I find myself talking regularly to clients and others about why your business needs an intranet.
I’ve found over the years, I am often approached to fix issues with external marketing. It might be a company feels they need a new website, brochure, brand, or other tactical challenge to fix. However, as soon as we begin to look deeper into the issues around why their marketing isn’t working, it often comes down to internal marketing.
Internal marketing can be a ‘make or break’ feature of an organisation’s success or failure.
If your people are communicating then there’s a great chance that there are no silos. Because silos wreak havoc with communal working and progress, they need to be removed as soon as you identify them.
Good leadership and employee communication, is often at the heart of successful companies. Everyone playing the same game, pointing in the same direction and focused on a common goal.
However, it’s not simply enough to rely on the old monthly internal newsletter or team meeting.
Businesses that provide a continuous feed of two-way conversation right across the organisation are the ones making best headway in this vital ingredient in the marketing communications mix. And there is no excuse with the proliferation of excellent digital platforms available to choose from.
I’m not here to recommend one intranet platform over another, but rather to share the benefits of doing setting up an appropriate one that will resonate with those who’ll use it on a day to day basis.
For me, when answering the question of why your business needs an intranet, I always begin with the feature; collaboration.
Collaboration and co-creation of content in an intranet is the single thing that will determine if your intranet will work in the medium to long term. It’s very easy to get some short term interest, because curiosity and novelty ensures that everyone initially logs in to take a look.
For long term and sustainable use you need to focus on inspiring co-creation of content. If you think your new intranet is driven by marketing or management or someone tasked with ‘keeping it up to date’ then you are starting from the wrong perspective. Your business needs an intranet because the people in the business need a digital place to co-inhabit, to share, to vent and to enjoy.
A great example of a simple (and at the basic level, free) digital platform that can be used to test this principle, is Slack.
Slack has features that I consider vital in your choice of an appropriate platform, so if this is your first look at setting up a collaborative, co-creation, intranet, it’s worth exploring:
- There is a smartphone app version available, which means staff and management can log in whenever they like
- Images can be uploaded and shared. This means that one of the most engaging media can be co-created for entertainment and business use
- Private chat inspires regular log in and usage.
- Content channels can be created by Admin to ensure that the right content lives in the right place and can be quickly searched for and found
- App notifications mean users can be notified about new content and messages
- Company announcements can reach everyone who uses the intranet first. This again will inspire everyone to stay connected and engaged
- It enables you to spot those who are unwilling to embrace change and new technology ( a controversial one, but useful nonetheless )
- There is a central record of all announcements and discussions which is a great communal archive to monitor progress of the business
- Nobody in the business can say they didn’t have access to strategic announcements and information
- It’s a great central resource for digital training, personal development and CPD assets and materials
The list goes on, but I think these top ten reasons are key considerations and benefits to show why your business needs an intranet.
If you have an example of real benefits you have seen from implementing a new intranet, please do share. It’d be great to see examples of where this has really made a difference.
(thanks to Laura Murray for the idea to blog about this)