What are the minimum intranet and digital workplace metrics we should be tracking?
An intranet is an incredibly powerful internal communications tool, with the potential to deliver a whole host of benefits. But if we’re not tracking how well our intranet is performing, how will we ever know if it’s having the desired effect and helping us achieve our business goals? That’s where intranet metrics become so valuable. But exactly what should we be measuring?
Engaging employees and optimising productivity are both essential ingredients in a business growth or brand building plan. There is plenty employers can do to make teams feel valued and bring out the best in their abilities. But at the heart of all the engagement and productivity boosting strategies lies one crucial key factor: communication.
An internal communications plan is always going to be essential to the success of an organization. A solid plan that drives the business forward, enhances employee efficiency and makes everyone feel as though they are contributing to company-wide goals.
And this is where the company intranet – and intranet usage metrics – come into their own.
The company intranet – simplifying the flow of information
An intranet is a private digital network that allows employees access to information that is for workforce eyes only. It’s also used to keep a handle on organizational workflow and manage core information and files, as well as educate, share news, enable collaboration and generally keep everyone connected. All hugely important nowadays with such widespread adoption of remote and flexible working.
Employees can look to the company intranet for support. Discussion forums, social posts, blogs and articles become valued resources. And when polls and surveys come into the mix, people really start to feel like they have a voice. Like their opinion matters.
The advantages of a company intranet may be clear. But many organizations don’t have any way at all of determining just how effective their internal communications are.
A 2017 study by Hollinger Scott found that around 41% of businesses don’t have any way at all of tracking how much of the content of their internal communication is seen by employees.
Simply having an internal communications strategy in place is not enough. Without measuring its effectiveness through digital workplace metrics, how can you justify budgets and expenditure? How will you know the types of content that work, or don’t work? Identify where knowledge gaps lie? How would you even know if the information you’ve put out has landed with the right people at the right time?
How to measure intranet performance?
How we choose to measure the effectiveness of internal communications will essentially be influenced by individual business objectives.
A helpful way to judge the quality of internal comms is to view them in the context of what your business is looking to achieve.
For example, you may have a desire to nurture a stronger loyalty to organizational values across your teams. Perhaps you are keen to instil a greater sense of brand identity. Or maybe one of your goals is to cross-educate to make sure everyone is aware of their colleagues’ skills, so they can match them with customer or client needs as opportunities arise.
Being clear on what you’d like to accomplish from your internal communications efforts will help you measure whether they are actually realising those goals. They’ll also make the job of tracking success using intranet metrics a whole lot easier.
Of course, the ‘how’ is important too. And when it comes to effectively assessing whether you’re hitting your goals, it’s going to take a blend of quantitative and qualitative digital workplace metrics.
What intranet usage metrics should we be tracking?
There are two core key performance indicators (KPIs) to look at when it comes to measuring intranet performance. One is employee engagement KPIs, the other is employee morale KPIs.
Employee engagement KPIs
Employee engagement KPIs measure whether your people feel emotionally invested in your organization, and their level of commitment to helping the business achieve its goals.
The following intranet performance metrics will help determine levels of employee engagement:
Metric #1 – Number of active intranet users and usage time
Intranet usage metrics that track how long employees stay logged in are valuable, because they reveal whether your users find the information valuable.
A tracking feature that works across both desktop and mobile is useful, because not everyone has the time to access the company intranet during the working day. This will also reveal how the intranet is used in terms of devices, and whether usage habits vary between remote and office-based staff.
Metric #2 – Number of clicks, comments and shares
Being aware of how many users are accessing the intranet only tells part of the story. If you want to assess the level of engagement with the content, then you will need to count clicks, comments and shares.
For example, reactions (likes, loves and dislikes); comments on posted content; colleague tagging and content click-through rates.
These intranet usage metrics will also help measure the overall performance of your intranet, and your wider comms strategy.
Metric #3 – Identities of your star intranet users
The people who spend the most time on your intranet and who can be classed as content creators are very valuable to your business. These are the very people who will, in all honesty, let you know what they like and dislike about the platform. You can also enlist these star users to induct new intake on the company intranet.
Top users can be identified by looking at who is taking part in discussions most regularly, and who spends the most time on the platform.
Metric #4 – Most and least viewed content
One of the most valuable intranet performance metrics has to be which pieces of content are proving most popular, and conversely, which aren’t. This is important, because useful content will attract more intranet users, which will get you closer to achieving your business goals.
‘Page views’ is the intranet metric you will need here. Pin this down to a set period, perhaps a week or a month, and also look at content type to see if there are any patterns in popularity, for example blog posts, PDF downloads, presentations, images, videos, etc.
Employee morale KPIs
Employee morale KPIs measure how happy your people are in their work, if they feel their efforts are being recognised, and whether they believe they are being fairly compensated for what they do.
The following intranet metrics will help determine levels of employee morale:
Metric #5 – Employee satisfaction
One of the best ways to discover whether your people are happy is to ask them. It really is that simple! Satisfaction surveys will help you gauge the general mood of the workforce, especially if they are anonymous, because people tend to open up more when their name isn’t attached.
To establish satisfaction with the intranet itself, you can ask for suggestions as to how it could be improved. Ask whether it’s considered useful; question how easy it is to use, or whether there are navigational barriers that make it frustrating. Find out how comfortable people feel getting involved. How likely they are to share content with colleagues, or promote it externally.
A key question would be whether the intranet is making it easier to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, either remotely or office-based.
Metric #6 – Advocacy
Star intranet users can become advocates in more ways than one: externally for your brand, and internally for colleagues. By creating company advocates, you will directly boost engagement both inside and outside of your organization.
Advocacy can be measured using intranet metrics. These might include number of shares to external social platforms; volume of intranet user-generated content and the results of your employee survey asking how likely users are to share news or promote the company on social media.
Metric #7 – Reduced business costs
One of the core aims of the company intranet is to boost employee productivity. And often, with increased productivity, come reduced business costs.
Less time spent trying to locate information. An easier onboarding process for new recruits. Reduced expenditure on paper and printing costs. Digital collaboration, saving time and driving down travel expenses. Enhanced efficiency, with HR and other forms submitted electronically.
Digital workplace metrics such as administrative costs, business overheads and time spent on administrative tasks will all help determine whether business costs have been lowered as a result of successful intranet adoption, and a productive internal communications strategy.
The value of intranet metrics and ongoing monitoring
It’s not enough to set up a company intranet and leave it at that. A commitment to ongoing monitoring, analysing different intranet performance metrics and making changes as required is vital if you are to realise the goals you set out to achieve.
At Digital Workplace Group, our goal is to guide and support organizations across the world on their journey towards digital workplace success. To learn more about our intranet consulting service, and to discover whether your organization could qualify for membership of the DWG community, you are welcome to get in touch.