Intranet Tough Love
Let’s have a frank discussion about your current Intranet. It’s terrible! You know it. Your employees know it. Your management team knows it. If you are like most companies, there are probably only four features that are used on your Intranet:
1) Navigation to Static Content: Numerous links to all of your company’s corporate content as well as Intranet sites for your business lines. The information is almost always static and some portion of it is out of date keeping employees guessing if they should rely on it. However, it is the best the company has to offer.
2) Corporate Directory: A people search mainly used for phone numbers. The profile is “name, rank and serial number” and not much more than that.
3) Corporate News: Five to seven top stories that are updated each week. They are read occasionally.
4) Stock Price: Easy access to see how the company is doing in the stock market.
Nine times out of ten your users are just passing through your intranet to get to the website they really want need to access. The only silver lining is that you are not falling behind most of your competitors, at least not yet. Most companies would say something very similar regarding their intranet. Corporate nation, we can do better!
Social + Intranet = Successful Collaboration Platform
What if you had an Intranet that was engaging and not static? What if it was a mix of top down content (corporate news) plus the content people are actually reading and engaging with each day? What if it was a launching point for “real work” and not just reference information a user needs from time to time? Would that add business value to your users?
Switching to the social portion of the equation, let’s talk about your “social experiments” (executive blogs, wikis, file shares). Are they off to the side, where only the socially savvy make the effort to check them out? What if we placed them into the user’s day to day workflow? Even users that are only launching a browser to go elsewhere would catch a glimpse of that executive blog or new document post and possibly spend a minute to take a look.
What if “Social” merged with “Intranet”? Would this create a better Intranet?
Corporations that replace their Intranet home page with a social software solution are seeing better engagement by their staff. I am seeing ten times (10x) the activity by employees who have a social Intranet versus stand-alone implementations at the clients I interact with each day. This makes sense when you think about users who are too busy to do “yet another thing”. If it is part of the workflow and IS your Intranet, it suddenly becomes part of the pre-morning or post lunch ritual where a user will spend a minute or two to catch up on what is going around in the company. As users leverage the platform for their “day job” you have an integrated solution that will add incredible business value.
Founder of Social Edge Consulting, LLC
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