Can Employees Learn to Love Their Intranet?

The Modern Intranet
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Let’s take a poll. How many of your employees profess deep affection for your company intranet? Not so much, it seems. Any chance there’s a little “like” going on? Oh. OK.

Workers accessing the intranet networkThis lack of connection should come as no surprise. Traditional intranet portals embody a negative employee experience. Built as a single destination site, with barriers to access. A pull-based information platform that adds more work for workers, lacking in personality or personalization. Dozens of pages with hundreds of links to cluttered pages that house stale, generic information that may have been outdated the moment they were published. Restrictive approaches to content authoring and distribution don’t map to today’s pace, and significantly slow down information exchange.

Simply put, these intranets — perhaps yours — fail in the basic mission of helping employees simplify the workday. Interacting with an immovable, static entity is a huge distraction from the high value output your workforce was hired to achieve. Lacking real value, this type of intranet is at best only used when absolutely necessary, or at worst, never used.

As workplaces evolve to hybrid environments — a mix of on-site and remote, office-based and work-from-home — your intranet platform needs to be a fast-moving and dynamic channel that pulls your organization together to achieve business goals. How can you remake this unpopular informational resource into something your employees love?

Redefining the Modern Intranet

This is the part in our (love) story where a workplace experience platform can help,

transforming your point of view on what a modern intranet is, which encompasses more than enterprise-wide communication and collaboration tools. For employees on the move (and these days that’s every employee, in some fashion) a modern intranet is the digital gateway that brings the workplace to them. By targeting the workforce with relevant communications, data and information — and making that available to an employee’s screen of choice — your modern intranet can:

  • Be easily accessed and used by in-office, remote, and mobile employees 
  • Integrate data, applications and tools, empowering employees through a single hub
  • Drive corporate culture by delivering consistent communications in one location
  • Optimize business operations by digitizing manual processes and training, and resolving employee needs quickly 
  • Personalize information based on employee role, location, or preferences

This last point is worth building on: “content should find people.” The goal of the modern intranet is to act as a personal guidebook to the employee experience journey: a single source of truth that employees can rely on to be effective. When workers receive messages and news that isn’t applicable to their interests or situation, engagement drops, and people tune out. Content personalization increases workforce productivity by putting the information relevant to them at the ready: the right message to the right person to the right screen, anywhere. For example, a modern intranet can make navigation easier and more intuitive by providing a personalized menu depending on user location, role and language. To really excel at personalization, the workplace experience platform behind the intranet needs advanced targeting features. This will enable targeting determined by behavioral and engagement data. An intranet that draws on this to offer personalized content based on employees’ interests and roles will facilitate meaningful and effective interactions with the content.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Workplace Experience in white

Until now, a traditional intranet user sat at a desk in front of a company PC. But with the demands and opportunities of every workforce, usage scenarios have become more diverse: the modern intranet isn’t bound to a single device. Turn every digital channel or device into an intranet. This has made it easier for employees to build a virtual office wherever they are. With little boundary between mobile devices, laptops and desktops, or digital signage screens there is now a fluidity to the way the workforce will engage with their devices, and the modern intranet has to be able to adapt to provide features that support a digitally focused workforce.

It’s your company’s on-the-go home-base, team meet, central repository, communication tool, and more. A comprehensive, cohesive experience for everyone — from CEO to new hire — creates an environment where accessing data, sharing knowledge and drawing on expertise can happen without obstacle or delay, from anywhere. To support this, you should expect your workplace experience platform to empower your intranet with an easy way to create and publish omnichannel content. This ability for your internal communications to be published to every channel and endpoint at once will save time and simplify workflow. It’s all part of a seamless digital employee experience that helps your workforce to explore, learn and contribute to the ongoing growth of the organization.

More than simply a return on investment, your modern intranet can deliver a return on participation. According to McKinsey, poor communications  can cost companies hundreds of thousands to tens of millions, depending on the size of the organization. Considering the type of positive communication that a 21st Century intranet makes possible, McKinsey reports some compelling figures:

  • 20-25% increase in productivity by encouraging communication and collaboration
  • 20% increase in sales by connecting and engaging employees

Modern Romance

In today’s digital workplace, the company intranet can function more like a member of the team itself: providing staff with exactly what they need, when they need it, on the screens that matter most to them. A modernized digital employee experience means information and applications accessible for every worker, no matter what systems or endpoints they use for work. A workplace experience platform is the unifying force that brings together the content, the data, and the workforce.

Inspirational speaker and author Simon Sinek has said, “Customers will never love a company until their employees do.” Motivated and well-informed employees are essential to your company’s future. Make your modern intranet a love letter to your workforce, and the business benefits will follow.