Is it really so difficult to create an intranet that your employees genuinely want to use? – Guest article from Tom Gillman

In a perfect world we dream of an intranet solution that empowers employees to find answers faster, work smarter, self-serve, personalise, collaborate and always know what the ‘special of the day’ is in the staff restaurant by mid-morning. Oh and it helps streamline the business, cut costs and spreads the good word of the board too.

The reality probably reveals a maligned legacy system which has grown organically into an unstoppable monster, shaped by the hands of too many masters, over too many years. We use it because process, policy and platform dictate that we must and would anyone really be capable of the herculean feat of replacing it anyway? Probably not, best leave as is and perhaps we’ll re-skin the homepage or re-name it to curry favour.

Are modern intranets better than they used to be?

Of course they are, how could they fail to be influenced by the best practices that their outward facing customer-oriented retail relatives deploy; but do we approach the creation of a new intranet in the same way (or with the same energy) that we would our own customer-facing sites?

If collaboration, usability, simplicity and a generally enjoyable experience are amongst the goals for a new intranet, then surely all the same traits from the social channels we frequent daily and retail sites we graze habitually can help us achieve success?

When it comes to getting intranet right, questions abound:

  • How do we adopt emerging digital trends?
  • Does quality user research equate to expensive investment?
  • Can I ever guarantee engagement?
  • Will corporate red-tape and organisational inflexibility always get in the way of progress?
  • How can I create an optimal user experience?
  • How do you sell the concept of a new intranet internally?
  • If you can lead a workforce to water, can you make it collaborate?


Help is at hand

Thankfully we have a thriving community of intranet professionals in the UK and I’m looking forward to some quality collaboration and thought sharing at Intranet Now in London on 13th October 2015 where we’ll be tackling all these points and more. I hope to see you there.

If you’re considering commissioning a new intranet or in the throws of improving your existing platform, this is one event you can’t afford to miss!

Tom Gillman is Commercial Director at full service digital agency Crafted and will be on stage at Intranet Now on 13th October 2015. Check the full agenda and ticket availablility.


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