How do your staff communicate? Are they cobbling together a hodgepodge of chat platforms and emails to share information? If so, your company may need a better intranet. Unlike the internet, which connects workers to content beyond your business, intranet is all about what happens internally, but like the internet, a great intranet platform can be a powerful communication tool. By connecting staff and encouraging ongoing collaboration and communication, the right intranet can help cultivate a positive organizational culture and improve employee retention and satisfaction while also benefitting the quality of their work.
A Social Setup
While most companies invest in intranet platforms to enhance collaboration and centralize communications, one of the greatest advantages of these platforms is that they’re inherently social. They’re an ideal space for agile peer-to-peer engagement, for orienting new employees, and celebrating staff achievements and for team members and management to provide support as appropriate. This kind of communication goes a long way toward building trust and encouraging team members to work together, eliminate information siloes, and support each other without being forced to interact by management.
Understanding Intranet Advantages
Why is it that intranet supports staff collaboration and communication more effectively than other social platforms? The answer rests as much in the particular intranet platform a company uses as in any inherent traits of the platform. For example, a fully modernized intranet integrates with other tools, provides relevant information to staff, and is interactive. Small opportunities for engagement – moving tasks around, checking things off, adding notes – encourage staff to actively use the tools at hand, rather than skimming the surface.
The Employee Experience Advantage
Those interactive elements in a great intranet are an important part of the platform for two reasons. First, they offer an element of gamification, which has consistently proven useful for improving worker engagement, and second, because they facilitate a positive overall employee experience (EX). Like user experience (UX), EX is a lifecycle level concern that’s made up of all those small daily factors, like the functionality of onboarding, how personal that experience is, and how comfortable workers feel using tools like the intranet.
Beyond the onboarding process, your company’s intranet is the digital “shared workspace” that fosters a positive company culture. With more workers logging on remotely, it’s no longer enough to have a conference room. Instead, you need to create other ways for them to get that water cooler/open plan office experience. Email isn’t enough, but complex chat systems that allow staff to connect in real time or create that casual level of connection that employees thrive on and that make remote work less isolating.
If you don’t currently have an intranet, it’s important to talk to your staff about what they hope such a tool will achieve. Though there’s a general understanding about what makes a good intranet – they want it to be aesthetically pleasing, to facilitate information management with quality search functions, and to help them prioritize information.
On the leadership side, most businesses also want a platform that streamlines onboarding so that new staff have a more consistent experience during the training process. That kind of consistency provides a significant advantage in terms of the quality of the experience, but it also ensures that everyone coming onboard has a shared foundation and can communicate readily based on those common terms.
Intranet may seem old school compared to some new technology, but well-designed ones are anything but retro. They’re convenient, intuitive social networks that block out distractions and prioritize information. It’s an ideal setup for creating community, and one that doesn’t require dumping valuable resources into foosball tables and other startup gimmicks. If you haven’t yet adopted one, it’s time to get started.