Chart of the Week: Clearly Defined Goals Drive Intranet Success

By Simpplr Research

In 2019, Simpplr Research ran a survey, targeting internal communications practitioners: The State of Internal Communications. The goal was to learn best practices and benchmarks from successful internal communications programs. Based on survey analysis, this chart suggests that having clearly defined internal communication goals is key for intranet and internal success.

Intranet success - Simpplr Research: Stacked bar graph of survey results: Does your intranet have clearly stated goals? Intranet success - Simpplr Research: Pie chart of survey results: Does your intranet have clearly stated goals?

Data Description:  The charts above which are derived from the 2019 Simpplr State of Internal Communications Survey, show the relationship between having clearly defined goals and state of the intranet. This data shows two main takeaways. First, having clearly defined intranet goals helps greatly with intranet success. Companies with stated intranet goals have intranets that are, on average, 40% higher quality than organizations without stated goals for their intranets. The raw difference is 0.8 (almost a whole point improvement) on a 1-4 scale, which is quite significant. Further, from the top chart, one can see that over 60% of organizations with great quality intranets have stated goals or a charter for their intranet. In contrast, less than 5% of organizations with bad intranets have stated goals for their intranets. The percentage of organizations with clearly stated intranet goals is strictly increasing in intranet quality, a positive sign for the importance of stated goals and charters on intranet quality. Again, the magnitude of the differences are striking, but that a purposeful intranet is more likely to be successful should not be surprising to internal communications practitioners. 

The second important takeaway from the data, though, is surprising. Only 23%, less than a quarter of respondents indicate that their intranet has clearly stated goals. Despite having clear goals being a strong indicator of intranet success and internal communications success, few organizations have actually set them for their intranets. This suggests that this is an aspect on which a large majority of organizations can improve. Setting clear goals helps with alignment and intranet quality, both of which have been shown to have an association with strong internal communications.

Intranets are rated higher when organizations prioritize intranet goals

The chart titled “Does your intranet have stated goals or a charter?” shows that organizations without clear intranet internal communication goals tend to agree that the state of their intranet is “bad.” On the contrary, 60% of respondents who rate their intranet highly have clearly stated goals. The chart shows an increasing trend in a better overall state of the intranet when organizations define and prioritize intranet goals. 

These figures support Simpplr Research’s finding: Why Intranets Fail Reason #1: The purpose isn’t clear or purposeful. Without defined goals, it becomes almost impossible to determine what makes an intranet successful. Your intranet needs clearly stated internal communication goals or a charter to align not only the stakeholders but also the entire organization. Every employee must row in the same direction, with a common purpose, so that the intranet can be measured and managed effectively. It is not surprising that companies with defined intranet goals rate their intranet quality above 40%.

The intranet is a key vehicle for internal communications

However, the overwhelming majority of surveyed organizations do not have clearly defined intranet goals. When asked, “does your intranet have clearly stated goals?”, only 23% of the respondents confirmed that their organization’s intranet is goal-oriented. This poses a challenge especially to the internal communications function because the intranet is a vehicle for employee and internal communications. When the intranet lacks vision and goals, internal communications loses a critical tool to achieve its purpose: to align, connect, and engage the workforce. It’s important for internal communication goals to be created to understand the impact of the intranet on its function and the broader workforce. 

How to define your intranet’s purpose

Fortunately, defining intranet goals is easily achievable. For further guidance on defining your intranet’s purpose, read: Why Intranets Fail #1: The purpose isn’t clear or purposeful. If you need more convincing, here’s a Chart of the Week that found the intranet the most effective technology for internal communications.

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