Improving employee engagement, ensuring productivity and creating personalized employee experiences by delivering the right content to the right person at the right time, on any device or channel is becoming a new business imperative. A survey featured by the Society for Human Resource Management states that most business executives already understand that employee engagement directly affects their organization’s financial health and profitability.
Only organizations that adapt to the changing needs of the modern workforce and provide a centralized digital hub of engagement will be able to thrive in the digital economy and maintain a competitive advantage. Thus, it probably comes as no surprise that there is an increased focus on modernizing intranets and digital workplaces.
Unlike traditional intranets, modern intranets are not just a place to access HR policies and share static files. But instead, a digital hub in which employees can communicate, collaborate, innovate, access information and get their work done. A modern intranet is the gateway for a modern and connected workplace. Without it, your digital workplace will become a collection of siloed digital tools.
Along with intranets, their best practices have evolved and changed over the years. What worked five years ago won’t necessarily work now. In this article, we list down 5 intranet best practices you must follow to meet the needs of a modern workplace.
Best Practices of Modern Intranets
1. Invest in Search to Reduce the Time to find Information
A powerful search engine like Bing or Google provides access to the relevant information from the vast quantities of web data at a mere click of a button. Employees expect this to translate into their workplace as well. However, businesses often store their information in siloed systems and applications, which need to be unlocked individually. A traditional enterprise search in the intranet can’t fetch information from the dozens of SaaS and cloud storage apps, thereby compelling knowledge workers to spend hours searching for information.
Invest in smart search capabilities like cognitive enterprise search to improve your search relevance and deliver personalized results. Cognitive search leverages AI and Natural Language Processing to deliver consumerized search experiences. It connects with all your third-party enterprise apps and acts as a one-stop search for your organization.
2. Adopt The Concept Of A Virtual Water Cooler
The modern workplace involves distributed teams and a large remote workforce. In order to cater to their needs, an intranet should function as a virtual water cooler. This means employees should be able to easily find and connect with each other, communicate their ideas through instant messaging, have non-work discussion, and create groups to find peers with shared interests. Intranets can be equipped with an inbuilt purpose-built reward system to seamlessly facilitate peer-to-peer and top-down recognition. Social features such as likes, shares, and comments are some more capabilities to consider.
Moreover, employees can provide direct feedback and ideas regarding business outcomes and decisions to the relevant personnel, which will enable top executives to understand the thoughts and the feelings of the employees. Ultimately, this will enable them to address problems quickly and make the employees a part of the decision-making process.
3. Make Personalization A Priority
Intranet content personalization improves employee adoption and productivity by putting the information relevant to them at their fingertips. Modern intranets like Mesh 3.0 leverage AI capabilities to recommend the right content to the right employee based on their geo, activities, roles and interests.
As soon as they open their intranets, employees can see highly personalized articles, insights, documents, news, and peer updates. For instance, a new hire should see the company’s onboarding and HR policies as soon as they login to their intranet. Your marketing team should see the latest updates and news related to their function.
In addition, by using multilingual capabilities, intranet pages can also be personalized according to the language preferences of the employees. Personalization is key in a digital workplace and it is what makes employees come back and use the intranet. With AI and advanced content targeting options in an intranet, it’s now possible to deliver the same level of user personalization as delivered by consumer social platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, Netflix etc.
4. Focus on Mobility
The new generation of employees prefer to spend more time on their mobile devices than desktops. This calls the need for capabilities like intranet chatbots and mobile apps using which employees can access information on the go. With intranet chatbots, users can have natural language conversations and check the latest intranet updates and access documents. They can also execute activities like leave requests, travel settlement requests, IT requests, etc.
5. Take a Modern Approach To Knowledge Mining
Traditional knowledge management practices like manual content tagging and metadata generation are not only costly but also error-prone and unproductive. Given the humongous amount of information generated everyday, your intranet should be equipped with advanced knowledge mining capabilities like automated metadata generation, content tagging and classification and taxonomy recommendations. This enables you to unlock the value of unstructured data and makes information easily searchable.
A modern intranet acts as the foundation of your digital workplace. It provides a central digital hub to collaborate, communicate and share information. The best practices suggested above should enable you to improve your intranet adoption, employee engagement and productivity. We’re helping customers transform their digital workplaces with our autonomous Office 365 intranet — Mesh 3.0. Mesh is built with the best of Microsoft AI technologies like Azure, Graph, and LUIS. It provides a host of intelligent digital workplace features that are designed to meet the needs of a modern workplace.
- Cognitive enterprise search
- Personalized content recommendations
- Intranet chatbots
- AI-Powered knowledge mining
- Flexible integrations
- Intuitive content creation tools
- Analytics and dashboards
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our AI and digital workplace consultants for a personalized consultation.