Improving Internal Communication: Harnessing the Power of a Modern Intranet

With a workforce spread across different locations and remote becoming more common, the need for efficient and seamless internal communication has never been greater. Organizations need effective communication practices to make the right information available at the right time in a channel of the recipient's preference. Going forward, a modern intranet is key for business success.

Below, we will explore how organizations can leverage the intranet to improve internal communication practices. From implementing information policies, planning for effective communication, ensuring user-friendly consumption, to evaluating and improving communication effectiveness.

Expectations on the modern intranet

Before discussing its impact on internal communication, it's crucial to understand modern intranets. Today's workforce seeks more than just news updates or document repositories; they desire a comprehensive platform that integrates various channels such as mobile apps, digital signage, newsletters, and connectivity with platforms like Microsoft Teams, Viva Engage, or Slack.

A user-centric interface offering personalized experiences across devices, acting as a hub for all digital workplace needs, boasting robust networking features, collaborative tools, and seamless integration with third-party apps, are all essential components of a modern intranet. The organization will also expect customizable branding and comprehensive governance and analytics capabilities to help drive a successful intranet initiative.

After establishing an intranet that covers the bullets above, you have an excellent platform for improving communication practices – and driving employee engagement.

However, merely having a modern intranet in place does not guarantee improved internal communication. Success hinges on several factors, from deciding on a robust Governance Plan to follow up on results using real-time analytics of usage, reach, and user interactions. Also include effective tools for communicators and delivering your messages to the right user in the right channel. Let’s explore some key success factors:

Decide on information policies

A strong Governance Plan with policies on how to handle various content types is crucial for your intranet's success. The plan will support consistency, user-friendliness, and alignment with your organization's goals. It can include guidelines for managing content, templates, layouts, metadata, settings, and more. When well-made, it sets the groundwork for a positive user experience, even as your content and the solution grow over time.

The governance plan can also include structures to ensure that the intranet remains secure, compliant, accessible, and aligned with organizational goals.

Effective communication practices

Effective practices are key to improving internal communication. By setting up a Communications Hub within the intranet, you can empower your team to plan, collaborate on, choose channels, schedule, and publish new posts and content.

We recommend that organizations should set up a robust content strategy to ensure the intranet remains a valuable resource for employees. Also, a communication yearly communications plan can also be of great value for your business.

Providing communicators with the right tools

The modern intranet comes with strong tools for creating, publishing, promoting, quality-assuring, and evaluating content. It is also vital that the solution allows for branding content in a way that mirrors your organization’s design guidelines and culture.

You will need to cater to several roles with different needs within the communication process, from editors, content owners, and designers requesting a sophisticated publishing environment to publishers updating a web page a couple of times a year. The first group will ask for media management, precise targeting, and thorough analytics – while the latter is expecting a simple enough tool.

Also, to improve communication practices we recommend that the platform should allow for promoting content in internal social channels such as Teams, Viva Engage, and via email.

Ensure a user experience that drives adoption

Keeping your audience interested means sending the right messages to the right people in a device of the recipient’s choice. The modern intranet delivers a visually appealing experience in web browsers but also allows you to connect the solution to Microsoft Teams. For users that prefer using a mobile intranet app, glancing through news on digital signage screens, or receiving a weekly newsletter – these channels should be available too. Publish in one place but delivering in many channels can be the mantra for the communications team.

To ensure that all users want to use the modern intranet and know how to, it might be a good idea to use tutorials, video courses, and micro-courses to explain how employees can get the most out of the solution.

Track and evaluate results

Looking at numbers helps you see if your intranet is working and find ways to make it better. In a modern intranet, you can monitor usage, reach, user behavior, and user interactions in real-time – and act when content needs further promotion. Monitoring and analyzing if your message is received by the correct target groups will provide valuable learnings for optimizing future communication.

To evaluate the performance of internal communication, we also recommend that organizations should use feedback channels, polls, and surveys to understand user voice.

Learn more about transforming internal communication

In conclusion, a modern intranet is a powerful tool for enhancing internal communication practices within organizations. By having a solid governance plan, structured communication guidelines, user-friendly interfaces, and real-time monitoring possibilities, a modern intranet can drive productivity, innovation, and organizational success.

To learn more about how to improve internal communication with results below expectations, please check this case study from MAN Energy Solutions or take part of this 14-minute on-demand webinar on intranet communication practices.

By implementing best practices and learning from successful case studies, organizations can harness the full potential of a modern intranet to transform their internal communication.