You’re at work. You open your browser. Your intranet pops up. And… a tumbleweed rolls across the screen. It’s a dull, unchanging landscape that no-one visits. You close the browser, dreaming of an effective corporate communications tool.
If you’re not familiar with this scene, you’re one of the lucky few who has a good internal communications platform. (Or, more likely, you just haven’t visited your intranet since your first day.)
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of really bad intranets out there. Their usability is poor, they’re a wasteland of broken links, and the content is more outdated than the floppy disk.
Intranets are surprisingly tricky to maintain. Unless you’ve chosen a turnkey intranet (an out-of-the-box solution with a locked down interface) you’re responsible for maintaining everything associated with the intranet - the security, usability, integration with new software etc.
This is extremely hard to do successfully unless you’re an expert in intranets, usability, technology, and security. And it’s not cheap - you’re either paying your IT person to maintain the back end and someone else to maintain the front end, or you’re hiring an intranet consultant to manage it.
Without the right maintenance, intranets deteriorate over time. Their usability breaks and they become static and stale. Then no-one wants to use it because it’s hard to navigate and there’s nothing appealing on there. It’s irrelevant and uninteresting. (If you want more details on why intranets fail, check out the 10 attributes of a bad intranet.)
So, what do you do? Get a new intranet or fix the old one?
To answer that question, you need to look at the fundamental needs of your company. What are you hoping to achieve with an intranet? This can range from higher levels of employee engagement to resolving ineffective communication in the workplace.
You should be very clear on what your needs are before you shop around because there are so many communication tools on the market, each one claiming to be the best intranet software, and each one with different features and approaches. Who knows, maybe you do have the right intranet in place but you need to support it in a different way?
To help you get to the bottom of these problems, we’ve assembled and distilled all of our intranet knowledge into a handy guide. The Intranet Success Kit explains how to find the best communications tool for your organization, how to successfully introduce and launch that tool, and how to keep it thriving year after year. Let us know if you find it helpful - and good luck!