10 Complaints About Your Intranet Portal

Your intranet portal is a valuable tool which helps to connect your employees, collaborate on documents/projects and create content to improve overall business efficiency. However, if you aren’t getting the engagement you are looking for from your users you may not be harnessing all the advantages your intranet has to offer.

To zero in on the lack of engagement on your intranet and within your company, you may want to check your intranet analytics to determine which areas of the site are getting the least amount of traffic. Or, add a quick poll or an online survey to your home page to get feedback from your employees. Below are the 10 most common complaints about your intranet portal and suggestions for resolving them:

1. “I Can’t Find Anything on Our Portal”

More often than not your employees will hit the intranet home page with something specific in mind that they are looking for. If an initial scan of the menu options doesn’t immediately yield their desired result you bet they’re headed straight for the search box. This is fine if they are continuously using the search and finding what they’re looking for, but it doesn’t help them understand where things are located on the site and other content that is available to them. Ideally, a site should be laid out in a manner which is easy to navigate, and simple to find content right from the home page.

The three click rule says that it should take no more than three clicks from the home page to find the content they are looking for.

What exactly is “simple navigation” though? Well, organizing your intranet portal into sub sites to group content is beneficial in finding HR documents, for example. Mega Menus also help you add content to the main menu navigation, grouped under headings to help organize content, and makes commonly accessed documents and forms accessible through one click from the home page. No need to use that search box when everything is organized neatly on the home page!

2. “It Takes Too Many Steps to Access Documents”

Before purchasing an intranet many companies would keep their documents on the shared drive. This is pretty easy to get to with one click from the desktop. Even though employees perceive opening their browser, navigating to the intranet URL, and logging into the site as a longer process, their documents are much easier to find on your intranet than digging through the shared drive and various folders.

Since documents are more organized and up-to-date on the intranet we want to make sure that the intranet is easy to get to, in order for your employees to reap these benefits. Integrating with Active Directory is beneficial as it encourages employee single sign on. Pass-through authentication and adding the intranet as the user’s homepage means the intranet is also only one click away – accessible simply by opening your browser.

3. “I’m the Only One Adding Content”

You’ve been given the task of intranet management, and therefore you should control all the content on the intranet, right? Problem is, the intranet isn’t just a place to post company news and employee information. It’s an internal business system full of moving parts for every part of your organization, including forms, blogs, news, photos, company store items, staff profiles… you get the drift. One person controlling all the information on the intranet is more than a full-time job and we know that you have lots of other things to take care of.

An ideal method of managing intranet content is to use smart delegation to spread the work load. If you have various employees managing different areas, that means you have various intranet champions each working for you to promote their portion of the intranet.

4. “Our Intranet Portal It’s Too Crowded”

If you’ve had your intranet for a while you’ll know that content tends to build up. This content eventually becomes stale and makes other, more relevant content harder to find. This is usually when your employees start to default to that trusty search box.

Rather than mixing in your old content with your new posts, turn on archiving to automatically move this old content into a separate archive folder after a certain date. You can set an automatic archive date for all posted content, or allow the user posting the item to choose their own date. Archived content is still easily searchable should you need to look up dated material, but does not affect the searchability of your more relevant items. Take things one step further by turning on automatic clean-up to permanently delete archived items off the site after a specified number of years.

5. “I Don’t Know How to Use Our Portal”

Whether you’re an admin unsure of how to manage the intranet site, or an end-user unsure of how to find what you need and add content, not knowing how to use the intranet efficiently can lead to frustration and certainly affect your intranet engagement.

Ideal methods for intranet training include utilizing your intranet Tutorial Builder, Training Calendar and Form Builder to educate admins and users.

6. “Our Intranet Portal is No FUN”

Your employees pop onto the intranet, grab the material they need and pop off, but there’s no real engagement. Social tools such as an Employee Wall, Instant Chat and Social Toolbox are all great engagement tools to get your employees online and interacting through the intranet portal. If you aren’t quite ready for social, there are lots of other options to encourage your users to engage such as adding a Kudos Application, an Idea Share/Exchange Application, a Company Store, Photo Albums or a Buy & Sell Exchange.

Adding these items to your intranet will not only make your employees want to use the intranet to increase the efficiency of their daily tasks, but also improve employee morale and increase job satisfaction. Happy Employees = Lower Employee Turnover.

7. “Information Isn’t Relevant to Me”

Many companies have various departments that use the intranet for very different things. When Miranda from HR pops onto the intranet she’s digging for very different things than Charles from IT. The goal of the intranet home page is to make content relevant and easily accessible to all employees in every department, but depending on the size and breadth of your organization this may be easier said than done.

To improve relevance, we encourage companies to use content feeds on their home page to pull out newsworthy items from each department site and highlight them in one area, to keep all employees in the know. However, if you find that your company requires unique content for each department or location, the use of sub-sites becomes helpful where content is relevant only to users within that specific group. Take this one step further by redirecting logins to their specific sub-site homepage upon login and you’ve suddenly got an intranet directly relevant to each logged in employee.

8. “My Intranet Portal is Ugly”

This one usually comes up after an intranet has been implemented for a number of years and left stale without updates. The color scheme that initially you found appealing is now old and outdated but you just don’t have the time to do an entire site redesign, especially for something so seemingly trivial.

Well, I can tell you that intranet portal design is not trivial – it is a key part of user engagement. Your employees are going to be hesitant to use a system that looks stale, outdated, or even ugly, even if the content is there. However, rather than spending a huge chunk of time outlining and carrying through an entire intranet portal redesign, you may first want to take a crack at incremental design changes. You may find that even the smallest tweaks over time make some pretty drastic improvements.

9. “I Don’t Know How to Measure Intranet ROI”

Your employees seem like they are utilizing the intranet, and that things are running smoothly. However, you’re really not sure if you’re achieving any significant intranet ROI. You see the soft benefits, such as the convenience of finding documents and enhanced communication between employees, but what about cost savings, increased revenue and improved business efficiency?

A well-crafted intranet plan can greatly improve your intranet ROI by decreasing employee turnover, empowering employee collaboration, allow for easy access of material, helping you utilize your in-house expertise, reducing customer complaints, including outside contributors, promoting internally, and moving priorities for your team front and center.

10. “Our Intranet Content is Monotonous”

You’ve been writing Company News articles, Blogs, and various content on your intranet for years now. Eventually, it all starts to sound the same coming from one individual and your employees are going to start getting that sense of deja-vu. Another blog post on leadership, Horrah!

If you would like to continue to hold the reigns to the intranet portal, try spicing up your writing style to gain interest and inspire action through the content being posted on the site.

Alternatively, you can use smart delegation to hand off different areas of the site to various users to add in their own content. For example, using a variety of blog authors who write content on a variety of different subject matters. Writing content every once in a while spurs creativity and creates more engaging content than multiple posts from the same user.

Resolving Your Intranet Portal Complaints

A great start to resolving your intranet complains includes setting up a survey with these 10 top complaints and getting your employees to vote on their top reasons, to be used as a base for making changes. Keep in mind that changes don’t need to be made all at once, even tweaking one or two could make a big difference to engagement on your intranet portal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *