Unveiling the Top 10 Intranet Trends for 2024
As we embark on another new year, organizations are planning to elevate their intranet experiences to align with end-user expectations. Based on recent surveys and insights from professionals in Comms, IT, and HR functions. Here are the top 10 intranet trends that mid-sized and larger organizations are expected to prioritize in 2024.
We have divided the forecast into four sections related to common intranet objectives: Improving communication practices, elevating employee engagement, boosting user experience, and driving productivity in daily work. Let us know if you have any questions!
Improving Communication Practices
1. Modern and trustworthy content
When it comes to improving intranet content, internal communication teams seem to focus on two aspects: modernizing content and ensuring its trustworthiness.
In the first case, cutting-edge AI technology is now being integrated into intranets, enabling more effective communication and content management. Many organizations have already started to use AI to improve the creation and quality assurance of content, while others plan to start the process in 2024.
There is also a shift towards using video more often on expense of traditional information pages and news articles. Additionally, intranet content is expected to be adjusted for mobile usage patterns, recognizing that end-users only spend little more than one minute on each new post.
Organizations are also prioritizing to strengthen information policies to ensure that content always is correct and updated. The mantra here is that end-users should always be able to trust content issued by the organization, such as instructions, organization charts, product information, handbooks, etc. We see that AI also can be used for this purpose, examples being analysing GDPR compliance or tone of voice on information pages across an intranet.
2. Advancing on multi-channel publishing
Many organizations claim to drive initiatives to advance on multi-channel publishing, seeking capabilities to publish content in one location and having it surfaced on several clients and devices. The two most common examples are enhancing the use of Microsoft Teams, Viva Engage and intranet mobile apps.
Respondents are planning to surface the full intranet experience in Teams, providing access not only to news, events, and posts but all content and tools. Mentioned here are also auto-publishing news posts in organization-wide Teams channels and/or feeds in Viva Engage.
Plenty of organization focus on launching an intranet mobile app. And for those that already have one, the priority is to include frontline workers in the present setup. And actually, investing in improved support for frontline workers seems to be so much in focus that it could have been listed as a trend of its own.
There is also an increased interest in digital signage, displaying news, events, indicators, local widgets, and more on larger screens across the facilities.
Lastly, newsletters might be making a comeback during 2024, as survey respondents mention this as a way to reach out to seldom-users of the intranet.
3. Evaluate to optimize communication
Perhaps we can see somewhat of a paradigm shift in the approach towards internal communication? After having prioritized effective publishing for some time, we now see that plans are shifting to ensuring robust analytics.
Respondents are increasingly recognizing the need to move beyond qualitative assessments and focus on metrics and insights – often with the purpose to demonstrate the intranet’s tangible value delivered to end-users. The desired destination includes reports on usage, reach, user patterns, and interactions divided by organizational structures, geographical locations, user groups, and devices.
Moreover, the rising interest in benchmarking these results against predefined targets reflects a commitment to continuous improvement. By evaluating the solution against specific goals, organizations can fine-tune their communication strategies, make informed decisions about future roadmaps, and ensure that the internal communication ecosystem aligns with objectives.
In essence, the trend underscores the shift towards a data-driven approach, where analytics becomes instrumental not only in assessing past performance but also in steering the course for more effective and targeted communication going forward.
Elevating Employee Engagement
4. Enhanced support for the employee life cycle
Many organizations plan to use the intranet to enhance overall support for the employee life cycle, improving how people experience their tenure from recruitment to departure several years later. Within this area, three topics are top of the trend charts: onboarding, skills development, and knowledge sharing.
We expect to see more intranets including portals to support smooth onboarding and the introduction of new talent, helping new employees learn about culture, organization, products, facilities, people, and more. Also, HR professionals are hoping to make onboarding more consistent across the organization and many have suggested structured onboarding for this purpose.
Several organizations are planning to use the intranet to publish online micro-modules to support the development of new skills and to invest in knowledge sharing to build a joint knowledge base and release the wisdom of the crowd.
5. Strengthening organizational culture
A rising star in this year's trend forecast is strengthening organizational culture. From not making last year's top-10 predictions, we now hear many organizations discussing the intranet as a viable tool for fostering inclusion, amplifying employee voices, providing channels for feedback, and strengthening the relationship to and between employees.
A majority of intranet owners have plans for promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, sharing success stories, and celebrating cultural events. They are also planning to use features like polls and surveys to enhance understanding of employee voice and incorporate feedback channels to make employees more involved in continuous improvements of their business.
Several organizations are also hoping to see micro-blogging on their intranet to allow users to share quick updates, insights, or thoughts with peers. By following colleagues, employees stay connected and informed about each other's contributions, fostering a sense of community.
We definitely cheer initiatives to use the intranet for strengthening culture, an area that has been somewhat untapped for years.
6. Recognizing employee contributions
Besides having plans for empowering employees with relevant tools and information, many organizations want to use the intranet for creating a spirit of recognition, appreciation, and celebration of employee contributions.
The most common concept that is mentioned by intranet owners is the possibility for employees to acknowledge and praise the achievements of their colleagues or teams. This wish also includes highlighting new colleagues, anniversaries, or employee of the month.
This forecast also includes introducing gamification elements on the intranet, such as employees earning badges for sharing knowledge, completing tasks, or contributing to collaborative projects. Also, implementing leader boards or recognizing top contributors on the intranet can showcase individuals who contribute with valuable insights or share lessons learned.
Using an intranet for recognition programs, where employees are acknowledged for outstanding performance, innovative ideas, or going beyond their responsibilities will help reinforce a positive work culture.
Boosting User Experience
7. Improving the Search Experience
Providing a great user experience even though content is growing by the day can be a tough challenge. But making it easy for end-users to find the content or resource that they are looking for is a centrepiece in the overall user experience.
In the upcoming year, we expect organizations to embrace AI-driven conversational search to provide users with a more intuitive and natural search experience. Natural language processing allows users to interact with the intranet search as if they were conversing with a knowledgeable colleague who has read and remembers all intranet content.
Many organizations are also planning to use a combination of search analytics and user feedback to improve the 'traditional' search experience. Comprehensive statistics, including top search terms, abandoned searches, zero searches, and more are analysed to gain insights into search preferences and trends. Also, feedback from end-users will help dedicated search administrators with valuable insights for continuous improvements in search functionality.
Intranet owners also mention promoted search results and stand-alone search applications, such as find colleague or find product, as possible ways to improve the search experience.
8. Delivering a personalized experience
A common objective is that an intranet should be truly relevant for every user, not semi-relevant for a common workforce. In 2024, organizations focusing on creating a better and more relevant intranet experience are adopting key trends to tailor content and resources to individual preferences and needs.
Also in this case, AI is in the spotlight. Since many organizations are looking into how AI can support driving personalization, offering employees tailored content based on their roles, preferences, and work patterns. Some organizations are also looking into how AI is evolving to provide contextual experiences, ensuring that content is not only personalized but also aligned with the specific context of each user's tasks and responsibilities.
Other prioritized initiatives are empowering end-users with an intranet-wide solution for subscribing to sections, communities, pages, documents, tags, and more. When new or updated information is available within the personal settings, the end-user will be notified and can select to take part in the content or bookmark it for later.
Some intranet owners are also revealing plans to allow end-users to configure the features displayed on the start page, enabling a personalized and user-configurable intranet experience.
Driving Productivity in Daily Work
9. Strengthen collaboration governance in Microsoft Teams
In 2024, a prominent trend in intranet development focuses on enhancing collaboration and driving effective projects within Microsoft Teams. Building on the momentum from several years of increased usage of Teams, IT professionals now seem determined to strengthen governance aspects to make collaboration, especially in projects, more effective.
We have learned that organizations are actively seeking improved support for integrating official project models into Teams. The goal is to combine the simplicity of Teams with the governance structures necessary for internal projects, creating a seamless and effective collaborative environment. This aspect also includes structured project portfolios to provide an overview of project-related activities undertaken within the Teams environment.
Other plans that seem to be underway are to set up essential properties, policies, and templates for creating new collaboration teams, ensuring consistency and alignment with organizational standards.
Integration with various Microsoft 365 tools also seems to be a key component, fostering commitment to optimizing collaboration, project management, and overall efficiency within the Microsoft Teams ecosystem.
10. Delivering Employee Services to a Hybrid Workforce
Almost all survey respondents are planning to develop their intranet to support a business landscape characterized by hybrid teams and remote work models. Long-term, they tend to view the intranet as a hub in the digital workplace, offering access to internal communication, collaboration, a suite of employee services, and seamless integrations with essential business systems.
Besides improvements within the communication and collaboration areas, we have learned about a growing interest in integrating the intranet with core business systems like ServiceNow, Workday, Jira, or BI Portals to ensure a cohesive digital ecosystem. By also providing dedicated employee portals, such as IT or HR, equipped with forms, PowerApps, and low-code apps, organizations enable seamless self-service and access to vital data.
In 2024, we expect organizations to fine-tune communication and collaboration aspects of their intranet for a remote workforce, but also to speed up the delivery of employee services, business applications, and data to the same target group.
Same objectives, new initiatives
As we move into 2024, we believe that the overall intranet objectives to stay the same. Organizations will develop their solutions to improve internal communication practices, elevate employee engagement, boost user experience, and drive productivity in daily work. But we predict that the ten trends above will shape the intranet landscape and what organizations make a priority going forward.
If you wish to dive deeper into the trends or learn how Omnia can support your organization going forward, please contact us for a continued discussion.
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