Many moons ago in one of the first intranet-related roles I had, I was specifically responsible for driving up adoption of user profiles on a Domino-based intranet in a medium-sized professional services firm in the UK.
Oh, what fun I had trying to get people to complete their user profiles! The then senior partner refused to. Someone from marketing shouted that they “wouldn’t complete their f****** people profile.” Even the person sitting next to me refused to complete their profile. At one time, aided with two secretaries, I had to physically chase a senior audit manager round an office floor trying to take his photo for the intranet.
I may even have accidentally discovered gamification in the year 2000 when I created a league table of departments showing the different percentage rates of the number of employees who had completed their profile. Perhaps I really was ahead of my time, because the tactic didn’t work.
Getting users to complete their profiles was a challenge then, and it still is today. Of course any tactic to drive up adoption and completion has to be rooted in change management and communicating the value to users, as well as embedding the use and review of user profiles into different processes such as annual reviews, and project team selection.
This is all very well, but central teams tasked with getting profiles completed are very small, users are extremely busy, and often resistant to change. There also may be some cultural opposition to transparency. So realistically some extra tactics are required to drive adoption. I don’t think there’s a particular magic solution that works well for all companies. Different organisations have tried different things.
Accenture used gamification to drive completion of user profiles which was then extended to other areas.
Intranet Innovation Award winner Lundbeck allowed the importing of LinkedIn profiles into MySites, a practice which is becoming more common place.
Thermofisher Scientific ran a concentrated and successful campaign which included metrics, prize draws, targeting groups and donations to charity for each completed profile..
Dorje McKinnon at Lincoln University in New Zealand ensured that user-completed data from employee profiles was highly visible, both in a random highlighted employee profile on the homepage and in search results returned.
These case studies include some good ideas and tactics which have worked for particular organisations. What’s worked for you?