Your company intranet might hold the key to many of the internal challenges your organization is struggling with. Are you taking full advantage of it?
An intranet (not to be confused with the internet) is a local or restricted network that enables employees to store, organize, and share information within an organization. Often managed by IT and leveraged by various departments across an organization, the company intranet can be a powerful tool for addressing today’s digital workplace challenges.
The problem is that many organizations have dismissed the idea that their intranet can be extremely useful. It is in the background and appears to be working, but it is not bringing noticeable benefits.
In a recent study, 80% of employees working in medium and large-sized organizations said their company has an intranet, and that it is a tool they rely on regularly. In fact, 81% had used it in the last week. That is the good news.
The bad news is that this tool that employees rely on regularly is still slowing them down. The same report uncovered these surprising stats:
- 43% of employees avoided sharing a document with a colleague because they could not find it or believed it would take too long to find.
- Only 29% of employees knew how to submit an idea.
- Only 30% knew how to request resources from another team.
- Less than 25% knew where to find their corporate brochure.
- Only 50% knew how to submit an IT request or book a vacation.
What these findings tell us is that employees want to find value in their intranet — hence why they continue to log on — but that organizations have not done enough to communicate the purpose of an intranet and leverage its many features and capabilities to their advantage.
Is your intranet doing everything you need it to? Learn 7 ways you could be using your intranet to your advantage in this eBook: Invest in the Right Intranet: Critical Steps to Consider When Choosing an Intranet Solution.
Why would a company use an intranet?
Before we dive into specific uses of an intranet, it is important to set aside any baggage that the word “intranet” has accumulated over the years. Yes, many intranet implementations have been known to cause headaches and end up as disorganized dumping grounds for company information.
But thanks to modern, engaging solutions, we can leave those troubles behind. So, let’s flip this thinking around and consider five major advantages the company intranet can provide.
1. Internal communications
Consolidating internal communications on the company intranet — from leadership news to HR or IT updates — is an easy way to gather important information in one place. It allows the internal communications team to focus their time, effort, and resources, while clearing up any confusion among the employee base about where to find the latest news.
With interactive blogs, newsfeeds, and a virtual town hall, you can transform your intranet into the ultimate internal communications channel. Plus, with social features such as liking, commenting, and rating, you can measure engagement with content and create an ongoing, two-way dialog between employees and the leadership team that benefits everyone.
Learn more about how to use your intranet for internal communications planning:
Employee Engagement Issues? The Right Internal Communications Strategy Can Help.
2. Employee engagement
Closely tied to internal communications is employee engagement. The company intranet can be used for activities like contests, events, polls, and photo galleries. In fact, this can be a great enticement to get employees to come back to the intranet every day. You can create a dedicated place for these activities — like a social center — or treat the whole intranet like your primary engagement vehicle, leveraging engagement and involvement features and solutions across several areas.
3. Content management
One of the most common uses of a company intranet is content management. An intranet gives you a place to store and share company documents in an easy-to-use, easy-to-search location. Plus, some intranets also integrate with third-party file-sharing apps like SharePoint, Dropbox, and Box, so it is easy to find what you need — no matter where it is stored.
A company intranet also allows you to document knowledge in the form of wiki articles. What you end up with is a central knowledge base full of company information that can easily be updated, with version control and automatic notifications when content has changed. To ensure everyone stays on brand, many intranets also incorporate a brand knowledge base to store and organize creative assets and other branded resources.
4. Team collaboration
With the rise of remote work and virtual teams, being able to leverage your intranet as a team collaboration tool is critical. Managing team projects using email and shared drives can be complicated and unnecessarily time-consuming. Instead, you can create a team room on your company intranet where you can share files, important dates, and progress updates. It is all contained, organized, and easily accessible by team members — wherever they are.
Learn how your intranet can help you build a teamwork culture:
5. HR programs
As the employee experience becomes a primary focus for many organizations, it’s essential that the company intranet can be leveraged throughout every stage of the employee lifecycle. From onboarding to learning and development to recognition and promotion announcements, all employee-focused programs and news can be accessed via the company intranet.
Start by creating an onboarding center that has the company’s mission, vision, and values front and center and introduces new employees to the company culture. Then weave the same messaging through the online employee handbook and recognition center to ensure consistency at every turn.
Are you making the most of your company intranet?
All of these use cases could be addressed using different tools, each with its own technical requirements and barriers to adoption. But with a more modern digital workplace platform, you can bring them all (and more) together into one digital destination.
Like many large organizations, you might already have an intranet. It has become a staple as the workplace continues to be powered by digital tools. But, ask yourself: what purpose is it serving? You have already invested in the technology. What is important is that you are leveraging it for its intended purpose and beyond. Just think about the business value you could realize by making it work a little harder.
Maybe you do not have an intranet yet, or you have been on the hunt for a better solution to one or more of the use cases above that your current intranet just can’t handle. If that is the case, we can help. Learn more about Igloo intranet solutions or get started with one of our digital workplace experts to discuss your specific needs today.