Twenty years ago, intranet software was just an internal portal for staff to login and see if any company updates had been posted. How things have changed!
Fast forward to the end of 2017, intranets have transformed into entire digital workplaces, aiming to mirror the physical office online. Intranets are no longer the static and tired-looking systems of yesteryear; these days the digital workplace is dynamic, interactive, and employee-centric.
The evolution of the digital workplace
The digital workplace is an established concept nowadays, and it’s already evolved since the term was first coined. Back in 2015, when Claromentis founder Nigel Davies declared that the digital workplace had absorbed the intranet, the technology and functionality it offered at the time is miles behind what we have today.
Taking inspiration from consumer websites and apps, today’s digital workplace is more customisable than ever, giving intranet managers the power to personalise their company’s intranet themselves. With no design knowledge or developer assistance required, intranet customisations such as content, layouts, colour schemes, and logos can be adjusted with clicks rather the code.
The impossible task: creating an intranet that suits everyone
So digital workplace technology lets you design your own company’s intranet. Great! Thing is, companies are multi-faceted, comprising of different teams, departments, stakeholders, and sometimes locations. So a single intranet design for the whole company may not be appropriate. For example, an intranet’s design may be more oriented towards HR requirements, with a focus on employee records, holiday requests and payroll, which wouldn’t be suitable or even relevant for other teams. Similarly, organisations with multiple locations would need an intranet that caters to their locale, such as information around weather and traffic. Companies with global offices would need to consider localised languages too.
Creating a homepage which pleases everyone is an impossible task, as areas which are irrelevant for one team will be absolutely vital for another. And if teams feel like the intranet doesn’t reflect their needs, then you start to get into dangerous territory, where the risk of losing user interest and engagement is high.
Different intranet themes for all
An intranet design isn’t a one-size-fits-all. So what do you do? Create a different intranet for everyone?
In short – yes!
Digital workplace technology has come far, and the ability to create multiple intranet themes for different teams is now a reality. It’s the same system and the same shared data; the difference is that employees will see targeted information relevant to them and their role, rather than a generic catch-all intranet.
But why is it so important for employees to have a personalised intranet? It all comes down to engagement. The fact is, your staff are customers of your business too, who demand personalisation, and if they’re not engaged at work, then at best they will lose interest, and at worst you will lose them.
Providing your staff with a personalised intranet experience will not only boost engagement, as it will place relevant and targeted content on their intranet doorstep, it will also make them feel valued. Engagement levels will soar once teams have an intranet area to call their own, with dedicated content and tools available as soon as they login.
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