Mobile now, intranet later – Internal Communications Best Practices
If you could get more employees to engage with your company right now, would you do it?
Or, would you hold off for three years while you wait for a new intranet release?
Shockingly, only 10 % of employees say they know what’s going on in their company at any given time, and 85% of employees are not engaged. Lack of employee engagement is a rampant challenge facing organizations, yet many are overlooking a simple fix: taking a multi-channel approach rather than limiting themselves to an intranet.
For companies with intranets, it can be tempting to hold off on going mobile until a new intranet release comes out–rather than devoting resources to a communications overhaul. But intranets are far from the end-all-be-all, and companies lose valuable engagement opportunities by waiting for a new release.
Instead, by meeting employees at all the places they already are–from email to mobile to tablets and other convenient platforms–organizations can instantly improve communications, which, in turn, impacts company performance, employee experience, and productivity.
Internal communications directly impact company performance
Did you know that effective internal communications have a direct correlation to employee engagement? As any HR or communications professional will tell you, relevant information and updates are what make people do their jobs better.
Intranets, alone, are not the way to improve employee experience
Using an intranet for employee engagement can seem like the natural choice for distributing information. But it doesn’t surface relevant and timely stories in the way we are used to receiving information today. This is where a more modern, flexible approach comes in–easily fitting into the habits employees have already developed around consuming content. An intranet is either clunky or simply inaccessible for any employee, especially deskless or frontline workers who make up 80% of the global workforce.
In addition, information contained within the intranet is often out of date, irrelevant or disorganized, making it difficult or frustrating for employees to quickly find the insights they need. What’s more, employees aren’t always sure how to access or use them.
Only 25% of communicators use their company intranets to communicate with employees anyway.
Platform updates can also compound existing intranet problems
With new releases, employees have to learn complicated new features and adjust their workflows when old features are deprecated. New versions might lag behind other software you use, creating further difficulties. And, if you’ve skipped a software release, you might have
to move through each version before you can upgrade it, making an already time-consuming process even more cumbersome. Suddenly, your intranet’s low adoption rate is even worse.
The point is this: If no one is using the intranet, it’s the same as having no internal communications at all.
Before making strides to improve your intranet, you should ask yourself:
Are people actually using it? Do they even have access in the first place? If your answer to either of these questions is “no” or “unsure,” an intranet update is not going to fix your communications issues.
Employees want the right message at the right time, but to the right place.
It’s no secret that mobile use, for instance, is everywhere. Recently, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time in history–a fact that HR and internal communicators should be using to their advantage.
By giving employees access to communications in a form that’s convenient for them, they are more likely to engage. And mobile is just one place employees already get information. Others use tablets when in the field, email at their desks, or digital signage on a warehouse floor.
Sending out employee communications through multiple channels helps guarantee delivery and engagement, so you will be able to measure what content your employees care about. You’ll have new ways of evaluating what information is most relevant, what pain points must be addressed, and how to better serve customers.
In this way, what you learn from utilizing multiple communications platforms can actually also help transform your intranet into a more efficient tool.
You don’t need to wait for the right company internal communications technology
As many HR and communications professionals know, it can take years for new intranet versions to come out. Microsoft, for example, is on a three-year release cycle. But, with the current pace of development, so much can change with employee engagement and satisfaction in three years. And, if no one is accessing your communications during that time, you have a company-wide crisis on your hands.
Still, think you need to wait for your intranet update to improve communications? Here are three practical steps you can take today to build your case:
High-performing companies don’t wait three years for a new intranet to address a crisis. Instead, your entire approach can be restructured around deploying communications to multiple, flexible channels, including mobile. And, if and when you are ready to update your intranet, you’ll be able to tackle the process with a better understanding of what employees value in their communications.
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