Effective communication is a common challenge among teams and leaders in today’s workplace. In fact, 96% of CEOs believe that poor communication and collaboration is the cause of workplace failure—much of which is attributed to inefficient management of internal tools or knowledge of intranet best practices.
By gaining a better understanding of these tools and how they integrate together to weave into your over-arching internal comms strategy, you’ll position your team to easily navigate and overcome these challenges before they arise.
Configuring Your Intranet to Work in Tandem With Other Tools
Some of the most effective intranet examples show that communication improves when organizations learn how to use their internal tools in a dynamic way. While internal sites are useful for storing information, these hubs can quickly become cluttered or overwhelming if used to facilitate functions they weren’t necessarily built for.
Not only can too much data lead to confusion, but it also makes it harder to support an employee advocacy program built around content that staff want to share.
A simpler solution can be to use your internal communications platform to sort your team into groups or segments. Within those segments, you can provide pathways to the information on the corporate intranet that each team needs access to. This helps to ensure that everything from curated content to employee announcements are organized according to the relevant needs of different teams.
Create Separate Goals
One of the greatest advantages of today’s technology boom is that we aren’t limited to one platform for all business processes—instead, technology enables us to leverage multiple platforms, each specializing in a specific function. This allows employers to be agile in selecting tools that meet their exact needs given their current growth and company makeup.
Any internal comms program should be centered around strengthening collaboration, streamlining communication and empowering employees to share in your company voice. Each of these components have different goals though, and while a corporate intranet can help achieve one portion, it probably won’t help achieve success across the board.
However, if you approach each goal separately, different technologies like your intranet, project management tools, CRM, employee advocacy platform and HR systems can all work in tandem with one another (instead of colliding with each other) which will make it for employees to incorporate into their routine.
Provide Intuitive Software
The truth is, the generations in your workforce today are used to switching between technologies to accomplish different tasks—it’s second nature to them. Many of your employees grew up with technology from an early age, and they rely on it heavily on it for just about everything in their day-to-day lives.
That said, their bar for user-experience and software intuitiveness is set high, so when they’re forced to use tools that don’t make sense to them or fail to resonate with the task they’re being asked to accomplish, they’ll quickly become frustrated and likely abandon the task altogether.
Don’t be afraid to bring in multiple solutions to address different internal needs—as long as the platforms are straight-forward and their purpose is clear, employees will easily adapt and adjust. If you make it a point to implement your employee communications platform alongside your company intranet, you’ll create distinction that helps categorize different internal functions and establish a process for executing them.
Clearly communicate the resources available and explain how you intend employees to use those resources. For example, maybe your company intranet serves as a hub to find process documents, guidelines, office procedures or departmental information, and your employee advocacy platform is where employees can read and share news, find industry content, or find timely internal updates. If you have other tools like employee messaging or project management apps, bring those into the conversation as well and explain how they all function alongside each other.
In fact, with the use of product integrations, your different platforms can be configured to speak to one another, pointing users to the most relevant place given what they are trying to accomplish. Essentially, all of your technologies have the capability to become a daily source of real-time communication for their specific purposes.
Intranet Best Practices: Create a Culture of Communication
Making your corporate intranet effective is about more than just the right technology. It’s about creating a culture of communication that reaches the 31% of employees who claim they don’t actually use intranet software, and then turning them into engaged members of your workforce.
Connect Teams & Empower Employees
While an intranet can be a centralized hub for communication, an employee comms platform allows you to segment information and surface what’s most important to the relevant teams. This will help mitigate information overload and drive the behavior you want from employees.
Additionally, your company intranet should support users in their individual tasks and strive to make them more effective at work. And, if you segment out the different behaviors you want to drive from each component of your internal comms program, advocacy should be centered around empowering employees to share and amplify your brand, elevating company awareness on a social level.
Make Collaboration a Fundamental Part of Company Culture
Effectively combining your company intranet with your advocacy platform means understanding exactly which tools your employees need to improve performance and enhance satisfaction.
When implementing corporate intranets, many stakeholders focus on things like increasing productivity, but they forget to align their employees towards a shared goal to begin with, which may be the most important step in improving intranet adoption. Even the most well-managed, and diligently maintained intranet isn’t effective if your employees don’t use it.
Additionally, if you are seeking ways to establish clear, straight forward objectives for your intranet before rolling it out, you can explore running a social poll or questionnaire that asks people on your team what they need from their intranet, allowing you to create more tailor-made solutions to improve adoption and engagement.
A key factor in software adoption is accessibility. An intranet portal needs to be user-friendly if you want it to become a virtual work environment for your team, so the simpler you can make it for your workers to find the information they need, the more they’ll want to use the system.
If there’s a change or update regarding information in your intranet, you can send a company-wide announcement through your employee comms platform, which will update employees in a way they expect to be updated, while directing them to wherever they need to go. This makes it much easier for employers to send employees to the right places, at the right times—ultimately minimizing confusion and information gaps.
Deliver Training & Support
Almost all intranet best practices require some focus on delivering support and training to your employees when they need it most. In today’s multi-generational workforce, it’s crucial to make sure that training solutions are available and don’t assume that everyone comes in with the same level of tech-adaptability.
Just like any other workplace strategy, your internal comms strategy should improve and evolve as you learn about the needs and preferences of your workforce.
When it comes to changes or improvements, you can ease your employees into any updates by announcing a sequence of changes on your internal comms platform, providing best-practice advice on how to use the new features. This will help you to keep the scope of new launches manageable, and deal with any problems.
Making the Most of Your Corporate Community
If you’re looking to engage employees in a more meaningful way, revitalizing your internal comms strategy and re-thinking how employees interact with it is a great place to start.
The best way to build a community of collaboration and engagement (in a way that actually impacts end-profits) begins with purposeful use and integration of technologies to drive different behaviors. In doing so, you’re able to access the simplicity, organization and accessibility your company needs to thrive as a team.