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Effective employee communication is the core of employee engagement. Without a communication system that enables knowledge and information sharing, collaboration, employee feedback, and interaction with coworkers and organizational leaders, employee engagement suffers. Historically, companies deployed intranets, but have intranets become anachronisms in the presence of the internet? It’s tempting to think they are an outdated mode of communication and irrelevant, but that is not true.
Intranets can still deliver distinct advantages, but with the caveat that they need to be streamlined and modernized by integrating newer communication technologies and functionality. Before ditching your intranet, take some time to evaluate its current status and the unrealized opportunities for employee communication.
Before ditching your intranet, take some time to evaluate its current status and the unrealized opportunities for #employeecommunication. #communication Click To Tweet
An intranet is a private network that only your workforce, and not everyone online, can access. Organizations have used them for many decades for internal employee communications, and therein lies the issue. Many of these networks are outdated. It’s not because they have outlived their usefulness in general due to the internet. It’s because they haven’t been maintained or updated as a modern communication tool.
The main uses over the decades have been:
These were the basic functions that served companies well for many years. The problem is the legacy intranet systems are very limited in their functionality and don’t deliver a good employee experience. They can be cumbersome to use and don’t provide up-to-date information quickly and easily like the internet. The older intranets are also not living up to their potential because they aren’t integrated with newer technologies, like social media.
Yet, intranets still have a place in the internet world. One of the key advantages of the internet is the control your management has over information. That one advantage can prevent a lot of misunderstandings. For example, by storing documents on the intranet and managing access, you are assured employees are looking at the most recent HR policies and procedures.
To modernize a system, you must first identify what it’s not doing. Ask the following questions.
The theme of the questions is this: Does the intranet provide a successful employee experience? If employees are forced to waste time trying to find information, eventually getting frustrated and anxious, the intranet needs some serious upgrading.
With the disadvantages of the intranet front and center, why keep an intranet? The truth is there are many reasons to do so, and most reflect the original purposes for the intranet. Following are a few of them.
The intranet does have a continued role to play in employee communication and engagement if modernized. In fact, by taking advantage of new technologies, the intranet can strengthen positive employee relations with employees. A good example is adding an employee recognition function that enables showcasing the employees who do exceptional work, collaborate with peers to problem solve and/or present innovative ideas. Following are five principles for improving the intranet’s ability to engage employees.
By taking advantage of #newtechnologies, the intranet can strengthen positive #employeerelations with employees. #technology #digitalcommunication Click To Tweet
The disadvantages of intranets may make them seem not worth considering anymore. That is not true. It is still an important system that can improve employee communications and promote an organizational culture of collaboration. CMSWire, a technical publication, discussed the features of a modern intranet versus the traditional intranet. Quoting Gartner, “modern intranets go beyond destination sites into a collection of services that can be purposed out to many places, including business applications, mobile apps, collaboration apps, and other destination sites.”
The modern intranet overcomes the problems of the traditional.
Intranets will become more customized in the quest to engage employees. Meeting user needs comes first. The trends in intranet design include the following.
Imagine the new intranet; It will present a screen with information of specific interest to the user. It offers announcements, employee messages, videos, company news, dynamic widgets, newsfeeds, virtual town hall, and links to HR policies, benefits plans, employee directories, organizational charts, etc. It has a calendar, video calling, file sharing, announcements, and a collaboration hub. The intranet can also be used for social activities like contests and for taking polls. It is used for onboarding, keeping people in alignment with objectives, and producing analytics. Your leaders can employ storytelling for relatable content. In fact, user-generated content will be an important feature of the modernized intranet.
What’s on an intranet. Anything you want and need to engage employees, enhance employee performance, and communicate the company culture. The modern intranet is a digital communication system and a source of employee feedback too. It gives people a voice in a meaningful way.
Most importantly, the modern intranet develops positive employee relations. Projections, Inc. has spent four decades improving employee engagement with expert tools that can enhance your intranet, including custom videos, leadership training, podcasts, websites, and eLearning. Anything you need to better communicate with employees, we can deliver.
In over 25 years of helping companies connect with their employees, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.