Why an intranet is no longer enough to inform and engage employeesNovember 6, 2015
Company intranets have been around for a long time and I’m willing to bet most are now clogged with so much data that they’re increasingly difficult to navigate and therefore inform and engage employees. These days it is often said that intranets are “where knowledge goes to die”.
I’m not suggesting all intranets have failed. The degrees of success have varied significantly between businesses – some intranets continue to be valuable, if imperfect, tools; others have become stale and underused, overwhelmed by the clutter of out-of-date documents.
The secret to successfully communicating with employees in the digital age is to develop an intranet that’s easy to navigate, containing up to date information which can also be accessed via mobile.
But even the best designed and up-to-date intranets will never actually be able to engage employees quite like an app, simply because of the layers of data employees need to navigate to find what they need. Most intranets suffer from the fundamental problem that they’re built around documents and processes, not around engaging people and a great user experience.
Sure you can create rich media links within the intranet to improve the overall experience but the process is time consuming, and in a world wanting “instant digital gratification” it’s likely to fail.
Prioritise what is really important and build an app
Build an app for what needs to be communicated on a weekly or monthly basis and leave everything else like manuals, forms, training/safety etc. on the intranet.
If you’re a retailer send the store network the monthly advertising campaign including creative audio and video files plus all digital work as HTML5 and get them engaged and motivated. Other businesses can send new product updates plus newsletters and announcements from the CEO or Chairman so you can do away with boring emails.
With an App the business can live in the pockets of all employees.
An App is the tool business needs to move to the next level of business/employer/supplier engagement. An App has many practical benefits for businesses.
- An App is far more engaging for staff and suppliers.
- An App can be viewed across any mobile device or platform IOS or Android.
- An App can be viewed on mobile phones, tablets and desktops.
- An App can combine sophisticated text treatments with video, audio, animation, and other highly interactive elements to create content-centric pages that help bring brands and messaging to life.
- Content can be added anytime and “pushed” to an App allowing employees to access new content anytime anywhere 24/7.
- Built-in analytics and reporting allows businesses to see exactly what content users are responding to.
- An App is environmentally friendly.
So the bottom line is that businesses need an intranet to house all the company’s documents and files, but if you want to engage and motivate employees build an app.