Your Intranet: 9 Ways to Spice Things Up

Is your intranet all work and no play? Is it strictly business, with no room for humor or plain fun?

If your goal is to increase productivity, then you’d want to rethink the flavor of your intranet.

I’m currently reading “The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. It reminded me of how important our emotions are in productivity and performance. The authors say:

“In order to perform at our best we must access pleasant and positive emotions: enjoyment, challenge, adventure and opportunity.”

So how can your intranet be a tool to create more positive emotions among staff and, in effect, enhance their productivity? Below are some ideas.

9 Ways to Make Your Intranet Spicier

1. Give your intranet a name.

A name gives your intranet a personality separate from your business identity. It can be something that captures your organization’s culture. It can also serve as a symbol and reminder of what you’re aspiring for by putting up a social intranet. Here is a list of what other companies have named their intranets.

2. Dress it up.

Change the colors and images on your intranet once in a while. Our intranet, for example, usually reflects the seasons. Another idea is to  take your intranet on a global tour, changing its look every month to reflect a different country or culture.

3. Introduce a meme.

Tim recently introduced “Photo Friday” in our intranet, which means every Friday, we post a picture we took that day. It can be anything except our own portraits. I’ve learned a lot about my co-workers through these simple weekly photographs, such as what a great photographer Virginia, our accountant, is.

4. Inspire and motivate through quotes and/or cartoons

Some of the most retweeted and shared content on Twitter and Facebook are inspirational quotes. Why not address that interest in your intranet? Cartoons are particularly eye-catching in an otherwise text-based intranet. You can find plenty of free and paid motivational cartoons online.

5. Get personal.

Use your intranet to help staff get to know each other better. A good idea to videotape staff interviews and post them on your intranet. If you have employees in remote locations, they can record themselves responding to a set of questions. Feature one new employee each week.

6. Publish classifieds.

I’m surprised how many of our clients use classified ads in their intranet. It’s a virtual bulletin board where staff can buy and sell stuff, find homes for beloved animals, and meet other personal needs.

7. Sponsor contests.

Intranet-based contests can range from silly (best Christmas avatar) to serious (best answers in the Question Manager). Either way, intranet contests are engaging and motivating. If you’ve decided to name your intranet, that can be your very first contest!

8. Ask for users’ opinions.

Have a weekly poll on your intranet home page. Spice up your polls with questions that are not necessarily work or business related. Use poll results to create intranet new content.

9. Share a video of the week.

Videos can be funny, inspirational or educational. A video of Rebecca Black’s latest song probably isn’t relevant, but there’s plenty of interesting videos in YouTube and Ted Talks that you can embed on your intranet.

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