5 Reasons Intranets Are More Important Than Ever
Is your company considering a new intranet, but wondering if it’s worth it? Are you thinking that maybe the whole idea of an intranet is a bit outdated? That’s a reasonable concern, given that intranets in one form or another have been around for decades, and many of them are showing their age, with their clunky interfaces, aging content and declining employee usage.
But counting intranets out would be a big mistake. While it’s true that many legacy intranets – and the platforms they’re based on – are mired in the past, a whole new kind of intranet has sprung up in recent years. This next-gen platform, known as the interactive intranet, bears little resemblance to the creaky intranets of old. It brings to bear the best that contemporary communication, collaboration and social networking technology have to offer, in one integrated virtual work environment.
That’s a good thing because, far from becoming obsolete, modern intranets are increasingly essential. As companies get more fragmented and distributed, with more people working in more places with more kinds of information and tools, there’s a desperate need for one central place to connect, stay informed, share and collaborate. That’s an interactive intranet.
Why Organizations Need an Intranet
Here are the top five reasons your organization needs a modern intranet:
1. Strategic Alignment
The attention span of the average human is eight seconds, according to a well-publicized study by Microsoft. Eight seconds: That’s not a lot to work with if you’re a corporate communications professional trying to reach busy employees already overwhelmed with emails, messages, notifications and other communications.
Jive Interactive Intranet rises above the noise and really grabs employees’ attention with gorgeous, eye-catching company news and announcements displayed prominently on the home page. Since the interactive intranet is already the place employees go to do their work, the news is impossible to miss. Each user’s news page is personalized, ensuring that the content is relevant. It’s delivered to both desktop and mobile devices (thanks to a mobile intranet app), enabling internal communications teams to reach everybody, everywhere – even remote and “deskless” workers who may not have computers (or even company email addresses).
And unlike traditional one-way corporate communications such as mass emails, newsletters, and static intranet posts, interactive intranets support complete two-way engagement. Employees don’t just passively consume; they can ask questions, discuss, give feedback and share the news, igniting the kind of active participation that builds understanding and a sense of ownership.
2. Employee Engagement
As we’ve pointed out in other blog posts, employee disengagement is one of the biggest challenges HR departments and companies as a whole are grappling with these days. Much of the problem stems from a sense of disconnection that many employees feel. They’re cut off from each other, the larger organization and its mission. Finding their place in the company, forming relationships, getting assistance and answers, getting useful feedback, learning new skills and developing their careers are all a struggle.That may seem like many problems, but an interactive intranet offers a single solution for all of them. It provides as a complete employee experience hub – one holistic environment for onboarding, mentoring and on-the-job learning, feedback and recognition, networking and collaboration, corporate communications and dialogue, HR information and support, knowledge sharing, expertise location, social connection and more. It’s the heart of company culture, where people from across the company come together and form one unified team.
3. Better Collaboration
Interactive intranets function as true digital workplaces, powering fast, frictionless collaboration. There are spaces and capabilities for team, group, departmental and cross-functional collaboration, as well as for work with external agencies and contractors. Each space brings together all the people, information, content and resources needed to get work done.An interactive intranet also pulls in information from external collaboration and communication tools, bringing formerly siloed content and conversations into one centralized, searchable and organized environment. Jive specifically offers integrations with SharePoint, Office 365, Google Drive, Box and more.
Instead of further fragmenting processes and creating more silos by providing yet another limited-purpose tool, interactive intranets centralize and simplify work, providing an integrated, cohesive collaboration experience across systems and devices.
4. Corporate Memory
Companies have a huge investment in “intellectual capital,” including ideas, inventions, practices and the collective know-how of employees. Those assets go to waste when they aren’t saved, shared and re-used. Unfortunately, most companies suffer from acute “corporate amnesia.” Most of their collective knowledge is trapped in silos or the heads of employees, quickly forgotten, and permanently lost when people leave the company.
An interactive intranet acts as a living library and institutional memory, capturing and preserving ideas, discoveries, insights and innovations that would otherwise be lost. It turns transient interactions into lasting collective knowledge that’s visible, searchable and re-usable – so instead of constantly forgetting, companies learn and get smarter over time.
5. Employee Support for HR and IT
HR and IT teams spend a lot of time supporting users and answering their questions via email or phone. Users may have to wait a day or more for an answer, and then more hours or days if they have follow-up questions. The whole process is costly, time consuming and frustrating. Think of all those help desk people answering the same question from different users, over and over again.
An interactive intranet eliminates much of the inefficiency and headaches, providing ready access to self-service resources (how-to-docs and videos, FAQs, etc.), peer support (where users answer each other’s questions) and one-to-many expert assistance (where support agents can post an answer once for everyone to see). Jive even comes with pre-built HR and IT support spaces for this purpose. The result: employees can get answers and resolve issues quickly without having to pick up the phone or send an email. Help desk tickets are deflected (down 17% on average, according to an independent analysis of Jive customers), saving significant costs. HR and IT staff are freed from endlessly responding to the same questions and can focus on higher-priority problems.