Simple company intranets are like the public libraries of a large city. People only venture into them when they need something really specific. And once they’re in there, they have the singular goal of locating what they’re looking for as fast as possible, and then gettin’ the heck up outta there.
It’s not that libraries aren’t amazing. As an English major, I could live in a library and be content for the rest of my life. But for the average Joe, going to the library, finding what they’re looking for, signing up for a library card, and checking out is a major hassle. All that effort just to track something down that they don’t even really want to read in the first place. Most take a step inside, look around, and say to themselves “Nah, I’ll just Google it.”
This could be how your employees view your organization’s intranet. . .
Outdated, hard to deal with, and full of information they don’t really care about in the first place. Maybe that’s why company intranets have a historically low adoption rate.
Essentially, an intranet is like an online portal for a company. It’s like a private Internet for an enterprise. Intranets are an excellent resource for employees. The problem is that many company intranets are underutilized within their organization.
In a survey by Prescient Digital Media, only 13% of respondents reported participating in their company’s intranet on a daily basis. In contrast, a staggering 31% said they never use their company intranet.
Company Intranet Pain Points
Here are some of the most common pain points of company intranets.
Poor user experience
When not properly maintained, intranets can be difficult to navigate
Low adoption rates
Poor user experience means people don’t want to use it
Locating the right resource can feel like trying to find a needle in a virtual haystack
But fear not. Thanks to some modern-day technical solutions, the intranet is making a serious comeback.
The time to revive your company intranet is now
Here are some of our favorite tips on how to breathe new life back into your company’s intranet.
Make it Social
Going back to our library metaphor, while these institutions may try to brand themselves as cool community hangouts, the actual atmosphere inside sends another message entirely. They’re stuffy, and you’re constantly worried about getting “Shhhhhed” for being too expressive.
Intranets have a similar issue. Their static, fixed nature makes them less engaging and collaborative. Intranets do a good job at connecting people to information, but they often fail at connecting people to other people.
You can help change the vibe of your company’s intranet by bringing in a social element to it that will help improve the overall user experience and adoption rates. Beekeeper’s social features such as @mentions, comments, easy document sharing, and other push notifications will make it much more collaborative and fun, so people will actually want to use it.
Make It Mobile
We are living in the age of the “Mobile Moment.” Mobile moments are the occasions when a user takes out their smartphone to retrieve a specific piece of information that is relevant to them at that time, in that place.
For companies with a high number of distributed, frontline workforces, these “mobile moments” can happen several times a day while on the job. If your company intranet isn’t optimized for mobile devices, then your frontline workers won’t be able to access it.
Make sure your company intranet is just as useful for your frontline workers, as it is for your desk workers, and watch overall engagement skyrocket.
Make it Automated
If lack of usability is a problem with your current intranet, then automations are your new best friend. By automating the more tedious tasks like workflows, content delivery, and sharing onboarding resources, you can create a company intranet that’s much more dynamic and less labor intensive to maintain.
By automating certain communications through Beekeeper, you can actually help make your company intranet more human, which can encourage employees to use it more in their daily routines.
For example, you can automate employee satisfaction surveys to regularly take the pulse of your team. Consistently checking in with your employees on an individual level will make them feel respected, and like their voice is being heard. Engaged employees are more productive employees.
Beekeeper and SharePoint — The Intranet Match Made in Heaven
So, in order to maintain a successful company intranet, you know that it needs to be collaborative and mobile-friendly. Microsoft’s SharePoint intranet is a great option for building a collaborative team workspace, but by no means is it a comprehensive, turnkey platform. In order to make SharePoint work as an internal intranet system, you’ll want to incorporate the right app integrations — like Beekeeper!
Integrating an internal communications app like Beekeeper can give your company’s intranet the boost it needs.
How Wincasa Created the Ultimate Digital Workplace with Beekeeper and SharePoint
Wincasa is a leading real estate service provider with more than 860 employees at 25 locations in different language regions. This highly dispersed, multilingual workforce poses a unique challenge to their internal communication operations.
Wincasa needed a way to share timely information with their team, and facilitate bottom-up communication within their company. With their former static intranet, only “top-down” communication was possible. But after implementing SharePoint’s collaboration software and Beekeeper’s internal communication platform, they were able to create a highly collaborative, lively internal intranet within their organization.
Here are some highlights from the SharePoint and Beekeeper integration process:
- Communication between providers was fast and efficient
- Minimal effort required from Wincasa’s IT department. In some cases, providers communicated directly with each other, without the need for IT to get involved
- The successful integration of both internal communication tools created the perfect digital workplace for their team
All in all, after successfully integrating SharePoint and Beekeeper, Wincasa reports that their internal communication has completely changed. With Beekeeper, every employee has a voice. Internal communication no longer happens within isolated teams, but across the entire company, regardless of location, department, or job title.
Using SharePoint as a Documents Library
Another popular way to leverage the Beekeeper/SharePoint integration options is to create an internal document library in SharePoint. Companies can request a custom integration built via Beekeeper’s API to synchronize their documents library with the More tab in Beekeeper. This means that any time a document is updated in SharePoint, it automatically gets updated in Beekeeper as well. It’s like a library that automatically maintains itself!
Revive Your Company Intranet with Integrations
The truth is, there is no single, out-of-the-box solution that is going to be the perfect fit for your company’s intranet. The real secret to creating an intranet that your people will actually use, lies in your ability to customize.
With the right app integrations, you can create the perfect, tailor-made intranet for your organization. Just remember — the perfect intranet for your team doesn’t exist yet. But if you take the time to build it and add on the bells and whistles your team needs, they will use it. And they will love it.