We've documented some of the best practices we have observed and experienced ourselves over the years with our customers.
Note that these are merely suggestions, and not intended for every use case your organization has. For more in-depth best practices in your first 30 days with Simpplr, check out this article.
Align with company goals and initiatives
Like any other new project in the company, employee community implementation has to align with the company’s goals. It’s much easier and always successful when employees see the bigger picture and see the dots connecting to higher-level initiatives. Employees will be more willing to contribute and feel connected to the company strategy.
Secure executive sponsorship and contribution
Find a senior executive willing to be proponent and passionate about leading by example. It’s critical that executives are talking about this in senior staff meetings and asking the rest of the management team to contribute. If you can have the management team start contributing to the content, you have guaranteed the success of your employee community implementation already. When an executive shares something with their team, asks a question or runs a poll, 85% of employees in the organization respond and want to be part of the conversation.
Wear your “marketing hat”
Launching an employee community for a large audience is very much like launching a new product to your customers. You have to act like a marketer and convince your employees of why this is good for them and the company. Get in front of them and talk about the upcoming employee community project. Print t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc., and get your employees intrigued about the new employee community. Fascinate them with the vision and how things will be different after the launch.
Stagger the rollout
Plan your rollout in a way that evolves within the organization and becomes viral. Get the innovators in the company to start using it first. They will embrace the change much faster and lead by example. Then target your early adopters followed by the early majority. If it’s not feasible to stagger the launch by user personality, go by departments or groups. It doesn’t matter what the groups are, but it’s important to expand the users gradually and virally.
Form a Champions group
It’s critical to identify a set of early users that will help you with the rollout. They should be more like your extended project team who will facilitate conversations with the user community, get feedback and answer questions in casual settings. Identify champions from each team who are just like your End users, but get special training on features, have all the support collateral and are willing to invest 5%-10% of their time for 3 months. Find ways to reward this champion group. Recognize them publicly as well as with something of monetary value.
Integrate with business processes
Find ways to integrate your employee community with business process so employees start their morning with the employee community. There are systems that are transactional in nature where users have to go to make a business transaction. And there is an employee community where people get access to an aggregated wealth of information from multiple areas in the organization. They don’t “have to” go to the employee community first thing in the morning unless they're looking for something. Find ways to bring the processes into the employee community to drive higher adoption.
Examples of business processes would be:
- PTO Form available in the HR site
- Helpdesk access from IT site
- Applications launch links
- Marketing collateral available under Marketing site
- Sales discount approval notifications in Sales site
- Big Sales deal announcements on the Home dashboard
Plan for content maintenance
The social nature of the employee community helps people collaborate and lets them publish information on their own. On the contrary, it’s very natural for the overall employee community to get a little messy and unorganized overtime. Plan for recurring (quarterly) review of content where you should archive old content or anything that doesn’t meet your standards and brand requirements. This is the time where few users might need a polite “nudge” and reminder on standards and content policies. You will have to likely need to moderate the community to ensure it stays valuable with accurate and appropriate information.
Other great ideas
- Give the project a new and exciting name, or have a naming contest to create excitement. Re-brand Simpplr with that name
- Define content standards (Do’s and Don’ts)
- Employee community training as part of the New Hire induction program
- Make employee community a starting point for New Hire
- Define clear ownership with the project team, roles, and responsibilities
- Don’t force it on users, let them adapt and embrace it at their own pace
- Finally, check out the help article: What to know in your first 30 days with Simpplr