In search of a great intranet for small business
An intranet can be an effective tool for strengthening organizational culture and driving employee engagement. But establishing a solution to support internal communication, effective collaboration, and connecting to share knowledge with colleagues can be a big ask for any organization, especially for a small business. In this article we aim to share advice on the top benefits of small business intranets, and on what to prioritize when choosing the best solution for your organization.
A small business has a lot to gain from having an intranet in place, just like a larger organization. An intranet will enable communications to run as efficiently and smoothly as possible, while at the same time ensuring a healthy scaling culture and the robust engagement of employees. Resources spent when introducing the solution will be more than compensated for in terms of improved efficiency, productivity, engagement, and profits.
But of course, there might be pitfalls along the way and hopefully, this article can help you navigate on your journey to a successful intranet.
Top five benefits of a small business intranet
There are many reasons why an intranet makes a business more successful, but here are the top five:
1. Improved internal communication and collaboration
Without an intranet, internal communication is often a mixture of e-mails, chat messages in siloed collaboration spaces, SMS and verbal announcements in ad hoc and regular group meetings. It’s difficult to keep the information uniform and accessible to everyone at the same time. Also, it’s hard work verifying that every employee has been informed about vital news, events and new policies or processes, etc.
With an intranet, however, you can eliminate all inefficient channels and discrepancies in how the information is conveyed. Every item of information will be distributed to all employees in a consistent and uniform manner, bearing identical messages to everyone. The same is true about internal collaboration. An intranet allows you to consolidate tools, meeting applications, files, notes, and other resources necessary for collaborations in just one place, making it so much easier to start and manage collaborations in a consistent and efficient manner.
2. Enhanced findability of information
A small company might start with a smaller intranet in terms of how it is populated. The first version could, for instance, just include the basics like a news section, contact lists, procedures, calendar, personal employee information, and a “How to” page. But as usage grows and both management and employees recognize the power and advantages of having information, tools, and other resources available in a consolidated space, more content will be added.
In fact, many companies and organizations today aim to have accessible on the intranet every single item of information, digital tool, document, and process necessary for employees to carry out their work tasks and for the optimization of employee self-service. In doing so, the intranet is made the hub of the digital workplace. There is a simple explanation for their strategy: having everything accessible via a single platform reduces the time and effort required to find anything, thereby boosting employees’ productivity.
3. A close-knit, engaged, and efficient organization
If the organization is spread out geographically, the unifying power of an intranet is obvious to most people. But the truth is, an intranet will in fact create a more closely-knit community even in a company in which all employees are sitting together. The capacity of an intranet to strengthen organizational bonds is not only about the ease of conducting group-wide communication and of keeping all employees informed about everything simultaneously. It is also about how an intranet makes it possible to keep communications transparent, consistent, and uniform throughout the organization. With an intranet, it does not matter if someone is absent on the day of an announcement. The employee will be fully briefed when they are back online.
When a company’s group-wide communications are fully transparent, open, and uniform, employees experience a sense of inclusion, which boosts their engagement. And if the entire organization, or a major part of it, feels included in discussions about the development of the business, the group will most likely work better together.
4. United drive towards common goals
If the board of a company wants its visions and goals to be reached sooner rather than later, it must make sure all employees are singing from the same hymn sheet, I e the hymn sheet that the CEO and the board members are singing from. To get people moving in the same direction, they must want the same things. And to make that happen, everyone needs to feel included in discussions about the company’s future plans, which brings us back to argument number 3. Transparent, open, inclusive, and uniform group-wide communications will help you unite the organization and make everyone dance, in perfect sync, to the same tune.
5. Increased employee retention and effective onboarding of new recruits.
The intranet can help any small business to strengthen its culture and the bond with employees. In turn, this will lead to increased retention in the workplace.
And if your vision includes long-term growth, the intranet can contribute to that area as well. The solution can provide new employees with guidelines, corporate values, training videos, policies, checklists, contact lists, important documents to sign, and other resources that can help them quickly get on board. You can also set up structured onboarding plans where new hires sign off on the activities to let you know about their progress.
How to choose the best intranet software for small businesses?
There are many different intranet solutions for small businesses to choose from. Our recommendations for deciding on the best way forward are the following:
Go for a cloud-based intranet-as-a-service offering
Choosing such a solution will give the small business several benefits. There is no huge investment, instead, the intranet will be an operational cost. No need for servers or to have internal platform experts, instead your vendor of choice will handle these prerequisites.
Choose a capable but easy-to-use solution
Within the small business, we expect our requirements to be fulfilled, but we do not want to spend too much time on intranet planning or training editors or end-users. That is why it is important to choose an intuitive platform that will allow you to focus on daily work, not how the provided tool works.
Expect a swift and fixed-priced implementation
You do not want to be caught up in an implementation project that lasts for several months. And most of all, you want to know the costs and resources needed to establish and maintain the solution.
Ensure your intranet is evergreen
Your organization will change over time, and the organization’s expectations on an intranet will to. The best way to handle this going forward is to choose an offering where your vendor delivers product updates a couple of times a year. This will provide you with new and improved features that will help improve your intranet over time.
Get help when you need it
Even though you have chosen an intuitive intranet product, there might be occasions when you run into challenges. What is the best way, how to set up this, or what tool to use for a certain purpose? In all those cases you need access to a support desk that can help out when needed.
Learn more about small business intranets
All organizations benefit from having a strong relationship with their employees, and this is especially true for a smaller business where it is common that all employees can play a big role in the company's success. Our aim is that all organizations, not only huge companies, should be able to reap the benefits of a capable and easy-to-use intranet. And that is why we have launched the Omnia Express offering – the easy and cost-effective way to a great intranet for organizations with up to 500 users.
If you wish to learn more about Omnia Express, please check out the links below:
- Web page: The Omnia Express home page.
- Video: An overview of Omnia Express.
- Webinar: The best way to a small business intranet.
- Brochure: Download the Omnia Express brochure.
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