Launching a new HR site on your digital workplace? Don’t leave content until the very last minute, or you’ll deliver a less-than-desirable result.

As I recently described in a post for ALI about making content your first priority, leaving content until the very last means you’re more likely to post junk and less likely to get the most out of your technology. Start on content early and you’ll

Here are some tips to ensure your success:

  • Put the right project manager in the lead: Not only does he/she need to know HR, the PM needs to understand enough about communication best practices and the technology to grasp how to fully leverage the tools. A project manager who can’t do both is sure to bungle the project. It goes without saying that he/she better have great project management skills because the volume of content in this area can be overwhelming.
  • Prepare a written plan: Draft a plan that outlines all the objectives, tactical steps, timeline, etc. Identify all the content owners up front and outline responsibilities. Communicate this clearly to the entire group; treat them like part of the team from the outset.
  • Create a timeline and stick to it: Give content owners plenty of time to respond, send regular reminders and then hold them accountable for their deadlines. We like a schedule that has multiple deadlines in anticipation of them missing the first two. Communicate with content owners that if they don’t get their content prepared in time, it won’t be there for launch; the prospect of blank pages is great incentive. This also works well for old content that hasn’t been reviewed.
  • Think about the user experience:
    • Different types of content lend themselves to different posting approaches. Make decisions early about the best way to post different types of content. For example, two days before a client’s HR site launch we received a Microsoft Word file with a set of frequently asked questions. At that point, it was too late to post the FAQs in a user-friendly, interactive fashion. It had to post as a PDF, which is far from optimal.
    • Standardize naming conventions. If one part of the world refers to their “employee handbook” and another calls it something else, this may confuse employees. If content owners post files with dates in the titles, all the linking may need to be redone when a new version with a different date is posted. Create standards for file, page and site naming at the outset. More on this in a future post.
    • Use plain language in links, especially if the users include people from outside North America. Avoid HR-speak.
  • Review content for consistency: These types of large content efforts are a great opportunity to uncover conflicting plans and policies. If there are four different regional policies on employee referrals, find out why and try to integrate them into one, global policy.

Want to learn more about bringing your HR content to your digital workplace? Join me at ALI’s conference on Transitioning Your Intranet to a Digital Workplace in Atlanta in February. Plus, if you are using SharePoint and want to leverage it for great internal communication, join me at ALI’s SharePoint for Internal Communications in Chicago in April.