How to Make a Social Intranet that focuses on Real Business Value

By Simpplr Marketing
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Modern intranets have obvious areas of business value. Focusing on getting these areas right as a priority and your intranet will be appreciated and adopted by both employees and stakeholders. And of course, it’s never too late to make improvements.

This post will give you a few tips on which areas to prioritize.

An Intranet That Focuses on Real Business Value

Use your intranet for leadership communications

Leadership communications is one area where social intranets can add real value. Not only can you use your intranet to deliver messages from your CEO about important matters within the company, but you can also get feedback from employees.

Getting your senior leaders to communicate through social tools such as blogs, status updates and commenting, turns communication into dialogue. This creates engagement with employees and provides valuable insight for senior management about employee sentiment.

Typical leadership communications that intranet teams have found successful include CEO blogs, sessions, and video broadcasts.

Make HR a key area

Creating an HR Area Within Your Social IntranetIntranets love HR processes and information!

An HR or people themed section of your intranet will be one of the key areas employees will regularly refer to, and it’s a great way of making the intranet essential and driving adoption. For example, having your intranet as the place that employees go to view their electronic pay slip will increase your adoption.

HR intranets also drive efficiency. Most HR functions will want to encourage “employee self-service” by posting intranet content that helps employees find the information they need or encourages them to use HR systems. This saves the HR function countless hours usually spent answering questions or carrying out basic transactions.

Work with your HR function to create a simple yet compelling HR area that will save time for both employees and HR professionals, and will drive traffic towards the intranet.

Look after the employee directory

One of the central components of your social intranet is the employee directory. This not only encourages networking and helps employees find experts, it also includes important information about each individual on their profile.

Employee Directory Section on an Intranet

Profile information generally falls into three categories:

  1. Contact and role information, usually sourced from the HR system via active directory
  2. Rich biographical details completed by the individual
  3. Interactions and contributions on the intranet itself that are automatically generated

The richer the biographical data on the profile, the better! This can include a short bio and details of experiences, interests, and areas of expertise. This part of the employee profile allows your workforce to get better acquainted, and form a more well-rounded view of each other. It also allows you to find people with similar interests and backgrounds.

Use the social intranet for process improvement

Social intranets are more than just about increasing employee engagement or creating a more unified company culture. These systems can make a major contribution to improving processes and result in many tangible benefits.

By allowing employees to collaborate and connect using social tools, there are often efficiency gains to be made, especially when email was the previous primary method of communication.

Typical processes that can be made more efficient using social tools include:

  1. Locating experts around the business and getting quick answers
  2. Providing peer-to-peer support for IT systems to complement standard help desk support
  3. Encouraging ideation initiatives from employees can generate millions of dollars in savings
  4. Collaborating on bids and tenders
  5. Learning and training, especially when blended with more structured approaches
  6. Coordinating answering customer queries among frontline staff
  7. Onboarding new hires and getting to know new colleagues

Broadcast company metrics

Social intranets are a great place to broadcast critical information about your company performance. Placing the very latest company metrics relating to your overall sales or growth on your homepage, or sharing more operational numbers such as attendance levels and your company safety record, can both inform and inspire your workforce and help you celebrate success.

Broadcast Company Metrics on Your Company Intranet

Sharing these metrics can also send a powerful message of transparency, help drive employee engagement, stimulate dialogue and promote a healthy “open” culture.

Of course, judgement and care need to be exercised regarding which metrics you should choose to broad- cast. These can be sensitive and may also highlight less successful areas of your business. Moreover, in public companies there may be some financial data you are simply not allowed to share. In our experience, the rewards from being open about your company are well worth the effort!

Download our eBook: 4 steps to launching your modern intranet: A how-to guide

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