If you’re a marketer or project manager responsible for delivering awesome digital products, you’ll ‘get’ the importance of user experience.
Imagine a place where employees can share ideas instantly, check real time project status, co-ordinate responsibilities, connect with their colleagues and support social learning.
A social intranet is not just a one-way tool for businesses to communicate at its staff, it is not purely a document repository for HR forms, and it shouldn’t be left to just one or two people within an organisation to update.
A social intranet is about placing people at the centre and then creating a digital solution around them to support fulfil their needs in order to support the business goals..
Why is this important? Because, according to McKinsey, with the right communication and collaboration tools, social technologies in the workplace can raise productivity by up to 25%1.
Once you invest in a social intranet, you see that it will quickly become a valuable business tool that brings an array of benefits to your organisation, regardless of which industry or sector you are operating in. This might sound like a bold claim, but let's take a look at what a social intranet could do for your business.
Some businesses try and operate with various separate apps and services which can make them difficult to manage and control. Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Trello, Basecamp and Dropbox are just a few of the various solutions that are often used. But with so many applications in use there is are real risks of information getting lost, duplication of effort and data security issues. By implementing a social intranet, it acts as central hub that incorporates the best and most relevant features of these social working tools to ensure workflows are more streamlined and consistent across the organisation.
Intranets can unify teams and ensure that everyone feels valued. Breakdowns in communication can negatively affect productivity and morale, but by having a central hub of up-to-date, company-wide information it will help to ensure the important sense of connection between colleagues that keeps teams functioning at their best.
From a dedicated news centre with the aim of keeping everyone in the loop with regard to ongoing business developments, to shared calendars detailing company events and training opportunities, your intranet will very quickly become an important member of the team. In fact, you will likely find yourself questioning how you managed without it.
Organisations and businesses operating across different sites will benefit hugely from a centralised information hub. However, single site businesses will also see the value in the enhanced engagement that the introduction of a company intranet can deliver.
Unmanageable volumes of emails between colleagues is a common issue for businesses that a social intranet can help resolve. By taking advantage of inbuilt instant messaging functionality, a social intranet will reduce the need for endless email threads between colleagues - they can also be organised by team or project to make collaboration and progress tracking much easier.
If you have ever spent several hours searching your business server for an important document only to find it has disappeared without trace, the centralised document management capabilities of intranets will make your working life infinitely easier.
When you and your team have access to key documents when you need them, your productivity is enhanced and unnecessary frustration is minimised. Gone are the days of frantically looking for key pieces of information before crucial presentations or meetings, leaving you free to focus fully on the task at hand, every time.
Efficient businesses have a place for everything, but when you’re working in a busy office environment it is very easy for documents to become misplaced or for important notes to inadvertently end up in the recycling.
Your intranet will become a centralised filing system, ensuring that everyone has easy access to the information they need without needing to rifle through filing cabinets. Your office will also reduce its paper consumption and as you won’t need to rely so heavily on printers and photocopiers, your environmental footprint will be greatly reduced.
It can be difficult to maintain productivity levels when key colleagues are taking annual leave. Simple tasks can take much longer than they should and workflow can be compromised. When everything is stored in a centralised intranet system, however, these barriers are removed. Teams will be in a position to simply pick up tasks from colleagues and ensure they progress at the right pace.
Additionally, holiday calendars can be made available on the intranet for teams to reference, ensuring that important meetings can be scheduled so that everyone affected can attend. This will reduce the need for lengthy back and forth email conversations, and allow teams to create functional timetables for the completion of key tasks and projects.
There are necessary administrative tasks that need to be undertaken regularly to ensure an effective working environment from annual leave requests to staff rota management, expense claims to training requests, managing these tasks on multiple platforms wastes time and effort. A social intranet can integrate all your tools into a single platforms and with Single Sign On (SSO) functionality, there is no need to remember multiple passwords.
Similarly, obtaining project and administrative sign-off can be completed without having to physically go and locate key managers, and documents and data can be passed seamlessly between co-workers with ease.
Gaining buy-in to your social intranet is only way it will truly be effective. The key is understanding the role it plays in your organisation and avoid making key mistakes at the planning stages.
Download the free ebook to discover the 5 Mistakes to avoid when you are planning your social intranet
Unleash the full potential of a social intranet to your business, and see the financial, efficiency and cultural benefits it can bring.