You launched your company intranet over a year ago and office life has been wonderful ever since. The company intranet has lived up to its promise: staff members are more engaged and productive, internal communications have improved and business processes have been streamlined. If that’s the case with your company intranet then well done. The challenge now though is to sustain that great result and ensure that your intranet continues to deliver even after the initial wave of enthusiasm has waned. The key to doing just that is to set up a company intranet steering group. In this post, we look at how an intranet steering group will help to ensure your company intranet remains relevant, dynamic and fit for purpose.
What Is A Company Intranet Steering Group?
In essence, an intranet steering group is responsible for managing and monitoring the company intranet on an ongoing basis. The group should be tasked with ensuring the intranet continues to meet the original aims and objectives assigned. And the group can also revise these goals in the light of changing circumstances and business needs.
Who Should Be Represented On The Group?
It’s important that the steering group is chaired by a senior manager. This gives the group the necessary organizational authority and ensures that the members can get things done. Each business is different, but as well as senior management representation your intranet steering group should also include a broad range of end users. The input of those staff who use the intranet every day is fundamental to the steering group’s monitoring and development role. What’s more, being inclusive will allow you to more easily assess the overall impact of the intranet at all levels. Depending on the intranet software selected (Note from Ed: with MyHub you don’t need help from IT in most cases) it’s also a good idea to have a representative from the IT department or a staff member with technical know-how to deal with any technological queries and provide guidance as to what’s achievable with the company intranet. Ideally, your intranet steering group should be large enough to easily get things done and have adequate representation, but not so big that it becomes unwieldy and hard to manage.
What Are The Steering Group’s Terms Of Reference?
The specific terms of reference will vary from organization to organization but are likely to include some or all of the following elements:
- Monitoring the progress of the company intranet against its aims and objectives.
- Revising the aims and objectives in the light of changing business needs.
- Keeping up to date with technological developments that could impact on the company intranet.
- Requesting new intranet functionality to meet the ongoing needs of users.
- Ensuring adequate staff training and onboarding for new team members.
- Managing the company intranet budget and authorizing expenditure.
In essence, the key purpose of the steering group is to maintain organizational oversight of the intranet and provide a direct link between management and end users.
What Difference Will A Steering Group Make?
If you’re still unconvinced about the need for an intranet steering group in your organization, then here are some reasons as to why you may want to think again.
The intranet steering group will continually develop the company intranet. Having made the investment of time and resources in getting your intranet off the ground in the first place, it would be foolish not to ensure that it continues to meet your business needs. The intranet steering group will be charged with making sure the intranet grows and develops along with your business and that its functionality is still relevant. Without such a group it will be difficult to have the same level of oversight, co-ordination and sense of common purpose on an organization-wide basis. And you also run the risk of your company intranet becoming irrelevant and redundant to end users.
The intranet steering group will ensure your intranet is the best it can be. Here at MyHub, we find that businesses which allow their intranets to operate in an organizational vacuum without any central oversight often are not getting the best out them. The company intranet should be seen almost as a living organism that is constantly evolving rather than a one-off that you install and forget about. With an intranet steering group, your business is continually evaluating the intranet’s performance as well as suggesting improvements as a result of feedback from end users or changing business needs. In fact, maximizing your return on investment and ensuring that the company intranet is the best it can be are easily achieved with an intranet steering group.
The intranet steering group promotes staff engagement and inclusivity. The group is a great way to ensure that when it comes to the intranet, everyone within the organization has a contribution to make and a formal mechanism for getting their voice heard. With representation from across the business, the reach of the steering group is extensive and inclusive. Any staff member with a good idea should be encouraged to put it forward to the steering group for consideration. What’s more, in its monitoring role the steering group will be in regular contact with end users to make sure that the intranet is still meeting their needs and is continuing to achieve its goals. In short, the intranet steering group is a great vehicle for staying in touch with end users and engaging with staff generally.
The intranet steering group will monitor ongoing training and development needs. Another key task of the steering group is to have oversight of the training needs of staff members in relation to the intranet. So if for example, new functionality is introduced in response to changing business needs then the steering group will have the responsibility for ensuring all staff members are trained in how to use it so that they continue to get the most out of the intranet. Likewise, the steering group will be responsible for the onboarding of new employees in how to operate the intranet.
Get The Most Out Of The Intranet
All in all, an intranet steering group will tick a number of important boxes for your business:
- improved monitoring of the effectiveness of the company intranet
- increased return on investment
- enhanced employee engagement.
And it will make sure that your company intranet grows with your business and continues to be fit for purpose.
If you would like help or advice on setting up an intranet steering group in your organization, then get in touch with us here at MyHub.