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? There are plenty of tools available online that promise to deliver much; however, when budgets and time are tight, it’s essential to make the right decision. 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, all for just a modest investment. In this post we ask what’s the definition and main advantages of an intranet solution. Then, we provide 40 compelling reasons why your business should have an employee intranet NOW!
What Is An Intranet?
Before we get into the detail, it’s important to be clear about what we are talking about and so here is our definition of an intranet.
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.
Purpose Of An Intranet
So, what does an intranet do? How will it work? Well, think of an intranet as being the home screen for your employees. Each day staff members log on and use the intranet to accomplish tasks and access information and data needed to get the job done.
It could be something simple like booking a meeting room, completing an expenses claim form or checking out the latest company news bulletin. Maybe it’s something more involved like working on a cross-departmental initiative to improve the customer experience. A dedicated project space on the intranet enables team members to collaborate, share insights and work jointly on G Suite or Office 365 documents embedded directly in the intranet.
Quite simply, the purpose of an intranet is to support the smooth and efficient operation of your business.
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 tempting, 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. What’s more, cloud intranets offer good value for money. Usually, services are provided at a fixed monthly price and may also cover unlimited users and unlimited data. Cost certainty, as well as a very reasonable price, provide an unbeatable combination.
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.
Employee Intranet Advantages
OK, so what are the benefits an intranet has to offer? Well, the bottom line is that employee intranets will deliver on a whole range of business objectives. Here we present 40 compelling reasons why your business needs an employee intranet now.
40 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.
2. Promote Genuine Dialogue With Employees
You can also use the employee intranet to develop an ongoing dialogue with staff or to promote internal conversations across teams and departments. Through blogs and team or company forums, 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.
3. 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 intranet is an excellent tool for increasing employee engagement. The improved internal communications provided by the intranet, alongside opportunities to have two-way conversations with management, are an important first step in developing employee engagement in your business.
4. Make The CEO And Senior Leadership More Accessible
In the quest to improve employee engagement, an intranet-based CEO blog or vlog is a great way to reach out directly to staff. Getting up close and personal will make the senior leadership team come across as being more open, accessible and just like everyone else. It’s a simple and potentially highly effective tool. However, for maximum effect rather than being just a corporate mouthpiece, it needs to be authentic and heartfelt.
5. Canvass Staff Views With Surveys and Quizzes
And when you’re ready to take employee engagement to another level, then you can utilize the intranet’s easy-to-use, in-built surveys and quizzes tool to canvass staff views on a range of issues. It may be that you want feedback on a new program of employee benefits. Perhaps you would like staff to give their opinions on the revamped 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.
6. Measure Employee Engagement With An Annual Survey
Many companies have developed annual staff engagement surveys on the intranet as a way of assessing and measuring over time how they are doing on the employee engagement front. You can also use the data to compare and benchmark your performance with others in the industry.
7. 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, 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.
8. Facilitate Knowledge Transfer
It’s estimated that up to 10,000 people retire every day in the US. That’s potentially a great deal of company knowledge that’s simply walking out the door. An intranet is a useful tool in ensuring the effective transfer of knowledge within your company. Different people learn in different ways and the beauty of an intranet is that it offers multiple media to satisfy those varied needs. Take your pick from the following by no means exhaustive list of possibilities to support the transfer of knowledge:
- How-to videos
- Quizzes and checklists
- Standard operating procedures
- Frequently asked questions.
9. Make File And Document Sharing Easier
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 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.
10. Harness The Power Of Google In Your Intranet
Lots of businesses already make extensive use of G Suite – Google’s set of collaborative and cloud-based content sharing apps. And now you can leverage the power of G Suite alongside your employee intranet. Embedding the G Suite apps directly in your intranet pages means that you can provide important background and context. Live calendars, forms, documents and spreadsheets within your intranet pages mean that users can view, edit and collaborate online and in real-time.
11. Share And Collaborate More Effectively With Office 365
And if MS Office 365 is your preferred office system and collaboration tool, just as you can harness the power of G Suite, so you can do the same with embedded Word and Excel documents. Combining powerful tools like these in the one cloud-based platform will lead to enhanced productivity and increased savings with any time, anywhere access.
12. Do Away With Paper And Email Processes
There’s no denying it – paper and email-based business processes are a cumbersome way of getting things done. How many of us are swamped with overflowing in-trays and unwieldy in-boxes? It’s just not an efficient way of operating and it’s also prone to errors with the inevitable problems of information going astray or being misplaced altogether. Instead automate businesses processes via the intranet for faster, more efficient and accurate operations.
13. 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.
14. Make It Easy To Find Information With Advanced Search Functionality
The ability to find information quickly is a great advantage to efficient and effective business operations. The intranet’s advanced search function will support this. Users can easily locate information and data by searching using key words within the content and title.
15. Break Down Information Silos
Information silos exist in most organizations to some extent. An unwillingness or an inability to share data, or a reluctance to hand over control can impede the flow of information between teams or departments. An employee intranet helps to break down those barriers. The self-service nature of the employee intranet means that staff members can directly source information for themselves. Dynamic navigation and sophisticated search functionality will make information silos a thing of the past.
16. Provide More Opportunities For Collaboration
Two heads are indeed better than one. Providing more opportunities for collaboration will stimulate creativity and innovation throughout the whole company. The intranet can help you achieve this by providing dedicated project workspaces where employees can come together. They are able to use this to brainstorm ideas, share insights and information as well as jointly work on documents and files. The platform can also bring staff together and enable them to make connections via a social intranet.
17. Support Flexible Working
The open-all-hours nature of the intranet means that employees can log on anytime and anywhere. This gives employees the opportunity to work more flexibly than ever before. Your staff members can 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.
18. Connect With And Retain Oversight Of Remote Workers
And if your business is one like a growing number that utilizes remote workers or freelancers in the gig economy, then the employee intranet means you can connect with and retain oversight of these workers.
Research tells us that 4.3 million employees in the US now work from home at least half of the time. This is a trend that’s only going to increase as among the non-self-employed, the number regularly working at home has grown by 140 percent since 2005. What’s more, the number of freelancers in the US economy has reached over 57 million. In the face of these kinds of statistics, it’s vital that companies have systems in place to meet the operational challenges. An employee intranet will do just that.
19. 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 or freelancers a sense of the company culture, its values and how they connect with the vision and mission of the organization.
20. 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, vacation application forms 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.
21. 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.
22. Facilitate Collaboration With Staff Biographies
Some businesses have taken things 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.
23. 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’s easy to create simple e-learning pages for employees. This will make the 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.
24. Keep An Online Log of Employees’ Professional Development
Furthermore, e-learning systems provide an electronic record of training and achievement for each employee. This is often an essential record for compliance and auditing purposes and it is a very visible demonstration to employees of their value to the company.
25. 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.
26. Safeguard Important Company Data
Email and online systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Safeguarding the security of commercially sensitive or confidential company information has to be a priority. But if you think that firewall is the name of a new band, or that phishing is something you do off a boat, then it’s time to pass on the responsibility for online security to someone else. The truth is that the threat of cybercrime is constantly evolving and keeping on top of it is almost a full-time occupation. With a cloud employee intranet, the provider retains responsibility for security and ensures your data is protected with the very latest security measures.
27. Keep Staff Updated On Company Events And Important Deadlines
The company calendar tool is an effective way to keep everyone updated on corporate events and deadlines. Your employees need never miss anything again as the calendar feature is updated in real-time so staff can be confident they are always accessing the very latest data.
28. Celebrate Company Successes
Have you just won that important tender? Or perhaps your market share has increased by 20 percent over the last quarter? Use the intranet’s news feed to celebrate important company successes. It’s hugely motivating for staff to see that their contribution is making a difference and that the business is succeeding. So, if you have something to shout about, then make sure everyone hears the message by utilizing the intranet.
29. Recognize And Reward Employees
As well as celebrating company successes, it’s important that you also recognize the achievements of staff. The intranet is the perfect forum for a company-wide employee recognition scheme. It could be the team that’s gone above and beyond, or a staff member with an innovative idea. Whatever the case may be, acknowledging the contribution through the news feed or a dedicated intranet page sends a clear signal to staff about just how important their efforts are. Plus the public validation is very motivating for employees and will enhance employee engagement across the board.
30. Promote Employee Wellness
Every responsible employer should make it’s a priority to look after the health and wellbeing of the workforce. After all, healthy and happy employees are less likely to be off sick and are more likely to be focused and productive when at work.
The intranet can help to promote the message with a health and wellness portal. As well as being a repository for information on work-related health issues, the portal can also promote company wellbeing initiatives. It could be morning yoga classes, subsidized gym membership on on-site health checks. Or it could be a vehicle for staff to connect with others by sharing healthy recipes or finding lunchtime walking buddies.
31. Encourage Mindfulness At Work
We’ve heard much lately about how practicing mindfulness can improve the focus and creative energy of staff members. The example set by the likes of Nike and Google means that more companies are experimenting with mindfulness programs. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment and not allowing yourself to get distracted. Use the intranet to encourage staff to practice mindfulness exercises. Have a call to staff on logging in encouraging them to undertake meditation or breathing exercises as a way of focusing the mind before the challenges of the day begin.
32. Simplify Employee Onboarding
Effective onboarding should be a key priority for every business. It’s important that new employees are quickly assimilated and are up and running as soon as possible. The employee intranet allows for a consistent, streamlined process. What’s more, the new staff member can access the dedicated onboarding section at a time and place that suits them and can complete tasks at their own pace. In addition, managers are able to track progress via the intranet for compliance and reporting purposes.
33. Provide More Effective Offboarding
Likewise, the employee intranet provides the opportunity to more effectively manage offboarding. Departing employees and the reasons why they are leaving provide a wealth of data on the health of any business. From setting up exit interviews, handing over and transferring knowledge to new or remaining staff through to managing the termination process, the employee intranet makes for a more efficient process and ensures all steps are completed.
34. Improve The Employee Experience
There’s no doubting, there’s a scarcity of talent out there. In response, companies are focusing their attention on creating a positive, holistic employee experience as a way of attracting and retaining the best people. Developing employee engagement, promoting employee wellness and supporting employees’ continuing professional development are all important elements of this. So too is intranet software that provides staff with access to all the tools, information and resources they need to be productive.
35. Enhance The Customer Experience
It naturally follows that employees who are empowered and equipped with the tools and resources they need will also be providing enhanced customer service. You could, however, take it a step further by developing a customer portal via the intranet for improved access and responsiveness for customers.
36. Increase Engagement With Partners
And if your business relies on partners selling or reselling product, then a partner portal via the intranet offers the potential for better engagement. Your partners will be able to engage with you and exchange information 24/7. The benefits in terms of greater control, oversight and accountability are obvious and are not to be underestimated.
37. Improve Quality Assurance Processes
Assuring the quality of your product or service is a fundamental task for any organization. An employee intranet though, can make it a much easier and more streamlined one. From documenting procedures and developing process checklists through to staff training, process reviews and data management, the flexible nature of the intranet means that you can accomplish all of these quality assurance tasks in a single platform.
38. Ensure Compliance With Corporate Responsibilities
Similarly, an employee intranet can support compliance and reporting procedures within your business. Whether it’s internal compliance processes, safety and health requirements or achieving ISO accreditation, the intranet will tick all the boxes, helping you to ensure all tasks are completed as required by legislation or industry guidance.
39. Standardize Project Management Processes
Every business involves some form of project management, but the chances are that different teams will have different project management processes in place. There are a vast number of project management tools and software out there and most of us have a favorite that we like to use. However, that favorite tool may not be one that’s familiar to everyone. It’s possible though to set up a streamlined project management process on the intranet. As staff members are already using the intranet on a daily basis, it’s an obvious and readily implemented solution where file and updates can be kept in a single place. A simple approach could be to link to the latest embedded project plan. You could also provide updates to the rest of the company on how a project is progressing on a dedicated project page.
40. Facilitate More Efficient And Effective Working
The bottom line is that with all these great benefits on offer, your business will be more efficient and effective. And that translates into increased productivity and profits.
Signing up for an employee intranet really is 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.