Chart of the Week: What do larger organizations have in common? (Hint: an intranet!)

By Simpplr Research

Simpplr Research conducted a study with the goal of understanding how enterprises and organizations use the intranet for communication. For more information on the study, download the report Simpplr Research: State of the Intranet.

Update: see our 2022 State of internal communications report.

intranets are necessary for larger organizations simpplr

Data Description: Data collected from Simpplr 2019 State of Internal Communication Survey. The survey consisted of a simple random sample (SRS) from a population of organizational internal communications leaders. The chart above shows a breakdown of responses to the question “How often do you use your intranet?” by organizational size. Almost all organizations with 10,000+ employees regularly use their intranets, with only about 10% responding that employees rarely use the intranet and none responding that the intranet was not used. At small companies, intranet usage is lagging. Less than 20% of small  (0-50 employees) organizations regularly use the intranet, and over 40% don’t use the intranet at all. The percentage of organizations responding that their employees regularly use the intranet is strongly increasing in organizational size. The percentage of organizations where employees do not use the intranet is also generally decreasing in organizational size, with a couple of exceptions. However, given how few organizations do not use the intranet, for the most deviations from this trend can be chalked up to volatile finite sample properties rather than a reflection of the true joint population distribution. In any case, a t-test for differences shows a significant difference in intranet usage between larger and smaller organizations.

Organizations with more employees need an intranet

The chart above seeks to understand how frequently employees use their intranet relative to the organization’s size. At a high level, the results in the chart demonstrate that larger organizations and corporations tend to use the intranet more frequently. The most significant increases are shown in the sizes of organizations between 50-200 and 200-500. While a majority of businesses under 50 employees do not have an intranet, all organizations with over 10,000 employees have an intranet in place.

Given this data, we can hypothesize that organizations have a need for a central communication hub for employees. When under 50 employees, it’s easier for employees to communicate regularly through email, video conferencing, or in-person meetings. As corporations and enterprises grow, it becomes more difficult to get a hold of people’s schedules and even learn each other’s names. In the context of communication, the internal communication function needs to strategic ineffective communication when it comes to company alignment and employee engagement.

Why growing or larger enterprises need an intranet

Customers who experience hypergrowth or pass the threshold of needing an intranet usually come to us and tell us why they need an intranet. Here are some reasons:

  1. Disparate knowledge bases across the business 
  2. Information getting lost
  3. Unreliable or inaccurate information
  4. Culture becomes difficult to retain

How the intranet addresses the challenges above:

  1. The modern intranet integrates with multiple digital workplace applications
  2. The intranet organizes information well and keeps content up-to-date
  3. The intranet has a built-in federated search
  4. The intranet should disseminate information quickly and easily

The intranet is still the most effective tool for internal employee communication

When thinking about company alignment, it’s absolutely key to have all employees involved and engaged. Powerful technologies exist and are used as communication tools, but certain tools are more effective than others when it comes to internal communication. This is because the intranet is designed for curated, top-down critical communications. Employees look to the organization for alignment to feel connected with the organization. To learn more, read our blog post: Simpplr Research found that intranets are still the most effective internal communication tool.

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