, Toby Ward, is a preeminent expert on this.
Check out his article (“The Change You Wish to See”)
for ideas on how to think about this concept.
• Persevere. People need time and constant reminders to
make a change in their behavior. Keep showing them how
easy it is to use this tool, and how much more they can get
done in their day if they use it wisely.
• Get your influencers going on the intranet and ask them to be vocal. If
there’s something really useful, or some fun stuff, people will go there. As
much as we are creatures of habit, we are also social creatures who crave a
connection to others and like a laugh or two.
• Finally, use it yourself. Honestly, how can we suggest something to others
if we are not committed to it ourselves?
“People need time and
constant reminders to
make a change in their
tell us what
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