Presented at Interaction 2012, London October 2012.
What can we do to make intranets and digital workplaces really valued, rather than just necessary places to go? What role should they play in employee engagement, that isn't just pretending to have a 2-way dialogue?
[35mins]But I want to focus specifically on what it takes to get employees using an intranet from employee perspective
What would it take?> money, make current state unattractive, explain why (charity fundraiser), rugby team, majority over...make future state more attractive...
What’s the impact of people not making this leap?
13%: new report by Information Week. The report, called Rebooting the Antisocial Network November 2011 interviewed 450 people in North America
When budgeting, we still tend to plan the technology in detail but allocate relatively little to adoption, even though most people agree that the people element if by far the bigger challenge.
2011 report by British Psych Soc. Of 100 UK office workersBut this isn’t a talk about general “Employee engagement”
We’ll take it as a given that the content is worth visiting.Usability is really important, but good usability alone doesn't cut it – Mac vs Windows eternal debatePeople are busy, you can’t “build it and they will come”
Work on the right thingsWork effectivelyYour intranet (or even better, digital workplace) can play a role
Firstly, helping people work on the right thing is important. So optimise adoption for the things that matter to your business.So we have a clear view of the business benefit, so now we just have to tell our employees and they’ll use it, right?
Not necessarily. Even if they agree good for the business, there may be other inhibiting factors...Not WIIFM at least in Narrow sense because:Implies “If > Then “ REWARD MINDSET. People are not that mercenary. As we’ll see, they can be altruistic, they do things like crosswords for fun, they find some things rewarding in themselves.People don’t always do what’s best for the organization... Random example: Leadership at banks; fear – crossing the bridgeWIIFM IS true in the wider sense, though, of thinking what would motivate people to use it.
From an employee perspective, its this that we need to be enabling.INTRANTES CAN HELP – this is what we should be aiming forTeresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, an independent researcher, are the authors of “The Progress Principle.” To gain real-time perspective into everyday work lives, we collected nearly 12,000 electronic diary entries from 238 professionals in seven different companiesOur intranets should aim for this more than anythingLeads to a state of flow>>> but don’t expect users to thank you!we analyzed the 64,000 specific workday events reported in the diaries: of all the events that engage people at work, the single most important — by far — is simply making progress in meaningful work.we asked 669 managers from companies around the world to rank five employee motivators in terms of importance, they ranked “supporting progress” dead last. Fully 95 percent of these managers failed to recognize that progress in meaningful work is the primary motivator, well ahead of traditional incentives like raises and bonuses.
So to make sense of how to approach this, here’s ClearBox’s model.Not Maturity, but about “Depth of uptake” (how deep is your love!). Think of where the elements of your own intranet fall on thisThinking tool – not claiming to have re-invented Maslow’s hierarchy here
Good in the sense that you “sweat the asset” of intranet and keep costs downIf its the only way to get expenses back, people will probably use it. Is this what we aspire to with “essential intranet”? Sounds more like “unavoidable intranet”But hardly inspiring. Want to plan your pension? Learn how to compost? Floss your teeth? There’s an App for that...
How many of you force the intranet to be the browser homepage, and then throw away all the hits data on that page as invalid?Mandating leads to only minimal compliance.I once reviewed a project management system when working in KM. To close a project a mandatory field was: What lessons did you learn from this project?Over 80% of people answered this in 1 word: “None”
See lots of good launch campaigns where lots of energy goes into creating excitement around something new. But an intranet is like a magazine not a book – how do you sustain interest, how do you keep it relevant and valuable?
People need to know it existsInteract’s intranet tool has a ‘Signpost’ widget that keeps nudging progress alongOr welcome users with “10 things to try on the intranet” – Michael Sampson
Accessible as-needed = on mobile phones; British Airways 70% employees access from home.Safety – remember the picture of the rickety bridge?Even if you tell someone about the benefits to them, they won’t always do it. I know I should floss more often and drink less, but we’re not always that rational
Unilever support centreRun monthly series of webinars – keep repeating because always new recruitsPeople learn at different paces*Sandpit* so people can experiment without messing up
If you know everyone else in your group has already crossed the bridge...Success stories emphasise usage elsewhere.Facebook managed rollout by snowballing campus-by-campus. For a newteam collaboration tool, activate it a business-unit at a time, not early-adopters across the board.
nGage lets you report back on adoption levels and show that “most people are across the bridge already”
Culture – Stephen Elop“When he joined, he asked us all three questions using SocialCast: What things should I change? What things should stay the same? And what issues I might miss as I get to know the company.” He also comments on others’ updates and writes a blog column giving more insights into the latest announcements.
Lotus notes is 4thWork towards making old side of the bridge increasingly unattractive but don’t suddenly cut the ropes.This is why Google Wave failed – not easy transition from normal email.
ABB increased number of SP users by 43% after it introduced Harmon.ie.
This is my dog – I won’t tell you its name or you’d have the password for every website I’ve ever signed up to
[See: Video from RSAnimate on You Tube]
Tying activity to rewards e.g. Annual bonus or ToastersInteract DonutsGaming the system –, Hospital trolleys re-named “Beds” and hallways “wards” to meet 12 hr target. Bevan and Hood Siemens “Share Points”OK so long as OK if act is mechanical – e.g. fill in a form. CHARITY donation poss betterOK if to get initial attention e.g. Treasure hunt but not ongoing
Games necessarily artificial, so distort behaviour. Always a %age of people that will optimise winning over doing the right thing.Examples of behaviour distortion - EcoChallenge and car smasheshttp://www.slideshare.net/dings/pawned-gamification-and-its-discontentsNot saying “Gamification doesn’t work” and much more to it than I’ve covered here, but it has risks if not well thought through.
Value is not in badge per se, but in what it symbolizes.So machine-awarded badges “mayor of...” much less likely to work than “Top-rated contributor” (e.g. On Amazon)Downside is that – like any game – interest in the reward element will wane.SOME evidence that Women not motivated by competition compared to menhttp://management.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/gneezy/docs/gender-differences-preference.pdf
Promote own skills. E.g. Used as part of promotion process, at one bank a blogger found fame with senior execs by sharing tips on Blackberry use.AEP Blogger of the month gets to be “guest editor”
These are activities that will be the most enduring.These not things that Intranet managers can do alone, but more of role intranet can play in bigger shift towards employee engagement See Amabile & Kramer’s “Progress Principle” for more.
Digital workplace has big role to play in terms of flexibility for basic productivityHaving an intranet that facilitates employee needs is not exciting in itself, but is a key part in facilitating this element63% less sick leave among BT home workers than office-based counterparts99% of women return after maternity leave (national average = 47%)Need to support intranet on more platforms and more devices
Need to support intranet on more platforms and more devices
Ghose and his colleagues followed the posting and reading behaviour over a 15-month period of 2,396 employees at a large information technology and consulting firm. One caveat: the benefits of unrestricted corporate blogging didn’t start to show up for at least seven weeks.
Intrinsic purpose: caravan enthusiasts helping on forums, lunch menus, for sale & wantedDownsides:Their purpose may not have business value Can only go so far – this is why social adoption seems to have great pilots but then stall
Finding the right person for the job – nothing more frustrating than an expert “passed over” for a role
“Employee engagement” bitNOT purpose of the intranet, but how intranets support sense of purpose in the work employees do. Seen most strongly in vocational work such as charity, healthcare, fire services. This is why nurses etc work for relatively low payCan be hard if your Org is low on purpose. Working for Unilever, optimising soap production doesn’t imdiately inspire (though actually big killer in developing countries)
CAFOD – international development aid charity
Back to the bridge imageNot everyone and every scenario needs to aim for “S. People are engaged with their work, don’t look for ‘Mastery’ in a room booking system.Stand-alone social techs WILL take off if they appeal to S-level, else need to be part of workflow and take away the “over and above my job” to be accepted.Experiment, listen, adjust, repeat
Worked example: getting people to fill in a rich profile
Accepted – remove the negatives, reinforce the “normal
People need to know it existsExample from Yum!’s(Pizza Hut, KFC etc.) intranet called iChing and a campaign to get people to fill in their personal profiles, like My Site
Final thought: can you over-engage people?Yes.5 great things about silos: http://www.clearboxconsulting.co.uk/blog
―Only 13% of IT professionals believe their internal social networks have been a success‖ – Information Week Survey 2011 Use of social tools gets so far then stalls
80% of organisations with SharePoint continueemailing documents back and forth -- Usamp survey 2010 Only a fraction of SharePoint gets used
―Whenever somebody tells me that the answer is on theintranet my heart sinks. I know I‘ll never find it‖ -- Employee survey response [Anon] In some companies, the intranet is seen as the last resort
intranet team ITBalance of resources given to system vs. adoption
25% office workers bored ‗most of the time‘―...they resort to minor acts of vandalism and stealingpost-it notes for stimulation‖ (it‘s not just an intranet issue)
The Benefits Map Single CMS Corp-Wide All employees Single identity Comms see same msg. Social media 2-way comms Employee Less churn ―One‖ channel engagement Organisation Project Single place Flexible project Best people Spaces to collaborate resourcing on a task Time savings Response Customer times faster satisfaction ERP Quicker data Better stock Fewer Dashboard access control outages Benefit Outcome StrategicFeature Capability Goals
Does this mean your employees will care too? intranet team EmployeeMaybe...
Do happy people work harder? ―we analyzed the 64,000 specific workday events reported in the diaries: of all the events that engage people at work, the single most important — by far — is simply making progress in meaningful work.‖ ―we asked 669 managers from companies around the world to rank five employee motivators in terms of importance, they ranked ―supporting progress‖ dead last. Amabile & Kramer in ―The Progress Principle‖
Autonomy Home workers 20% more productive than office- based colleagues --BT
BYOD40% of students would accept a lower paying job ifthey could choose their work device --Cisco survey 2011
―When the company imposed rules prohibitingworkers from blogging about their non-workinterests, work postings dropped. When thecompany allowed workers to post freely, bloggingand reading went up and employees exchangedmore information about both work and play‖ Self-expression
Mastery Learning New ideas Experimentation and curiosity
Demonstrating mastery Intranets should amplify existing enthusiasm