You can define employees in three categories:
- Engaged employees who drive innovation and are passionate about their job;
- Non-engaged employees who put minimal effort into their job;
- Actively disengaged employees who act out their unhappiness and look to undermine the company.
Many companies turn to their intranet as a tool to help keep employees engaged. Intranets can be defined as ‘a communication platform that users within an organisation can share content and work collaboratively’. The platform can be used to allow employees across multiple offices to work together, provide a singular location for documents and knowledge or even be used as a social platform to improve employee relations.
But what happens when the intranet itself isn’t engaging or being used as you hoped? Here’s a few tips to help identify low intranet engagement and what to look out for when putting together a strategy to improve it.
Top signs of low Intranet engagement
Struggling to get people to post internally
Considering the purpose of an intranet, one of the worst things that can happen is for the intranet to be devoid of user-published content. Whether this content is a blog post or a social call-out to fellow employees, an intranet without content is already dead in the water. A lack of users publishing content is a sure sign of low intranet engagement. This is not to be confused with employees who do not have relevant content to post, these users may not have content worth publishing but they will still actively engage, comment on or “like” posts on the intranet.
Some companies may not see regular user publishing as a form of intranet engagement and maybe even view it as a distraction from “real” work. However, intranet user publishing provides a number of benefits to both users and the company itself.
- Promotes knowledge sharing
Internal blogging gives team members the platform to share expertise or personal insights. Without a proper outlet for team members to share knowledge, the company risks losing that knowledge should the team member leave. Previously, knowledge has been shared via email but there is an increased risk of users spamming team members with unnecessary knowledge or sending it to the right people. By posting it on the intranet, viewable by all, it allows the team members to decide for themselves if the information is relevant to them.
- Increases productivity
As mentioned previously, an intranet provides a singular location for documents and knowledge to be stored. This can save employees time that they would otherwise be spending searching for content or learning from scratch. This saved time can then be invested back into the work. Other methods or tools such as Group Explorer can also be used to save employees time looking for information every day. Regular knowledge posts on the intranet is one method which can be implemented as soon as possible. It could be argued that user posts take employees time away from “real” work but a study from New York University’s Stern School of Business and Carnegie Mellon showed the opposite. Research found that the key to a thriving internal blog is to allow employees to post both personal and work-relevant content. When limitations were placed on the personal content that employees could post, blog posting decreased by 90%
- Build employee relationships
By allowing users to post personal blogs or “non-work” related content, users become engaged with their colleagues, creating and strengthening employee relationships. Improved employee relationships provide a more unified workforce which easily communicates and collaborates with each other.
- Encourages employees to speak up
Naturally within a company, some voices are heard louder than others due to the workplace hierarchy. An intranet platform in which people can post regular content provides a platform for all employees to voice what they have to say. This form of internal communications sends the message that the company wants to hear from the employees.