Don’t use the word SharePoint to business users. Instead coin a word that’s more meant to showcase your business / the key areas you operate / your culture.
Infosys named their intranet as "SPARSH" ...all the details ranging from intranet / payslips / performance / timesheets / leave management / allocation / billing / Knowledge management / travel / exits are managed in SPARSH. Sparsh meaning 'to touch' in Sanskrit
TCS named their intranet as Ultimatix - Digitally Connected
Create a unique word that show cases / unites all employees under one roof. This makes a dramatic shift the way employees look at intranet (SharePoint).
When we coin it as plain SharePoint, it remains just as a technology, few might use it and few might leave it doing the same old stuff but we don’t want it just to be there but to make a transformation and to be a value add in terms of its main goal. (Collaboration and communication)
Without user participation we can’t make SharePoint a success. We will look at ways to engage with people in unique ways.
Introduce SharePoint (your company intranet) during employee induction process / Orientation process. Try showing him /her mysites, to fill in profile details and then the related information.
Let the employee hand book, reporting structure, timesheet entry, Leave, etc. be shown there so that it makes the new joiners excited to see all of them in one place to start.
Wish a person on his / her birthday, colleagues will add on wishes making the employee feel elated and feel special.
Wish a person on their work anniversary, Promotions, on getting some awards, Key milestones etc.
Wish a person on their wedding anniversary.
Training that meets organisational goals and not just SharePoint training or end user training. Many people don’t want heaps of stuff that SharePoint offers. They might not be interested either. Some might become crazy and try things that might not be needed.
Don’t expose SharePoint feature with an example, instead show case business need and how it is solved in the intranet ( SharePoint ).
If the org wants documents to be stored in SharePoint then training related to that will be beneficial.(content types, metadata, filters, views, no folders, document sets, search)
If the org wants records management in place, then training related to the same will be beneficial. ( Record center site, information management policies, Retention policy feature, Auditing feature, Place a hold - for records under litigation, etc.)
Define clear boundaries between communication (news at project level, news at Business unit level & at company levels) & Collaboration (details about teams, work items, tasks, status of projects etc.)
Include anonymous polls & try getting feedback to see the real outcomes.
Try incorporating the anonymous feedback in to production and people will feel that anonymous feedback works and it does real magic.
Rather than finding who that person is and going behind them :-)
You will get the real feedback then polished ones!
Have some contests and give away some goodies, this really works. Have some cool web parts like share price, weather updates, carpooling details, phone book search on the intranet (SharePoint).
If your business is based out of 2 or 3 locations, include a multi-location clock. So when somebody wants to see the time for a meeting or an event they will look in to intranet (SharePoint).
For a change on a pilot project basis - stop emails as means of communication and start using intranet (SharePoint) for communication
Create a project, Add team members, create permissions, start posting to team site, use task lists, announcements, meetings for communication. See how it feels and make changes as and when requires.
The only constant thing in this world is change. Try it; make changes as and when required as per your project needs and demands. Experience it. You will feel the wonders!
Finally don’t repeat the same information / content in company website and the intranet. People might lose interest. Make intranet your home page J
Sarath Babu Koneti
Yes Labs Pty Ltd.
Key words: SharePoint user adoption, SharePoint intranet success, How to make successful intranets, intranet user adoption.
P.S Views / opinions expressed here are solely my personal views and do not represent any of current or previous employers / clients.
Let us know your views, will include few more in my next post.