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Rise Of The Modern Intranet: Becoming A Workplace Hero

Does the term “intranet” conjure up nightmares of cluttered file-sharing or a never-ending page of links that makes it impossible to find what you need? According to Forrester, many employees consider intranets to be their least favourite workplace tool due to poor user experience and a lack of employee-centric features

However, intranets are still very critical to employee success, and therefore vital to the business. But in order to benefit both the workforce and business, these intranets need to be transformed into modern intranets. 

Intranets: workplace hero or employee nightmare? 

Intranets first came onto the scene as a way for companies to host information for their employees privately. To meet this demand, traditional intranets provided basic web content management functionality. However, as technology advanced, they quickly became, as Gartner puts it, “static websites in a dynamic world”. 

This raises the question: why bother with intranets at all?

A modern intranet can: 

In short, a modern intranet is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can exponentially improve employee experience (EX). 

Today’s employees demand timely delivery of relevant information via their preferred consumption channels – web, mobile, or expressed in the context of other essential enterprise applications. Forresters Employee Experience Index reveals a correlation between technology satisfaction and employee engagement: employees who are most engaged in their workplace are also highly satisfied with their collaboration tools and their ability to access the information they need to do their jobs. 

Intranet tools are becoming key drivers for communication, culture, and collaboration for teams that might not be face-to-face anymore.

So what makes a modern intranet modern? 

A robust, technical foundation combined with an employee-first strategy sets a modern intranet apart from its more traditional counterpart. Along with new features that satisfy employee needs, the modern intranet should:

  • Integrate and aggregate applications and tools, empowering employees to do all their work and find relevant information through a single hub
  • Personalise and target information based on employee role, location, or preferences 
  • Be easily accessible and used by in-office, remote and desk-less employees
  • Optimise business operations by digitising manual processes and resolving employee needs quickly and efficiently

Ultimately, for an intranet to help increase employee productivity and impact the bottom line, it must leverage enhanced technical capabilities to improve employee experience. 

Giving your intranet a boost 

With this understanding of modern intranets, your next questions might be, “how do I apply this to my existing, outdated intranet?”

To build an effective backbone for your overall employee experience strategy, bring together stakeholders from IT, Legal, HR, and other necessary departments to answer the following questions:

  • What are the key organisational drivers for employees?
  • What does success look like for employees? 
  • How does employee success fit into the overall organisation’s needs?
  • How do people prefer to conduct their work?
  • What are employees’ biggest frustrations in their daily work experience? 

The answers to these questions will help you lay a foundation that will not only guide the design and functionality of the intranet, but also clarify what metrics to track, how to measure success and where to improve.

Intranets do not need to continue to be unloved tools in your technology stack. Learn what it will take to modernise your intranet in order to boost employee productivity, increase collaboration, and optimise business performance.

By Greg Gatherer, Account Manager, Liferay