An intranet is a private network utilized by businesses for internal communication and collaboration. Through this unique portal, staff can post and receive updates, sift through company documents, manage workflows, engage with other employees, and much more. Modern intranets serve integral hubs for their workforce, and are even branded with their own name and aesthetic.
For instance, Spotify—which hires around three new employees per day—uses an intranet to communicate significant changes. But how do you know if your business is at the point where it can benefit from an intranet (click here to learn more about intranet best practices)? Here are a few tips to help you better understand if building an intranet is the right move for you now.
Important Emails Are Getting Buried
While email remains integral to running a business smoothly, if you start to notice that your inbox is regularly filled with updates or pertains to many others in the company, you can use your intranet to display it. This helps free up your digital space and allows for easier inbox management. Far too often, important messages get lost in the shuffle, burdened by trivial emails. This is especially true during high-volume periods. For example, perhaps you’ve just posted a job ad and are not receiving an influx of inquiries. The last thing you want to deal with is worrying about whether there’s an important company update hiding in the mix.
You Have Sensitive Information
Data and company happenings are important to every business, especially if you’re in the process of collaborating, working on an IPO, merging, and much more. There is far too much important data here to rely on Google Drives and other collaboration tools. Small business software can only get you so far. When you’re working with sensitive information—whether it’s your own business information or client information—you need a reliable intranet to store and share it.
Many modern intranets also have collaboration tools built into them that allow you to work together on documents in real-time, ensuring each employee is accessing the latest version. Intranets also provide discussion areas where teams can comment on relevant items without having to resort to third party apps for discussing important information.
You Juggle Many Assets & Documents
As a company, chances are you have plenty of brand assets and documents. Assets alone can easily range in the thousands, especially if you run a business that has been around for a couple of years. These assets—from logos to press kits to graphics and other marketing materials—comprise your entire brand identity, and if they aren’t organized optimally, it can hurt your team’s productivity.
The same applies to company documents. Whether you want onboarding to be easier or simply want your staff to be able to reference company information in a more simple way, there’s no denying that intranets are great suppositories for this content. For example, updated policies and forms should be easily found on the intranet. Instead of your employees having to email a manager or search through hundreds of previous emails, they need to be able to quickly retrieve the information they seek independently.
Sharing Your Strategy
Transparency has become a major component in today’s businesses. Although transparency is important from a client-facing standpoint, it’s equally as important internally. Being transparent with your team builds trust, reduces turnover, and boosts company culture. When you’re open and honest with others, you also reduce grapevine gossip.
For example, perhaps your company lost an important client, and rumors have spread about how it will impact the business moving forward. Having an intranet allows you to address tough topics before they start spreading and transforming into a news item that they aren’t.
As such, you can use your intranet to keep employees informed about your strategy and goals. Allowing them to consistently reference the bigger picture is a great way to keep them engaged and committed to stellar performance. A dedicated strategy area should detail key initiatives, and you should consistently encourage staff to check out updates on progress.
Expounding on the aforementioned example, if you lost a VIP client, you could use the intranet to communicate a positive message that prevents your team from worrying. Create new optimistic goals and encourage everyone to not be discouraged by a setback!