Are all intranets the same? The short answer is no. In fact, they’re extremely varied. This page will explain the difference between traditional intranets and modern intranets (and help you understand why a modern intranet is invaluable for businesses today).
First off, let’s explain traditional intranets. These are the ones that most people are familiar with (and the association is usually negative).
These platforms are relatively static, uninteresting, and irrelevant. They often have a moderated news section guarded by the communications department, but they’re primarily used as repositories for company documents.
And not very relevant repositories at that. Documents are often out of date and finding them is extremely challenging. There are pages upon pages and links upon links, but none of them make navigation easy.
To most people, an intranet is: “That thing we have for filing stuff at work. It’s a nightmare.”
Modern intranets are different. So different that it’s hard to put them both in the same category. Same family, very distant relatives.
A modern intranet is a dynamic, interesting platform that you use to stay connected to your company. It’s the communication tool at the heart of your workplace. It keeps everyone on the same page and, because it’s easy to contribute to, reflects the people who use it.
Modern intranets like Jostle are the best place to contact colleagues around the world or across the office. If you need to find a document, you can do that with an effective search tool that saves frustrating digging and endless clicking. And that document will be up-to-date.
At a higher level, it enables and encourages all those positive attributes of a successful workforce—communication, teamwork, collaboration, efficiency, knowledge sharing, and engagement.
“Prior to our modern intranet, we had a traditional SharePoint based intranet. It was full of things that were not relevant. It was very difficult to find what you wanted in there. It wasn't attractive. It wasn't dynamic. Therefore, it wasn't a vibrant community. One of the things we decided was that we had to find something that's simpler for people to use and simpler for us to manage.”
And that’s really important. A company is not a company without its people. Modern intranets are about those people. Bringing them together, bringing out the best in them, and making your company shine in the process.
Why do I need a modern intranet?
In a tangible way, a modern intranet creates connections at every level of the company. It’s a powerful, central communication tool that’s simple enough for everyone to use. It streamlines the way in which you interact and work.
While it’s often managed by a couple of people within your company, everyone can participate. In this way, a modern intranet reflects the people who make up the company.
The benefits are substantial. It’ll improve the way in which people across the organization work and how they reach each other.
The practical benefits
A few of the practical benefits we’ve heard from our customers:
- Email is reduced.
- Processes are streamlined.
- Time is saved.
- Communication between offices, roles, and levels of seniority is improved.
- Knowledge and expertise are shared.
- The number of meetings is reduced.
- Finding information is easy.
- Getting information into the right hands is easy.
“The Jostle platform’s simplicity enables natural communication allowing us to inspire people and transform organizations.”
Chief Information Officer at One Workplace
A modern intranet cuts back on irrelevant tasks, which can stand in the way of good work. They remove roadblocks so people can get to the bottom of their to-do lists.
The impact on employee experience
Perhaps what’s more interesting and impactful is the knock-on effect of this connectivity. A modern intranet can resolve internal business problems such as poor employee engagement, limited internal communication, disenchanted staff, and weak company culture.
Below are a few of the common pain points that intranets overcome, with real-life examples from our customers:
According to a Dale Carnegie study, companies with engaged employees outperformed those without by 202%, yet only 29% of employees are fully engaged. The importance of employee engagement has become widely accepted. There seems to be more evidence than ever before to support the long-suspected belief that employees engaged in their work are more productive than those who aren’t.
After a hiring boom and the opening of several new locations, Buckingham Strategic Wealth found themselves looking for a way to maintain culture across offices and bring everyone together.
Their Jostle intranet proved to be the place to unite locations across the country and bring their unique culture to life. Buckingham’s intranet is full of personality reflective of their organizational culture: they used News Articles to celebrate personal milestones and regular Shout-Outs to recognize outstanding work (and even sometimes poke fun). Not a boring day goes by, as Buckingham frequently connects employees with “BuckCribs”, an ongoing series that spotlights high performance teams.
“The Jostle intranet has become our virtual coffee shop on the corner where we all gather to catch up. It’s where we get to know one another beyond the signature blocks, where personalities emerge, and camaraderie strengthens.”
2. Internal Communication
Poor communication has a domino effect on an organization’s efficiency, productivity, and overall wellbeing. This can lead to a lack of coherence, misalignment, broken processes, duplication of work, missed opportunities, frustration, demotivation, apathy, and disengagement.
One of our customers—Mike Albert Fleet Solutions—identified that their previous systems just weren't enabling communication. Employees complained that the company lacked clear, consistent communication, comparing their efforts to a ‘lively game of Telephone’.
Implementing Jostle made it easy for Mike Albert Fleet Solutions to simplify communication, free up email inboxes, and connect with employees on the road. Associates now have a better understanding of how the company’s doing and know the people at the organization who help make that happen. Their intranet has injected energy and efficiency into their communications process, making it easier than ever to share news with staff and celebrate wins together.
“Jostle has helped us replace an outdated, inflexible intranet system with one that's easy to use and doesn’t require the help of our IT team to add or manage content, which saves time and allows us to post regularly. We use our new intranet to communicate everything from funny campaigns to critical topics.”
3. Company Culture
Company culture is indisputably important to employees. According to Deloitte’s Core Beliefs and Culture internal survey, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.
One of our customers—the City of Vernon in British Columbia, Canada—were struggling to build their culture due to a decentralized work environment.
Vernon has over 370 members of staff in 11 offices. They wanted to pull together this diverse and scattered workforce into a single, energized workplace. Their attempts to do this with company newsletters, file sharing, and SharePoint, weren’t working.
When they started using a modern intranet, the positive impact of this change was almost immediate. Over 85% of Vernon’s employees participate in the new platform and there’s increased sociability, a more connected workforce, easier access to materials, and greater knowledge sharing.
“The sociability between colleagues is leading to increased knowledge sharing that will not only help employees individually, but will also benefit our entire organization. Research clearly shows a direct correlation between employee engagement and culture and overall organizational success.”