One thing is what your employees state about their use of the intranet. Another thing is what actually is going on on the platform, which is where observation becomes a handy tool. This is a qualitative method that isn't concerned about numbers and statistics about the use of Colibo, but rather about the user's interaction.
It's a good addition to some of the other methods described in this section.
An employee in the communication department can conduct an observation, or Colibo can assist you, as it is advisable to be objective. If the person is used to navigate and participate on the intranet, it's likely that it's harder to observe and conduct data, that it more different than what users actually say. If you are all in the same mindset, you will probably look and find the same, which is why it can be beneficial to have an external partner to conduct the observation notes.
Depending on your goal for your intranet, there are different things you can observe.
If one of your goals is to make it easier for people to find a relevant colleague for a specific task or project, then check what people have updated their profile with. Is it relevant information and is it searchable? What kind of skills have they filled out in relation to how they say, that they understand skills.
If you want your intranet to be social, then observe if it is being used for social activities. Is there for example any activity in groups that is not work-related? Do your employees interact with people they wouldn't normally be involved with professionally?
Why are certain groups more popular than others? Is the dialogue different in these groups or is it the topic? Does it make a difference, that the groups doesn't have as many members as others? There are a lot of questions to ask, that can say something about what is working well on the intranet and how to work and optimize what is not working as well.
If an employee eg. states in an interview that his team uses Colibo a lot for conversation in work groups, but the observation you make shows that it is actually only that particular employee who is interacting by for example posting or commenting. Then the group is not being used as it was intended. Therefore, engagement observation notes can become useful as it gives a clear picture of the actual use.
Engagement observation notes can also show if the organisation has become better at knowledge sharing. If employees state that they do share knowledge, but it turns out that they only share in small groups rather than across different departments (eg. to all nurses), then they could take more advantage of the platform.
When you do your observations, make sure to write down some notes. You can divide them into categories (eg. use of groups, pictures, news...) and then compare them with people's statements about how they use them, eg. from interviews or surveys. If there is a gap, then consider how you can optimise the use of your intranet.
If the employees don't use workgroups the way it was intended, figure out how they communicate - and see if there is anything you ought to change.
- Consider what your goals were, and observe if they have been accomplished
- Relate your observations with statements from your employees
- Use your observations by setting new goals or optimise your intranet, eg. with help from Colibo