Intranet For Small Business: What Should You Know?
The working environment in the last few decades has changed drastically. Every organization, big or small, adapts to these changes accordingly.
While it was uncommon in the past for organizations to have employees working remotely, nowadays, it has become the new norm. Even the smallest organization has to keep up with this trend as employees expect flexible working conditions.
According to a recent Gartner survey, 54% of HR leaders said poor, remote working technology is the most significant impediment to efficient remote working in their company. This leads to another critical aspect – “sharing of information” – the phase where most SMEs face a challenge. That’s where an intranet shows up and helps to get the job done better.
So, let’s understand in detail about intranet for small businesses and how it can benefit them.
But before that, here’s a quick introduction.
What Is Intranet?
While Intranet needs no introduction, it is more often confused with the big I – “the Internet.” Although we can find many similarities between them, they are two different things.
In simple words, the Internet is the World Wide Web, with millions having access to it.
On the other hand, Intranet is a private network used by the people of a particular organization. It is a platform that allows you to share information internally within your business, especially information you would not consider to be shared with the general public.
Intranet slowly changed the way businesses operated and benefited companies. In today’s scenario, the number of businesses implementing intranets within their organizations has increased.
McKinsey & Company found that employee productivity increases by 25% in organizations where employees are connected. Internal communications and a strong company culture are crucial elements of a winning workplace.
The intranet is not just a mode of communication anymore. What started as a simple information-sharing tool has now morphed into a dynamic engagement tool. Today, the intranet helps employees to stay connected with the latest company happenings, quarterly/annual reports, and much more.
Why Do SME’s Need Intranet?
One of the most common misconceptions regarding an Intranet is that it is suitable for only larger organizations with a broad base of employees. However, it is not always the case.
Every business, irrespective of the number of employees, must have an effective communication tool to improve workflow, productivity, and efficiency.
The reasons SMEs are now moving towards Intranets are:
- Lack of proper communication.
- A decline in productivity.
- Information storage.
- Tedious data-sharing processes.
- Wastage of time and efforts.
A corporate intranet like PeopleOne is the answer to all the problems listed above. It is practically a virtual space, which allows sharing of ideas, knowledge, and documents amongst colleagues, clients, etc. It replaces the need for emails, forums, and cloud storage. Additionally, it offers benefits that can;
- Enhance employee experience.
- Improve internal collaboration.
- And boost productivity.
Staying connected through intranets can benefit the business in the long run. A modern intranet system can give an organization powerful collaborative and communications benefits, with the added advantage of being secured.
Organizations can create fully customized, tailored intranet software for their specific business needs. Unlike the old rigid software, it provides flexibility vital for the organization’s growth.
A successful intranet solution offers the following benefits to an organization:
Improves internal communication
A modern intranet is designed to promote collaboration throughout your organization, so:
- Teams can engage in open discussions.
- Individuals can contribute their knowledge.
- Leaders can stay in touch.
- Departments can provide updates.
The best thing is that communication is two-way. Anyone in the firm can contribute information and articles, comment and provide criticism. In this way, an intranet expedites communication by centralizing it and providing individuals with a voice and organizational expertise.
Connects your company across time zones and places
An intranet is the central hub for organizations. It’s a place where employees communicate, where company news is shared, and where events are scheduled. With these features, an intranet may bring together multi-location teams. That is, regardless of location, every employee can see relevant insights into what is happening throughout the company.
Helps in document sharing
The inability to access or share necessary files, policies, presentations, etc., can be quickly resolved by implementing an intranet solution. This system makes it easier to store the information in a single space to which access can be provided based on the roles and designations.
Increases recognition and reward
Recognition is an essential aspect of work experience since it increases employee satisfaction and engagement. Companies that distinguish themselves by running effective employee recognition programs are better at retaining top talent and customers. Organizations that integrate a reward system through the intranet are more successful in giving their employees a fun and frictionless reward experience. Modern intranets, such as PeopleOne, make this easier to share peer kudos.
Simplifies employee onboarding
A good intranet makes onboarding easier than before. It gives new hires easy-to-access documentation, up-to-date organizational charts, extensive profiles of their colleagues, and a bustling news hub that provides information and insights into the company’s culture.
Clarifies organizational structure
Clear and dynamic organizational charts on company intranets help you understand the structure and hierarchy of your business. Individual bios or profiles, for example, provide extra clarity and aid employees in reaching out to the appropriate person and collaborating effectively.
Reinforces your brand values
There are numerous methods to use an intranet to support the promotion of your company’s values, including,
- Recognizing staff members for upholding your unique corporate values.
- Sharing content to celebrate milestones.
- Providing instances of the values employees observe in their day-to-day work life.
Reduces meetings and emails
An intranet platform certainly makes sense for you if your calendar and inbox are overflowing with meetings and emails. 62% of emails that employees receive are not important. Discussions are simple on intranets with a solid, integrated instant chat capability. You can now stop using the dreadful reply-all email feature and engage in valuable conversations away from your cluttered inbox.
Brings life to workplace culture
Without its employees, a company cannot exist. The goal of intranets is to foster employee interaction and enhance corporate culture. Peer-to-peer recognition, leadership pieces, brand messaging, and other activities can help an intranet become a hub of activity that adopts the characteristics of the business.
Improves employee engagement
Employee engagement is a tricky topic to crack. Employee engagement aims to make workers happier, more productive, and less likely to leave the company. An intranet becomes simpler for employees to comprehend the wider vision and feel a part of it as the work culture comes to life. Additionally, an intranet provides a venue for active communication, where employees can stay in touch with their team and receive management feedback. Engagement metrics may appear sky-high in your analytics.
Now that we have understood and identified the reasons and benefits behind opting for an intranet solution, we now come to another vital aspect “which intranet suits the needs of your organization?”
To decide which intranet will suit your business, you’ll need to consider the following;
Budget: SMBs’ main concern is to use the non-flexible limited budget wisely. So, taking the budget to determine what solution is best suited is necessary.
Security: Securing the company’s and employees’ data is the top priority of any business leader. While the on-premise solution may sound more secure, the firewalls to data encryption provided by a cloud-based solution keep all the data safe and secure.
Possible ROI: Any investment requires thoroughly determining the potential return that will benefit the organization.
Now that the basic details are in order, which modern intranet to choose?
PeopleOne– A Microsoft SharePoint based Modern Intranet
PeopleOne is a Modern Intranet solution that enables organizations to bring their workplace culture to life. A feature-rich solution built on Microsoft SharePoint, PeopleOne, acts as the unified communication and engagement platform for organizations looking to build a high-performance culture. With its iOS & Android app, teams are empowered to better communicate, collaborate and engage seamlessly anywhere and anytime.
PeopleOne is designed for HR and Internal Communication teams of SMBs and Enterprises across Manufacturing, Logistics, Construction, Healthcare, Finance, Professional Services and many more verticals.
An intranet is an essential investment in your small business, more like an investment in your employees, which matters the most. Your employees will understand that your small business has their best interests in mind as you grow together if culture, engagement, and communication are prioritized from the beginning. Putting employees-first is a sure way to grow any SMB. If you are looking for a modern intranet platform, talk to our PeopleOne experts!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 15, 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.