Company Intranet Software
It’s hard to sit in the cozy leather chair in your small or medium business (SMB) or at the owner’s right hand as HR director. If you’re tired of shaking your head about how to get employees to collaborate in a virtual space and strengthen your company culture, there’s hope. You want a culture that is built on values like clear communication, transparency, accountability, and teamwork, but you’re not sure where to begin. The good news is that you can do all of this with the right intranet software.
Company Culture is a Challenge
We know that every time you add employees to your SMB, it gets harder to standardize the culture and reinforce employee adherence to everyday business practices. Adding more personnel means less time to focus on individualized training and relying more heavily on veteran employees teach the tenets of the culture. While new hires want to fit in, they will also have different levels of response to the indoctrination efforts of your senior workers.
The Key is Communication
The success of any efforts to standardize how your employees perform their everyday tasks is communication. In a small healthcare agency, for example, this might look like how managers and employees talk to each other and how they interact with the patients. They will need to use values such as respect, tolerance, and cultural sensitivity. Where do you discuss these tenets of basic communication that are essential to every healthcare organization? One place is at new employee orientation, and another is within specific employee training modules. Both of these are easy to create and store in the form of web pages, videos, or written documents on the company intranet.
Beyond Intranet Business Process Workflow
When you’re considering how to standardize best your cultural values and practices, you’ve probably given much thought to investing in better automation tools. Much has been written in the small business world about the importance of automation. There’s a software solution for just about every business need. Where one does not exist, you can hire a software developer to make one for the company. Keep in mind that managing the stages of growth in a SMB calls for creating a strategy and implementing it with fidelity throughout the organization. As a member of the senior management team, don’t let the company grow too fast. Don’t allow the team to skip important steps in building employee support for cultural values and practices. Here, we look beyond the benefits of automation to considering whether your intranet is designed to keep employees informed of all expectations, whether for interacting with clients or completing expense reports. You can use the intranet to strengthen the culture through these important stages of growth.
Your Intranet as the Hub of Company Cultural Values
Recently, Forbes.com contributor Denise Lee Yohn described some things that growing companies want to avoid. Here are examples of stages that she notes: “Whether opening new units, introducing a new product, executing an acquisition, or expanding the brand footprint, companies often experience growing pains.” Consider her example of the local café. When your company introduces new locations, the people who were customers at the original location might not like how you changed things, especially to benefit the staff at the newest locations. From where you’re sitting, the ways things were done at the first café might have been “slow, quirky, and somewhat inconsistent,” writes Yohn, but that’s what your customers came to expect. They don’t like change. This is the same experience you’d expect from veteran employees. One of Yohn’s recommendations is to explain upcoming changes to customers and to ensure that employees know how to communicate them well.
Using the Basic Features of Your Intranet Software
Let’s look at how that might look when you’re using a template-based content management system as the backbone for the company intranet. Every type of content that employees must access will exist on a server. Pieces of content will only be useful if employees know where to find them and use them. The company intranet is where you post information such as changes to business procedures that will be implemented in all business locations. It’s where you post videos explaining new policies and procedures, give examples, and provide additional training materials that employees might need. Your intranet is also where you can create a discussion board for employees to ask questions and get answers about new procedures from management. In a MyHub intranet, you can use employee profiles to restrict access to these types of internal materials to employees with a predefined user role.
Focus on Employee Engagement
What we love about building a company intranet are the endless possibilities. Any content that you post for internal use has the potential to inspire workers. One study used as part of its framework the idea that a sense of purpose motivates employees. Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi defined the purpose as “when the direct outcome of the work fits your identity.” They give the example of the teacher who works to educate and empower children. You want employees to feel that their work reinforces their identity as a member of your company.
Leveraging Your Intranet’s Potential For HR
What if you used every effort at communicating with employees as an attempt to increase their motivation. Post information on your intranet that will inform employees so that they know why things are going to be done a certain way. Help them understand how that information affects their role within the organization. Encourage them to get the support they need from HR staff, trainers, and their supervisors so they can implement changes with fidelity. Alleviate any concerns they may have that changes will affect their performance. Give employees multiple opportunities to interact with intranet content to increase their sense of identity and purpose within the organization. They will consistently work harder on the company’s behalf if they have a strong identity and feel that their work is meaningful.
A good intranet also helps your organization inform customers about any changes to internal practices that will impact them. It’s easy to use your MyHub intranet solution to create registered users, which could include your customers using an extranet style approach. You can create user accounts and roles for customers who fit a certain list of criteria or one account for every customer. It all depends on your business needs. Some companies use a section of their intranet as a place for employees to receive customer feedback. Using an intranet template, you could create a customer feedback form and then assign a manager to post examples to recognize employees throughout the organization. The same system could also be used to forward feedback to managers of operational areas so they can correct specific problems with employee performance.
Your ability to motivate employees and keep them working towards the company’s strategic goals is a challenge, especially during periods of rapid growth and change. You want one place where all employees can access relevant information. With an intranet, use your site’s security features to protect internal content and limit access to employees with specific user privileges. It’s easy to set the length of time that any page within the intranet will appear. For example, you might create a page for employee benefits open enrollment and schedule it to disappear a week after the period closes. There are so many possibilities for increasing communication and standardizing the values and practices in your company culture. The intranet is a central place to communicate vital information and manage change. Your employees need every advantage they can get to adapt to change and succeed in their roles.
For more ideas on building your company culture with your intranet as a powerful workspace and information board, please contact us today.