Extreme Portal Makeover
Think of a portal as the hub of your company’s digital culture. It will deliver the communication improvements, document storage, directories, and access to important information that your employees crave. As with many internal-facing technology solutions, adoption is key to its effectiveness.
People have their current habits and ways of getting things done without a portal, so you’re not likely to have a successful implementation unless you can give them a compelling reason to use your shiny new system. In addition to the challenge of convincing people to try a new way of doing old things, there are obstacles involved in introducing new concepts, such as sharing content. Sharing content sounds like a great concept for an organization, but your top content producers might be hesitant to give up their “secret weapons."
Your employees aren’t likely to use your portal unless you give them some sort of incentive. Whether it’s a novel way to communicate with each other or an innovative method to gather feedback, your goal should be to make your portal as “cool" as possible. Here are a few strategies to help spur adoption:
1. Use Images
Images don’t just look better than a page of text and links; they actually increase engagement. Facebook reports that posts with images have an 87 percent interaction rate. Links, the second most popular content type, have a paltry interaction rate of 4 percent. Build interest in your content with captivating images.
2. Increase Transparency
Use your portal to provide information that’s normally rare in the workplace, such as access to the CEO or key statistics. Consider implementing a “CEO’s corner" that allows users to view topics or potentially interact with the head of the company. Showing company statistics increases transparency while reminding your team of important metrics so they can better align their daily actions to those goals.
3. Automate Dynamic Content
Fresh content is key, but don’t let the fear of maintaining it keep features like this from your portal. Many portal solutions can do the work for you by automating the display of things like most viewed documents or most viewed internal videos. The content needs to make the welcome page dynamic, which will encourage users to look to your portal for new and interesting information when they log in.
4. Make It “Employee-Friendly," Not User-Friendly
Portals often are overengineered from a navigation standpoint, so do what you can to ensure users are able to find exactly what they’re seeking. Typically, a new portal implementation involves providing new information employees previously did not have access to, which is great.
However, focusing on getting new information out there can make it harder for employees to get to what they use the portal for on a daily basis. Therefore, your navigation has to be simple and educational as far as new features are concerned while also providing quick links or prominently placing key elements from the old portal. Navigation that spans the width of the page and well-formatted drop-down menus that include information to help users know what content to expect when they click links is a good start. Also, include curated navigation sections such as Q&As, trainings, and tutorials — and give users the ability to save links to their favorite pages.