10 tips for driving intranet adoption

Intranet adoption is the final piece of your new intranet puzzle. It’s not a case of build and they will come. Getting employees to engage with your new intranet and remain engaged needs a plan and a dedicated person to carry it out.

If that’s your job, you’ve come to the right place!

In this blog, we’ve shared our customers’ top ten intranet adoption tips that really work. So, get your notepad and copy and paste your favourite ideas from the following…

1. Get staff involved in your intranet project from the start

When you’re in the planning phase of your intranet project, one of the most powerful tools is tapping into your staff from the off. Along with your departmental working group and intranet champions, giving colleagues a way to input into design, finding out about their needs or presenting regular updates means they’re more likely to understand the value of the new intranet and invested in its use and success.

2. Have an intranet launch campaign

Although this depends on your organisational culture and intranet objectives, we’ve found that making some noise about your intranet going ‘live’ can help generate interest, engagement, and adoption. Some launch ideas include ‘teaser’ emails or poster campaigns, launch party, naming competitions or hosting an intranet treasure hunt. Anything that raises intrigue, introduces a touch of fun or simply puts your intranet on people’s radar helps.

3. Be clear about the business challenge or problems you’re solving

Take the research you did in chapter one and present the findings to each department. Outline how the new intranet will help them solve their pain points and challenges. One of the main reasons intranets fall flat is due to disuse because they fail to deliver any value for staff or business.

4. Provide training, drop-ins, and simple ‘how-to’ guidance

If your staff don’t understand how to use your intranet, they’ll quickly fall away. So, provide training as part of the intranet launch process. Perhaps you deploy a cascade method, so you train your intranet champions first, and they train their colleagues. However, don’t stop there. Introduce new starters to the intranet on their first day. Incorporate all your onboarding processes on the intranet so they’re used to using it from the beginning. Also, don’t forget to have FAQs and how-to guides on the intranet itself covering everything from updating profiles to how to add a blog or news story.

5. Make it the number one ‘go-to’ for business news and content

Whilst it’s good to have a multi-channel internal communications strategy, an intranet can be the best way to engage with different demographics, departments, and locations. Make sure you use the tagging and tailored approach to publishing content and show staff how they can switch on their content preferences, so they only see what’s relevant to them. Continue to promote content on the intranet in other channels – consider sending emails, memos, or just a teaser or headline, and point staff to the intranet for the full story.

6. Launch new features little and often

New technology can easily overwhelm employees. Introducing new tools and functions at once can be too much for some to handle. So, take a staggered approach. Just because your intranet has the potential to do “everything”, doesn’t mean it should. Ease the transition and build adoption over time. Launch with the basics features and make sure your users are confident with them before building up to the more advanced.

7. Set out the ‘where, what, why’ for your intranet vs. other tools

Tech overload is real. Your colleagues are probably still reeling from the rapid introduction of Microsoft Teams so introducing a new channel can be hard. They’re used to doing things the old way, and it takes time to for them to understand why or when new systems should be used. Perhaps create a guide for them outlining which channel to use for which purpose. For example: Collaborating on a project: Microsoft Teams. Accessing company news, giving peer recognition, submitting a request for leave: Intranet. When your colleagues understand where to go and what to use each tool for, they’re more likely to adopt.

8. Make it the default homepage on browsers

It’s a classic, but’s a simple and easy want to improve user adoption from the start. Setting your intranet as the default homepage so it’s the first thing staff see when firing up their laptops in the morning ensures it remains front-of-mind.

9. Promote it regularly

Employees are your internal customers. So, treat them like you would any other customer. Regularly stay in touch with them and let them know about ways they can use the intranet in their daily work. It could be as simple as picking out a feature of the month and sending a ‘Did you know…?’ email. Or creating a poster to highlight some of the recent good news stories published on there. Remember, consistently communicate the ‘WIIFM’ (what’s in it for me?) reasons to use the intranet.

10. Keep it current

Nobody wants to read dated content. So make sure you have a steady flow of new and interesting stories on your homepage. Set up an archiving system so after a week the older news is stored and searchable but no longer visible. An easy win for adoption is having dynamic content widgets featured on your homepage, which will pull through new content from across your intranet and push it to your users. Likewise, a newsfeed with ‘microcontent’ ensures there’s something different for users to look at every time they come to your intranet. Don’t let your intranet become static.


For more detailed help on writing your business case, plus access additional resources, such as how to analyse your cost/benefits, download our free eBook: