29 May 2020

5 signs that your new intranet solution isn't working

If you feel like your new intranet is already failing and you’re falling quickly behind – now is the time to act. In today’s world, communication is essential. Slow systems with slow responses just don’t cut it anymore. Digital transformation has seen leading organisations step-up their game when it comes to digitising their assets, believing collaboration and transparency within internal processes are the key to outbound success, but it’s with intranets that organisations are often falling short.

Buying technology is fraught with difficulty and we don’t always get it right, so how can you tell if your organisation’s new platform is putting you behind?

Objectives were never properly established

Managers often fail to establish clear objectives for their intranet before a solution is implemented. By not defining goals for what an intranet is there to achieve, how it works with your other systems, failing to create an effective roll-out and future development strategy, or not establishing clear metrics and a way of measuring whether a strategy is succeeding, it makes it very easy for an intranet solution to quickly deteriorate.

An intranet requires constant adaption and re-evaluation; often employees and leadership view the intranet project as ‘just another technology implementation’, but it’s not, because it impacts all of your employees’ day-to-day life.

Management needs to create a realistic strategy that, primarily, pays attention to user needs that prevents them from becoming cynical and discouraged with the solution. An organisation must manage their expectations, be realistic in what an intranet can achieve, and work with staff to define a transparent, clear road map that ensures continuous improvement.

Adoption is slow and fragmented

A failing intranet is clear when employees and managers alike are unsure of the purpose of the solution.

If employees are already stopping to use it and managers aren’t backing it, it’s a sure sign that you’ve got a problem. In many cases, new starters will struggle with learning how to navigate an intranet and aren’t encouraged by management to consider it as an important asset, thereby perpetuating its decline.

It is imperative for organisations to understand what an intranet can do to help them; a social intranet with low adoption rates won’t be able to reach peak performance and the organisation is collectively missing out on opportunities for increased profitability and growth.

Content isn’t being updated

One of the most telling signs of a failing intranet is if the data stored on the interface is out-of-date.

A failing intranet can cause a deadly cycle; the solution does not function properly, employees stop using it, information becomes obsolete and engagement plummets. If It takes a long time to find up-to-date information or users can’t find the resources they need because they’re not there, then they’ll stop looking there altogether.

Often, ill-used intranets become outdated, difficult to integrate with other systems, and costly to maintain. Intranets should be dynamic and regularly updated, both automatically and by your employees.

An Intranet is like your home: decorate it, and give it a personal touch in order to make it comfortable to live in. All important files should be easily accessible, so archive old content to ensure you’re not tripping up over it and ensure that all new content serves a purpose to your staff – the more relevant the content, the quicker you’ll increase employee engagement and motivation.

Promote your intranet as a place for collaboration and the ‘single source of truth’ full of relevant and up-to-date information, and you’ll see an increase in employee engagement, enabling efficiencies, promoting a positive collaborative culture and driving an ROI from your investment in it.

Teams are communicating outside of the internet

When an intranet is hard to use, employees often resort back to their own individual methods of saving and sharing content between their respective teams. When the majority of communication between employees is happening via email, instant message or through other systems, the intranet may not be properly accommodating the needs of your employees.

If your teams are evidently less informed about company culture, asking for information that is supposed to be held on the intranet, and there’ limited horizontal collaboration, there is a big underlying problem.

Your company intranet can be an excellent resource for information, so it is important for organisations to understand its potential. An intranet should serve as your company’s central hub for productivity and enable greater levels of efficiency and profitability.

Lack of training

Often leadership doesn’t properly understand the purpose and objectives of the intranet, which makes it difficult for employees to adopt the solution.

Ensuring that every employee knows how to use your intranet to its fullest capacity should be an organisation’s number one priority. Along with backing the intranet in every practical sense, leadership should implement an appropriate training method in order to secure engagement, with frequent comms that reinforce its place within the organsiation. Intranet navigation should be instinctual.

If your users are unaware of how to use the intranet, your organisation is passing on opportunities to grow and succeed.

Need assistance?

Brennan IT understand the challenges that mid-market organisations often face with implementing and maintaining a functional and effective intranet. We can provide you with a unique out-of-the-box solution that sits on-top of your intranet that will enable you to get the most out of it. We’ll also help you to define your strategy, implement it, and then hang around to train and optimise it for you.

Need more help? Download our free eBook: How to implement an intranet in 12 steps.