Are you looking to improve your organisation's internal communications?
Are your employees scattered across various locations, grappling with the challenges of staying connected and informed? If so, consider harnessing the potential of an intranet.
An effective intranet is more than just a digital bulletin board; it's a powerful communication tool that can transform the way your organisation operates, paving the way for greater collaboration, knowledge sharing, and employee engagement.
So how do you improve Intranet communication?
How Your intranet Can Improve Communications
In today's complex and rapidly evolving corporate landscapes, the need for effective, streamlined internal communication has never been more critical.
However, striking the balance between keeping everyone informed and avoiding communication overload can be a juggling act, especially when dealing with large, geographically dispersed teams.
That's where an intranet comes in.
How can an intranet improve communication? Here are 3 key ways below.
1. Easy Access to Essential Information
Ever watched an employee frantically scramble to find a critical document minutes before a crucial meeting? It's not an uncommon sight in most organisations, but it doesn't have to be the norm.
One of the significant benefits of using an intranet for communication is its ability to simplify and centralise information access.
One of the main use cases is using an intranet for transparency. Intranets can become the single source of truth, a well-organised repository for all necessary documents, updates, and information.
With a comprehensive search feature and intuitive navigation, your employees can easily locate what they need, when they need it. This ease of access not only saves precious time but also boosts productivity, reducing frustration and enhancing job satisfaction.
2. Creating a Collaborative Work Environment
Modern intranets go beyond being just an information hub, they are powerful tools for fostering collaboration.
Using an intranet for communication needs enables you to take advantage of features like project workspaces, discussion forums, and social networking tools that make collaboration a breeze, even for teams spread across different locations.
By implementing an intranet to improve collaboration, you're enabling employees to share ideas, feedback, and contribute to projects in real-time. This level of engagement promotes a sense of camaraderie and shared ownership, leading to a more cohesive, collaborative, and ultimately, a more effective team.
3. Empowering Employee Engagement
Your employees are the backbone of your organisation, and keeping them engaged is paramount.
An intranet plays an essential role in building culture and morale and nurturing a connected and engaged workforce. By providing a platform where updates, successes, and company news can be shared, you're not just keeping your team informed but making them feel a part of the larger organisation's journey.
A well-utilised intranet can also support recognition programs, employee surveys, and social interactions, all of which contribute significantly to employee engagement.
An engaged employee is not only happier but also more productive and committed to the company's goals.
Intranet Ideas to Improve Communications
The way organisations communicate internally is evolving, and at the heart of this shift is the intranet.
If you're wondering - how can an intranet improve communication in your organisation - you're asking the right question at the perfect time!
Here are five ideas to supercharge your internal communication between employees and within the business as a whole.
1. Create a Company News Section
One of the simplest yet most effective intranet communication strategies is to establish a company news section.
The goal here is to foster transparency by making essential updates, important announcements, and company achievements readily accessible to all employees.
Using your intranet for communication of company news ensures that all team members, regardless of their location, have access to the same information at the same time.
To put this into practice, dedicate a section of your intranet as the go-to hub for company news. Regularly update it with a mix of content, ranging from business updates and team accomplishments to employee recognition and relevant industry news.
Add in intranet personalisation to tailor the content to different regions, teams and departments. This way you can ensure the news section provides valuable up-to-date information for all employees, while avoiding information overload of irrelevant news.
2. Use it as a Knowledge Base
Knowledge is the currency of modern organisations. Using your intranet for knowledge sharing creates a culture of learning and allows for efficient information exchange.
In practice, this could involve creating a comprehensive knowledge base on your intranet. Include everything from training materials, procedural guides, and policy documents to FAQs and best practice guidelines. You can even have a 'Ask an Expert' forum where employees can ask questions and get answers from internal subject matter experts.
For instance, a healthcare organisation might have detailed patient care protocols or safety guidelines in its knowledge base. This central repository enables staff to access and update critical information as required, improving service delivery and patient outcomes, as opposed to staff accessing local and outdated versions.
3. Add Dedicated Team Workspaces
The ability to collaborate effectively is one of the most significant intranet benefits for your workplace.
Creating dedicated workspaces for different teams enables you to provide a space for project updates, shared calendars, and collaborative document editing. This is especially useful for geographically dispersed teams, as it allows them to work together seamlessly, regardless of location.
Team workspaces can include shared calendars, project updates, document libraries, and more.
For example, a team who have staff working across various locations but are in different departments could have a dedicated workspace on the intranet. Here, they could share the launch timeline, collaborate on tasks, ask each other questions and provide regular updates to the rest of the organisation.
4. Foster Online Social Communities
Cultivating a sense of community among your employees is vital for engagement and morale.
A common use case is using your intranet for employee engagement. You can create online social communities around shared interests, professional development groups, or project-specific collaboration.
These social communities provide a platform for employees to engage with each other beyond work-related matters. They can share experiences, exchange ideas, or simply socialise.
An example could be a virtual book club, a fitness challenge group, or a programming interest group on your intranet. These spaces not only help build deeper relationships but also spark creativity and innovation.
5. Leverage it as a Social Media Platform
Lastly, consider your intranet as a communication tool that functions like a private social media platform. Not only does this provide a way for employees to engage with each other on a personal level, it can also help to cultivate a positive corporate culture.
For example, a 'Employee Spotlight' feature could highlight an employee’s achievements or hobbies, while a 'Thought for the Day' space could encourage employees to share inspiring quotes or ideas.
Additionally, you could also implement features like liking, commenting, and sharing, further enhancing the social media experience on your intranet.
Most intranet platforms will also allow you to pull in data from third party social platforms. For example, with the new Microsoft Teams integration, Elcom V12 helps to enhance engagement across your workforce. Administrators can add Team Channels on relevant sections across the Elcom site such as department specific pages or social communities and configure it to show the Team related to this. This enables staff to have Teams conversations within their intranet. Administrators can also enable a user's Teams presence/status to be shown in the Corporate Directory module. This means that once a user finds the right person to contact, they will be able to see if that person is available to respond to their request and launch a Teams chat with the user by opening the Teams app via a link.
Need more information about bridging the communication gap within your organisation?
During this 30 minute webinar, we share insights on how you can implement an integrated digital workplace and intranet solution to overcome key communication challenges.
Other Intranet Tips to Keep in Mind
While the intranet serves as an effective communication tool in the modern business landscape, its success is contingent on a handful of factors.
Here are some additional tips to ensure that your intranet is not just functional, but also highly efficient and engaging for your team.
Keep Your Intranet Up to Date
One of the key benefits of using your intranet for communication lies in its potential to disseminate real-time, up-to-date information. A stale intranet with outdated content can be more hindrance than help, leading to misinformation and employee disengagement.
The solution? Make sure you're regularly updating your intranet with fresh, relevant content.
Create a company news section that shares real-time updates about business achievements, policy changes, industry developments, and even social events.
Consider assigning content management responsibilities to different team members to ensure a steady flow of diverse and updated content.
For instance, the HR team could take charge of updating policies, job postings, and onboarding resources, while individual departments could share project updates, innovative ideas, and key learning. This way, your intranet remains a dynamic and engaging hub of information.
Train Employees on Effective Intranet Use
The question isn't merely, 'How can an intranet improve communication?' but also 'How can we use the intranet effectively?' To ensure your employees leverage the full potential of your intranet, providing training is essential.
Training content publishers should encompass both the technical aspects of using the intranet and the behavioural changes required for maximum collaboration and knowledge sharing.
You could conduct also workshops for all employees that periodically, particularly new hires, to enable them to learn and ask questions, or you could create tutorial videos and step-by-step guides for different intranet features.
For instance, your focus might on using your intranet for employee engagement. Think about what training and related features might be needed to improve engagement between employees. If it’s to maximise project collaboration, offer training on how to set up a project workspace, add members, assign tasks, share documents, and track progress.
Promote Your Intranet
An intranet can only improve communication if it's actively used by your team. So, how can you improve communication with an intranet? Promote it! This means marketing your intranet just as you would any new initiative or product launch.
Promote the benefits of intranet for communication at team meetings, in emails, and through any other internal channels.
Highlight the various ways it makes daily work life easier—such as reducing email clutter, providing quick access to resources, and facilitating remote collaboration.
Share success stories of teams that have improved their efficiency using the intranet. For instance, a story could revolve around how the sales team closed a major deal by collaborating effectively through their team workspace on the intranet, or how a new employee found all their onboarding resources in the intranet’s knowledge base, easing their initiation process.
Listen to Employee Feedback
Remember, using an intranet to improve collaboration is a two-way street.
As much as the intranet is a tool for disseminating information, it should also serve as a platform for listening. Encourage your employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback regarding the intranet.
Is there a new feature they'd love to see? Are there aspects of the intranet they find challenging to navigate? Keeping the lines of communication open ensures continuous improvement and greater user engagement.
Consider adding a feedback feature where employees can leave their thoughts and suggestions. This could be as simple as a feedback form or an interactive space where ideas can be discussed openly.
For example, if a team finds that they'd benefit from a calendar integration feature on the intranet, they could voice this through the feedback channel.
Your Intranet is the key to Improving Communication
Intranet communication is no longer a nice-to-have; it's a necessity. An intranet for knowledge sharing, centralising information, fostering collaboration, and driving employee engagement makes is a game-changer for internal communications. However, reaping these benefits requires a proactive approach.
By following intranet best practices and keeping your intranet up-to-date, providing adequate training, promoting its usage, and listening to feedback, you can ensure that your intranet serves as a potent tool for transforming internal communications.
Remember, the success of your intranet hinges not just on the technology itself, but also on how it's used. With these tips in mind, you're well on your way to maximising the potential of your intranet.