How to bring the intranet to life

Published on 28.09.2021 | Translations available in: German

How to bring the intranet to life

Engagement is the pulse of the intranet – if it is missing, the intranet is only kept alive artificially. It pays to invest in internal communication and publish content that boosts interactivity.

The post “How to bring the intranet to life” first appeared on the Connecta Blog as part of Connecta 2021.

With the establishment of home office and hybrid models in everyday working life, it is more important than ever that a company's internal communications maintain regular exchanges, a sense of belonging and mutual trust among employees. The intranet is a suitable internal channel for this purpose. But what if the intranet resembles a graveyard?

Return on Intranet Investment

Scientific studies1 show that regular, open communication not only has a positive effect on a company's culture, but also strengthens employee commitment and empowerment. Members who identify more strongly with an organization are more motivated, committed, satisfied, and perform better. Authentic, transparent leadership communication also contributes to greater engagement, trust, and cooperation among employees.

Boosting engagement on the intranet

While you can't make engagement work on your own, you can increase the likelihood of interactions. It starts with technology: the intranet should be intuitively designed, easily accessible and simple to use. Personalization options (e.g., personal profile with photo and bio) and transparency (e.g., authors named, insight into participants at events) create closeness and strengthen the sense of community.

What is interesting is in the eye of the beholder. If you know who the employees are, the conditions under which they work, and how to communicate with them at eye level, you can strategically integrate the interests of your target group into the content you publish.

Basic characteristics also influence the engagement of an intranet post:

  • Measurement is Key. Tracking and analyzing content also pays off on the intranet. If you know what works in your own intranet and what does not, you can act accordingly.
  • Form and format are part of the message. Images and videos arouse emotions and stimulate reactions. That is why it pays to work with visuals. Furthermore, formats such as surveys and polls offer the opportunity to actively involve employees. And: Short contributions are read more often. What is more, short-lived formats such as stories lower the inhibition threshold for participation. How about a monthly challenge for employees?
  • Just ask. Calls-to-action and questions can be used to encourage employees to share their opinions – for example, on how they would like to participate on the intranet. Soft news and infotainment live longer. And achieve more engagement on average. Why not communicate "soft" for a change? Maybe memes can be shared in a #random channel or private topics can be discussed in a "coffee break" group?

For all these tips, the key to an active intranet community lies in the corporate culture. The foundation is a work environment that actively encourages employees to use the intranet – and creates the space to do so.

Mishra, K., Mishra, A. K., & Walker, K. (2019). Using Innovative Internal Communication to Enhance Employee Engagement. In A. Normore, M. Javidi, & L. Long (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Strategic Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Management in Modern Organizations (pp. 445-468). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-8516-9.ch022

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