What Can You Expect from Your Intranet Today? – The Modern Intranet
Here's an employee engagement idea that's sure to please - do things that actually work! That means choosing an intranet that lets you complete tasks in fewer steps, not more. We in the tech world are all about adding features. And while bells and whistles are all well and good, sometimes what you really need is a little help with what's already on your list. So don't get distracted - focus on what you need your intranet to do for you, and it will be more helpful in the long run.
I want to explain how I got into the intranet business, and how our company's product came to be.
It all started when we wrote our first intranet software for ourselves. At the time, there was nothing like it on the market. We had no idea that it would become our company's product. We didn't even know that social intranets would become their own product category. We just needed a solution to help us do our jobs.
The early adopters were a lot like us. They were looking for a solution to a specific business challenge. They saw the potential in the technology and jumped at the opportunity to use it. And they were thrilled with the results.
Many customers shop for an intranet because it's become a common business tool, something that's almost expected in today's market. The key difference, however, is the entitlement that comes with purchasing a piece of software - the customer automatically expects the software to solve all of their business problems. (Of course, we know this isn't always the case - humans need training to be effective employees, just like your intranet needs a clear purpose or goals to be successful.)
When you're setting up your intranet, it's important to start with your current business needs and problems. By doing this, you can choose the software that will help you take one step closer to a solution. And as time goes on and your business changes, you can adjust the intranet's purpose or goals to match.
In theory, it relies on your financial situation and your creativity. In actuality, the four following functions account for 80% of all social intranet usage:
The prime customers for the new intranet are our Publications and Internal Comms Director and her staff. The social feature allows the company to capture all three streams of communication, instead of a single top-down stream. The three streams are the company to employees, employees to the company, and employees to each other.
If the Internal Communications’ needs had been on the table from the beginning, the company might have managed the intranet differently and ended up with an enthused communications leader instead of a disheartened one.
Your staff can access all papers on the go by storing their files in the cloud. Version management is automated. You can always go back to a prior version of a document or find one. The social function enables you to add and share context for your work files, such as comments, notes, and instructions.
A social intranet gives you the flexibility to construct and dissolve projects and groups as you see fit in addition to more permanent organizations like business units or departments. Each social group has access to and ownership over its own online environment.
A social intranet is a powerful tool that can help you find the information you need quickly and easily. Our platform searches inside any document format, including PowerPoint, Word, PDF, and more. For example, you can search by keywords to find groups, files, discussions, subject-matter experts, and people who worked on specific projects in the past. This makes it easy to get the information you need without having to interrupt someone's workday.
For example, if you work in publications and communications, it's important to have an easy way to post and refresh content. If you work in HR and deal with confidential data, you might be choosy about file sharing and collaborative space. And if you're hiring more people than you can manage, you might pay special attention to the search function.
For a decent size company, you need all the above and more. In this case, I recommend creating a representative user-owner group for making major decisions concerning the intranet. This group must include the manager authorized to spend the money, plus a few more heads to reach other employees, report on their needs and constraints, and resolve conflicts. The group’s job is to keep a razor-sharp focus on the current priorities of the business. Additionally, I advise that the same individuals remain involved during each of the four phases of your intranet project: planning, implementation, deployment, and continuous use.
How advanced my system needs to be is the first thing you consider while looking for an intranet. Will a straightforward turnkey product do? Do I require unique specialized features? Or do I require a specially designed, one-of-a-kind solution?
There are three main types of platforms when it comes to products: turnkey solutions, middle-of-the-road, and the works.
Here is your first chance to get your group’s input. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, flexibility may be necessary so that you don't outgrow your intranet too soon. If you go for “the works,” make sure that both the administrator and the end user are up for the task. Else, your new system may become a double-drain on your pocket and your employee morale. Just ask our Publications and Internal Comms Director.
Congratulations on your new intranet! It's time to relocate the intellectual property of your corporation to its roomy new location. If you did a decent job on step one, you ought to have lots of options without becoming lost. This will be your first encounter with our Client Success Team if you're a Creative Social Intranet customer.
We'll ask you about your company's structure, culture, needs, and goals. Then we'll walk you through the software, showing you what parts you've already thought through and what options you have remaining. We'll give you the best practices for all your remaining options. Right here is your best chance to "make your intranet work for you." You can make changes later, but the initial setup is your intranet's first impression on your workforce. Give it your best shot!
The hardest challenge is always persuading employees to alter their routines. The individuals who have been assisting with the new intranet's introduction ought to be its defenders and early adopters. You now wish that there were more of them on the task force.
A social intranet will only be successful if there is a critical mass of users. To ensure the success of your social intranet, you should train the intended owners and heavy users first. These could be Internal Communications, HR, Digital Strategies, IT, top execs, and all managers. Require that specific tasks be performed on the intranet, instead of through email, office mail, voice mail, fax, etc.
Companies should start with HR-related tasks when transitioning to an intranet system. Having all policy documents and paperwork readily available on the intranet will be extremely beneficial for both employees and employers. Additionally, Internal Comms should be a top priority. Email announcements should be a thing of the past and intranet should be the new way of communication. Last but not least, the IT help desk. By having the IT help desk on the intranet, employees will have more incentive to learn their way around the new system. Our most successful customers use creative strategies to get employees to buy into the intranet system.
We love it when our employees tell us what they think of our system, whether it's a complaint, a compliment, or a brilliant new way they've found to use it. At Creative Social Intranet, we're always looking to make improvements based on feedback from our users. We'll introduce new features to the platform occasionally, based on what you tell us works and doesn't work for your people. So keep the suggestions coming!
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make your intranet work for you. A lot of forethought and a little upfront work sums it up. Unless, of course, we're talking Sharepoint.
Creative Social Intranet, employee engagement, internal communications, Intranet Platforms, Intranet Software, Modern Intranet, Social Intranet