Bursting The Bubble: A Company Intranet Can’t Solve Everything

Apr 7, 2017 | 0 comments

Companies are adopting intranet software solutions left, right, and centre, which is great. The benefits of a company intranet are plentiful, from enhancing employee engagement to offering ready access to data that employees within the company need to complete their job effectively. The illusion is that, once implemented, an intranet will solve everything. Unfortunately, as much as everyone would love for this thought to be true, it’s time to burst that bubble. While an intranet can solve many common problems affecting businesses, there are some aspects that you still need to keep an open mind with.

Here are the four most common problems companies face that an intranet can’t resolve instantly.

Introverted Employees

introvert extrovert employeeThe spectrum of introverted and extroverted employees can be placed on a continuum. As individuals we are not simply one or the other, we’re a mixture based on situational contexts (and let’s be honest, most of us love a good night in even when we’re supposed to go out). With that being said, individuals have a natural tendency to show characteristics of one more than the other. Typically, in an office environment you have employees who are extremely talkative, open, and outgoing – the extroverts. Likewise, companies house introverted employees too. Extroverted employees may enjoy walking around the office engaging in conversation relating to a particular project, or relish in openly communicating their ideas in meetings. In contrast, introverted employees may prefer to quietly sit behind their desk sending virtual messages to colleagues over email or forums as their main form of communication. As introverted personalities commonly like to mentally think through their responses, quick reactions and communication of ideas is not always likely in team project meetings.

Intranets don’t have the ability to change personality characteristics (and we wouldn’t recommend it anyway – the best teams are diverse teams). Therefore, introverted employees will most likely remain introverted. However, where company intranets can help is in giving employees the chance to opt for virtual communication techniques – they may never have to engage in face-to-face conversation with another co-worker again (well, not as often anyway)! Intranet features such as forums allow employees to engage in open, free flowing communication without leaving their desk. Additionally, employees are able to search for critical information and data independently, instead of calling human resources or management for help. Not only does it create an excellent working environment for those who lean towards more introverted traits, but it can also aid in increasing productivity and efficiency. Suddenly employees have the option to do nearly any working task at the comfort of their own desk.

Screens Or Paper

Technology and computers can be seen as a fairly recent innovation. Although these advancements have been a standard part of business operation for many years now, some employees are never going to fully trust technology, particularly if they entered the workforce at a time when paper was king or like to have something tangible to hold in their hands. If you look around your company, you’ll typically see that there are a few employees who consistently have physical documents in their hands. While documents can easily be stored and accessed virtually, some employees don’t enjoy reading off a screen or prefer to have paper documents. Not just paper documents. Lots of paper documents.

Intranets can’t instantly switch these paper-hoarding employees to becoming accustomed to virtual documents. You’ll still spot the occasional employee at the printer, printing off page after page of (supposedly) critical documents. However, so long as your company is constantly updating and making necessary changes to previously existing documents, a company intranet can ensure that these employees are accessing the latest up-to-date version of a document, as opposed to one that is six months old and has been saved to an employee’s desktop.

Finding Perfect Prospect Employees

Every Human Resources department constantly faces the challenge of find the perfect employee to join your company’s pre-existing team. Whether the business needs to fill an existing position to replace an employee or create a new position to help assist a specific need, it’s a recurring task. Ideally, your HR wants to hire employees who fit into the company’s ethos, who have the talent, skills, and experience needed to ensure that they can effectively get the job done.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if your company intranet could decipher all of the incoming applications in order to pick the perfect candidate? Alas, an intranet isn’t that sophisticated – that task is better suited towards the HR department. However, while an intranet can’t hand pick your new employee, it can help the transition period after the hiring process.

The disadvantage of hiring externally, rather than internally, is that the new employee starts out with only a vague idea about the company’s practices and clients. The induction period may be a cognitive overload for the new employee, especially after being told so much information – how can they possibly absorb and remember everything? Here’s where the intranet can help immensely. Instead of needing to ask HR, management, or fellow employees an endless stream of questions, new employees can turn to the intranet and its wealth of knowledge. Your company’s intranet houses critical information regarding projects, clients, and procedures, as well as containing key training videos that can be constantly referred back to. Through the utilisation of your company’s intranet, the new employee will seamlessly fit in to the company as though they’ve been there for years.

Balancing Work And Life

It’s hard to believe that the perfect balance between work and life exists. There is a growing importance for individuals to unplug from their working responsibilities to ensure a healthy fulfilling life outside of their jobs. Although many companies are focusing their efforts on initiatives to ensure that employees are living just as much as they are working, an intranet can’t instantly solve this dilemma of a balanced life (if it could, wouldn’t everyone have one already?). Even the best intranet software in the world can’t force your employee to stop working and enjoy a weekend out in the sun with friends and family. However, it does give employees the tools necessary to disconnect.

One of the benefits of an intranet is that it gives employees the ability to check information anywhere and on any device. This increases the temptation for employees to check important information while they’re away from the office, essentially stretching the working hours and putting the life half of their balance on hold.

To combat this, you can design an intranet solution to reflect the needs of your employees both in the office and outside of the office. Company calendars not only help employees effectively manage their time regarding appointments, meetings and deadlines, but they also allow employees to plan for upcoming days off. While your intranet houses important business focused information, it can also contain information relating to your company’s wellness program for employees to refer to. Your company’s intranet can also provide forums and bulletin boards that don’t relate directly to work, rather the social aspects of your individual employees.

If your company has encountered similar problems or any other problems that your intranet can’t seem to solve, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and respond to any questions you may have.

Company Intranet Challenges Solved

Although an intranet solution can’t solve every problem a business faces, the fact remains that a company intranet can have a seriously positive impact on your business – and make some of those problems less challenging. If your company is ready to develop an intranet to implement, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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