Hiding in every organisation is a potential team of digital superheroes. Find out how to reveal the identities of your own intranet champions, and how they can help take your intranet to the next level.
Good user adoption is key to the success of any software project– but for an intranet, it’s absolutely critical. We’ve already looked at one way of driving intranet take-up – creating a solid information architecture.
You can further ensure your intranet takes off by recruiting and empowering people within your organisation to become ‘intranet champions’.
What makes an intranet champion?
Intranet champions sound like superheroes, but they’re really just enthusiastic colleagues who are familiar with your business’s structure and internal processes.
They are people who care about your intranet project, and genuinely believe it can help change their workplace for the better.
They have a desire to assist in the intranet’s development, drive its adoption, generate ideas and even help get executive buy-in.
And they know the ins-and-outs of your organisation well enough to help navigate around any challenges.
How do I find them?
The earlier you can identify your champions, the greater the benefit to your intranet.
Much like superheroes, intranet champions walk among us; they might even look like ordinary co-workers. It’s your job to pick up on the tell-tale signs that give them away. Some will make themselves known to you, while others need to hear that call for help before they leap into action.
Recognise the potential champions in people who put their head above the parapet during the early stages of your intranet project. They’ll be the people who help you out with positive suggestions and advice on the intranet’s design and implementation within your business.
Even those who seem to have a more negative view can become champions with a little guidance – after all, they’re showing an interest, and therefore care about getting the project right.
You can also put out a call for help. You don’t have to use the word ‘champions’ – just say you’re looking for colleagues who want to help shape and test the new intranet. From the pool of those who respond, you should be able to quickly find a good selection of intranet champions.
So you’ve got your intranet champions – what can they do for you?
Ideally, you’ll have a group of champions from across different areas of business, who can provide each department’s viewpoint. Having multiple views – provided by people who care how the intranet turns out – will help you create a robust intranet that truly serves the needs of your organisation.
Once the intranet is built, they can even go on to become ‘content champions’ within their departments.
Since they have ‘insider knowledge’ of who the specialists are within their departments, your champions will be best-placed to encourage the right colleagues to contribute content.
Your team of champions can go on to meet regularly with your communications team to agree style, standards and goals for your intranet content.
Train to win
A team of champions can also help you implement intranet training more efficiently – and more cost-effectively. When your new intranet is delivered, you’ll often get a programme of training to make sure staff know how to use it.
By focusing your training on your intranet champions, you can ensure these enthusiastic staff members become extremely competent and know the new system inside-out.
The champions themselves can then help to train your staff, who will appreciate receiving information from a familiar face who knows how their organisation works, at their own pace.
Since a modern intranet should be intuitive and easy-to-use, as with our Kira intranet solution, this becomes a cost-effective way of making training go further without becoming a burden on your staff.
What can I do to help the champions?
Once you’ve identified your champions, make sure you give them plenty of support and make good use of their help and ideas. Since they’ve shown that they are enthusiastic and willing to assist, don’t waste the opportunity – and don’t discourage them.
Give your champions the freedom to experiment with ideas, and show them how their suggestions are shaping your business’s intranet.