Company intranets have been around for decades now, but they have significantly evolved over the past few years, and they continue to serve a vitally important purpose. Their primary purpose is to connect employees and to be an important depository of information related to the business. They also perform a vital role when it comes to ensuring strategic alignment, building employee engagement and boosting efficiency.
But a research shows that 72% of employees rate their intranet tools as fair to poor. They state that their company intranets are hard to use, don’t contain the social technology to make connections, and are used mostly for top-down communication.
This is why it’s vital to spend some time selecting a tool that is well suited to your company’s needs. It’s also worth considering some of the common pitfalls associated with intranets and making sure that you take the necessary steps to avoid them.
1. Insufficient research into the tools and features your employees need and want
Too often, HR or Internal Comms Teams don’t conduct enough research into the intranet tools and features that their employees need. They make certain assumptions, perhaps based on their own experiences of what worked in past companies, and they run with these. That’s why our top tip is that you conduct an assessment of what has been working well in your existing internal communications, and what challenges employees come up against. You might do this in the form of an employee survey, with questions such as:
- What do you most commonly use the company intranet for?
- Which features of our existing intranet do you find difficult to use and why?
- What new tools and additions would you like to see in the new company intranet?
If you haven’t tried Engagy Comms, why not take a look? It’s a solution based on SharePoint Online, which can be tailored to suit the exact needs of your teams.
2. Buying off the shelf solutions rather than those tailored to your company
Linked to the above point, companies sometimes fall into the trap of buying off the shelf solutions and trying to make them fit the needs of their business. Such solutions can be cheaper and easier to implement, but they’re much less likely to drive effective communication and engagement in your business.
With Engagy Comms, you decide what content is displayed on the main page and how long it will remain visible. You can also tailor your content to recipients based on their function or location.
3. Insufficient promotion of the intranet among your staff
Have you ever fallen into the trap of launching an exciting internal product, only to find that employees use it for a couple of weeks and then forget about it? It’s very easily done, and is the problem that many internal teams grapple with. That’s why you need a way to consistently keep your team engaged with platform and any new updates posted on it. One useful way of doing this is by making sure that your content is always eye-catching and visually appealing. Of course, the more you tailor it to individual users, the better.
With Engagy Designs, you’ll be able to create a unique look for all your materials but also make sure your content is always personalized to a region or a season. The platform also gives you the possibility of designing a dedicated portal layout for you that aligns closely to your brand guidelines.
4. Poor employee engagement with the intranet
The whole point of an effective intranet is that it’s regularly updated by many members of staff across different teams, rather than just by senior managers every once in a while. It needs to be much more than just a top-down communication tool. That’s why we would always recommend appointing members of each team to act as intranet ambassadors during the first few months after implementation. They should be the ones responsible for making sure that their departmental area is regularly updated, that the needs of their team are met through the tool and that it is regularly being used. They may also be the ones to conduct any neccessary training for their colleagues.
With Engagy Comms, users can easily share their feedback – be it to alert you about an error they spotted, inform you about some information in the system no longer being valid, or simply to offer their thoughts on how the platform could be improved to better suit their needs.
5. No ongoing optimization to meet changing needs
Teams and companies are constantly changing, and communication tools need to evolve to meet their needs. Unfortunately, many HR and internal comms teams fail to spot this until usage considerably dips, and many off the shelf solutions don’t offer the functionality to make changes based on need.
Engagy Comms enables you to monitor usage through embedded Microsoft 365 functionalities, Google Analytics and Microsoft Clarity. You’ll be able to get an at-a-glance view of how people are using the portal and the content which they’re engaging with most. You can also use heat maps to analyze your page content for usability.
The bottom line? Deliver the intranet that your employees need not the one you think you need!
Offer your employees a truly personalized internal communications experience and you’ll soon reap the rewards of increased employee engagement and satisfaction. In a nutshell – it’s all about doing your research into what your staff need, making sure that they know how to use the platform to good effect, and then encouraging them to make it their own.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here for you. Check out Engagy Comms today!