Using a Social Intranet to Increase Company Culture
Organisations with a great workplace culture are those where employees feel a real sense of belonging and using a social intranet platform can help to achieve this.
As proud winners of the global Jostle Award for Intranet Strategy, we use a social intranet here at Pure to help create a connected and vibrant workplace across our four offices. It underpins our own employee engagement strategy, supports our values and helps us to outline our culture. Social intranets are also something we often recommend to clients when we are advising on employee engagement strategies which support talent recruitment and retention. Here are just some of the reasons why an intranet can help to support the creation of a fantastic workplace culture where people are motivated to work together to achieve business objectives.
Shared vision and goals
An intranet can help to support open and transparent leadership communication which engages your team in a collective vision. It is a great platform to post company news and regular updates from the leadership team, complementing and reinforcing face to face communication. This helps to ensure your employees understand what your organization is trying to achieve, that they are inspired by its mission and values, and recognize how their role plays a part in achieving overall success.
Having employees spread across multiple locations can lead to some staff being told important company news or updates ahead of others. This is often just a natural consequence of where your leadership team is predominately based, but it can cause disengagement amongst some employees by creating a misconception that they are somehow less important. Sharing news via an intranet means that everyone can access the same information at the same time. It can also be a great way for employees who work part-time, or who are on maternity or paternity leave, to keep up to date with company news and success stories at a time convenient to them.
As well as increasing leadership communication, an intranet is also a great platform to increase peer-to-peer engagement. It can really help to create a sense of community across your workplace, especially if you have employees spread across multiple locations or adopting flexible or agile working. Encourage colleagues to use the intranet to share fun photos of what different offices have been up to, top tips they have learned or interesting news stories relating to your industry. The content doesn’t have to be work-related, an intranet can also bring colleagues together for social activities such as sports, hobbies or interests.
An intranet provides another platform for employers to gather feedback and to fuel the discussion of ideas which could influence innovation across the business. It can be used to run quick polls to capture immediate feedback on particular issues, or as a forum to host a ‘suggestions box’. Once you’ve gathered information and opinions, the intranet can be used to keep employees updated on the outcomes and inform on the progress being made.
Here at Pure, our intranet has become our central hub for all our company-wide information. It gives employees an easy way to find the information they need, from company policies to learning and development materials and tips and tools to help them feel supported. Having a central hub of company information and templates can also aid flexible and agile working. Employees can access everything they need from one place, wherever they are working.
Using your intranet as a central hub also creates an online handbook to support the induction of new employees. It provides a platform for them to find out more about the business, the people within it and how things are done. As well as helping them to feel equipped to succeed in the role from the start it is a great opportunity to bring new starters together with their colleagues. Including a ‘people’ section on the intranet, with profiles of all employees, enables new recruits to put faces to names and to get a better understanding of who people are and their roles. They can also upload their own profile to introduce themselves to everyone.
Celebrate and recognize successes
A company intranet also provides a quick and easy way to recognize and celebrate employee and team achievements, helping people to feel valued for the work they do and an important part of the business success. Congratulatory posts can come from leaders and senior managers, which everyone in the business can see and engage with. It can also be used for peer-to-peer recognition, with employees able to post a thank you to colleagues for their help or to congratulate them on a job well done.
Here at Pure, our Jostle intranet has become integral to all elements of our company culture. We use it for all the areas we have recommended above, and it has become the natural platform to support social interaction – to wish colleagues a happy birthday, recognize work anniversaries and celebrate personal events such as births, weddings, and engagements.
We don’t just share business updates but also external achievements such as press coverage, success stories, great examples of customer feedback and consultant reviews. It has opened up two-way communication, fuelled discussion and helped us to improve our internal engagement. In turn, this connection with our people has contributed to the continued growth and success of our business.