Just about every company has an intranet in some form. Whether it's a barely configured SharePoint site or a highly specialized environment, there's something there. But how do you know that this vital investment is working best for your company?
Determining the effectiveness of an intranet is the same as it is for any other tool or process. Determine the problem the tool is addressing, determine what values reflect that problem, and measure those values.
Basic audits will tell you some information about your intranet. Things like how many files are on it, how many pages it has, or how many users have logins. And while all that data is fine, it's hard to discern real insights on effectiveness from just that.
What do you really want to know about your intranet?
How about who is actually using it? Not just who can, but who is. How many of your users are uploading documents, consuming content, or responding to content? What content seems to appeal to more users? What do they comment on? What do they like?
Answering these kinds of questions is why a well-developed analytics engine is invaluable.
Having a meaningful intranet analytics engine is the best way to actually know how your intranet is performing. It allows your content creators to see what's being read and what users are responding to. It allows your admins to know what content creators are making. It allows managers to see who is active on the intranet and who isn't.
Why Does This Matter?
Why is it important to know all of this? What do you stand to gain?
One of the hardest things for businesses to do is engage their employees, mostly due to the fact that engagement is difficult to measure. Engagement is traditionally measured with surveys but getting honest answers from employees about engagement can be difficult. (After all, who really believes that the company survey is anonymous?)
Finding a reliable mechanism to obtain a pulse on your employee-base can be difficult, therefore you must rely on managers. In a traditional office setting, managers have an easier time observing their employees. They can easily pinpoint the diligent workers, those willing to help, and your typical star employees. But darn - turns out managers are disengaged too! And your company has a flex-work policy that everyone loves - but makes it harder to see what people are doing. So what do you do?
Analytics as a Way to Measure Engagement
Employees who are engaged in their workplace are easy to spot. They are the ones putting extra work in and not slacking off. They come up with new ideas for improving work, they help people who are struggling, and they care about the company's status and future. But if you don’t have the visibility on your employee's day in and day out, this is what you are left with:
Engaged employees do more than what is required. When people are reading and responding to content that's not strictly relevant to their work - that's a sign of engagement. When an employee looks over someone else's presentation when it's not relevant to their job, that's engagement. When employees get excited about new initiatives enough to comment about them, that's engagement.
An analytics engine that can capture this kind of data can tell you how engaging your content is and how engaged your employees. So whatever your current or next intranet is, make sure it comes with analytics to measure success.