A social intranet is a type of intranet whose access is limited to certain users such as the members of a certain association or a family or the employees of a company. The phrase digital workplace is closely related to the phrase social intranet as because in the vast majority of cases, digital workplace includes a social intranet.
A social intranet can help improve internal communication. Especially in times of remote work, this is more important than ever for companies. In contrast to the usual intranet, a social intranet not only enables top-down communication but also integrates direct feedback channels and promotes communication at all levels. But to improve internal communication, it is not enough to buy such software. A social intranet is not a self-running. It takes a sophisticated plan for how it is rolled out, and a strategy for how the whole team quickly finds a digital home. The following steps help you implement a social intranet.
A sound strategy
For organisations to be able to derive targeted added value from a social intranet, concrete planning and targeted communication are required. The following questions are important in advance: What is the status quo? What do we want to change with what aim? Is there a project team to take care of the implementation? In what period do we intend to implement the project? Who will be responsible for which areas in the future? What data is transferred and how do we organize it?
These questions only exemplify the need for some preparation before a social intranet solution can be established. Part of the strategy is that management thinks about how teams can be involved right from the beginning. This can help to gather feedback, for example through smaller votes and employee surveys. Once all questions have been answered clearly and a detailed plan has been made, a comparison of providers can continue.
Keep the goals in mind
There is now a wide range of software solutions and tools for social intranets. When comparing, you should always keep in mind the goals that a social intranet is supposed to meet. This can then be used to select the appropriate tool or software solution. In decision-making, it is also helpful to always review existing tools. This avoids duplication and functional overlaps.
Transparency and feedback
Another important point is the accompanying communication. The responsible project team explains the social intranet to all employees – both indoors and in the field – as soon as possible. This gives them plenty of time to look at, get to know and work with the new tool. When introducing a new tool or software, feedback is extremely important because it is the only way to make improvements.
The social intranet itself is of course also the most suitable place to provide the corresponding data and information collected. Ideally, the folders are stored here bundled and made freely accessible to all teams. This not only provides a comprehensive overview of data and information but also creates transparency in the company and simplifies the induction of new colleagues.
Today, mobile applications are an integral part of everyday business. That is why social intranet must be also available on smartphones or tablets. An app is also suitable for mobile use.
A corresponding mobile application ensures that the replacement is possible at any time – regardless of whether the employees are in the office, in the home office or on the go in the field. The employee communication via the app thus strengthens the proximity to the company, because quickly chatting in real-time and problems and tasks can be solved virtually on the fly.
Check and improve acceptance
If the social intranet is running, after a certain testing period, it should be checked how the tool was adopted in the company. The subsequent evaluation reveals what is already well-received and where improvements are still needed. Is there already an exchange between colleagues? Can internal communication be enhanced, for example, by additional chats, groups and communities? Then make improvements and adjustments based on feedback to make the most of the social intranet and get the best out of it. An example of this is additional in-house training for employees who have had little to no experience with social media.