If you are new to intranets and wondering what all the fuss about social intranets is, well I’m here to help. A social intranet is often requested but when we meet to chat through requirements, sometimes the understanding of why it’s important and what it can help achieve are unclear.
The phrase “Social Intranet” has been around for a few years now. Nielsen Norman produced their first report on social networking in 2009 and their latest report on social features was published in 2013. As we have all adapted and embraced social media into our everyday lives, our expectations of intranet software have also changed.
Today there is an expectation that users will be able to connect, contribute, engage, collaborate and comment through their intranet, the essence of digital “social”. A social intranet delivers on all of these requirements and alleviates old frustrations of anonymous content, contributor restrictions and the inability to find and connect with colleagues.
To understand why you need a social intranet, it’s perhaps more appropriate to look at the benefits it can bring to the whole organisation:
Social Intranet Benefits:
1) Greater employee engagement
Enabling everyone to take ownership of the content they publish, gives recognition for great ideas and feedback. Engaged employees help create a positive and supportive culture which can uncover new ways of working and solutions to wider complex business issues.
2) Easier Intranet adoption
Encouraging intranet adoption is made easier when the intranet is the hub of new ideas, celebrating successes and connecting people. In doing so the intranet is at the business core.
3) Better collaboration
Giving everyone the tools to work more effectively doesn’t automatically generate better collaboration. As new content and ideas are posted, people can feedback and offer advice or new ways of thinking about something or solutions to problems, collaboration and innovation will start to happen.
Microblogs are great ways for everyone to communicate things that are important to them and also celebrate success.
4) Connecting your remote workforce
Today, more than ever our colleagues are not all based at the same office in the same country. Connecting people, countries and projects together has in the past been problematic. The social intranet however is a great way of making sure that everyone can access key information when needed and feel part of the organisation. Distance is no longer a barrier to an engaged workforce.
5) Improved Productivity
Ultimately social intranets can help to improve your organisations productivity, through motivating teams, finding new ways of working and streamlining communication channels.