Finding and keeping a good leadership team is not always easy. Their decisions and actions can make or break companies, and they influence everything from staff retention to future investment. Luckily, there are valuable tools available to negate the challenges that some senior leaders encounter. Utilizing a successful communication strategy through the corporate intranet is one of them.
After an organization invests in a new communication tool, what happens then? Well, several strategic steps need to proceed to make it a success. Possibly one of the most important is a strong promotion from senior leaders. This is a necessity for widespread adoption. Even the best corporate intranet software needs buy-in from across the business, with some possible adjustments to workplace culture so the new tool becomes a valuable part of ongoing work life.
The leadership team is a considerable driver in encouraging widespread usage. And the corporate intranet can have many significant benefits to support daily leadership activities. They can use the intranet to promote business transparency and update about any ongoing changes within the organization. It can even be a tool to showcase their personality across various teams, perhaps through an engaging personal blog or by interacting with others in one of the communities. Whether the corporate intranet is a success or not ultimately comes down to enthusiasm, encouragement, and culture. And those in leadership roles are best placed to make sure that it thrives.
Driving usage through leadership
Top-quality senior staff lead by example. After all, how can you expect employees to adopt a new tool if the leadership team isn’t also using it? Leaders should understand the many far-reaching benefits of the corporate intranet. Promoting these internally is a good place to start.
Make the intranet a catalyst for all of the ongoing work culture. Encourage employees to interact and to ask questions via the software and answer them promptly. Post inspiring user-generated content to endorse collaboration, particularly in global enterprises with a mix of backgrounds and cultures. Implement company-wide business updates, or question time with the CEO and other senior leaders. Most importantly, make sure that the content is natural and organic and doesn’t come across as overly corporate or forced. The intranet should be a social endeavor, with a mix of work-related announcements and personal updates, and a generally casual tone.
Make the intranet a catalyst for all of the ongoing work culture.
Letting employees choose when to use the intranet is another good way to drive engagement. Mandatory reads can be helpful for necessary must-see posts, but overusing them causes fatigue. They have their place, for example with any safety updates that cannot be ignored. But overall, employees should decide for themselves where the intranet fits in with their professional life. And it’s the role of the business to help them understand that it can be used as a tool for innovation, increased creativity, and collaboration.
The importance of employee engagement
Employee engagement is the lifeblood of any intranet. Eliminate that, and the software is little more than a place to store documents and data. Without the adoption, interaction, and collaboration necessary, the corporate intranet will struggle to succeed. And any digital workplace culture could be at risk of elimination.
Once the intranet is in place and has been for a while, and promoted by the leadership team, usage will steadily grow. Driving this digital transformation breaks down existing information silos, and traditional workplace barriers are no longer an ongoing issue. A social intranet, when implemented and adopted correctly, promotes the concept of digital equals. Whether someone is a new starter, a graduate, or a member of the senior leadership team, discussions on the intranet can take place free and easily. Everyone has a unique opinion, and often employees may be more comfortable expressing such a comment within a digital forum rather than in a company-wide meeting or All Hands.
Tasked with improving your internal comms?
Exciting blogs that update not only about professional achievements but also life-based ones, such as weddings, births, or a new puppy, are another fantastic way to encourage employees to express themselves and increase participation. Don’t stringently police what can and can’t be put onto the intranet; a personal touch increases digital activity, drives forward engagement, and creates a flourishing workplace culture.
Targeted internal communications through the corporate intranet
With time, the correct strategy, and continued use, employees start to feel confident in their appreciation of the intranet benefits. When leaders respond to questions and suggestions with viable actions, employees acknowledge the recognition. Once they start to see the social value of communicating with teammates worldwide, engagement skyrockets. Communities and forums bring like-minded cross-team colleagues together, whether operating in the same office or in a completely different time zone.
When leaders respond to questions and suggestions with viable actions, employees acknowledge the recognition.
Internal communications that are clear and effective drive forward business culture and digital transformation. They can have a lasting impact on employee motivation, product development and even impact the customer experience. But what actions can be taken internally to make communication through the corporate intranet even more effective? Taking the step to customize content distribution through personas, using dynamic criteria unique to organizational structure and specifics, can help.
Structuring any internal communications through multiple persona criteria allows for targeted team sharing, so only the designated employees can see the content they need. This helps to prevent overwhelming employees with posts that simply aren’t relevant to them. More precise than separating content simply by team or even by geographical location, creating personas encourages much more diverse thinking regarding employee categories.
Digital transformation through good communication
Good communication is about collaboration but also supports the workforce’s ability to adjust to a constantly evolving workplace environment. Digital transformation is about adapting, not only for the employee experience but with new technology, customer developments, or even for societal shifts. This ability to respond positively to change is even more crucial in a thriving business environment. For many organizations, success means not standing still for too long. To do so risks stagnation and a lack of innovation.
Tasked with improving your internal comms?
Using internal communications effectively in the workplace impacts the entire business. It establishes and builds workplace culture, improves staff retention, helps set united business goals across the whole workforce. It can even reduce anxiety and stress levels business-wide. Encouraging organizational transparency, particularly in uncertain times, builds a level of trust invaluable to the senior leadership team. The corporate intranet can be used for many vital work tasks, and voicing employees’ opinion is only the beginning of the feats it can achieve.
Address the challenges of leadership
Challenges for those in leadership roles are common – it’s how they are dealt with that truly matters. A strong business foundation requires an established connection between the senior team and employees. Taking the time to build this connection will come in handy if it’s needed during times of downturn or uncertainty. Using the corporate intranet to grow this trust guides employees through any changes without affecting their confidence in the business, potentially causing staff to become disengaged.
The senior team sets the culture for the entire business and should lead by example. The decisions they make will have an impact on the whole company. Trusted leaders generally have a well-rounded overall picture of the state of multiple departments. Siloing this information completely, however, can lead to distrust and dissatisfaction in employees. They can feel like they are at the bottom of the pile regarding information sharing, leading to a drop in productivity and motivation. Resetting this spiraling situation, and informing employees of what they need to know without divulging too much sensitive information, neutralizes any negativity.
Encouraging the senior leadership team to utilize the corporate intranet and use it regularly clarifies that this is an area of focus for the business. Employees are motivated to get involved and care about it too. If leaders become intranet advocates, they guide employees down a particular path and explain the workplace expectations for them. Efficient teamwork only operates if people understand what they need to do and the reasons behind it; made all the more difficult by hybrid working, siloed teams, and cross-country operations. But with the corporate intranet, employees have all the tools they need to communicate and collaborate effectively.
Unlock new leadership talent
The next great senior leader in any operation could already be hired and awaiting the opportunity to prove themselves. Without giving them a chance to show off their skills and leadership potential outside of their day-to-day, the business could miss out on some top talent. Don’t risk keeping employees pigeonholed into their daily job description. The intranet can open up doors to new opportunities and knowledge sharing.
When everyone communicates through the intranet, employees have a chance to shine. They can get involved in tasks outside their typical role, and prove a valuable asset through their resourcefulness and work experience, simply by getting involved in digital conversations.
Peer-to-peer recognition is another way of highlighting those that go the extra mile for colleagues. With visibility across the whole business, it will soon become clear who are some of the top contributors, chosen by the employees themselves. When exchanges and knowledge sharing become a thing of ease, those that excel begin to shine. And co-workers are more than happy to heap praise on those that deserve it, creating a culture of collaboration, respect, and acknowledgment.
Promote employee feedback for stronger leadership
Most leadership teams lead hectic professional lives. There are never enough hours in the day to finish everything, and it’s easy to feel pulled in multiple different directions. Some tasks have to take priority over others, and rightly so. But one thing that shouldn’t get pushed to the wayside is employee feedback.
Using the corporate intranet to gather employee feedback is vital for the intranet’s success and overall business culture.
Using the corporate intranet to gather employee feedback is vital for the intranet’s success and overall business culture. It indicates a disharmony in the workplace that could quickly take root and get out of control. Feedback also pinpoints any spots of improvement, where engagement is lacking, or where the culture needs to improve. For any significant business changes, let employees feel like they have a voice. They are, after all, an organization’s greatest asset.
Some employees may be reluctant to share their thoughts or be honest with their employer, even over digital space. Encouraging this two-way street of feedback not only promotes honesty but can provide some useful insights too. From the onboarding process to the impact of managers, listening to the opinions of the workforce generally improves performance and makes for a better business culture overall.