Why the Intranet is more important than ever
In the age of the digital workplace, there’s a tendency to focus on totality; I call it the junk drawer effect. We think that everything must be in the same place. Is this the correct assumption? I think about obstacles that I have faced at different organizations and it certainly was more than that. Unless you are dedicated to one type of technology, it’s going to be overwhelmingly difficult to create this nirvana. Perhaps one day it will be this simple, until then the purpose of my musing will be how do we arm our most valuable asset – our people – with the tools and comradery that will keep them content and productive?
At its heart, an Intranet is at its best when it becomes the trusted source of truth. How does this happen? It can only happen if a commitment is made to ensure that all communications are there. It happens when we create a user-focused experience. We make it about that person, what they need, want and like. Most importantly, we make it simple for them to find the resources we have invested in to set the stage for them to produce their best work.
What do they need? Information, documents, tools and the ability to connect with people. Oh, and a little bit of fun. In order to accomplish this lofty goal, it’s all about you – the Intranet team.
The Power of Employee Focused Content
You might find this blog curious, as I am not bestowing the virtues of our software, but in my heart, I want you to believe, it’s not the technology that will create this wondrous experience for your employees; it’s you-the Intranet Team. In my 30 years of working with various applications, it was never the tech that made the difference, it was the humans that contextualized the experience, to make it more relevant. For an Intranet to be the powerful go to, you need to create awesome content. You must commit to creating content, and you need to make it personal. Corporate Communications has such an important role to play in populating the intranet with awesome information from which your employees will benefit. Department representation can lead to more powerful, focused landing pages. HR is always an amazing wealth of awesome information surrounding programs designed to enrich your employee experience.
The Intranet is far from dead. Done correctly, it could be the nucleus of solid experience. If you find the right balance, your people will love the Intranet you have created.
What are the magical ingredients? An Intranet needs to be simple: think of Google. Imagine the landing page in your mind. It knows that its purpose is to help link you to the world of amazing answers. It’s a little different on an Intranet, but not much. The home page should reflect 2 powerful components: Search and Communications:
Creating A Targeted Single Source Of Truth
What’s new from an organizational perspective?
What’s new from a departmental perspective?
What’s new from a job role perspective?
Targeting content is a powerful way to create a personal experience. Done well, your people will turn to your Intranet as the single source of truth.
The home page should also allow for your employees to find related tools, documents, and connections to applications or reports that help them to complete their best work.
Another element that is incredibly helpful is the upcoming events. Think of events as the following:
Learning and development sessions
Local team building
The Intranet Must Be People Friendly
Lastly, we are dealing with people. Neat fact: people love to engage with each other in a non-work focused way. As a social bunch, why not add an element of fun? A social space that would allow them to promote their other passions. Perhaps Melanie in accounting is a Pug breeder or John in accounting is an avid angler who love to provide fishing guide services on the weekend. Creating a corporate market place will allow them to connect with each other in a different, more human way. Personal interests allow us to connect more deeply with our teammates.
Is the Intranet dead? Not in the slightest; if anything, it is more important now than it has ever been. Many evolved organizations are allowing their people to work from home or obtaining the best talent from anywhere in the world! This new remote reality begs for a meeting place that arms people with a trusted source of news and a powerful way to find everything they need to do their best work. It also helps them to feel connected to each other. Intranet software can help, but the real power to drive satisfaction and joy for your employees will be the commitment of your Intranet team to keep things organized, relevant and exciting.