It wasn’t so long ago that the company intranet was a rarely visited place. For most organisations it wasn’t much more than a barely categorised dumping ground for every single form that had ever been created. A perfunctory staff directory was the most real value it ever delivered. The only time most people ever frequented it was to access the Annual Leave request system or to complete an annual HSE assessment because their boss had nagged them into doing so. Unbranded, unloved and unused. Not anymore.
Today, inspired and driven by the explosion of social media, company intranets are the beating heart of the organisation. As Millennials enter the workplace so they bring to bear their influences and behaviours. They are a tribe who don’t see rigid lines between life inside and outside of work. They expect employment to be rewarding, fulfilling and satisfying. They have grown used to sharing, commenting, interacting. They won’t accept passive interfaces and today’s intranets have evolved to reflect that insistence and meet the demand.
Now, intranets are a business’s central hub of ideas, insights, opinions and information. Yes, they are still repositories of guidelines and the home of the staff directory, but even those have been brought to life. Look up a colleague and find a photo and a handy desk locator to enable you to quickly locate them. Open up an IM conversation directly from their profile. Intranets are being used to enable and drive intra-company communications like never before.
But there has always been a bit of a platform elephant in the room. Accessing the intranet typically had to be done from a desk. There were plenty of reasons for this. Concerns around secure access from outside the business. Prohibitive mobile data rates when pulling down rich content. The actual ability to present an intranet on a mobile device and make it usable. All of this was bad news for workers who were not desk-based. In the US alone, IDC estimate that there could be 105 million mobile workers by 2020. That’s a staggering number of workers who otherwise would not be able to easily and consistently access the intranet and derive the benefits of doing so. It would also restrict the usefulness of the intranet to office hours. Not anymore.
Recently, through the convergence of technological advances, improved access security, sharply reduced data rates, the proliferation of WIFI access points and the sheer insistence of Millennials, it has become not only possible but borderline essential to make your intranet mobile. Nearly everyone has a mobile device. We look at them over a hundred times a day. They are our natural way of communicating and of retrieving and sharing information. It thus makes perfect sense to be able to access and interact with an intranet over such a device. The work day has shifted from a 9-5 model into an increasingly blurry concept. Workers want to be able to catch up on work-related content when they have some down time – on the commute, in the queue at the checkout, whilst waiting for a friend to show up. A mobile intranet enables that. Now you have a thriving hub that is working for your organisation 24/7, 365 days of the year.
What’s more, it is available to everyone with a mobile device – desk-based or remote. Everyone has access to everything. Everyone can read essential safety updates. Everyone can be quizzed on how well they understand the regulatory environment. Everyone gets access to the same flow of information, the same encouragement and the same aligned company vision. All at their fingertips via their preferred and most frequently used device.
How can we help?
StaffConnect has been designed to enable organisations to connect, communicate and engage their workforce, especially remote, non-desk employees – allowing them easy access to company documents and user-generated content. Why not check out our short video to find out more about our solution.
Or, if you would like to dive a little deeper, here is a previous blog that explores the potential pay-off from using a mobile platform like StaffConnect to engage your employees https://www.staffconnectapp.com/internal-communications/top-tips-on-how-to-make-your-employee-engagement-solution-business-case-bulletproof/