Do you want to improve efficiency, productivity and performance in your business? Of course you do! Every company wants to streamline processes, improve communications and maximize profits, but what’s the best and most cost-effective way to set about it? An employee intranet could well be the solution you are looking for. In a single platform, employee intranet software offers a whole host of business benefits for a modest investment. We ask what’s the definition and main advantages of this type of solution. Then, we provide ten reasons why your business should have an intranet for your employees.
Employee Intranet Advantages
Employee intranets will deliver on a range of business objectives with the following making up the top ten:
- Improve internal communications
- Increase employee engagement
- Enhance organizational knowledge management
- Disseminate information quickly and easily
- Instill a sense of the company brand and culture
- Develop online approval forms
- Utilize user profiles and biographies in online staff directory
- Effective management of documents and files
- Support ongoing training and development
- Build connections and relationships between colleagues.
Below we look at each of these in turn and examine how an intranet will deliver results to your business. First though let’s define what we mean by employee intranet.
Employee Intranet Definition
In simple terms, an employee intranet is a closed, internal communications network. Just as your website is the outside face of your organization and brand, so the intranet is the internal version. It includes a range of modules and tools that employees can utilize in support of their work.
Types Of Employee Intranet
It is possible to create an employee intranet using software downloaded from the web such as WordPress, which is then hosted on a company server. Although the prospect of a bespoke employee intranet that is a perfect match to your organization’s needs might be a tempting prospect, it is an undertaking not to be underestimated. It requires a considerable investment of time and resources in developing, testing and piloting the intranet software. Furthermore, often the software, although capable of delivering a working intranet, has not been created for that specific purpose. Extra add-ons and plug-ins to achieve the required functionality can make for a convoluted and challenging exercise even for a dedicated IT department.
Cloud employee intranets, on the other hand, are a far more straightforward option. Cloud intranet providers utilize fully customizable pre-built intranet templates. The templates have already been extensively tested in the field which means your site can be up and running in just a few days. Easy to set up, no great technical expertise is needed to create your own unique employee intranet. It’s no surprise, therefore, that most companies deploying intranet software opt for the simple choice of cloud employee intranets over the do-it-yourself option.
10 Reasons Why Every Business Needs An Intranet
1. Improve Internal Communications
Number one on the list is improved internal communications. The employee intranet is the perfect vehicle for sharing timely and consistent corporate messages. Whether it’s staff news, product launches, company announcements or internal memos, the employee intranet’s news feed or what’s new button is the quickest way to get the message out there. In addition, you can use the employee intranet to develop an ongoing dialogue with staff or to promote internal conversations across teams and departments. The intranet allows employees to easily share new ideas and insights, offer feedback and suggestions to management as well as facilitating internal communications with other employees working in different locations or even from home.
2. Increase Employee Engagement
There’s plenty of research that suggests engaged employees tend to be happier, are more productive and have a longer tenure with an employer. In fact, according to Gallup, the best-performing companies on the employee engagement front have 21 percent higher profitability than those in the bottom quartile. There’s much at stake for businesses, and an employee intranet is an excellent tool for increasing employee engagement.
Utilize the employee intranet’s easy-to-use in-built surveys and quizzes tool to canvass staff views on a range of issues. It may be you want feedback on a new program of employee benefits. Perhaps you would like staff to give their opinions on the new company logo. You can even survey staff on the preferred location for a team social outing. Whatever the case may be, quizzes and surveys are a versatile and highly effective way to engage with employees.
3. Enhance Organizational Knowledge Management
Most companies have vast amounts of data stored electronically, often in multiple locations such as network drives, email, Google Drive and on individual computers. An employee intranet, however, provides one central location for all company-critical information and data which can be accessed at any time by any member of staff. Using this type of central system prevents overlap and duplication of effort, allows employees to obtain the files they need directly and makes for a more efficient and streamlined process. It also means that the task of managing, organizing and updating corporate knowledge is simpler and more effective.
4. Disseminate Information Quickly And Easily
When it comes to disseminating information quickly and easily, the employee intranet’s content management system is the most efficient platform. Information is accessible in the cloud 24/7 from any location via an internet connection and can be organized in a way that makes sense to your business and company setup. This self-service approach is not only empowering for employees, it’s also a great time-saver which means that staff can focus on more productive tasks other than sourcing information.
In addition, employees can log on to the intranet and access data while, for example, on their daily train commute into work or waiting for their morning take-out coffee. Moreover, those staff that spend time out on the road meeting with clients or in a servicing role can provide a much more responsive service to customers. The mobile-optimized employee intranet means that all the company information is available at their fingertips regardless of location.
5. Instill A Sense Of The Company Brand And Culture
As an organization-wide tool, the employee intranet is often used to instill in new hires a sense of the company culture and how they connect with the vision and mission of the organization. Different personnel will have different learning styles. However, the inherently flexible employee intranet means that a variety of media can be deployed to satisfy the full range of learning preferences. Take your pick from videos, webcasts, podcasts, interactive webinars, wikis, infographics, surveys, checklists or online manuals. In addition, the intranet can track all this activity for compliance and can feedback to the new hire and their manager on progress.
6. Develop Online Approval Forms
There’s no getting away from it – every business needs to complete a variety of approval forms: from bank details and tax forms for payroll, setting up an email address and access to the company network, leave applications and expenses claims through to ordering supplies. It’s a slow and difficult process to complete these via traditional means such as paper forms and emails. Speed up the system and eliminate the potential for errors by automating these processes with online approval forms.
Select from the employee intranet’s integrated forms builder or utilize an embedded Google Form and create your own customized forms. Using drag and drop functionality, it’s a simple process to create a professional looking online form, so much so that you don’t need to be any great technical whizz. In addition, apply a few simple rules, and the employee intranet can automatically route the completed form through to the relevant staff member for approval or action.
7. Utilize User Profiles In An Online Staff Directory
We’ve all had that first day at a new job experience where we’ve been introduced to a dozen colleagues and within five minutes have forgotten their names! An easily updated online staff directory on the employee intranet does away with that embarrassing problem. The new hire will be able to refresh their memory by clicking on the faces or names within the online directory.
Some businesses have taken this idea a step further and have included more detailed employee profiles and biographies within the staff directory. As well as outlining the worker’s primary job focus, areas of expertise and current projects, you could include additional social intranet features like individual activity walls or follow-me functionality.
These features help to connect employees and encourage collaboration and joint working. In addition, online staff directories enhance the individual employee’s understanding of how everything fits together by placing colleagues in the relevant organizational context.
8. Effective Management Of Documents And Files
When it comes to the sharing and management of documents, files and key data, the employee intranet is the central repository for all company-wide information. What’s more, the employee intranet’s easy to understand site navigation and an advanced search functionality means it is a simple process for staff to locate and share all the information they need to get the job done. It could be a product brochure, marketing materials, compliance checklist or a safety and health manual: whatever it is the intranet’s straightforward site setup will make it easier for staff to source and share information for themselves.
9. Support Ongoing Training And Development
It’s likely that employees will from time to time be required to undergo training and development to update their knowledge and skills. Using an employee intranet it is easy to create simple e-learning page for employees, this will make this process easier than more traditional classroom-based forms of training. Furthermore, old-style, face-to-face training sessions are not always the most cost-effective solution. By the time you have factored in venue charges, tutors’ fees and the costs of covering employees’ absences from work, it can prove to be an expensive exercise.
Employee intranet-based e-learning in comparison is a proven, cost-effective and flexible way to deploy work-related training. The e-learning could take many forms including webinars, quizzes, how-to videos, podcasts or blogs.
E-learning has the additional advantage of delivering consistent content to all learners, minimizing disruption to normal business activities and allowing staff to train at their own pace and outside of normal working hours. Furthermore, e-learning systems provide an electronic record of training and achievement for each new employee. This is an essential record for compliance and auditing purposes and it is a very visible demonstration to the new employee of their value to the company. One area to also consider is the online training of new staff on company policies and procedures. There are many benefits of managing and recording your employee onboarding via the company intranet.
10. Build Connections And Relationships Between Colleagues
Discussion forums and collaborative workspaces on the employee intranet are the perfect tools for encouraging colleagues to make connections with others in the organization. Sharing best practice and insights as well as engaging in comments and feedback help to build those all-important social relationships in the workplace. In this way, individual employees can feel a sense of connection and common purpose with their co-workers. After all, building relationships with colleagues is an important part of our working lives.
Employee Intranets: More Efficient And Effective Working
With all these great benefits on offer, signing up for an employee intranet is really a no-brainer. What’s more, it’s a very cost-effective solution. With a MyHub Intranet, you can enjoy all these great benefits for just a modest fixed monthly fee, which covers an unlimited number of users and unlimited data storage.
Are you interested in finding out more? The team at MyHub is happy to discuss your organization’s needs. Our super easy to set up and manage cloud intranet templates are guaranteed to deliver the whole host of business benefits. Contact MyHub for more information or a free demonstration of how a cloud intranet can help. Why not even sign up for a 14-day no-obligation trial and discover the many advantages that an intranet has to offer.