3 Ways Employee Intranet Boosts Productivity (+Examples)

April 2, 2015
Robin Dominik Havre
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Right now, there’s something missing from your company.

Like a special type of glue that bonds together the individual employees to form a sense of community, identity or even tribe.

All the best businesses in the world possess this quality because they know how to cultivate it among staff members. They recognise the value this type of cohesion brings to the table. And an employee intranet is the most effective tool for the job.

Before we look at some studies and examples, let’s see how an effectively utilised intranet can improve your company’s productivity.


Better informed employees = better productivity

In 2013, Aon Hewitt released its annual study titled Trends in Global Employee Engagement. Among many revealing data points is one that stated that a 1% increase in employee engagement translates into a 0.6% increase in productivity.

If that’s correct, it means increasing employee engagement by 10% could produce a massive 6% increase in company output. When scaled across a workforce hundreds strong, that means a serious edge over your competition.

These numbers are pretty significant to say the least. And in the following studies and insights we’ll look at some of the reasons why this could be the case.

Quote image says "Companies that effectively engage employees are 2.5 times more likely to become high performers in their sector."

A similar report commissioned the previous year by Towers Watson gave some supporting evidence. It showed how companies that effectively engage employees are 2.5 times more likely to become “high performers” in their sector.

Perhaps informing employees is just one part of the engagement equation. It goes both ways, which means that you taking action on employee feedback is what completes the loop.


Getting employee feedback over the intranet

For all of the education and experience in your C-suite, there’s one group of people more likely to spot bottlenecks, highlight meaningless bureaucratic policies and improve workflows than anyone else. And that’s your main workforce.

Introducing surveys and polls over an effective intranet design gives you the ability to quickly and easily gather mass feedback from all of your employees and gain frontline, actionable data on which to base your decisions. Essentially, your employees engage you, via your intranet.

As a side note, remember to let your staff know the results of surveys. Multiple studies have shown that this helps to improve engagement and reduce cynicism among workers. After all, even if the results are largely positive, questions will be raised about what you’re trying to hide.

And if the results are bad, publish them anyway and show that you’ve got a plan to change things. You’ll be seen as someone who isn’t afraid to get out in front of their mistakes and do something to make things better.

Not only that, but it’s part of the content strategy; interesting material that will have employees coming back to your intranet for more.


Internal branding is just as important as external

In the first chapter of Virgin Group’s employee handbook, the title reads “Our people come first”. And that’s the kind of internal branding message from which we can all learn a great deal.

In the book, the group’s brand manager, Catherine Salway, states that:

Quote image says “We have always believed that to create a powerful external brand, you need to create a culture that supports it."

Creating a sense of purpose, quality and community inside your company means those same values are projected to customers and potential customers who encounter your employees. A mobile intranet has power to bring employees together on the inside to make you a more attractive company to work with on the outside.

Just ask Sir Richard Branson.


Improved Top-down & Bottom-up communication

Finally, it all boils down to improving both top-down and bottom-up communication.

It’s a nice idea that word-of-mouth decisions can be made in an office with a CEO or Director and her or his mid-level management before it trickles neatly down the chain of command without a hitch.

The reality is, this is not only an entirely ineffective way of spreading orders (and perhaps even an effective way of starting a game of Chinese whispers), but these days, we’ve got the technology to do better. Especially if you have a construction company, retail business or any other organisation where there isn’t one central office.

By more effectively spreading orders to employees via your intranet, you keep staff more engaged and productive, get better feedback from the bottom-up to ensure better decisions and then deliver those decisions effectively and without ambiguity.

And that means you’re significantly more likely to become one of the top performers in your sector.

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Robin Dominik Havre

Robin is the CEO of New Intranet. He's helped many companies deploy successful mobile intranets that are easy to use and specially designed for employees not working in front of a computer. The goal of this blog is to provide research-backed intranet and internal communications advice for more successful HR strategies.

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