The days of corporate intranet is far from over. The internet might have taken over most of the playing field with its shiny new tools and jaw-dropping opportunities, but the benefits of an intranet to an organization is still enormous. Corporate intranet is not dead!
There’s a good reason several companies are backtracking towards the good-old-days of setting up a company-wide intranet for their operations. Even the Internet in all its glory might not be as effective as an intranet within the context of an organization.
When people say intranet is out of fashion, they’re almost certainly referring to the wrong kind of intranet. The kind of intranet they’re thinking about is probably the old, ugly, clunky and difficult to navigate kind. This was the kind we were all forced to embrace when technology wasn’t as great as it has become today.
Today’s intranets are sleek, engaging, aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate – they are more or less a microcosm of the Internet with some additional features. Today’s intranets are efficient content banks and collaboration portals that represent a one stop shop for an organization’s digital needs.
Indeed, intranets can be immensely beneficial and its not just because we say so. Below we’ll be sharing some benefits of an intranet:
1. Enhanced employee engagement
A research by Gallup shows that around 70 percent of American employees aren’t engaged in their workplaces. Although there has been slight improvement since then, today’s figures are still worrying by all accounts. It’s no rocket science that feeling of disengagement breeds disinterest and a feeling of lack of inclusion. These are two factors that contribute
s to a productivity drain in organizations. An intranet represents an effective tool to keep employees in sync with not just the company’s operations but also with one another.
It also represents an in-house channel for collaboration, communication and company-wide interaction that can help employees at every level feel integral to the operations and success of an organization.
When employees feel that they’re part of something bigger than themselves and that their efforts for an organization are valued, they tend to be more productive, loyal and innovative.
2. Increased productivity
Perhaps one of the most apparent benefits any organization can get from using an intranet is increased productivity. Intranets are tailored to business needs and specification. Irrespective of what kind of organization you’re running, an intranet can provide you with a one-stop-shop to access all the tools your employees will need to work effectively. Of course, that’s not all. Since intranets foster interconnectedness and effective communication, information is dissimilated in a timely manner. This also means faster response time which invariably increases productivity. Improved productivity is one of the major benefits of an intranet that draws company into adopting it as a business tool.
3. Better connection and collaboration of distributed employees
Sometimes you’ll have teams working from different towns, states or even countries. Sometimes, the teams may be working in the same location but spread across departments that are far from each other. HR department could be on the third floor, IT on the fourth and Accounting on the fifth. For any organization to work effectively, their various departments and their teams must be able to communicate effectively and work in sync.
An intranet represents one of the most effective collaboration channel available to any organization. It enhances free and rapid communication between your teams; easy exchange of ideas, sharing of documents, simultaneously completing work together without being at the same location and interacting with other teams. It also helps employees within an organization to be constantly aware of what each team is doing and the direction with regards to ongoing company projects. Amidst the global covid 19 pandemic, the remote collaboration opportunities offered by an intranet has become even much more important.
4. Streamlined communication of change management
Proactive communication of proposed and ongoing changes is yet another important benefit of an intranet. If you want to stay relevant, change is inevitable. Your company might be planning to merge with another, change the leadership, or move to a new industry. Whatever the reason, change is met with resistance, mostly if the staff lacks adequate information in advance.
However involving employees through community forums and surveys will prepare them for the change. Intranets enable you to share information openly, invite questions, and suggestions for a smooth transition.
Further, publishing blogs on the intranet platform about the change and anticipated reaction can help employees understand the decision, embrace the change, and avoid speculations that could be detrimental.
The Intranet can also act as a support system during the transition period because employees can interact and access knowledge to handle new roles.
5. Establishing and reinforcing a strong company culture
Today’s modern business require a strong, vibrant and progressive company culture. An intranet can help your organization build, grow and reinforce positive cultures within your organization. The intranet can serve as a vehicle for employees to get proper orientation, training, and exposure to how other staff relates, communicate, and their attitude towards work. In short, it creates a safe space for employees to learn and experiment with a company’s way of life.
6. Efficient time management
It may sound like a broken record, but “time is money.” If your organization is going to get from point A to B in the fastest possible time, then an intranet holds immense potential to help you achieve that. Employees will be able to cut through otherwise time consuming task as a result of aggregation and centralization of information and tools.
For instance, a search facility that details all departments; roles, skills and contacts of employees is an easy way for the employees to find someone quickly. Of course, in the absence of an intranet, these tools might be unavailable and getting such information might require a tedious department-wide enquiry.
7. Streamlined business practices through sharing of crucial knowledge and policies
Sharing knowledge and policies helps to make employees emotionally connected to the vision and mission of your organization. Yet knowledge is rarely shared.
Sadly, tons of information continue to gather dust in silos. Historical data could be helpful to your organization. New employees can get an insight into such information through the intranet and use it to increase productivity. It’s not best to assume that people know what to do and what your expectations are.
Systems like document management, content management, chatbot, and social intranet help you share knowledge and policies. Staff can do a quick search on those platforms anytime they have a question. Tap into the benefits of an Intranet.
8. Innovation and idea generation
An intranet is an aggregator for a lot of things, ideas are not an exception. There’s Tom from the IT department who knows a thing or two about a finance software. And then there’s Joey from accounting who needs that information. An intranet can help Tom and Joey interface and pool ideas to achieve an organizational goal. An Intranet can help organizations pool ideas and expert opinions from resource people within an organization to boost productivity and increase competence.
9. Free expression of opinions and ideas
Sometimes, employees find it incredibly hard to express their opinions and ideas, especially in not-so-open working environments. Dichotomy in position or rank further reinforces this suppression of opinions. Today’s working dynamics where no one knows it all requires employees to be able to freely and unreservedly share useful ideas that may help an organization’s goals. Time and time again, it has been proven that even people who are otherwise reserved would take up the chance of sharing their opinions when they’re are provided with a virtual platform.
The intranet represents an effective virtual platform where employees can freely express themselves without the constraints or fears usually associated with physical ways of sharing their opinions. They should also be able to ask questions and receive support via the company intranet. The means of self expression will allow them to feel heard and respected, and it will also help to cultivate and foster relationships among both employees and management.
10. Secure Knowledge Management
The right information is a competitive edge for any business. As an organization, you want that information to be secure and limited to the confines of your organization. You also want it to be passed on within your organization and not limited to a single employee which might mean the knowledge is lost when there’s a turn over. An intranet can help your organization ensure information is made available to other employees and is adequately protected from the prying eyes of competitors.
In summary, any organization stands to gain enormously by incorporating an intranet into their day to day operations. It can boost your organization’s productivity, enhance the sharing of knowledge, pooling of ideas, and increase employee engagement and collaboration. Apart from the few we’ve shared, the benefits of an intranet are endless. If fully utilized, the benefits an intranet can offer your organization can be tremendous.