5 Ways to Relaunch a Stale Intranet Site

By Melissa Del Monte
August 17, 2015
6 min read
Interview smiling

Have you ever bought a new gadget that you couldn’t wait to try out? You’re so excited about it that you use it continuously and can’t believe how great it is. Then slowly after time, you start to use it less and less. The excitement isn’t there anymore, and perhaps the novelty has worn off.

There are a number of reasons why this scenario could happen to your intranet. Perhaps your intranet champion has moved on and no one has really taken over the project. Or enthusiasm from the initial launch waned and your intranet is not living up to its potential. Or your intranet manager put a lot of work into launching the intranet but didn’t have a long-term intranet adoption plan. Whatever the reason may be, your intranet site has become stale and it’s time to completely relaunch it. Here’s how:

1. Assign an Intranet Champion

An intranet champion is someone in your organization who simply loves the intranet! They have the drive and motivation to foster the use and benefits of your intranet site to their colleagues. Why is this important? Because having an intranet champion is like having a good brand ambassador. Employees can relate more to their colleagues than to upper management, especially since employees are the primary users of your intranet site. It’s similar to buying a new computer. Of course, you take what the salesperson says into consideration, but you’re more likely to look to your peers or end-users of the laptop for a more credible source of information. Hearing an employee speak highly of your intranet is believable, and it’s a great way to get employees excited about the intranet again.

A great way to find your intranet champion is by offering intranet site training or creating an intranet video showcasing the innovative ways users can benefit from the site. You’re bound to find someone who is passionate about the intranet and will spread the word around the office. Increasing intranet awareness can go a long way in encouraging users to get on board with the relaunch.

2. Redesign your Intranet Site

Remember when you were growing up and your parents told you that looks don’t matter? They obviously haven’t seen an intranet before! While functionality is the most important component of a good intranet site, at the end of the day if your site is, dare I say it, ugly – your employees aren’t going to use it.

A poor intranet design is one of the primary reasons an intranet can go stale. Going through a complete intranet redesign is a surefire way to go from stale intranet to something your employees actually want to use. Switching up your intranet theme is a good place to start. Using our Simple Theme Editor, you can change the color scheme of your intranet, add your company logo, and more. You can create as many intranet themes as you’d like, and then save them for later use. At Intranet Connections, we often create different themes on our own intranet for different holidays, seasons or milestones. A fresh intranet design will make your site engaging and increase adoption.

3. Ask for Feedback

A big reason intranet sites go stale is that when they were first launched, they weren’t necessarily built with the end-user in mind. Often, upper management gets so excited about the intranet and including all these features they like, that they lose sight of what the intranet was for in the first place; the end-user. That can cause employees to lose interest in your intranet FAST.

When relaunching your intranet site, avoid it going stale again by asking employees for feedback along the way. What do your end-users most want to see on the intranet? What did they like about your old intranet, what didn’t they like? What are their primary needs (i.e. Document Management, communication tools, Online Forms)? Including the most important elements will ensure your intranet is highly used, and users remain interested in it.

4. Get Employees Excited

It is simple to get your employees excited about your intranet, the challenge is ensuring they stay excited. Even more difficult is getting employees excited again after the intranet has been stale for quite some time. To do this, promote, promote, promote!

Promote the relaunch of your intranet through company bulletins, all-staff emails, and even company events. Hold a staff lunch dedicated specifically to the launch of your intranet. Or prior to relaunching, hold a focus group to get users’ opinions and ideas for your intranet. This not only helps with tip #3, but it creates buzz and excitement around the new intranet site.

It is important to offer intranet training as part of this process. Users will be more excited about your intranet site if they know how to use it. Excitement quickly wanes when users are frustrated with the intranet because they never got proper training on how to use it in the first place. You can make the training fun and exciting but incorporate games, contests, and other fun elements.

Another great way to get users excited is by involving them in the relaunch process by letting them choose the name of your intranet. Hold an intranet naming contest and then select the name with the most votes as the winner. This not only promotes employee buy-in but giving your intranet a new name (or name if you didn’t have one before) will give it a completely new identity, separate from the old, stale site.

5. Upgrade the Software

Finally, to ensure the success of your intranet relaunch, you must upgrade! Intranet Connections’ Intranet Software has seen many upgrades, feature enhancements, and improvements since its inception in 1999. Everything from the robust People Directory and smart Online Forms to Mega Menus and Super Search, the product has changed dramatically throughout the last 20+ years.

Every so often, a customer comes to us seeking help with their intranet, complaining employees aren’t using it as much as they had hoped. And almost always, it’s due to them inadvertently letting their intranet site go stale by missing multiple upgrades and product releases. Once we show them the latest version of our software, they are blown away by all the features and improvements they’ve been missing out on. It is very important to upgrade your intranet site with the latest software to ensure you are getting the most out of your intranet.

Successfully Relaunch Your Intranet Site

Ultimately, your intranet is a business tool intended to help your employees get their daily work tasks done efficiently and effectively. If your intranet does go stale, it is possible to get back on track with the above tips. If you’re thinking of launching your brand new intranet, these tips also apply to avoid going stale in the first place!

Have you ever had to relaunch a stale intranet? Let me know what steps you took to do so by commenting below.

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By Melissa Del Monte

Melissa joined the Intranet Connections team shortly after graduating from the Marketing Management program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology School of Business. She brings a strong passion for all things marketing, specializing in content marketing and copywriting. When she's not at the office, you can find this retired competitive figure skater at the ice rink, or exploring the great outdoors with her trusty sidekick, Fou Fou the Pomeranian.