Why The Intranet Is the Best Thing Since Paperclips and The Internet

happy-employeesWritten by Chipo Mapungwana

The Price of Employee Disengagement

Intranets are a powerful tools that can enable  organisations to engage employees allowing them to implement executives strategy. Top executives at most levels within an organization spend a great deal of time and effort developing organizational strategies only to see them fail to be effectively implemented. Why? Somehow those strategies are rarely communicated to general employees. Aligning a work group to organisational objectives can be extremely difficult. The result is usually a dual world of pretty plans and messy reality. Executive direction gets lost in the shuffle of daily activities. Executives must surely get frustrated. There certainly is a heavy price to pay, not only for executives but for employees, as well.

Most everyday work is often filled with endless details and low-level decision-making. All of this, of course, is usually out of the sight and minds of senior-level executives. The work world, for many, is a maze of disjointed efforts. The problem for an organization is that this individual thinking and behaviour is frequently at odds with other well-meaning and purposeful behaviours. Group members may try to do a good job and digest as much information as possible, but they often receive mixed signals. Senior executives always seem to be making references to vague platitudes like customer service, quality, or teamwork. And some executives seem to think that keeping information to themselves somehow makes they more powerful.  There are procedures to adhere to and rules to follow, but many staff are sometimes left with a sense of vagueness. Some people may even like it this way because it lets them interpret things to suit their own needs.

One point most of us can agree upon is that work contains a great deal of distorted and detached information. Everyone is moving, but often not at the same speed, nor in the same direction. One minute we are supposed to be controlling overheads, and the next we are concentrating on customer service. Ask yourself, “How many employees, departments, or groups in my company specifically understand the implications of their mission or true purpose for what they are doing?”

We are not talking about being able to recite a mission statement. The reality is that for many of us there is little awareness of our organization’s true mission or higher purpose. We become lost in endless details.

Few understand:
1. The purpose or ultimate objective of their organisation.
2. How to exercise consistent actions and make good decisions toward those ends.
3. How their efforts, choices, and attitudes fit within larger strategic implementations.
What is an Intranet?
Organizations which have established a Web presence have realized that the same technology can be used to provide internal information services – hence the birth of the thing now being called an Intranet. What the Internet has done for consumers, Intranets are doing for businesses. The intranet allows for information sharing and for employee engagement, enabling all staff members to have the same knowledge about the company’s strategy, goals and key performance indicators across all business units which are sometimes thousands of kilometres apart.

Advantages of the Intranet :
• Information can be delivered to employees on demand and employees are able to respond and ask questions, thereby engaging the information owners, who may be thousands of kilometres away.
• The information is the latest and most accurate available and for international organisations, this is a distinct advantage as all employees across the company’s business will access the same information.
• Information can be distributed from a single source (although, there is no need for that source to be the source of all information)
• Content on the intranet can be created and be “owned” contributed and maintained by the individuals who upload it and those who would normally maintain and prepare the original information.
• All employees are able to use the latest version of regulations, accessing the most up-to-date product catalogues and  product prices, sales techniques , merchandising styles etc
• Documents can be authored by multiple sources and owned by those individuals across business units.
• There is uniformity of presentation of corporate documents and other content.
• The organisation can also upload audio information, videos, graphics , images to share with staff.
• The intranet is thus a convenient way of distributing learning and training programmes to staff as part of their staff development activity and monitoring their progress.
• Newsletters can be enhanced with music, sound or video and can illicit a response from staff members.
• The CEO and business leaders can communicate with employees half way across the world via intranet video links.
• Phone books can dial phones without additional input – the intranet is essentially a device that can be furnished with intelligence!
• Your organization can use their intranet to deliver software upgrades – for example, a PC can be set on boot-up to examine the date since the virus protection software was updated and, if over a certain time, request the next revision from a central server. Imagine the technician time this can save.

An Intranet offers the possibility of increased productivity, lower costs, with faster delivery of products to the marketplace. Intranets are probably the most important new corporate computing platform since the introduction of the personal computer and the internet. They connect people to computers and people to people!

For Brand reputation, Marketing and Social Media Consulting and Training, contact Chipo on chipomaps@gmail.com

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About chipomaps

A brand reputation, marketing and new media trainer and consultant. Constantly curious, constantly learning.
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2 Responses to Why The Intranet Is the Best Thing Since Paperclips and The Internet

  1. dongrgic says:

    Excellent as always.

    • chipomaps says:

      Thank you Dongrgic. I believe that many companies are not adequately leveraging the power of intranets and I hope that this articles will be read by the powers that be.

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