The Intranet Advantage: Streamlining Communication with Intranet Systems

If you think of your company’s Intranet only as an organizational computer network, think again. Your Intranet systems provide a vital communication tool that can contribute positively to your organization’s company culture.

Intranet Defined

When Intranets first gained popularity in the 1990s, companies viewed them as a way to store files locally and safely that allowed employees to access them as needed. Conceived as a way to use computers to reduce or eradicate information silos, today’s Intranets function differently, offering a place to share files, company news, and, in some cases, to socialize.

For all of their promise, the heyday of the company Intranet has yet to arrive. Why?

The Ignored, Misunderstood Intranet

According to Happeo, 31 percent of employees never use the organization’s Intranet. Only 13 percent of employees use the company Intranet daily. More than half of employees don’t understand why their company even has an Intranet. Those statistics show how poorly firms implement modern Intranets because each company must create and enforce rules for use.

The definition of Intranet systems varies by organization. Some still only use an Intranet as a local storage system. Those companies miss out on the 21st-century benefits of an Intranet, which should function like a local cloud platform – a place to save work, collaborate, educate, and socialize. Ideally, today’s Intranets would provide a combination of services that would equal a mashup of One Drive or Google Drive, Slack or WhatsApp, and a company-centric version of Yahoo News with all information silos eradicated and access granted by project participation instead of hierarchically.

Employees Crave Social Technologies that Empower Their Work

Employees want Intranets, even if they don’t call them that. These workers want to use social technologies to communicate and collaborate at work to make sharing relevant information instantaneous and project-wide. They want the leadership to share kudos company-wide on its Intranet.

How far-reaching does this social technology support go? According to, more than one-third of each generation of professionals actively supports the use of social technologies for collaboration:

  • 31 percent of baby boomers
  • 40 percent of Gen X
  • 49 percent of millennials.

While others have yet to reach the advocate level, they don’t oppose the integration of social components into Intranets.

Make Intranets Easy to Use

A company Intranet can provide an effective communication tool, but 72 percent of employees rate their company’s Intranet as fair to poor because they find it hard to use, and they lack social communication tools. That’s an irony no business owner should miss since the inception of Intranets was to enable better communication and information sharing. According to Simpplr, poor workplace communication results in an unpredictable work environment with poor morale, conflicts, and less effective collaboration.

Although intended to eradicate information silos, 15 percent of Intranets fail because they lack a search option. Because no one can quickly find what they need, they refuse to use it.

Increasing Engagement to Enhance Retention

An Intranet can help build company culture and increase engagement between employees and between employees and the company’s leadership. That’s something seriously lacking from most firms, since only 15 percent of the workforce says it’s engaged by or within its company, according to Thought Farmer.

Successful Intranets offer information employees want to see, and it helps the company keep them. That’s right. A Deloitte survey found a 20 percent increase in employee satisfaction and an 87 percent increase in employee retention when a company implemented an Intranet with social technologies.

Better Communication Increases Productivity

This could be because the social component encourages communication and employees want their voices heard. Having a voice in their workplace encourages them to do more and better work – 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to produce their best.

Put plainly, an Intranet done the right way provides your company with a tool that helps your employees produce better work and increase productivity while building a better company culture. You can use a decades-old idea to embrace the latest technologies to attract and keep the best employees.

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