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How a great Intranet boosts employee engagement

It may be a business cliché, but it’s true: an organization is only as good as its people. And its people are only any good if they’re motivated, empowered and supported in a growing environment.

When it comes to achieving that, numerous factors come into play. Possibly one of the most powerful of these is your company Intranet. Until recently, it’s also been one of the most overlooked.

Old-style Intranets were functional at best, frustrating at worst. Most provided a user experience that was complex and – in a world where apps and smartphones are everywhere – increasingly behind the times. In addition, after the significant initial outlay, companies often struggled to continue investing year after year, degrading and devaluing most Intranets over time. Result: a tool that may have just about done a job, but almost nothing in terms of positively impacting employee engagement.

Contemporary ‘Intranet as a Service’ solutions change that, completely. They not only help companies to work and collaborate better, they can actively increase employees’ enthusiasm and effectiveness too by increasing their sharing capabilities.

Here are five reasons why…

1. They’re easy to use

Intranet as a Service often puts familiar and proven software to collaborative uses.

For example, IT WORX HUB is based on Microsoft Office 365; a platform huge numbers of companies know, use and prefer on daily basis.

Instead of its own idiosyncratic interface and tools – the style of traditional Intranets – a modern intranet therefore feels a genuine part of the wider working environment, and not something separate.

This familiarity boosts both employees’ willingness to use an Intranet, and also their ability to do so. Because the experience matches things they know and expect, things like adoption time, confusion and mistakes, failures or omissions are massively improved.

2. They’re personalised

Flexible and dynamic, a modern Intranet is nothing like the big corporate beast of old.

Users can make it truly personal, reflecting their needs, priorities and interests so it feels like a tool for them, not just the company.

With ITWORX HUB, for instance, employees no longer need to search for information: it comes to them. Content is surfaced based on what they’re working on, who they’re working with, and their own interests’, maintaining transparent and open communication. Efficiency like this goes hand in hand with engagement.

Similarly, every employee can create their own profile, which also integrates with tools such Skype for Business for instant communication.

3. They’re packed with features

Old intranets were often limited in functionality, especially when time passed without major upgrades. By contrast, a modern IaaS can offer as much – or as little – as an employee needs.

Because they tap into a major, multifaceted platform like Office 365, and contemporary tools such as Skype and Yammer, the pool of possibilities is much deeper. In effect, it’s totally feasible for a company to run all its core corporate communication, collaboration and organization tasks through a modern Intranet.

4. They’re versatile

The modern employee isn’t tied to a desk, 9–5, five days a week. And neither is a modern Intranet.

The days of having to be at your company PC to use the company Intranet are over. Designed to be truly ‘anywhere, anytime, any device’, Intranets today support an employee in working where and when it matters most.

This versatility means the Intranet feels like a genuinely useful, supportive and integrated part of someone’s job. Anything less than this – which old-style Intranets arguably were – is likely by contrast to have a detrimental effect on engagement and development.

5. They’re social

The best Intranets now integrate relevant aspects of social media into workplace collaboration and communication, creating an experience that’s both a pleasure to use and a pathway to increased productivity.

For example, ITWORX HUB offers:

  • A People Stories feature, to enable employees to be inspired by one another.
  • Real-time interaction through Yammer, Skype and Lync.
  • Comment features and more that create a community and culture of genuine collaboration.