Over the past 12 months, our experts have talked to approximately 50 companies about their internal communication landscape. To date, one of the most important internal communication channels is still the intranet. Now that work gets done everywhere, mobile-enabled and engaging intranets have become essential. But keeping people connected and aligned as they work from different places is a challenge. Unfortunately, most intranets in place are completely outdated. In this article, we want to highlight the top intranet pain points. Can you relate to them?
Pain points for the end users
The look and feel of the intranet is outdated
A lot of intranets look very outdated, and aren’t attractive at all to the employees. You will not want to try food that doesn’t look good. Right? This is the same as your professional intranet. The look and feel of the intranet is very important.
Pay attention to the color, theme, the way of structuring content, and user navigation. It has a big impact on how fast users adopt the intranet. Make it visually appealing, easy to navigate, easy to use, and fun to work with.
Limited interaction with content
Users are used to being able to interact with content, such as liking and commenting. They can do it on newspaper articles and on social media channels. They mostly can’t interact with content that’s publish by their company. Missing the social component on news items limits engagement with your employees. It doesn’t give them the ability to ask questions.
You need to work on influencing the hearts and minds of employees to get them to use the intranet. Next to that, an intranet facilitates top-down communication but doesn’t allow for peer to peer communication. This is equally important and a reason for users to go to the intranet.
Not accessible on mobile devices
In today’s world of work, content such as news and peer to peer conversations is mostly consumed on smartphones. Content is consumed on the go. Most of the intranets in place are not accessible on smartphones, limiting the chances of high adoption. Employees want to use their intranet on the go so they are just one tap away from internal news.
The content is not personalised
It may not always seem immediately obvious, but our search results, our social media channels, our online shopping experience, the ads we see, so many of them are polished and directly targeted at us. To you. To me. Digital workplace personalisation is key when designing an intranet.
Everyone sees the same information, although it might not be relevant to certain groups of people. People’s attention span shrinks dramatically because there’s so much information coming at them. Intranets are designed to cut through the noise. Unfortunately, this perspective is lost without the ability to effectively personalise and customise employee information. A lot of content is simply not relevant to some groups of employees and they are forced to cut through the noise.
That’s why an intranet needs to be tailored to the user, and relevant for the user.
Bad search functionality
In a nutshell, a bad search functionality doesn’t return relevant and suggested results that help your employees to find content and files they’re looking for. To connect and engage the workforce, employees need to find the right information without friction within the intranet.
The search functionality is an important part of the intranet. Since the user doesn’t want to navigate a menu to find specific procedures and guidelines, he will search for the desired information. Most intranets have a very bad search function, which stimulates users to call the responsible like for example the Human Resources department to get the right information. This increases overhead for the company and becomes frustrating.
No integration with the productivity suite
Most intranets are not integrated with the productivity and collaboration suite of the company (O365 or G Suite). This causes a lot of overhead, because intranets duplicate use cases that are already covered by the productivity suite and in turn confuses the user.
Classic examples are intranets that have an extensive document management module (which is already covered by Sharepoint Online or Google Drive), intranets that have an agenda module (which is already covered by Outlook or Google Calendar) and a chat module which is covered by Teams or Google Chat.
Remember too many tools
The amount of tools in the digital workplace is going to grow tremendously in the coming years. This won’t make it easier for the end users. The problem of the intranets is that they don’t organise the tools for the employees. Marketers should see the tools that they can use to do their job, and should not be bothered with tools from the HR department or the Finance department.
Pain points for the intranet managers
A lot of the internal communication managers that we talk to complain about the fact the adoption of the intranet is very low. When you look at the pain points for the end users, it’s rather easy to find the cause.
Limited to no analytics
Current intranets have very limited analytics. Most intranets are limited to Google Analytics, but this doesn’t track intranet specific KPIs. KPI reporting is therefore almost impossible for them.
With analytics and intranet reporting tools you can check these several elements:
- User adoption
- User engagement
- Knowledge management
- Number of contributors
- Top ambassadors
- Number of likes and comments
Managers need these analytics to monitor, control, and manage activity within the portal. They need to identify areas of an intranet that are causing problems: failed searches, pages that aren’t being viewed, and documents that aren’t being downloaded.
It’s difficult to keep up with business requests
Most of the intranets out there are difficult to maintain and modify. The internal communications team is not able to modify the intranet because it requires a specialist. This makes it costly and also slows down the time to go live with a new use case. This makes it difficult to keep up with business requests.
Don’t reach frontline workers
Intranet managers mostly can’t reach frontline workers, because accessing the intranet is only feasible via a computer and through a VPN connection. Frontline workers are also rarely connected to the company from an IT perspective.
The irony is that these employees are perhaps the most in need of engagement. You rely on their service, expertise, and embodiment of your values to deliver the perfect customer experience. You need a modern digital workplace solution to help your business foster collaboration, share information, and increase engagement on your frontline. This will ultimately, drive efficiency for your business.
So how do you ensure your frontline workers are retained engaged and motivated? Remember, the purpose of the intranet is to connect and engage the workforce.
An intranet is a great tool to move your internal communication and collaboration to the next level. But if you don’t think about these pain points, you won’t create an effective intranet and your intranet project might face a silent death. If you are an internal communication manager, you will probably relate to these pain points. Organisations need to invest serious effort into finding the best solution that best fits their specific business objectives. After all, your intranet will be the heart of your business that will make your employees feel safe and allow them to stay in touch with your business.
Curious about how LumApps solves these issues and how it brings your internal communications to the next level? Are you ready to rethink your intranet as a powerful tool to connect all your employees? LumApps is your solution!
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