Employee engagement can be sort of difficult to measure beyond making people fill out surveys every quarter, or trying to pay attention to who speaks the loudest in Q&A sessions.
The myriad ways in which people demonstrate how engaged they are vary from one employee to the next, and attempting to track that in any meaningful way will be a challenge, if not a lost cause. After all, no one’s “engagement level” is stamped on their forehead. (And thank goodness for that!)
Sometimes, though, getting your people engaged in their workplace culture means providing them with the right tool. An intranet platform that gets people actively contributing to and participating in the company culture is a great solution, plus it’s a great way to gauge overall engagement at your organization.
In this article I’ll look at how you can use your intranet to figure out just how engaged your people are. Strap in!
A word on social intranets vs modern intranets
Some companies use a social intranet, complete with engagement metrics to make an assessment of how engaged individual employees are on their network, which are usually based on the number of “likes” they give and receive. Do not fall into this trap. That’s not the kind of intranet I’m talking about here. Employee engagement is not a popularity contest or a smile emoji. It’s far more nuanced than that, and any attempt to measure it needs to take its complexity into account.
The type of intranet I’m talking about is not a social intranet, but a modern intranet, whose main functions should be to help your people get work done, build culture, find relevant information, and boost communication across your organization. In short, it’s a platform that connects your people and gives them a space to interact with one another.
An active intranet is the pulse of your organization
Since your intranet might be only one facet of how your people participate in your company culture, it’s important to remember that their participation on it doesn’t represent the sum total of their contributions to the culture. Any measurement of engagement will have to be done holistically; meaning you’ll have to look at all the ways in which people participate in your culture: from the way they use their intranet to the passion they show in their work.
That said, your overall intranet activity is a good barometer of how people are engaging with one another and doing their part to help build your organization’s culture. Your first inclination might be to take a look at organizational participation rates, but more often than not an active intranet is immediately recognizable from the moment you log on.
For example, if you log on and see that the most recent news article, posted by Susan in Communications, is from three months ago, your intranet probably isn’t very active. On the other hand, if you log on and see four activity posts, a news article from Bikram in Sales with multiple comments, and see flashing direct message notifications, all within the last couple hours, your intranet is a-buzzing and this is generally a good sign.
But the numbers aren’t everything. Sometimes your most engaged people might not be very visibly active on your intranet, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less engaged. The real question is: howare people using their intranet? Is their usage aligned with your culture and corporate values? Are people using it productively—to collaborate on projects, plan events, and communicate with other teams—or are they using it to slack off?
Leaders make the difference
Anyone conducting an employee engagement evaluation ought to first think about what “engagement” means to their specific organization, and how people can enact that definition in the way they work, as well as the way they use their intranet. Your leaders’ presence on your intranet will go a long way towards defining what that looks like for everyone else, so make sure they’re onboard and contributing from the day you launch.
It’s helpful to think of your intranet, or whichever tool your people use to get work done, as a reflection of how they work and interact with each other in the office, day to day. Does your intranet resemble your workplace culture or is there a discrepancy? Either way, paying close attention to an active intranet will tell you a lot about how engaged your people are in their work. Keep your finger on that pulse!
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