5 reasons why your intranet isn’t engaging

The intranet is often a thorn in the side of many organisations. Only 13% of people use their intranet daily and 31% of people never participate. If employees find the intranet difficult to use or it isn’t helpful, they simply won’t use it and may even find workarounds via unsecure apps and shadow IT – putting your IT environment at risk.

Digital workplaces are supposed to engage, inform and empower everyone, allowing employees to be independent, efficient and proactive but why do so many of them fall short?

1. Weak search function

According to McKinsey, the average employee spends 9.3 hours a week looking for information. Or, if you look at it another way: four out of five employees show up for work. But the fifth is off searching for answers and not contributing value (and asking lots of annoying questions in the process). Having an effective search function is what defines a good digital workplace – the speed and ease of finding information can add huge amounts of value from a user perspective.

2. Outdated information

Businesses grow fast and new information needs to be distributed frequently. But intranets are often used as a ‘dumping ground’ and new documents get added on top of old ones. They’re likely to be out of date, replicated or lacking ‘version’ control, which is confusing for employees. People need a single version of the truth which is why building your digital workplace on a cloud environment, like Office 365, can really help with this.

3. Poor communication tools

Often businesses use lots of tools and platforms for internal comms. If these don’t offer connectivity or a single view of data across apps, figuring out where to go for what information is exhausting. 70 percent of businesses say the top function for their intranet is to communicate ‘business performance.’ But digital workplaces should be focus on helping employees day-to-day, boosting morale and aiding collaboration. Traditional digital workplaces often lack things like chats, blogs private messages and comments which take away the social feel so many organisations aspire to adopt.

4. Confusing content publishing

Internal data online is often confined to silos where it isn’t integrated properly with social media or isn’t displayed openly. Often the number of steps involved in publishing content is proportional to an individuals motivation to do so. Building your digital workplace on a tool built with drag and drop UX/UI can help reduce time spent publishing information and ensure that the pages you produce are visually impacting and eye-catching too.

5. Boring

Many intranets are crowded with newsfeeds and announcements which is why people’s eyes tend to glaze over when you say the ‘I’ word out loud. A good social intranet should have a corner for ‘fun’ activities to keep employees coming back during their downtime (whether that’s trivia, book clubs, interest groups, puzzles or games is up to you). Not only does this promote good company culture, it drives adoption of your system too – meaning that a positively engaged user will keep coming back!

At bluesource, we design, build and run outstanding IT systems to help solve real, every-day business problems. Last year, we launched the SmartSites Digital Workplace. Built on Office 365 and SharePoint, it has hand-picked features to make sure that your employees are empowered and engaged. It’s also built using an intuitive user experience (UX) tool called LiveTiles. This makes it easy for IT and HR managers to customise, change and control the design to match your brand and messaging.