A user-friendly intranet can be a powerful tool for facilitating effective workplace communication and helping to increase employee engagement. In order to get the most out of your intranet, it's important to understand two things: what your goals are and how your intranet can help you achieve them. Once you've identified these, you'll be on your way to intranet success.
For many organizations, one of the main goals for the company intranet is to improve internal communication. Early intranets were simple message boards with document sharing functionality. Modern intranets, especially those built in SharePoint, offer a universe of possibilities. Here are some ways organizations can use their intranets to improve internal communication.
1. Create a Social Experience
Social networks such as Facebook are popular for one reason: they are a powerful and intuitive way of communicating with others. Many companies are now leveraging the power of social media by creating a social, engaging environment on their corporate intranet. Like Facebook, a social intranet makes it easy to share information one-on-one, between teams and departments, or with the entire company. In fact, some firms have completely abandoned internal email and rely on a social, collaborative intranet for all communication.
2. Utilize a Wiki
Wikipedia isn't just a website. It's a paradigm for organizing and storing knowledge in a way that's intuitive to navigate. Part of the strength of a Wiki is that anyone can edit the information, which means that information can be kept up-to-date at all times (with robust change tracking to ensure that all edits are accurate). This is a powerful and efficient way to disseminate information across the organization and collaborate within teams, ensuring everyone has the best available information at all times.
3. Facilitate Multi-Directional Communication
In the past, information has tended to only ever flow downwards in a hierarchy. Employees rarely get a chance to engage C-Suite executives in discussion, and lots of valuable feedback has been lost because of this. An intranet with a high user engagement rate offers a solution to this, however, by giving employees a chance to comment on articles posted by other people within the organization. This is a great way to encourage communication and allow employees to feel that their voices are being heard.
4. Post Live Stats and Success Metrics
The most important question in any business is "how are we doing?" Often, this is only answered on a quarterly or even annual basis. A modern intranet gives companies an opportunity to make current businesses statistics, such as sales figures and customer feedback, visible to people in the organization. One way this can be done: as part of a user dashboard, so individuals can see at a glance how their department and the company are performing.
5. Go Mobile
The company intranet has, in the past, only been available from a company PC. But these days, not everybody works from a desktop in the office. They need to be able to access the intranet remotely and may even need to view it on a smart phone or tablet. Employers are going to find themselves under increasing pressure to offer this kind of mobile support, especially if the intranet contains vital self-service functions. If your intranet doesn't offer secure support for mobile devices, it may be time for an upgrade.
Poor communication can have catastrophic effects for businesses. Without effective workplace communication, businesses see productivity suffer, employees become disengaged, and projects fail at a terrifying rate. A user-friendly intranet is an excellent way to encourage communication and increase employee engagement. It will also improve company culture by allowing your people to access the information they need, when they need it, in a format that best suits their needs.
Ready to start using your intranet as an effective tool for internal communications? Check out our ready-made SharePoint intranet, IntranetPro.