To many, an intranet system seems like an outdated concept, a relic from offices of the nineties who claimed to be “hi-tech”. Put simply, an intranet is a private network which is only accessible to chosen individuals, such as the staff of a given organisation. The technology kept employees locked into the same server, and was notoriously difficult to navigate.
Of course, a couple of decades on, intranet technology has become just as advanced as any other network. Nowadays, corporate intranet systems work to streamline everyday processes, whether this for completing specific tasks or a company’s wider work culture. Here’s why you should consider establishing an intranet system for your small business.
Although it’s crucial for the smooth running of any business, internal communication is all too frequently overlooked. In fact, an April 2019 study showed that 60% of employers had no long-term strategy, while half of respondents wanted to make leadership communication a priority. Setting up a single form of communication links everyone in the company, and helps you cut down on time spent drafting emails, but those messages can easily be lost in someone’s inbox. An intranet keeps all these messages together, making it quick and easy to message anyone else within the same system.
Boosting internal discussions among teammates gives everyone a say in company-wide campaigns and projects, while improving interdepartmental relations by ensuring that no one is kept in the dark over future developments. Setting out a clear path of communication and supervision between managers and their teams also improves employee morale. This is key from a productivity point of view, as happy employees are more motivated to work hard, and it can even help with staff retention.
Simplifies access to software
Whether it’s to sort out your finances or assist with marketing efforts, every business needs software that can be accessed by anyone on the team. The most common way of implementing this is to have these programs installed on every company computer.
However, as your business grows on a global scale, this can become increasingly difficult. Procter & Gamble faced this issue when deploying a computer-aided engineering system in order to save money. Instead of taking the time to install the software onto every company desktop or laptop, they converted it into a web-enabled app, which any user in the company could access, regardless of their geographical location. The app launched a common toolset and technology platform to “simplify, deploy, and automate any complex work processes”, while taking the existing software into consideration. This gave every employee the same procedures to work from, without the hassle of installing new programs on their own devices.
Encourages knowledge sharing
The basic purpose of an intranet system is to make everyday tasks easier by having all users and information working from the same platform. This could provide access to important information, like documentation, policies, workflows, and HR contact details. These are generally put in place to help employees fulfill their roles, and support new starters with settling into the swing of things. Having this information readily available makes it much easier for employees to understand various projects while making it simpler to know who to ask for help.
An intranet also creates a secure, centralised location for storing company documents, which can be easily accessible for all employees. These documents can be kept up to date by anyone in a senior position, as and when policies change, which avoids any unnecessary meetings or long email chains. This makes your workflow as streamlined as possible, and minimizes any time-wasting.