Incorporate the portal into the onboarding process for new employees
The advantage with new employees is that they have no prior experience with legacy processes or systems. This allows organizations a fresh slate and set the expectation that the portal is to be used continuously. It is key to get new hires logged into the portal early in the on-boarding process so it becomes part of the day to day activity. Furthermore, these are internal systems that the new employee would not have experience with, so they need to be trained or they will find workarounds they are comfortable or reach out to other employees that use the legacy processes.
Ensure the system is designed to make lives easier
There will be some hesitation and/or resistance in adopting the portal system. The best way to ensure engagement over the long-term is that the portal is built with them in mind. A well-planned and executed portal will address more than surface concerns of a few stakeholders or a department. The portal needs to be the easiest and fastest place for employees to extract information and complete tasks. A slow, cumbersome, confusing, or outdated portal will lead to employees reverting to their old processes.
Make it part of the day-to-day
For the best return on investment, organizations should focus on increasing the productivity of daily tasks. If the portal only addresses tasks that are done on an inconsistent basis or with long gaps between, the employees may stick with traditional processes despite the improvements portals may bring. The reason being that the headache every so often is less of an inconvenience than learning a new system.
A way to make this part of the day-to-day is to ensure that information flows through the portal. For example, instead of emailing a coworker a document, direct them to use the portal. In this way, people will become accustomed of using the portal. Furthermore, this will ensure that all the content on the portal is kept up to date.