It’s tempting to depend on a solve-all. The majority of modern organizations prioritize effective internal communication, because they know of its importance when it comes to engagement, collaboration, and productivity. And yet, many make a simple mistake: they assume technology can solve all internal communications problems for them.
Make no mistake. Technology, particularly in the form of an intranet, can be a great foundation to improve your internal communications problems thanks to the single source of truth it provides. At the same time, it cannot accomplish that feat alone. Intranets only work in conjunction with a comprehensive strategy and effort to leverage it the right way.
It starts with diagnosing the problem, then continues with finding a strategy specifically designed to fix it. This article should help with that first part. If technology has not yet fixed employee engagement issues, it might be due to one or more of these 4 potential reasons your intranet is not solving your internal communication problems.
Every internal communications effort has to start with a strategy. Without it, your technology efforts are just a collection of tools with no end goal. Your internal communications strategy gives those tools a purpose, and a drive towards very specific goals. It’s the foundation for any comprehensive effort to solve problems and improve collaboration.
In reality, this component of your effort is and needs to be a core part of your corporate strategy. Internal communication is what enables collaboration and clears up confusion. It allows for less noise in administrative tasks as much as more effective brainstorming in more creative activities. But it can only do all of that if it’s set up the right way.
That includes a number of components:
Notice that your intranet, while a part of the effort, is only represented in one of these bullet points. Without the full strategy, your internal communication becomes problematic.
Internal communication, as the above need for a strategy explains, is not a one-time effort. It requires constant nurturing, along with human investment to make sure it’s done correctly. That investment, in fact, is a crucial piece of any effort to communicate with your employees.
Think about it from a software perspective. Can you expect any technology platform to succeed without maintenance? Who will take care of technical downtimes, bugs to be ironed out, and customer service for less experienced users? The same questions are relevant for intranet solutions, except on a more comprehensive basis.
Here, technical maintenance is far from the only concern. The work has to come in the form of constant education and drive towards the intranet, originated through the internal communicator. It can quite literally be a full-time job, and one that requires both commitment and ongoing investment. Without it, even the best technology will fail.
One of the biggest advantages of any intranet is that it can turn into a single source of truth for your organization. It’s where HR can house documentation about employment and benefits, and leadership can share corporate strategies, visions, and plans. Rather than distributing it in push methods like email, this information can live as one document, in one place, remaining accurate.
That’s only possible, of course, if your entire organization can actually rely on the information available on the intranet platform. It needs to be accurate, curated, and current at all points. That’s necessary not just to achieve that single source of truth, but to build trust and credibility among your employees to actually use the system.
Once again, accomplishing this feat requires consistent investment and attention. Regular checking of all communication and documents has to be part of the equation. Someone charged with internal communication needs to take ownership of this task, which will require significant attention and investment. Accuracy, in fact, needs to be a core piece of your ongoing internal comms strategy.
Finally, the communication problems you’re facing may not even be related to your platform and electronic system. For instance, many companies face issues with in-person, one-to-one communication that needs to be overcome for better collaboration and teamwork. Here are some things your intranet is not actually optimized for:
Depending on the software solution you choose, some the functionalities of the platform may approximate one of more of these features. But if the problem fundamentally lies with any of them, the intranet will not be enough to fix them. Instead, you need other, more personal and immediate channels to supplement this technology platform.
The potential business benefits of an intranet solution are significant. Implemented and managed the right way, it becomes the single source of data truth for employees across departments and organizational units, bridging gaps and easing corporate communication on a variety of levels.
At the same time, those benefits don’t make your intranet a solve-all for your internal communications needs. Especially if your business falls into any of the above categories, you will need more than just the technology to solve them. You need a comprehensive strategy, and significant investment in time and resources on an ongoing basis, to turn your intranet into a core tool for your internal comms.
We can help to make this happen. Our approach to the intranet solution we sell is holistic, recognizing it for the core (but not isolated) role it plays in a larger strategy. Let’s talk about our solution, and how it can help you solve your internal communications problems. Contact us today to start the conversation.