The ROI of internal communications: How to build a business case for a modern intranet

ROI Internal Communications Ebook
This article was originally published on Jan. 19, 2021, and was updated on Nov. 21, 2023, and June 11, 2024. 
As an internal communicator, you know the value internal comms brings to the table. But can you prove that value to decision makers in your organization — the folks who hold the budget for IC software, tools and services like a modern intranet? Demonstrating the ROI of internal communications might fall outside your current skill set, but you can learn how to build a business case for a modern intranet and other must-haves for best-in-class internal comms. And you’re in the right place to get started.  

If you’re looking to get buy-in for the purchase of a more effective intranet or other IC software, tool or service, you’ll need to take a strategic approach to making the business case for internal communications. This guide will walk you through the basics. For a deeper dive, download the free ebook.

ROI Internal Communications Ebook

Table of contents: The ROI of internal communications

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Understanding the value of internal communications

Let’s level-set. When you’re in the weeds of internal comms, doing what you do best day in and day out, you might lose sight of the big-picture value of what your team and your tools provide to your organization. And you’re going to have to be able to communicate this value, backed up with data, if you want to make a strong business case for IC improvements.

According to Gallagher’s most recent State of the Sector report, 74% of more than 2,000 respondents said the primary purpose of internal communications is to support culture and belonging. Post-pandemic, this is a shift from IC’s long-standing leading role in communicating strategy and creating alignment around an organization’s vision and purpose (67%). These main IC objectives were followed up by:

  • Organizational agility — supporting the adoption of new behaviors, systems and processes (47%)
  • Managing risks, like cybersecurity and employee health and safety (29%)
  • Customer experience — empowering employees to provide the best CX (25%)
  • Talent retention — demonstrating what people get in return for working for your organization (22%)
  • Employee advocacy — encouraging employees to promote the brand, products and services (15%)
Internal communications is critical for improving the employee experience (EX) — especially in the digital workplace.

According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report, organizations with a positive employee experience have:

  • Twice the customer satisfaction (Net Promoter Score)
  • 12% greater shareholder returns
  • 25% greater profitability compared to their peers

In the Gallagher survey, 72% of respondents said the employee experience was on their leadership team’s radar. And about one-third said they have a clear mandate to improve it.

To that end, in large part, internal communications strive to reach the right people with the right message in the right place at the right time. And comms cover the topical gamut — from benefits and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to strategy, change management, employee recognition, career development and sustainability, among other subjects that matter to employees, specific departments and the organization at large.

You do it all — informing and inspiring, connecting and celebrating, making the complex clear, and creating a cohesive community even when employees are spread far and wide.

Internal communications serve as a beacon for employee engagement, which is an indicator of overall business success.

In Gallup’s Q12 study, a comprehensive analysis of research that included data from more than 112,000 global business and work units that included more than 2.7 million employees, Gallup found that employee engagement is related to 11 business performance outcomes — including profitability, customer loyalty, productivity (in terms of sales) and employee turnover.

Business/work units at the highest level of employee engagement have an 83% chance of having above-average composite performance, compared with a 17% chance for those with the lowest level of employee engagement. While it’s possible to achieve high performance without high employee engagement, the odds are nearly five times as low.

The Q12 study analyzed data from 12 engagement-related questions. Those most closely impacted by internal comms were about employees having the materials/equipment they need to do their best work, understanding expectations and how their job connects to their company’s mission/purpose, and being heard and recognized.

Other studies reinforce these findings:

  • WTW’s Global Workforce Study shows that firms with the highest levels of employee engagement outperformed the market, having a 19% increase in operating income over a 12-month period, while their counterparts with low engagement saw a decline of 32%.
  • McKinsey & Company have indicated that companies with the best employee and customer experiences achieve revenue growth at a rate 1.8x their competitors.
  • Gallup’s State of the American Workplace found that organizations with a high level of engagement report 21% higher profitability. What’s more, highly engaged teams show a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.

But 46% of Gallagher respondents believe their organization does not invest enough in communications technology — a tech stack that’s pivotal for increasing engagement. Another study found that roughly 88% of business leaders and 63% of employees wish their companies had better tools to help communicate more effectively.

Other top internal communications challenges include lack of time and capacity for internal comms teams (34%), disengaged employees (30%) and lack of budget (24%).

The right intranet can help solve these pain points and other challenges that matter not just to internal communicators, but to HR, IT and the C-suite — boosting employee engagement and the overall employee experience, improving operational efficiencies, maximizing workforce productivity, and ultimately, lifting the bottom line.

It’s not just a tool to centralize and share information; leaders can use it to surface insights and analyze data in order to make strategic decisions that drive progress toward organizational goals.

The relationship between IC, HR and IT

Internal Communications - two female employees with laptops collaborating with third unseen employee

But it can be tough to persuade leaders that an internal communications investment will help boost revenue. Even with data to back up the fact that an engaged, active workforce that understands company direction and policies, can collaborate without friction, and can easily access all the tools and information they need to do their best work, is a powerful revenue-builder.

Your business partners in HR and IT are important allies for building a business case for improved employee communications.

Why? In many cases, usage and/or ownership of internal communications software, tools and services are shared among IC, HR and IT departments. HR and IT reap major benefits from better intranet software (think faster new-hire onboarding and resolution of IT support tickets, just to name a few). To align needs across functions, they can provide shared use cases and existing benchmarks from their departments to support and build the case for more effective intranet and employee communications solutions — highlighting the impact of an outdated intranet on the total cost of ownership. And they might be able to share insights from their own successful business case outcomes to help you build yours.

Learn how a modern intranet can break the IT dependency cycle

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Basic steps to building a business case

Developing an effective business case that illustrates the ROI of internal communications and an updated intranet will help you align the project with organizational objectives. At the same time, it demonstrates the potential value — increasing the likelihood of buy-in and, eventually, adoption and commitment from important champions of the new system.

Consider these steps and tips when building your business case.

Step 1: Symptoms you might have a problem

Many organizations struggle to accept that they have a problem, especially when it comes to technology changes that disrupt legacy systems that have been in place for many years. Ironically, these technological crutches are typically the source of most problems affecting productivity and communications.

While you and other team members may feel the brunt of these issues, many higher-ups overlook or simply adjust to these pitfalls without realizing the significance they have on employee productivity, engagement and company culture.

So start building out your business case by identifying and measuring the main problems with your current setup. Here are a few common symptoms that your organization might have a problem with its current internal communications system:

Intranet avoidance (or no intranet): Are users accessing your current intranet? If your legacy intranet is not being updated or has a complicated UX, your employees may avoid using it — signaling a problem.

Poor information exchange: Do your colleagues communicate and share important information across several channels (e.g., Slack, email, phone, etc.)? Without a centralized and dedicated process for sharing information, you risk bottlenecks and miscommunication.

Lackluster employee engagement: Inefficient communication can often lead to poor engagement throughout your company. If you’re noticing an increase in employee turnover or a general decline in employee interest and activity, it could be a sign that you have a bigger problem.

Overwhelmed support teams: Another common symptom of a poor employee communications system is when IT departments are overwhelmed by support requests or if they spend a lot of time maintaining legacy systems. These avoidable issues can cause downtime and bottlenecks in production.

Inability to find information: Whether you’re a new or seasoned employee, it can be equally frustrating to waste time looking for important or updated information needed to do your job. If your company has a fragmented or nonexistent knowledge base, that’s a huge red flag.

After you’ve isolated a few glaring problem areas, start collecting data to help illustrate the effects they have on the business. For example, if you hypothesize the intranet solution can help improve company morale, consider deploying an employee experience survey to understand the gaps and frustrations that could be addressed to help improve the employee experience.

And remember to draw in perspective and feedback from other departments and influential colleagues, especially in HR and IT. Discover their high-value communications pain points to build your case around. Plus, use direct quotes from employees to make these problems more relatable and personal.

Learn how a modern intranet can solve top HR challenges

Finally, consider pulling external information from other relevant organizations that have benefited from intranets and features that you may not currently use. By discussing additional opportunities or experiences beyond your own company, you can illustrate other benefits that you may not be able to convey through internal experiences alone.

Keep in mind that the main goal of your business case is to communicate the return on investment, which starts with a detailed understanding of your current situation and the challenges you wish to overcome with a modern intranet.

Dig deeper into intranet ROI with this guide to measuring hard and soft returns

Step 2: Aligning internal communications and corporate initiatives

Internal communications is a vehicle for driving corporate initiatives, and when done well, can help all parties better understand and execute those objectives.

When building your business case, make sure you clearly define and demonstrate the connection between effective internal communications and business success.

Aligning internal communications and corporate initiatives involves illustrating, with examples, how modernizing your tech can, directly and indirectly, support these projects. Whether it’s mitigating expenses, increasing sales, improving customer retention, or any number of other broad business goals, your business case needs to clearly define how these areas benefit by improving internal communications.

Below are a few considerations when working on aligning IC with the wider corporate initiatives.

Demonstrate its impact: Find opportunities to demonstrate, with data, how an internal communication process affected — good or bad — another business objective. For example, survey employees’ awareness of a recent change initiative as a benchmark (e.g., process changes, open enrollment rates).

Create a data visualization: Visual tools like charts and tables can be helpful in conveying the link between an internal communications benefit and a business objective.

Recruit leadership: Gaining support from leadership and stakeholders who understand the significance of improving IC can help sway others to the benefits of a modern intranet.

Prioritize points: Depending on your organization, there may be a laundry list of benefits you want to share with leadership in your business case. However, overwhelming decision-makers with too much information can be counterintuitive. Instead, focus on the benefits that drive the most significant change in whatever areas you feel are most valuable.

Aligning internal communications with corporate initiatives is a technique to help strengthen your argument by illustrating how integral an intranet would be to the entire corporate ecosystem. Its goal is to reframe the perspective from a strictly IC investment to a strategic investment across the entire company.

Need help with visuals? Check out these free online design tools.

Step 3: Use cases to justify the value of a modern intranet

The next step in your business case is to develop use cases to illustrate with specific and relevant scenarios the impact of an intranet on your unique business. The primary purpose of use cases is to clearly explain the practical functions of an intranet from the perspective of your organizational needs.

Here are some other reasons why you should include use cases in your business case:

Highlights solutions to pressing needs: Use cases are an opportunity for you to communicate real organizational challenges along with a solution — creating urgency and highlighting the need for change.

For example, if you highlighted IT support ticket bottlenecks as a major pain point during your discovery stage, you could develop a use case that shows how a modern intranet could assist:

  • An updated and user-friendly resource library to mitigate support tickets
  • A centralized employee portal to promote employee self-service across the business
  • Streamlined system that assigns tickets to the appropriate support team members in an equitable manner

Illustrates value clearly: Use cases allow you to walk through a problem and solution without having to physically execute and measure it. This simplifies the process and lets you clearly illustrate the intranet’s value in that scenario.

Leadership has varying priorities: Every decision-maker has their own perspective on what’s most important. Including a variety of use cases across different departments helps you cover your bases no matter what leadership finds most important.

Adding use cases into your business case provides an opportunity to easily demonstrate the value of investing in internal communications. Whether you use real-world case studies or hypothetical scenarios, adding use cases can provide that extra support to win over the decision-maker.

Step 4: Target business outcomes in challenge areas

Organizations don’t make investments for today, they are investing in the future — so, use that insight to your advantage and create a section in your business case that focuses on the targeted outcomes in each challenge area.

By highlighting the specific outcomes you hope to achieve through improved internal communications, you are sharing the vision of what the organization could look like if it invested in a stronger solution.

Here are a few examples to communicate a “desired future” in various challenge areas.

Justifying technology modernization: After implementation, employees actively use the intranet and its features. Employees have access to timely and relevant information, communication tools and channels are consolidated and streamlined, and with delegated administration, IC can now run at the speed of business while minimizing IT dependency— decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Improving employee satisfaction and company culture: All employees, frontline, in-house, remote, and in contract, now have a centralized communication channel that optimizes the flow of information throughout the organization. From collaborating on projects to sharing company changes, the intranet serves as the knowledge and networking hub. These features help employees feel more connected and reduce redundant or inaccurate information — leading to an improved employee experience.

Creating a single source of truth: With the new intranet, employees now have a single source of truth whenever they need to find resources, training or other information to do their jobs more effectively. No longer will they waste time searching multiple folders or knowledge bases for resources only to discover afterward that the ones they found are outdated. The intranet keeps everyone on the same page and consolidates all relevant, and up-to-date, information into a single source.

Facilitating major changes: Change management is never easy, but thanks to the intranet — all stakeholders are quickly and easily notified of any important changes in real time. Beyond simply notifying employees of changes, you are now able to manage those changes with new training and resources within the platform, ensuring a smooth transition.

Defining and illustrating the desired future outcomes for important challenge areas in your organization provides a roadmap and helps decision-makers understand the long-term benefits of the investment in internal communications. You’ll find methods to quantify ROI in each of these areas below.

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A primer on ROI in communications

Within your business case, you should prioritize the ROI of the investment. Here are some contexts to consider when calculating and communicating ROI.

Definition of ROI and how it works in a business context

Return on investment (ROI) is a metric used to measure the profitability or effectiveness of an investment. In the business sense, it aims to evaluate the return of a business activity that requires an investment of time, money and other resource allocations. If the ROI is positive, it means you returned value, if it is negative you invested more than the value you received.

Importance of ROI for communications decision-making and strategy planning

ROI is a tangible metric that helps to convey the financial value of an action or investment. It’s a critical part of communications decision-making and strategy planning because it assesses the profitability of those strategies or the tools used to carry them out.

Measuring ROI helps you evaluate whether your communications efforts are succeeding and gives you a baseline to compare changes made. By analyzing and comparing ROI, you can work towards optimizing communication efforts to improve the company’s bottom line.

Key performance indicators in internal communications

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are other measurements you’ll want to include throughout your business case. You can use these metrics to measure the effectiveness or success of internal communications strategies and the tools used to execute them.

KPIs have similar business value to the ROI but extend beyond the financial return.

KPIs in internal communications aim to illustrate the effect IC has on tangible and intangible areas of the company such as employee productivity, engagement, commitment and satisfaction. Including important KPIs in your business case will help leadership understand the conditions and parameters by which you intend to assess the intranet investment. In other words, how you will determine if the investment was a success.

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Internal Communications - employee working on laptop computer referring to papers with graphs on them

Recommended KPIs for a modern intranet investment

Every organization is different, but below are a few common KPIs to consider in your business case.

Employee Experience Productivity Operational Costs Risk of Failure Revenue
Example Business Impact KPIs
Decrease turnover Decrease time for users to find resources Reduce cost to maintain legacy intranet Meet OKRs due to strategic alignment Increase % sales growth
Decrease cost of replacing an employee Decrease # of IT / HR tickets & avg. time to resolution Decrease cost of point solutions via consolidation Decrease voluntary M&A turnover Increase customer retention rate
Increase candidate referrals by employees Increase new-hire time to productivity Avoid cost of point solutions via consolidation Increase change adoption & decrease time to value Improve Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Reduce hiring costs Reduce avg. onboarding time
Increase CSAT scores Reduce time spent publishing / maintaining content
Increase employee engagement scores Increase subject matter comprehension
Increase positive intranet user feedback scores Decrease avg. project completion time

A few things to consider with some of these metrics:

  • Project completion time: An effective intranet improves collaboration, so measure the average project completion time before and after implementation of a new intranet.
  • Customer retention: Effective intranets can improve customer service by connecting and supporting frontline employees, and giving them quick and easy access to information they need to both understand and support customers — all of which can improve customer retention. Compare the customer retention rate (CRR) before and after setting up an intranet.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS provides insights into customer satisfaction and loyalty — and since a better intranet should help improve customer service, you should expect a higher NPS.
  • Employee engagement and user feedback scores: Use surveys to measure qualitative factors like employee engagement and satisfaction. Compare responses before and after implementation of a new intranet.
  • Employee retention rate: Modern intranets are designed to enhance the employee experience, which can lower turnover and increase retention. Measure retention before and after you implement a better solution.
  • Sales growth: Effective intranets can improve the efficiency of your sales team, leading to more — and faster — sales. Measure revenue before and after implementing an intranet to indicate its contribution to growth.
  • Subject matter comprehension (aka knowledge saturation: Assess before and after a new intranet to gauge if more users are retaining information.
  • Cost to maintain IC tools: Has consolidating the IC tech stack and/or updating the intranet reduced the overall cost of IT resources needed to maintain the old systems and/or the costs associated with adding other one-off tools/services to the stack?

When determining the KPIs to include in your business case, consider the ones that have the highest impact on your organizational objectives.

This is critical. If you can prove how internal comms helped to drive the top three to five overarching organizational goals, you’re much more likely to get the budget you need to grow and improve.

Also, remember to set the baseline by tracking these KPIs prior to implementation of new software. Measuring the changes before and after integrating the new intranet will help you determine whether that investment was successful.

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Measuring ROI of internal communications

The ROI formula above is the literal measurement of return on investment, but there are several other considerations and context that you need to measure ROI effectively.

Understanding the quantitative and qualitative measurement of ROI

When measuring ROI of internal communications, it’s important to consider both quantitative and qualitative measurements.

Quantitative measurements are areas that you can track numerically. Their returns on investment are known as “hard returns.”

For example, the new intranet reduces the time it takes for employees to find important resources by 100 hours a month. The 100 reduced hours could translate to $1,550 in cost savings a month.

Qualitative measurements refer to subjective metrics that can be equally important to the bottom line, but much more difficult to measure. Their returns on investment are called “soft returns.”

One example of a qualitative measurement is employee sense of belonging and connection. The new intranet provides a real-time digital platform to network with colleagues working remote and internally. By facilitating a safe digital space for communication, remote staff feels more connected to the team than ever before — increasing their sense of belonging. .

Tools and approaches for measuring ROI in internal communications

Now you can start looking into the different tools and techniques for actually measuring the return.

Employee surveys: Surveys are great tools to collect both quantitative and qualitative data before and after the implementation of a new intranet. Surveying team members beforehand gives you a chance to uncover pain points and extract data to use in your business case. Surveying afterward helps you measure the effectiveness while also finding opportunities to optimize the intranet to further align with your team’s needs.

A/B testing: A/B, or split, testing is a method for measuring the result of a specific change. In the context of a new intranet, you could segment two groups of users to work on the same task but with one using the new intranet and the other the old setup.

This is exactly what Nutanix did with Simpplr. To build a case for a new intranet, they conducted a split test that had half of new hires using Simpplr’s onboarding resources and the other half using Nutanix’s current tools and resources. Not only did Simpplr’s test group spend 18 minutes less on average, they were 10% more accurate and awarded Nutanix an NPS that was 1,085% higher (76 vs. 7).

Focus groups and interviews: A great business case is one rooted in a compelling narrative — so, using focus groups and interviews to collect insight about the employee experience can be a useful method for extracting pain points and first-hand accounts of challenges with the current tools and resources. After implementing the new intranet, they can also provide qualitative insight to help understand the intranet’s impact and additional recommendations for improvement.

How to quantify ROI of a new intranet

Let’s take a closer look at some examples of challenge areas you may face and how to measure the return on investment.

Justifying technology modernization

Old, outdated legacy systems will lead many organizations to adopt new intranets out of necessity. If that sounds like your situation, here are some ways to quantify the ROI of an improved intranet.

  • Measure the time saved from reduced IT bottlenecks.
  • Calculate the time and cost savings of faster deployments and upgrades.
  • Measure the reduced TCO from less technical requirements.
  • Calculate the reduction in IT support costs, including by outside contractors

Improving employee satisfaction and company culture

Improving employee satisfaction is a guiding principle for internal communications teams — and subsequently an excellent metric to measure the success of an intranet investment. Below are a few ways to quantify the ROI of an intranet from the context of employee satisfaction and company culture.

  • Run “recall” or “knowledge saturation” tests to assess how well employees are retaining information.
  • Conduct frequent employee satisfaction surveys to measure satisfaction and collect feedback.

Creating a single source of truth

Simplifying and consolidating information into a single resource is another reason many organizations choose to update their intranet. To measure the ROI from this perspective, consider the following points.

  • Track employee time spent looking for important content.
  • A/B test new-hire onboarding to track speed and effectiveness of training.
  • Conduct digital scavenger hunts to measure time and accuracy of finding critical information.
  • Measure the amount of submissions and time spent on support tickets.

Facilitating major changes

Modern intranets can be a lifesaver when you have to communicate major changes — from easing the transition during a merger to mitigating growing pains when scaling or sending employees home to work during a pandemic. Here are a few ways to measure the ROI from this perspective:

  • Measure compliance and certifications during major change initiatives.
  • Track the speed and retention rates of training materials when integrating new employees.
  • Following M&A, conduct surveys to measure the ease-of-use and effectiveness of your intranet compared to the tools and resources of the employee’s previous company.

Quantifying ROI within your business case is an essential step to help frame expectations for the decision maker. Not only can the return on investment be financial, it can relate to improved efficiencies, engagement and productivity. Make sure you understand and clearly explain the quantifiable metrics you find most relevant to your organization’s challenges.

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Example of successful internal communications ROI: Nutanix

Internal Communications - Nutanix logo next to photo of a woman working on a computer

Founded in 2009, Nutanix experienced immediate success and eventually grew to more than 5,000 employees by 2018. As it scaled, Nutanix began experiencing growing pains with its workforce. Employees struggled to access important information across channels like knowledge bases, wikis and Google Drive — wasting time and often leading to inaccurate or inconsistent information.

Nutanix’s investment in its intranet, powered by Simpplr, yielded both hard and soft returns. An example of a hard return on its intranet investment was a 50% increase in the efficiency of new-hire onboarding. An improved acclimation process for new hires with Simpplr made it easier to scale and directly improved the bottom line.

“When testing the platform, we found a 50% increase in efficiency when individuals searched for onboarding materials,” said CIO Wendy M. Pfeifer. “Such time savings can quickly add up across our entire team and, I believe, will make the difference between just surviving, or thriving during challenging times.”

On the soft returns side, Nutanix noticed a shift in the mindset of its employees post-intranet. Simpplr’s user-friendly interface made it easy for employees to find information, mitigating friction in completing tasks. This improvement in employees’ day-to-day raised the Net Promoter Score (NPS) by an average of 590%.

Ultimately, Nutanix recognized hard and soft returns on its investment in Simpplr. It enhanced employee engagement and satisfaction while directly improving productivity and onboarding.

Download the Nutanix case study to learn more

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Overcoming potential objections

Citing real-world success stories like those can help you overcome objections when you present your business case. But before you get to that point, prepare for it. Here are some tips to help you prep for and overcome objections for a modern intranet investment.

Identification of common objections

Some of the expected hurdles or questions you might hear from decision makers who are considering investing in improved internal communications include:

  • Too expensive: “The cost of a new intranet is more than I want to spend.”
  • Implementation issues: “Integrating a new system and process into our current workflow will take time and disrupt our production.”
  • Incompatible: “Will our current tools and software integrate with the intranet?”
  • Adoption: “Employees are resistant to change, so why would they want to learn a new system?”
  • ROI: “What kind of return can we expect from this investment?”

Solutions and recommendations to overcome these objections

While each situation is unique, here are a few potential responses to address these obstacles within the business case.

  • Too expensive: Create a detailed and itemized breakdown of ROI projections for different areas of the business. Consider pulling the TCO of maintaining the current system and its inefficiencies and compare that with the cost of the proposed intranet.
  • Implementation issues: Develop an implementation schedule that includes a plan for various stages in the process. Discuss the time savings the company can expect following the implementation and compare that with the time it would take to get up and running.
  • Incompatible: Partner with IT and get buy-in in the early stages to discuss integration and other concerns with the intranet personnel. Once that process is understood, have that team member explain the flexibility and integration process in detail in the business case or present on it for leadership.
  • Adoption: Highlight the training and onboarding process within the intranet during the implementation period and discuss your role — and others’ — as a champion to increase adoption. Highlight the benefits and values of the new system and include outside case studies to support these points.
  • ROI: Include the KPIs and ROI metrics that you intend to track and report back on at regular intervals. Discuss the return, beyond financial, that other organizations have found from similar implementations.

The goal of addressing obstacles is to first recognize the validity of the concern and second, to demonstrate a well-researched solution to that problem.

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10 quick tips for building a strong business case

As you work through building your business case and preparing to present it to decision makers, keep these tips in mind:

1. Highlight the challenges

Before explaining a solution, you need to convince leadership that there is a problem. Clearly explain the challenge areas within your organization that could be prevented from improved communications. Include real examples relevant to strategic initiatives, testimonials or data to support these pain points.

2. Quantify the benefits

When discussing the new intranet, avoid leaning too far into the features. Instead, highlight and quantify the benefits. Consider creating internal surveys or pulling from outside statistics to highlight the value of improved internal communications (e.g., the Harvard Business Review found that 90% of employees wanted weekly communication from their company).

3. Demonstrate its broader impact

Convey the widespread effects of an intranet that go beyond just improved communications with a focus on company culture and objectives. How does better internal communications lead to happier employees, which improves customer interactions and, ultimately, increases the customer lifetime value? Connecting these dots is how you build a strong business case.

4. Proactively address objections

Try to anticipate and address potential concerns or obstacles in your business case. Refer to that section above for insights.

5. Outline next steps

Discuss timelines and subsequent steps needed to move forward with the new intranet. From the contract and implementation to deployment, show leadership that you have thought out and planned the process entirely.

6. Bring in reinforcements

Call upon expertise from IT and other departments to learn how they find success making their case. Take cues from what works for them. Bringing influential leaders into the business case process also can add credibility to your case and show that the problems extend beyond the IC department.

7. Add competitive pressure

Are your competitors or other businesses in similar industries using an intranet to their advantage? Find case studies or additional research outside your organization to illustrate the opportunities of a new intranet while also adding competitive pressure.

8. Build a compelling narrative

Many business cases can feel overwhelmed with data and statistics — but great business cases can weave the data into a compelling and persuasive story.

Paint a picture of the powerful impact a new intranet can make.

Make analogies to software that decision-makers are familiar with in other parts of the business, and make the connection for them.

9. Speak their language

Making your case depends on who you’re talking to and how well they understand the connection between internal comms software and objectives like employee engagement, productivity and ultimately, revenue. “You have to speak the language of the highest-level person that you have to convince,” said Carolyn Clark, VP of Employee Experience Strategy at Simpplr. Find a way to connect the language of IC to high-level organizational metrics like employee retention, revenue, productivity and efficiency. Show that your work in the comms space helps the organization achieve its target outcomes.

10. Gather feedback and address questions

Building a strong business case is an iterative process. Collect feedback early on and make changes as needed. When you deliver it, set a time to collect feedback from decision-makers and submit follow-up answers as needed.

Putting together a strong business case requires framing the story you want to tell using data and examples. Follow the tips above to increase buy-in by painting a complete picture of how and why investing in internal communications aligns with organizational goals.

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Download the free business case template

Understanding the ROI of internal communications is the foundation for making the case for a modern intranet. Armed with this knowledge and insights into the other steps needed to build a compelling case, it’s time to get started. You’ve got this! Download Simpplr’s free business case template to jumpstart your journey to more effective internal comms.

ROI Internal Communications Ebook

This article includes content originally contributed by Amanda Berry and Hani Khan.

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