We’ve heard it all before: Social intranets just waste time. All your staff are going to do is idle away their time, sharing cat photos, holiday stories, and muffin recipes. Having a social intranet certainly won’t lead to an increase in productivity and more than likely will be the death of your business.
Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
We’re here to bust these rampant intranet myths and illustrate to company owners across the world how a well-used intranet can revolutionize your organization, bringing a myriad of business benefits. But first, let’s take a look at what we mean by social intranet.
Redefining Social Intranets
If you work in the business world, chances are you’re familiar with the concept of an intranet. Most companies use some form of intranet, as a central location to collect and store organizational information, business tools and documents.
When we talk about a social intranet, this incorporates all of the above, and more. Essentially, a social intranet takes the standard central repository of a business and revitalizes it to be a thriving oasis of communication. As well as document management systems and business process, a social intranet offers a range of social functionality.
This can include the likes of:
- Company and team news
- Ability for staff to post comments and monitor a news feed
- Leadership blogs
- Special groups and pages
- Staff biographies
- Team collaboration and project workspaces
- Staff directories
- Activity walls and follow features
Social intranets are so much more than just a place for staff to gossip and distract each other. They are a space to communicate, interact, and add-value—both from a strictly business perspective, with the productive functionality it offers, as well as from a human perspective.
A Changing World
Business is about people, all organizations are simply collections of people, and all business interactions boil down to is building relationships with other people. Whether you’re dealing with colleagues, clients, suppliers, or prospects, “working” is all about humans interacting to change something.
In today’s digital world, your teams are used to being online. Gone are the days of gathering around the water cooler or the photocopier. The arena for interaction is now a virtual one. According to one recent survey, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. The majority of your staff are highly active in online social spaces — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat… The list goes on. For them, sharing personal information and exchanging ideas online is the norm.
Companies which recognize the powerful human element of business, and adapt to their worker’s online preferences, are the ones who win. Instead of fighting a losing battle, be proactive and create a space within your controlled work environment where staff can collaborate online and share ideas, socialize and build connections. Rather than destroy your culture, it will be a big step towards strengthening it.
How A Social Intranet Will Revolutionize Your Business
It’s one thing to vaguely acknowledge that staff interacting online is important, but it’s another thing to genuinely realize the tangible business benefits. Look no further; here are our top three reasons why a social intranet will revolutionize your organization:
1. It Enables Mass Collaboration
Through an effectively set up social intranet, collaboration abounds. Rather than having to go back and forth via email, phone, and face-to-face meetings, social intranet provides one uniform platform for all interaction to occur on. So much so that research shows companies which use social technologies for collaboration raise productivity by an amazing 20 to 25 percent.
Let’s look at an example of collaboration in action with a social intranet. Say your company is rolling out a new marketing strategy to improve overall customer experience. Instead of relying on their limited knowledge, the marketing manager can utilize the staff directory to handpick employees with the right experience to be on the project team. This team can then communicate directly on a group page through the social intranet, exchanging all information, data and insights—without any need to be in the same physical location. Programs like MS Office or Google Docs can be embedded directly into the intranet, so draft documents can be worked on and updated simultaneously, in real-time. No more emailing draft documents back and forth! Once your strategy is completed, its launch can be announced on the company newsfeed, from which individuals can then download their own copies, and share stories about.
Overall, social intranet facilitates a seamless collaboration process for teams to work together on projects, eliminating lengthy meetings, physical travel, and messy document versions.
2. It Drives Staff Engagement
It’s common knowledge that an engaged workforce is a productive workforce. In fact, companies with engaged workforces report a 22 percent increase in profitability when compared with those who have low rates of engagement.
When staff have the ability to go beyond a static, professional relationship with their colleagues, and share personal wins and celebrations, they create a connection. When they hear stories from their leaders, they feel communicated with. When they have the ability to participate on projects around the globe, they feel like they are a part of a collaborative environment. Such communication, connection, and collaboration are all key drivers of staff engagement and are all facilitated by a social intranet.
Utilize a social intranet, and ultimately, your bottom line will benefit.
3. It Eliminates Information Silos
There’s nothing worse than one person leaving your organization, and taking all of their knowledge with them. Social intranets are the antidote to this disease. Content management systems, document management systems, improved internal communications, and collaborative environments mean that information no longer becomes stuck in silos. Staff can share each other’s knowledge more effectively and have a better insight into the bigger picture of company direction. As a result, teams build a stronger sense of identity and purpose, leading to more sustainable performance.
Say Goodbye To The Social Intranet Myths
At the end of the day, social interactions in the workplace make for happier, more productive employees. Companies which create human-centered work practices see a marked improvement in company culture, and connection to purpose. As a result, employees are happier, more engaged employees and your bottom line benefits.
The other side of the coin is not providing a social intranet for your staff. More likely than not, they will continue to use social platforms at work, just the ones that aren’t centered on your company — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. These platforms can be genuinely unproductive, as distractions abound. By not providing a social intranet, you drive staff to distraction, instead of facilitating the necessary social interaction in a productive, beneficial environment.
All work and no play doesn’t actually translate to a better bottom line. Allow for the human element of work, and strike a balance that allows for an enjoyable and profitable workplace.
Interested in finding out more? We’d love for you to get in touch with us here at MyHub for an informal discussion on social intranets! You’re also welcome to try out our intranet software for yourself with a free demo or 14-day trial period.
It could be the best business decision you make all day.