Effective communication is an essential aspect of any organization and can determine the success or failure of business operations. While there are many ways internal communicators can distribute information to employees, the intranet is among the most popular and effective tools used for this purpose.
Here, we answer the question “What is an employee intranet?" and discuss five modern ways to implement one in your company.
What Is An Employee Intranet?
An employee intranet is a private network primarily meant for communication within an organization. Access to this online platform is limited to employees who use it for a wide range of tasks.
What Is the Purpose Of An Employee Intranet?
Workplace digital transformation has offered up a plethora of new tools in recent years. However intranets are still one of the most widely adopted business platforms. This prevalence is due to their versatility and the numerous benefits that they offer.
One primary use of intranets in organizations is communication. You can use these platforms to post memos, notify staff members of crucial deadlines and organize company events. Company leaders can use the intranet to monitor their teams and share departmental information.
Another benefit of employee intranets is that they make storing information and resources easy. For instance, if you host a forum with employees, they can easily access meeting notes, presentations and action items after the event – eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication and promoting accountability.
More benefits of employee intranet include:
- Encouraging knowledge sharing
- Reducing and / or eliminating meetings
- Increasing employee engagement
Most of us find it challenging to train new staff and help them adapt to our organizational values and culture. A good intranet simplifies the onboarding process by providing new employees with updated organization charts, bios, and other important information.
Traditional vs Modern Employee Intranet
Despite being a staple tool for many organizations since the mid-1990s, intranets have continually evolved to meet new and changing business needs.
In the past intranets were primarily focused on supporting “top-down” communication. However, modern platforms emphasise cross-team communication and collaboration, providing all users with some level of authority to create and share content.
Bridging the gap between workplace and consumer technology, many modern intranets feature interaction patterns associated with social media, as well as supporting mediums such as video and podcasting.
More differences between traditional and modern intranets are:
- Modern intranets are cost-effective to acquire and implement
- Modern intranets support evolving ways of working
- Modern intranets are mobile and accessible
- Modern intranets are focused on providing a user experience that matches the expectations set by platforms employees use in their personal lives such as social media
Another significant difference between traditional and modern intranets is that the latter is easier to implement. Cloud based solutions have replaced on-premise software and with it the long installation and setup periods.
Data sharing between platforms is critical for modern business systems. Fortunately, most modern intranets feature functionality such as APIs and plugin frameworks that allow you to connect them with third-party apps to streamline communication and facilitate data transfer.
5 Modern Employee Intranet Ideas
An engaging and well-designed intranet can be the key to successful organizational communication. On the other hand, an ineffective one can slow down business processes and negatively impact performance.
When selecting an employee intranet, considering the following guidelines will ensure you pick one most suitable platform for your business.
Here are five ideas to help you choose and implement a modern employee intranet for your organization.
Make It Mobile and Accessible
Accessibility and mobile compatibility are essential features of any business tool in 2021.
This is not only the case for organizations with deskless employees, but any workforce where remote work, work-from-home / flexible work hours, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and similar modes of working are the norm.
A mobile intranet also facilitates access to resources and communication channels for contract workers and agencies from whatever device or location they happen to work from.
Use A Variety Of Channels
Most intranet users will be familiar with internal blogs, messaging, and videos. While these are all effective channels, many companies overlook audio as a means of communication.
According to recent studies, 41% of Americans listen to podcasts, with similar rates of podcast consumption around the world.
Audio delivers on many of the key challenges internal communicators face today, such as how to deliver effective communications in a way that will engage employees and support their preferred ways of working.
Podcasts are easy to create and easy for listeners to consume – Nielsen found that 79% of audio consumption takes place while people are engaged in activities where visual media cannot reach them. This means your employees can be listening to your updates while they’re driving a car or walking the dog. Audio can reach deskless workers or employees who want to free themselves from their screen to achieve better work/life balance.
Whooshkaa integrates with modern employee intranets such as Microsoft Sharepoint, Facebook Workplace, Atlassian Confluence, Yammer and many more, making it easy to create, share and control access to internal podcasts.
Pay Attention to Analytics
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Your intranet should provide analytics to measure employee engagement so you can determine which channels and content are engaging your employees.
No intranet is an island – integrating functionality from third party applications will play a vital role in creating a diverse and effective employee engagement solution. Be sure to check that the applications you integrate with your intranet include effective analytics capabilities so you are able to analyse a holistic view of employee activity. For example, Whooshkaa provides detailed, named listener analytics so you can evaluate engagement with your internal podcasts alongside your intranet powered channels such as internal blogs and videos.
Use It to Build Connections
Traditionally intranets were thought of as “digital notice boards” and used primarily to make company wide announcements. While this is a legitimate use case, modern intranets are built to facilitate cross-team communication and collaboration. The ability to configure user groups, roles and permissions will allow you to create an intranet where employees can contribute content that has value for their own team as well as other teams within the business.
This content can also be a treasure trove for business leaders seeking to understand employee’s perspectives and provides a channel for constructive feedback that can help company leaders prevent costly mistakes.
Organize Activities and Content
Intranet Calendar. Source.
Intranets can be effective tools for boosting staff morale and encouraging engagement with company events and activities. A modern intranet should provide a wide range of planning tools such as content calendars, quick links, and daily announcements.
This will allow you to create an intranet that is a hub for your organization’s cultural life as well as a destination for information and collaboration.
Engage Your Employees With Podcasts
Employee engagement is a critical aspect of organizational success. At Whooshkaa, we provide you with a powerful tool that integrates with your intranet to communicate and train your staff with private, internal podcasts.
Do you think an internal podcast would make your intranet modern and engaging? If so, explore our podcasting for employee engagement solutions.