Intranets are a powerful, multipurpose tool that is invaluable when it comes to communicating top-down information across any organisation. With many companies still operating in a remote, or hybrid model, more businesses are realising that intranets can play not only a vital role in company communication and collaboration but also in employee engagement.

During this prolonged period of remote work, it’s important to hone in on the benefits of employee engagement. To do so, we recommend looking at different strategies you can deploy to put your intranet at the heart of your employee engagement plan.

In this article, we are going to explore the vital role an intranet can play in employee engagement and ways you can benefit from it.

The intranets role in employee engagement

The benefits of a more engaged workforce have been widely stated, it improves company morale, increases productivity, and deepens the connection of distributed employees, but how can an intranet improve employee engagement?

To answer that question, we took a look at the latest research, and it showed us that: around 74% of employees feel like they are missing out on vital company information and news. These feelings can lead to communication breakdowns, lack of employee engagement, and during this time when many of us are still working remotely, feelings of loneliness.

An intranet can work on alleviating those feelings of missing out. Now to be clear: it is not by any means the be all end all solution to your employee engagement challenges. But it is a fantastic building block upon which you can start doing the real work of gradually nurturing engagement.

Put simply, an intranet isn’t a simple fix, but it will give you the tools you need to build a more active and engaged workplace. Now let’s explore the ways it can help:

1. Creating a go-to place where people can connect

An intranet helps by centralising business activity and connecting all employees within a single digital workplace. How? Well, a well-designed intranet is simultaneously a discussion forum, a place where news can be shared, an org chart, an employee directory, an event calendar, and a document management system. In a lot of ways, it’s the digital reflection of your physical workplace: a place to be seen and heard, where contributions are rewarded and engaged employees share their passion and successes. If done correctly, it’s a place people will start and end their day, hopefully with multiple check-ins throughout the day.

On an intranet, your people can comment on news posts, share events, hold group discussions, “attend” events, collaborate on tasks, and coordinate and lead projects. In other words, an intranet creates a virtual dimension in which people can interact with each other and directly shape what that workplace looks like. It’s the launchpad for a more engaged workforce.

2. An intranet gives you a way to recognise and reward your people

It’s often the case that the people who are most engaged in their work aren’t visible to anyone besides their manager or team. Their passion is usually obvious to those they interact with daily but can go unnoticed in other parts of the workplace. Meaning, their status as a champion of your business, isn’t really being harnessed.

An intranet creates a venue for company-wide acknowledgments of work well done and above-and-beyond contributions. By posting a company-wide article or shout-out you are giving props to someone who’s shown commitment to the organisation’s goals and values, and you’re doing a few very important things:

  • Providing a clear example of how people can put your company’s values into action
  • Showing people what it means to be engaged and dedicated to the mission at hand, whatever the role they are doing
  • Cultivating a mindset of recognition and respect across your organisation, which is extremely valuable for aligning people and creating an engaged workplace

In addition, we recommend encouraging people to react to and comment on shout-out posts. An interactive and responsive intranet serves as a bulletin board on which people can collaborate and congratulate one another, where new hires can see what it takes to live the company values, and where your most engaged employees can shine.

3. An intranet uses stories to strengthen company culture

This is possibly the most valuable way an intranet can boost employee engagement.

Whilst we love to shout about the ways an intranet empowers your people to work more efficiently or securely store and collaborate on documents or figure out who works where it can be so much more. It’s also a way for people to connect and interact. And intranets that incorporate the right combination of features provide businesses with an excellent opportunity to engage their employees.

Recognizing contributions to the business is one aspect of this, but so is storytelling. Good internal storytelling around individual employees, teams, or projects that highlights their contributions to the organisation creates ‘buzz’. People are naturally inclined to share stories, whether they’re positive or negative, and these stories consequently play a huge role in shaping the perception of an organisation’s culture.

People will share stories that shine a positive light on their colleagues. Not only that, they may even try to emulate the protagonist of those stories, or share their own stories of their colleagues’ success. A culture that brings this to the forefront, via a tool like an intranet, makes engagement a prominent piece of the puzzle.

Great intranets are designed with a strong set of company values in mind, values that your business lives each day. If done right, it can create a resonating effect on an organisation: it can empower widespread engagement, increased productivity, innovation, morale, and growth. If you are looking to strengthen the role your intranet plays in employee engagement you can book a discovery session with one of our experts here, or if you are looking to learn more about tips you can implement to improve your intranet design today, check out our article here.