Company intranets have been a part of corporate life since the mid-'90s. But in the last half-decade or so, they've evolved to include many social, relationship-building features. Naturally, the merit of these developments is hotly debated.
While we can all agree that strong company relationships are important, how these relationships are developed is a point of contention. Is social intranet software a productivity killer, or an important business tool?
In this blog post, we'll explore exactly what social intranet software is, the four main benefits it provides, and whether or not your company should invest in this type of application.
Social intranet software is a collaboration tool that makes employee communication quick, easy and enjoyable. Depending on the software provider, specific application features may include instant messaging, document sharing and commenting, social tagging, and more.
In simple terms, social intranet software is basically a private social media channel, like Facebook, that connects your entire company. While these types of networks have many proven benefits, managers — especially those at smaller companies — may be wary to adopt them.
Won't a network of this kind make employees less productive? Will they be able to focus with the allure of social interaction constantly at their fingertips? These concerns are understandable, though unnecessary.
In the next section, we'll explore the four benefits of social intranets and why your organization should consider investing in this type of software immediately.
Wondering whether to use a company intranet platform or not? You're not alone. The topic has been picking up steam lately. Here are, in our opinion, the four biggest benefits:
When every company employee (or at least the ones in each department) is just an instant message or social tag away, communication is a breeze.
Email, for all its advantages, is not an ideal internal correspondence tool. Messages are easily lost, buried beneath a mountain of other emails.
Social intranets separate internal and external communications, allows team members to easily send large files when necessary (documents can be stored on company servers rather than sent electronically), and respond to each other in a more timely fashion.
Lastly, the community aspect of social intranet software encourages employees to share ideas in a transparent and streamlined way. Different thoughts and suggestions often make for better businesses.
It's easy to think that the opposite would be true. Separated team members should encourage productivity, right? Fewer distractions equal greater output, right? Not always true.
Sure, employees may spend time socializing or sharing personal information via business social networks from time to time. But this is a small price to pay for easier collaboration, faster communication, and better organization — all of which lead to increased productivity.
Also, it should be noted that social intranet software allows for conversation monitoring. Making this known to employees will often discourage any inappropriate sharing without ruining company culture.
The happiness of your team is important. Studies show that the average employee tenure at a company is a mere four years and employee turnover costs businesses an average of six to nine months salary per departed worker.
But it doesn't have to be this way. By increasing employee satisfaction, team members will have much less reason to leave. Studies show that a business social network solution greatly improves employee engagement and engaged employees are generally happy ones.
Finally, let's discuss the security benefits that social intranets provide. Without an internal system for communicating and sharing important documents, employees will be forced to use other solutions such as Dropbox and Slack.
These are wonderful tools, but they aren't controlled by your company's IT department and may be more susceptible to hacks than an internal system.
By investing in a company intranet platform, your private company details will remain "in-house" and more secure. Isn't that worth the investment?
Social intranets provide many benefits to companies, as we've just seen. Is it right for your organization, though? The answer to that question depends on your company structure, culture, and goals.
But in general, we believe that a company intranet platform should be adopted by most businesses.
If your organization is ready to improve team collaboration and productivity, increase employee engagement, and minimize security risks, consider investing in Workmates; an intranet software solution by HR Cloud.