What is a social intranet?
A social intranet, also known as a modern intranet, has all the bells and whistles that come with a traditional intranet, with one caveat, it is specifically designed to promote communication and collaboration among your employees.
In organizations where communication is siloed, a social intranet can facilitate work-place relationships and cultivate a strong sense of community. It encourages employees to engage in active conversations and removes the barriers to collaboration with dispersed colleagues.
Using a social intranet can lead to many benefits for your organization including improved engagement, better team collaboration, increased productivity, and a more tight-knit workplace community. Read more about modern intranet best practices.
How to leverage a social intranet
Once you have decided to use a social intranet, you have completed the first half of the challenge. The next step is figuring out how to get the most value out of your new digital workspace.
To do this, there are many factors you need to consider:
Identify where your employees are going to communicate
Think about where your employees will communicate within the social intranet. The best way to accomplish this is by opening up an ongoing dialogue with the employees who would actually be using the tool as their primary method of connecting with colleagues.
These employees are most likely already using some form of external communication (such as WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and email). You will need to convey the benefit of bringing all communication into the same platform and under the same umbrella. Doing an intranet content audit can help.
Explain to them that conversations that occur outside of the social intranet can lead to lost knowledge and siloed communication.
Show them how a modern search functionality enables them to immediately retrieve information from past conversations.
Demonstrate how easy it is to collaborate in groups, share files, and stay in the loop on certain projects/tasks.
Talk to your employees and communicate this value to them. Get them to understand the benefits that derive from all communication and collaboration happening in the same area.
Are there collaboration spaces for specific teams and departments?
You can tailor a social intranet so that employees only receive information that is relevant to them. This helps prevent information-fatigue and allows employees to hyper-focus on projects that pertain to them.
A social intranet will offer centralized collaboration workspaces for your teams and projects. Within these collaboration spaces you can share files, have conversations, and collaborate with other members of the space.
Having team collaboration spaces can help keep your work specific and centralized. A proper social intranet will allow employees to participate in these spaces wherever they are via a mobile app. This eliminates the restrictions of work schedule, daily agenda, geographical distance when working with colleagues.
Is there an employee directory?
What would you do if you needed to locate a colleague with a specific skillset? Who would you contact? How would you find them?
A modern social intranet answers these common questions with an employee directory feature. An employee directory provides a company-wide catalog of employee details and contact information.
It provides faces to the names and can help bring people closer together, make the company feel ‘smaller’, and create a sense of community.
With an employee directory, colleagues you may not otherwise had a chance to connect with are now at your fingertips. You can quickly locate people with similar skills, similar job roles, and more. Collaborating across office locations and time-zones becomes much simpler.
With an employee directory, you can be assured information is always current via an integration with your HR software. Anytime information gets updated, (i.e., employees shift jobs, depart the organization, are onboarded, etc.) that information is automatically synced, and permissions are updated accordingly.
Collaboration & engagement features
The true value of a social intranet comes from employee collaboration and engagement. By encouraging employees to partake in active conversations, you can improve employee engagement and retention within the company.
Similar to how you would use a social media platform, most modern social intranets contain features that allow employees to easily provide feedback, add reactions, or comment on ongoing conversations in real-time.
These features help improve employee engagement as employees can add their two cents into active conversations, or acknowledge an announcement, without having to fully participate in the discussion. Read more intranet engagement ideas to help get your team connected.
By keeping all of your company information and collaboration within the same platform, you are exposing your employees to conversations, projects, and information that may have previously been siloed. Now everyone can get a better idea of what projects and tasks need to be accomplished.
Case study: Barut Hospitality Management
Barut Hospitality Management is a perfect example of a company that implemented a social intranet to transform the way their employees collaborate.
Barut Hospitality Management, a Turkish resort hotel chain, had been primarily communicating with their resort staff over mobile phones, email, or in-person.
This inefficient practice led to people relaying the same information to each other over and over. There was repetitive back and forth communication and employees often relied on word of mouth to communicate information to each other.
In need of a way for their employees to communicate and collaborate more effectively, Barut Hospitality Management decided to implement a modern social intranet.
Barut Hospitality Management was able to leverage their social intranet to connect department managers and provide them a space to share information among each other.
How To Leverage A Social Intranet
Improving collaboration & communication
After implementing a social intranet, Barut Hospitality Management simplified their communication processes among their dispersed resort employees. In addition, employees now had a centralized location to share information, collaborate with colleagues across the resort hotels, and were able to access important documents directly from their mobile phones.
Ibrahim Yilmaz, Group Director of Human Capital had this to say about their new social intranet: “With MangoApps, we have a digital space for all of our employees—a social intranet where they can instantly find the information that they need 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
To learn more about how they leveraged a social intranet to transform the way employees collaborate, download the case study or check out other customer stories from TeamHealth and Great Harvest Bread.