We’ve written a lot about the limitations of old-fashioned company intranets. We understand modern businesses need something different to bring their company together in one place. Today’s digital workplace is looking for improved employee engagement and a company culture to be proud of.
But here’s the thing.
While people have been predicting the demise of the company intranet platform for as long as we can remember, the modern intranet continues to reinvent itself.
Modern intranets have better features, like an internal job board, an employee directory, a company calendar, and, if you’re lucky, intranet analytics. However, these things are unlikely to assist internal communication and improve employee engagement.
If this sounds very much like your current company intranet, keep reading.
- Modern intranet alternatives to the historic company intranet
- How a modern intranet can improve employee engagement
- How to improve internal communications with third-party tools
- How to improve employee satisfaction across the entire company, from the digital workplace to frontline workers.
Why don’t employees engage with their company intranet?
In addition to offering a bad user experience, most intranet platforms are top-down communication methods built to deliver a message but never to start a conversation.
At their core, they lack humanity, which is now more important than ever, according to our recent State of Humanity Report. Three out of every four HR leaders point to the umbrella of human communications as the key contributing factor to employee disengagement.
We offer something different here at Workvivo – a more sociable way of interacting digitally at work called a social intranet. But before we discuss what makes social intranets different, let’s take a look at the top reasons why employees don’t engage with a traditional corporate intranet:
Lack of user-friendliness or functionality
If you use a clunky, outdated intranet platform that lacks key intranet features, you’ll have a hard time keeping employees engaged with the platform. Keep in mind that the best intranet platform is one that makes life easier for your employees. If it doesn’t, they’ll have no reason to use it.
In addition to choosing the right intranet software and collaboration tools, it’s also a good idea to conduct user testing. This will provide valuable insights regarding what employees think of the new intranet, which you can use to improve it.
You have to give your employees a reason to keep coming back to the company intranet. Keeping your intranet homepage populated with fresh and interesting intranet content is one of the biggest keys to making this happen.
Letting the content on your intranet pages grow stale can damage the platform’s credibility, limiting the value it offers employees. Current, relevant content is paramount to keep your employees engaged.
Poor mobile experience
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 27% of the U.S. workforce now works remotely at least part-time. With so many employees now working away from the office, your company intranet needs to offer remote access and an optimized mobile experience.
No matter your industry, you can bet that many of your employees will access the intranet via their mobile devices. If you don’t optimize the site for mobile users, engagement will suffer.
No reason to participate
Using the intranet shouldn’t be just another task that your employees have to complete. Instead, it should offer them real value in the form of useful information and the ability to streamline communication and knowledge sharing.
If your intranet doesn’t offer this kind of value, your employees will have little reason to participate. Of course, there are other initiatives you can use to drive participation as well, including using recognition or gamification to drive employee engagement.
Too much top-down communication
An intranet site should be a platform for two-way communication. If you only use your intranet for top-down communication, you risk creating an overly authoritative platform that stifles employee engagement.
Encourage your employees to use the intranet to communicate and share information with their fellow employees, and be selective with top-down communication. By doing this, you can create a platform that stimulates engagement at all levels.
How to increase employee engagement with a modern social intranet
Switching to a modern intranet can help employees get on board with using an intranet. Employees (especially millennials and Gen Z employees) are more likely to use your intranet if the interface is modern, appealing, and up-to-date.
But what is a ‘modern’ intranet?
Think about it – in our social lives, we send videos, go live, listen to podcasts, and send voice messages. Using a social intranet for workplace communication, one that includes the social consumer design we experience daily, will ensure your intranet doesn’t end up collecting metaphorical dust on the shelf.
But here’s the key: the social nature makes it easy to interact directly with everyone (the same way we could start a conversation with Arianna Huffington or Mark Cuban on Twitter).
Along with using a modern intranet design, there are numerous other ways you can drive engagement with your intranet site and ensure a positive experience for your employees, like:
Hold onboarding and training sessions
It’s important to familiarize your employees with the new intranet right from the start. Likewise, instructions on using the company intranet should be part of the onboarding process for your new hires. Taking the time to teach your employees how to make the most of the company intranet will go a long way toward boosting their engagement.
Get leadership buy-in
Leadership engagement sets the tone for the rest of the organization. If the managers and executives at your company are not fully bought into the company intranet, your employees are likely to follow suit. Showcase the new intranet’s value to the company to ensure that company leadership is ready to lead the charge.
Regularly update content and collect feedback
We already discussed how keeping your intranet pages populated with fresh and informative content is a major key to boosting employee engagement. By regularly updating your intranet content to align with company objectives and employee interests, you can give your employees plenty of reasons to keep logging in.
To further tailor your intranet content to your employees, you may also want to consider using surveys or focus groups to gather employee feedback on content curation and ideas for platform improvements.
Boost engagement with incentives, challenges, and contests
Gamification and incentives, such as challenges and contests, can make using the intranet fun and rewarding for your employees. If you align these incentives with company goals and your company culture, then the value they offer will be even more pronounced.
Personalize the user experience
Adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach to your company intranet isn’t likely to be the best formula for driving employee engagement. Offering opportunities for personalization, such as custom dashboards and personalized content feeds, can make your company intranet a lot more appealing to individual users.
With that said, there is a fine balance between personalization and maintaining a cohesive company culture on the platform.
One of the best ways to achieve this balance is to use a social intranet like Workvivo that enables you to customize and personalize your intranet site however you see fit.
10 modern intranet design examples from different industries to explore
You should now have a good sense of how social intranet software differs from a standard company intranet.
But to bring the idea to life, we‘ll explore some real-life company intranet examples and demonstrate how the Workvivo intranet platform was used effectively across ten different industries – from IT and finance to hotels and recruitment.
A modern intranet platform like Workvivo can work for any large team across any industry to motivate employees and improve employee retention.
1. Information technology
HERE is the world’s number one location data and technology platform. They move people, businesses, and cities forward by harnessing the power of location.
During a global shift toward working from home, HERE noticed a gap in its ability to connect and engage with employees using its legacy company intranet. The company was concerned that new employees weren’t getting the full HERE experience, with company values getting lost due to poor intranet effectiveness.
Implementing Workvivo increased visits to HERE’s intranet by over 200%, with spikes of up to 300%. The straightforward layout, intuitive nature of the tool, and copious features for engagement have added a whole new dimension to the company’s intranet.
There are two key areas of interest for information technology companies: integrations and security. On the integrations front, having an intranet that can play nicely with others and sync with Zoom, Teams, Slack, Box, and the tools your team uses daily is key.
Regarding security and privacy, ensure that your intranet solution has both ISO 27001 and SOC2 certifications.
You can read a full review of Workvivo from a HERE team member on G2, where they talk through what they like, dislike, and the benefits of a social intranet.
Taxback Group is a collection of global companies – encompassing more than 1,000 employees – that offers corporate financial solutions.
Prior to rolling out Workvivo, Taxback Group had an outdated intranet and relied heavily on emails to communicate, as its legacy intranet was only accessible via a network connection. Taxback also struggled to connect its many employees at different offices worldwide. In short, they didn’t see the benefits of having an intranet.
After partnering with Workvivo, the Taxback Group employees can now consume content at their convenience, access important information on the go, and see all employees globally through Workvivo’s People Directory.
When asked what the Taxback Group liked best about Workvivo, they highlighted the user-friendly layout and recognition features.
They also enjoyed “the ability to make amendments on the back end without the help of IT, real-time usage reports, and the option to schedule posts.”
Cubic Telecom is one of the leading technology enablers to automotive OEMs, mobile device companies, and pioneering IoT players across the globe.
The main problem Cubic Telecom faced was its organization’s over-reliance on email. The company felt this discouraged conversation and struggled to understand whether it was getting through to people. They were looking for a company intranet idea to replace email and reach everyone equally, while improving communication and engagement.
After implementing Workvivo, Cubic found employees felt seamlessly connected to the business, its leadership, and their coworkers.
Pranjal Singh, Cubic’s UX designer, complimented the software’s user interface: “It doesn’t flood the timeline with so much content. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s just so perfect, it’s apt, exactly what I want to see. Pictures, stuff happening, updates, etc.”
You can watch the full video case study here.
4. Higher education
Staffordshire University is a public university in Staffordshire, England, with one main campus based in Stoke-on-Trent and three satellite campuses. As a leading university for digital technologies, Staffordshire was looking for new and innovative ways to connect staff across its different locations.
Staffordshire’s main priorities for its new solution were user-friendliness and engagement. The university had multiple communication channels, which meant vital updates and messages could potentially get lost. Encouraging employees was important to Staffordshire, and it wanted one cloud-based intranet where all employees could communicate efficiently in a single channel.
The university particularly appreciated Workvivo’s ‘shout-outs’ and ‘company goals’ features, which make employee recognition and communication much easier.
Andrew Proctor, the university’s head of digital services, said, “We had so many different disparate channels where people could receive updates/information and communicate with each other. There was a lot of fragmentation in what we were doing and we wanted to consolidate it into one channel.” Workvivo helped make this consolidation process possible.
5. Industrial services
Kent is a privately owned energy and industrial services provider that aims to responsibly bring the world its energy.
With employees located in many places around the globe, with differing cultures and languages, Kent needed to create a communal experience with an intranet solution that could accommodate a business of their size.
It’s common for frontline workers in some industries to feel distant from their colleagues. For example, sales reps who may be on the road and engineers who are away from a desk much of the time.
So, how do you ensure every worker has the same intranet user experience when your intranet portal isn’t set up to work for remote teams or teams with no desktop access?
Kent found success with a social intranet solution. Workvivo helps Kent easily communicate with all its employees, including those at remote manufacturing facilities and those without a company email address. Mandy Kennedy, Kent’s head of talent and communication, said, “Workvivo has been right at the center for us in how we’ve shaped our culture.”
You can watch the full video case study here.
6. Media and entertainment
A+E Networks is a leading media network formed by Sky and Hearst. Its range of great shows and channels have provided entertainment to more than 60 million homes for over 20 years.
A+E mainly used email to communicate with its employees, but they became dissatisfied and wanted a better alternative. They were looking for company intranet ideas that would change how they communicate.
Like A+E, many businesses find email to be an ineffective communication tool. While it’s designed to be a two-way method of communication, it often ends up being a top-down way to send company news. Rather than being a way to encourage discussions and engage employees, it turns into a one-way conversation people quickly skim and discard.
Having rolled out Workvivo, A+E Networks’ employees feel more connected to the people they work with and the organization as a whole. Karl Burnett, VP of Human Resources EMEA, said, “We told our employees we were replacing our old intranet with Workvivo and almost had a standing ovation!”
Workvivo achieved an increase in employee retention of 40% and a massive 92% adoption rate for A+E Networks. Read the full case study here.
7. Recruitment agency
Morgan McKinley is a specialist recruitment agency providing jobseekers with career advice, job opportunities, and market insights.
Morgan McKinley was looking for a way to help employees easily communicate, provide recognition, and share business updates interactively. With 850 employees placed in 19 offices across the globe, the business was looking for a way to connect a multicultural, multinational team through a company intranet.
The company specifically wanted a mobile-first approach, so Workvivo felt like a good fit.
They particularly appreciated the survey feature, as it was key for them to understand how every team member was feeling, whether based in India or Europe.
Aldagh McDonogh, Morgan McKinley’s CEO, said, “Workvivo is the personality and the pulse of this business. It really puts the people front and center. It says that people matter. I can’t imagine an organization that it would not work for.”
Workvivo improved staff retention by 50% for Morgan McKinley and showed its employees that they really matter to the company. This is a great example of an intranet working to its full potential.
You can watch the full video case study here.
Seneca Gaming Corporation operates four resorts and casinos in New York State. It prides itself on providing comfort and entertainment for clients, and it’s just as important to the company that its employees get a great experience at work.
The company understood well the importance of employee satisfaction and was looking for a communications platform to connect employees across its resorts. With employees ranging from chefs to hotel managers and office staff, Seneca’s employees are often on their feet and busy, so ease of use and engagement were essential to them.
With Workvivo, Seneca team members can check updates on their phones and stay engaged with their teams in real time. Holly Gagnon, Seneca’s president and CEO, said, “Our team members are our first customers, and in order for them to provide excellent customer service, they need to be informed. We were looking for a new platform to increase employee engagement and strengthen our communication, and Workvivo was the best fit for our needs.”
Trigon is a hotel chain comprising three exceptional hotels in Cork, Ireland. It has fostered a strong culture of being warm and personable for its staff and customers.
Trigon wanted to build community across its hotels as a vital component to providing high levels of guest satisfaction. The company understands that when employees feel listened to and valued, their standard of work improves, along with staff retention. Trigon was looking for a way to continue this strong ethos.
Workvivo is the perfect intranet to complement Trigon’s strong in-person culture. Through wellness committees, employee shout-outs, and surveys, the new company intranet helps showcase the staff’s genuine pride in the business.
Aaron Mansworth, Managing Director of Trigon Hotels, said, “We are a people-centric organization, and employee engagement and effective internal communication is a key priority for us. Workvivo is a fundamental part of helping us successfully achieve this.”
10. Customer experience
TELUS International designs, builds, and delivers high-tech, high-touch customer experiences. It works with global and disruptive brands to provide end-to-end innovation.
TELUS was looking for a one-stop shop for all of its employee communication. The solution needed to integrate with its existing communication and HR systems across a global team of around 50,000 employees.
With such an enormous workforce – in a discerning business that understands what makes a great customer experience – TELUS was looking to provide an outstanding user experience that would improve engagement and enhance company culture.
Workvivo replaced two legacy custom-built intranets at the company. The results speak for themselves.
TELUS International considers Workvivo a game-changer. Steph Cooke, Internal Communications Manager at Voxpro (Powered by TELUS International), said, “Workvivo has been a vital ingredient in enhancing our employee experience and improving engagement for our business worldwide.”
Read the full case study here.
What’s the solution for your company?
Most businesses come with their own set of challenges. It might be a siloed workforce, global offices, or a blend of remote, hybrid, and in-office workers.
But no matter your business’s size, scale, or industry, Workvivo can engage your employees, improve retention, and save your business time and money.
If you have an existing company intranet and switching to something else seems like a monumental challenge, we get it. Many of the wonderful businesses we’ve worked with have been there, too.
That’s why the team at Workvivo is here to help you discuss and work through the challenges your business faces. Book a free demo now to chat with a member of the team and discover what Workvivo can do for you!