How to improve ops and engagement with a company intranet
See how an intranet works
Learn how an intranet works with this short video.
14 mins read
Wed, Apr 5, '23
Employees that feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work, according to Forbes.
But how do you ensure that everyone feels heard when your teams are working remotely?
And while we’re asking questions, how can employers ensure that their employees have on-demand access to all of the vital information they need to do their jobs — without having to search through lengthy email threads or hunt for long-lost Google Docs?
The answer to all of this might be a company intranet.
What is an intranet?
An intranet is a private network for an organization’s employees to securely communicate, share and store resources, and collaborate on work. Intranets are secure and private to the organization, so no one from the outside can access them.
Some modern intranets also come with in-built social features, which allow employees to connect on a human level — a key challenge in the remote era.
What does a company intranet do?
The earliest intranets were essentially simple web page frameworks where employees could access shared information. If you’ve used a school or corporate intranet in the past, you might remember these basic systems. They were functional — but very much lacking in the bells and whistles of a modern intranet platform, and typically not used unless you needed to access a specific piece of information.
Today, the best intranet solutions come with a much wider range of features, which help to make employees’ work lives easier. For example, a modern intranet:
1. Streamlines Internal Communications
Sixty percent of organizations don’t have a long-term strategy in place for Internal Communications — and 91% of employees say their leaders lack communication skills. No surprise, then, that 72% also say they don’t fully understand their company’s overall strategy.
While there are many different components to an effective internal communications strategy, an intranet solution can help. Using company intranet software, employees can communicate, collaborate, and share resources more easily. And leaders can make announcements and share updates to make sure everyone’s fully informed.
2. Functions as a content management system
Companies of all types and sizes need to give their employees access to files and information. And this is much easier when you have an intranet solution that also functions as a content management system (CMS).
Using an intranet CMS, organizations can store, share, and manage digital files on one platform. This creates a single source of truth for your employees, so they know where to look for the information they need. Good intranet solutions also come with powerful search functionality, to make finding the right file even easier.
3. Improves collaboration
Modern intranet solutions often include collaboration features and communication tools, such as Channels where employees can discuss their work. Some platforms also give you the ability to comment and provide feedback directly on documents — saving you from the hassle of endless email chains and multiple document versions.
Providing a digital workplace for colleagues to collaborate and communicate can help you to create an open, friendly, and collaborative culture — even when everyone’s working remotely.
4. Increases efficiency
How many different workplace tools do you and your team use every day? Most of us waste endless time switching between tools and platforms, responding to lengthy email threads, and trying to keep on top of constantly pinging chat channels.
With a company intranet, you can bring all of these tools together in the same place — and use your time to focus on what matters. Ensuring that the software you choose works seamlessly with other workplace tools can also help you to boost intranet adoption.
5. Unites remote teams
In the last two years, the number of people working remotely has skyrocketed. In the EU, only 5% of employees aged between 15 and 64 said they “usually” worked from home in 2019. During the pandemic, this ballooned to almost 40% of the working population. And the situation is similar in the US, where 42% of the labor force worked fully from home during the pandemic, compared to 5.2% in 2017.
This means it’s more important than ever that teams have the tools they need to effectively communicate, collaborate, and do their best work. And a company intranet can function as an all-in-one tool that ties your entire team together.
6. Offers self-service support
Do your employees have access to the information they need? Or do they have to waste time chasing up emails, searching for the right version of a document, or tracking down colleagues to help them?
With a company intranet, you can democratize knowledge within your organization so everyone can access the files and information they need in just a few clicks. This also saves considerable time for managers and leaders, who won’t have to keep answering the same, repeated questions from employees.
7. Accelerates onboarding
Think back to the last time you started a new job: how much of your first week was spent asking questions, trying to figure out who was who, and how this new organization worked?
With a company intranet, you can centralize the onboarding process by putting everything new hires need in one easy-access location. Plus, features like an org chart and employee directory with searchable profiles can help new employees to understand how everyone fits together.
8. Encourages social interaction
When you work in-person with your colleagues, you don’r only talk about work — we’re all human, after all. But when you’re working remotely, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working on a purely transactional basis, with little room for social interaction.
With a social intranet, employees have a space to create, post, and share content that’s not directly related to their jobs, creating a virtual water cooler where they can get to know each other.
How are companies using intranet software?
The days of the old-school, static company intranet are over. Here are some of the ways organizations can use a modern company intranet.
Balancing global and local communications
For large enterprises, communicating across borders can be a challenge. By using an intranet portal that employees can access from anywhere, companies can ensure that every one of their employees feels connected to their organization, even when they’re distributed around the world.
Companies can use this technology to share top-down announcements and critical updates, and to promote bottom-up communications too. This helps to create a single, unified culture for the company, even when its employees aren’t physically in the same place.
Shifting to a remote-first workplace
Every company should have a centralized source of knowledge where employees can easily find the information they need — but this is especially important for remote-first companies. And while tools like Slack are a great way for remote teams to communicate on a day-to-day basis, they’re too noisy for critical updates and information that needs to be available long-term.
With a company intranet, however, remote-first companies can centralize information in an accessible, searchable location. Plus, intranet software can help remote-first companies to build out their company culture, and even create a virtual water cooler where employees can socialize.
Strengthening internal branding
Employees already have so many apps and platforms that they need to use on a daily basis that it can be difficult to convince them to add another one. Some intranet providers (like Happeo, for example) allow you to add your own branding to your intranet, so employees feel at home as soon as they log on.
And when you create your own branded environment, you won’t just be adding another tool — you’ll be providing a single source of truth, built around your organization’s unique culture.
Many companies rely on tools like Slack for their internal communications. However, these tools are not really suited to more business-critical updates, which can easily get lost in noisy chat channels.
Companies that use intranet solutions can encourage their employees to use them to share valuable content that clearly communicates their work and how it benefits the business as a whole — and get the whole company excited about it.
A merger can be an exciting time for a company — but it can also create a lot of work. Different organizations inevitably have different ways of working, and leaders must find a way of fitting these together when they join forces with another organization.
By creating one platform that acts as the single source of truth for the organization, leadership can ensure that everyone is united under one mission and one platform. Employees will know where to go for the information they need — and may even be able to connect with their new colleagues on a social level too.
Improving employee engagement
According to a 2020 Gallup poll, 51% of employees are not engaged at work — and 13% are actively disengaged. When you successfully engage employees at work, you can increase productivity, decrease turnover, and even boost customer satisfaction — so these stats need to be taken seriously.
Company intranet software allows employees to connect on a personal level, for example by sharing and commenting on posts and pictures that aren’t (necessarily) related to work. Managers can also use the software to provide recognition to employees — a key factor in engagement.
Intranet platforms also allow for a greater level of communication between higher and lower-level employees, fostering a sense of company-wide camaraderie. And features like surveys, pulse polls, and analytics give managers an idea of the feeling on the ground — so they can take action before employees start to disengage.
Replacing legacy systems
Almost all companies have systems in place for employees to communicate and share information, but these are often outdated and not suitable for the modern workplace. Using clunky, old-fashioned systems creates a lot of work for employees and often results in “shadow IT” systems: external programs that employees use to get around the challenges of the software they’ve been given.
By introducing a company intranet that’s simple to use, integrates with other workplace tools, and comes with up-to-date features that are suited to today’s digital workplace, you can not only make your employees’ lives easier but totally transform the way your company thinks about communication. Old-school intranets and communication systems tend to focus on static, top-down communication. Modern tools, however, allow for enhanced communication and engagement across all levels.
Success stories: 3 company intranet examples
Wondering how a company intranet could help your organization? Let’s look at some real-world examples.
The below companies all used Happeo’s intranet software to drive engagement, transform employee communications, and connect their teams together. Here are some of their experiences.
Trimble digitally unites its workforce of 11,000+ employees
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Trimble is an industrial technology provider with more than 11,000 employees based out of 150 locations in 40 countries. Since the company’s culture differs across each country, state, and even each office, they needed a way to communicate well across cultural gaps.
Using Happeo, Trimble was able to shift its communication strategy from a one-way, static email update to a more dynamic way of communicating, using Channels. This enabled the company to tailor communications based on the content and the audience. One of Happeo’s most essential features for Trimble was analytics, which allows leaders to see which of their employees are being reached — and which aren’t.
MINT Dentistry uses its company intranet to create a competitive advantage
MINT Dentistry is a group of dental practices in the Dallas and Houston areas, with over 60 locations and 300+ employees. Prior to using Happeo, the organization relied on a home-grown intranet solution and was finding it difficult to keep staff on the same page.
Since implementing Happeo, MINT Dentistry has seen a significant boost in engagement and interaction across different locations. This has helped to ensure that all of MINT Dentistry’s employees feel connected to the organization and its vision, boosting retention, strengthening the company’s employer brand, and ultimately giving it an edge over its competitors.
ActivTrak become a fully remote company
Industry: IT Services and IT Consulting
ActivTrak is a software company headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company needed an intranet and knowledge base platform that would allow them to go fully remote, while still maintaining strong communication channels. Before using Happeo, ActikTrak mostly relied on Slack for communication, but quickly realized that this wasn’t suitable for fully remote companies where people might be working at different times and could easily miss important announcements.
Thanks to Happeo, ActivTrak has been able to create a unified, organized knowledge base, with a space for every department to share ideas and resources. The company has also focused on employee recognition and engagement, by creating a Channel specifically for employee spotlights.
Company intranet FAQs
Still have questions about company intranets? Here are the answers to a few FAQs.
Do intranet platforms integrate with other software applications?
Depending on the company intranet software you choose, it may come with in-built integrations with other workplace tools, which can help you to get your team on board.
Happeo, for example, integrates with both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, which means you can collaborate on files right from within Happeo, and schedule meetings and video calls from within the platform.
Other Happeo integrations include Slack, Jira, Trello, and Webex.
How much training is required to learn how to use a company intranet?
The best company intranet tools can be used by anyone, regardless of their level of technical expertise. Happeo is built around a user-friendly and intuitive interface, which means its time to launch can be incredibly fast (as little as two weeks, in fact!)
How secure is a company intranet?
At Happeo, we take your security seriously. When you use Happeo, all of your user data is stored securely in Google Cloud.
Happeo has also achieved ISO 27001 certification, an international standard that identifies organizations that have invested in the people, processes, and technology that are needed to keep their customer data safe.
See it in action
Happeo is a dynamic, modern, and user-friendly company intranet solution that can help to keep your team connected, even from afar. Using Happeo, your employees and colleagues will be able to more easily collaborate on work and share ideas and knowledge, all within one intuitive interface.
Still not sure if Happeo is the right choice for your organization? Request a free, personalized demo with one of our expert solution consultants to see it in action.