Blue Beyond Consulting

Social Intranets to the Rescue

Does your intranet feel like a dumping ground for out-of-date forms and executive memos? It might be time to update to a more social intranet.

A Forrester Research study found that only 43% of employees access an intranet every day. Even worse, 35% don’t even use their intranet on a monthly basis. The reason? Online behaviors are shifting and this is bleeding into what employees now expect from their employers.

The average person logs more than two hours a day on social platforms, according to the Global Web Index. More and more, your employees expect an online experience that lets them find what they need when they need it, know it’s up to date, and spend time connecting and sharing with others.

The good news is traditional intranets are being replaced by more social intranets – dynamic platforms that offer social collaboration tools and more advanced search capabilities. Social intranets can be the foundation for communication in any large, global organization, but they are more than a communication channel. Senior leaders at many of the top-performing companies we’ve talked to see their intranet as a key business tool that drives collaboration, culture, and business strategy.

Only 43% of employees access an intranet every day.

While your company intranet may never be able to compete with Facebook, there are things you can do to create a more user-friendly experience—and one that stimulates collaboration, supports culture, and drives business results.

6 Best Practices for Creating a More Engaging, Social Intranet

1. Localize and personalize the employee experience. Not all employees are the same, which is why their intranet experience shouldn’t be either. Consider ways of targeting and tailoring content for employees at different levels, regions, and functional areas of the organization.

2. Keep it current by assigning content owners. Intranets are too large to be managed by a single department or person. Who owns the content? Everyone! While it makes sense for HR or Internal Communications to set a governance process, consider assigning content ownership to individuals across departments. That way you know who’s on point to review and update specific areas of content on a regular basis, ensuring it always stays fresh and relevant.

3. Make your intranet the hub of social networking. Make all of your online tools accessible from one place. Your intranet home should link to all your social channels – blogs, Yammer, Facebook, Twitter, Wikis, and more. Offer employees tips and tricks for how to appropriately share company news on external social media. This provides a seamless experience for employees—and will generate more traffic and usability.

4. Let your culture shine. Think of your intranet as a place where culture thrives—culture isn’t just happening at the water cooler anymore. Let your intranet serve as a platform where employees can exchange ideas and share passions; teams can lend expertise and learn from each other; leaders can connect more frequently; and the company can build on its shared values and purpose.

5. Make it mobile. More employees are using mobile devices to stay connected to the workplace outside of normal business hours. Giving them mobile access to the intranet helps you reach your non-networked employees and those who aren’t in front of a computer all day. If you want more people to use it, broadening access just makes sense.

6. Promote transparency. A global study by Deloitte found that online collaboration tools improve productivity, transparency, communication quality, and morale. By nature, social intranets provide an open platform to communicate. Let your intranet play a substantial part in helping you move to a more transparent culture. Keep your comments open and the default setting on open for team and department sites. Interested in learning more about our strategic approaches to employee engagement, including how to redesign a social intranet to support your culture and business strategy? Contact us to start a conversation about how we can help.