Often when developing an internal communications solution, brand values and mission statements are perceived as being difficult to translate into useful tools and information. For example, a brand value such as ‘innovation’ can mean different things in different contexts. So how do you relate it to your intranet?
The definition of ‘innovate’ is, “to introduce something new; make changes in anything established.” However, if this is a blanket value to be applied across everything your organisation does and, indeed, the intranet project itself, it can be contrary to the requirements of your users; changing something just for the sake of it can be damaging.
Define the value's behaviours
To tackle this, look closer at your brand and think about what the principles of each particular company value should be, and how you’d like it to react and behave on your intranet. For example, ‘innovation’ in this context is about solving a problem, or finding a way to make something (i.e. internal comms) easier, more effective and more efficient to deliver than it was previously.
Here we’ve collated some typical brand values, and how they can translate into behaviours for your intranet:
Proactive not reactive communication; share knowledge around the business.
A simple and balanced method for presenting group-wide, localised and department-specific content and tools.
A single interface with a common look and feel, enabling every employee to access the same information simultaneously.
The intranet should play its part in the global sharing of knowledge and provide clear routes to other relevant collaboration tools.
A reduction in the number of content editors needed, by reducing the amount of replication of production across sites.
The intranet should respond to operational transformation as the organisation grows and changes shape.
Seamless links between the intranet and other company business tools used regularly by your employees.
Users should be able control the information they see, the tools they use, and how and where they access them.
Information and tools should always be easy to find and use, no matter what platform they are accessed from.
Let users take control; deliver specific messages in a consistent style.
Users should have confidence that what they see on the intranet is the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Every page and feature should be consistent
An interface that gives each employee a personal and relevant experience and the tools to maintain it for themselves.
Measure your brand components
By exploring the behaviours of your values, you can then look at your proposed solution and measure it against the principle of the original value. Whether this is quantitative or qualitative, you can start to measure each brand component as part of your KPIs.
Importantly, this exercise can also provide a compelling deliverable for the steering committee during the project, by acting as a set of requirement criteria to measure the project team by. It will also form part of the guidelines to demonstrate how the intranet experience should perform, and how to judge whether a proposed solution is in-line with the brand and, therefore, whether it is the right action to take.