Chart of the Week: Why a Growing Organization Needs an Intranet

By Simpplr Research

Simpplr Research conducted the State of Internal Communications survey in 2019 and analyzed the results. This week’s blog explains why an intranet is a key ingredient to effective internal communications in a growing organization.

The chart below illustrates the usage frequency of an intranet as the size of an organization grows. The intranet is used more than double the frequency as an organization reaches from 1-50 to 51-200 employees.


Data Description: The chart reflects the collected data 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.

Based on Simpplr Research, we know that 90% of organizations have an intranet. By the time organizations reach over 500 employees, only less than 5% of organizations operate without intranet software. You will find that organizations that employ over 10,000 people all use an intranet. 

With data from the State of Internal Communications, an organization with an employee size of 1-199 presents less of a need to use the intranet while an organization crossing over the threshold of 200 has a bigger need to access the intranet. Based on the increasing trend of intranet usage per organization size, organizations that cross over an employee threshold of 200 should use an intranet for internal communications.

Why Growing Organizations Need an Intranet

It’s simple. The more people you have in a group, the harder it is to ensure that everyone receives and understands the same information. The same applies to schools, families, and of course, businesses. Businesses need a vehicle for critical, curated communications to unite employees across the organization. Why it’s important to have an intranet boils down to this: employee disengagement leads to lower productivity and increased costs. 

Organizations with fewer than 50 employees don’t necessarily need an intranet because communication travels much more quickly to every employee. But as your organization increases to over 200, it becomes almost impossible for important, accurate information to reach each person. 

Here are several reasons why growing organizations need an intranet:

  1. Employees in growing organizations use the intranet more regularly (Simpplr Research: State of Internal Communications)
  2. Employees need a way to keep connected with news and updates
  3. It gets more difficult to communicate information to individual employees the larger the organization
  4. Keep employees engaged and connected
  5. Continue to streamline and foster culture and communication

Organizations Beyond 200 Employees Need an Intranet

When looking at data, organizations under 50 employees either rarely or don’t use the intranet at all. The biggest increase in overall “regular” intranet usage when looking at organizational size is the jump between 1-50 employees to 51-200 employees. What’s more significant is there is almost a 5x increase from employees who don’t use the intranet to employees who regularly use the intranet. Organizations above 500 employees see a consistent increase in the number of employees regularly using the intranet.

It’s easier to communicate regularly to a group of 50 than a group of 200. When communication is vital to employee engagement, organizations need to recognize that employees are seeking a central hub to consume company news, announcements, and other information. 

Internal Communication is Key to Employee Engagement

As an organization grows, the intranet becomes a necessary communications tool. When evaluating employee engagement, Simpplr Research found that most internal communicators align their function’s purpose around employee engagement.

Employees want to feel connected and engaged with their companies. Employees are overall happier and perform more effectively when they understand their purpose and aligned with the company. Those who rarely use the intranet reduces to under 10%, suggesting that almost all employees will use the intranet to connect with their workforce.

To learn why the intranet is the most important internal communications technology, read our short analysis: Chart of the Week: Use the Most Effective Internal Communications Technology.

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