In the traditional workplace, coffee machines and water coolers have always been ubiquitous. For as long as there have been offices, workers have been gathering around them, talking shop and reading the latest company news on the bulletin board.
But while some people sometimes still might do that while holding generic cups of coffee and water, they’re more likely these days to bring their own refreshments to the workplace. Starbucks and water bottles have slowly replaced coffee pots and water coolers.
And that brings us to a digital water cooler of sorts – your good old corporate intranet software.
“Intranets are the most hated thing by employees,” said Mark Ragan, the CEO and Publisher of Ragan Communications. “Show me an intranet that employees love, and I’ll give that communicator a Nobel Peace Prize.”
The reality is that intranets are becoming less and less important in the daily work lives of employees. Just as workers are not interrupting their day to go to a central place like the water cooler or coffee machine, they’re also not going to a central resource to search for information.
People are changing. Employees in today’s workforce have grown up with the world at their fingertips – literally. Smartphones have radically changed the way information is accessed and consumed. We can now have everything customized and delivered directly to us, instead of having to go to one centralized location and hunt for what we need. Mobile device apps and push notifications are replacing websites and corporate intranet software. It’s similar to how BPA-free water bottles and venti half-calf no whip caramel macchiatos have replaced those water coolers and coffee pots.
Modern companies must adapt to this new norm. Instead of expecting their employees to go to an intranet page (the coffee pot in the breakroom) to get important news and information, they need to be able to customize and distribute information (caramel macchiatos) to their employees.
How is this done? The infrastructure for a company’s intranet has been in place for years, if not decades. It contains important information. It would be nearly impossible – and cost-prohibitive – to completely replace the intranet completely.
Instead, modern companies need to look toward expanding the reach and usefulness of their existing intranet by delivering that information right to employees.
Almost three-quarters of American employees feel out of the loop with company news. Disengaged employees cost the economy nearly half a trillion dollars a year, while companies with an effective, efficient way to communicate with employees see more than a 200-percent increase in productivity.
It’s clear that the outdated intranet model isn’t meeting the needs of employees. That’s especially troubling when you consider that almost 90 percent of companies primarily communicate company news and information through antiquated intranets.
So, if ripping out the existing intranet and starting over isn’t an option, what can be done? How can companies better communicate with their employees?
How to Solve the Corporate Intranet Problem
Creating a “better” intranet can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not millions. There’s also a cost in time and effort. Instead of attempting to “upgrade” your intranet, why not just supplement your existing system with modern technology that your employees have come to expect? Why not finally unlock the potential of your intranet?
This is how an Employee Communication and Engagement (ECE) Platform can radically improve your organization’s internal communication efforts.
An ECE Platform extends the usability of your current intranet. It takes the information that already exists on your intranet and delivers it right to employees. This way, they are always receiving the timely, relevant information that keeps them better informed and engaged.
Like most great solutions, simplicity is the key. The intranet comes to employees via their mobile devices. There is no more going to a hard-to-access location that typically is hidden behind a firewall. No more hunting through a difficult-to-navigate intranet for memos, critical updates, or company news. An ECE Platform brings the company right into the palm of the employee’s hands.
Also, it also aligns your deskless and remote employees with the rest of the company. Since these workers often do not have access to company email or the intranet, they get left out of the loop when company news gets shared. That can create internal divides, lowers morale, and creates mistrust between teams and management. But an ECE Platform fosters a greater sense of community and unity around a common purpose.
An ECE Platform also makes it easier to turn your employees into powerful brand advocates – something well-beyond the capability of traditional intranets. Enabling and encouraging employees to post and share company news across social media platforms creates countless potential promoters of your company. And these are the people who are most passionate about your organization.
ECEs Are What You Have Been Looking For
Internal communication often gets overlooked. But it is a crucial component to productive, highly motivated organizations. The problem is that current methods of communication are stuck in the 20th century. But the answer shouldn’t be about trying to reinvent the corporate intranet software wheel. Instead, why not amplify the reach of that intranet with an Employee Communication and Engagement Platform?