Why Your Business Needs an Intranet
Intranets have been used by companies since almost the beginning of the web. In many organisations, they are an important part of the operation. Yet, not all organisations have an intranet system. If you are deciding whether your organisation needs one, take a look at some benefits an intranet can bring to your business.
Improve and speed up communication to the employees
Many companies suffer from employees not knowing what is going on within the company they work in. The most obvious benefit of an intranet is the enhancement of communication to the employees.
An intranet will commonly have tools to publish articles, which can then be read by staff. An intranet news board is a great way to let people know about changes to internal policies, new programs, recruitment processes and various other things which otherwise have to be circulated via email.
A good intranet, thanks to being integrated with other company systems, can also allow for automatic updates about new content to all employees. This can be done via email, sms or other chosen means which ensure that everyone knows there is something important that was published.
The benefits of publishing to the intranet vs sending a mass email to all employees are obvious:
- Once sent, emails cannot be edited again. If you forgot a document or made an error, it can only be amended by sending another email. On the intranet, you can fix errors on the particular article multiple times.
- Once sent, emails cannot be pointed to from other sources, whereas an intranet post link can be sent and liked to.
- Emails can get lost by people. An intranet post is always available to them to come back to.
- Historic intranet articles are available to new employees when they do not have access to previously sent emails.
- The intranet system can allow comments to let people discuss the news.
Increase employee engagement
The bigger the company the bigger the risk that employees will feel detached. Working away in one of the departments, they may not see what the company is doing and what it is about. The intranet with is communication capabilities is the easiest way to increase engagement.
Company events and parties can be documented and shared for those who could not or decided not to participate. It will also be a natural way to share photos or videos. If commenting, liking and sharing is enabled, it can induce additional activity.
An intranet is also a great tool to show employees the big picture. Explaining strategy and the approach the company is taking, helps people understand why particular decisions are made.
Particularly great in building employee engagement are success stories.
- Descriptions of successful projects.
- Winning awards
- Successes of the employees like passing difficult exams or inventing something
Another way to show people that they are a part of a bigger team is by showing them what happens in other departments. Profile articles showing employees from various areas of the company help in presenting a bigger organisation working towards common goals. Descriptions of changes in departments and how they help the common company goals show that “everyone is in this together”.
Overall the intranet is a great way to unite the company and make employees feel they are part of something bigger.
Provide better access to information
Intranets perform an important role of information and document repositories. Policies, procedures, forms and other documents your employees need to access can be held in one place, searchable much easier than on a shared drive.
Apart from that, an intranet can be the place where your company collects its knowledge.
Each company builds its internal knowledge, like processes, standards or the way things are done. Often, however, a lot of it sits only in employees heads. Documenting as much as possible helps new staff to catch up quickly, sets particular standards for how things should be done and allows everyone access to the best practices. An intranet is a natural place to keep such information and continuously improve it.
Improve HR processes
Each company has various reasons for periodic, direct communication with employees.
- Holiday requests
- Sick leaves
- Performance reviews
- Entrusting company property to employees
There are many touchpoints where information has to flow back and forth. Traditionally this happened often by email or on paper. This is however cumbersome.
Intranets are a great replacement for the traditional workflows. They allow for fast asynchronous communication, which is straightforward and convenient and gives everyone involved access to the current status.
In a bigger organization, an intranet can save hundreds of hours just on holiday approvals. It also helps all people in the organization. They can easily check when a particular person is due to come back from their vacation.
Centralisation of information from other systems
Often companies use multiple systems for various things. Time tracking, financial analysis, sales forecasting, kpi tracking etc. This data is frequently shared with employees via various means to make their work easier or to inform them of the situation. Typically each system has its own interface and sometimes it requires additional software to be installed and launched.
An intranet is a perfect place to gather information and scattered tools in one place and make it easily accessible. Using APIs the intranet can be integrated with a vast number of systems easily and display information in a friendly way.
You name it
Each company is different and has its own communication needs. Your company might have a completely unique requirement which will help you work better. Whatever it is, however, typically an intranet will be a great way to share it with staff.