While it can be challenging to prove intranet business value and ROI, most companies agree that their intranet serves to connect people with the resources and knowledge they need to do their jobs better and faster.
In a recent study, 80 percent of employees said that an intranet is a tool they rely on regularly. That’s the good news. The bad news? Your intranet is probably not being used to its full potential, which means you’re missing out on the competitive business advantage.
Let’s look at some of the important ways an intranet can be used to drive tangible business value – and put your company squarely ahead of the competition.
1. Enhance the customer experience
It should come as no surprise that customer service is a top driver of customer loyalty. Customers who receive fast, knowledgeable customer service are happy and loyal – and customer loyalty can make or break your bottom line.
An intranet can enhance the customer experience by providing sales and support staff with accurate, up-to-date sales, pricing and product information so they can quickly resolve customer support issues.
It can also enable forums that offer quick access to specific customer problems and feedback so your team can brainstorm on solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations.
In addition, intranets make it easy to give employees a single view of the customer base – everything from profiles to project documentation and win stories – building knowledge that can be used for targeted marketing promotions, references and upselling.
2. Boost employee engagement and retention
The intranet is a culture-building tool that improves engagement through things like onboarding, recognition, employee interaction, brand messaging, social clubs, and more – a way for employees to feel part of a bigger picture.
Employees who feel connected and engaged are more likely to stay put, which can save your company money in the long run. Gallup research shows that high engagement significantly reduces employee turnover.
What’s more, business units scoring the highest on employee engagement were 21 percent more profitable than those in the lowest quartile. This can add up new business value.
By enabling people to get more work done with fewer frustrations and by fostering a collaborative culture, intranets fuel engagement like almost nothing else. Engagement, in turn, is a key to retention – and cost savings.
3. Dazzle new recruits and secure top talent
Employees in high demand fields (think tech gurus) are more attracted to companies that offer advanced tools for communicating and collaborating. Your intranet may give you a competitive advantage with prospective employees.
Pitch them on working for your company by giving them a quick online tour that shows them how your digital workplace not only manages the company’s daily workflows but provides employees with a place to find company news, share knowledge, and interact with peers near and far. They’ll be sure to see it as superior to the typical “SharePoint and inbox” offered by your competitors.
4. Drive innovation
An intranet has the potential to inspire innovation by providing a single source of real-time information to all stakeholders and by supporting team collaboration – which can help employees create the products and services that drive better customer experience.
Bringing formerly siloed content and conversations into one centralized, searchable, and organized environment makes knowledge experts more visible and allows people to connect with them more easily. Intranets that integrate with external communication tools and third-party file-sharing apps like SharePoint, Dropbox, and Box make it easy to find what’s needed, anytime, anywhere.
Imagine the free flow of ideas that can result!
5. Connect your remote workforce
Remote work is the new reality – and embracing it using the right tools can mean happier, more loyal productive and employees.
Recent research from IWG reveals that 50 percent of employees worldwide now work remotely at least half the week. In the ongoing war for new talent, workplace flexibility is a more desirable benefit than healthcare.
An intranet brings your company and culture online, so your people no longer need to be in the same place in order to quickly solve problems and accomplish tasks. An intranet connects employees across offices, locations, franchises, and geographies. This gives you cost advantages when it comes to the expense of office space, supplies and even recruiting.
Regardless of their physical location, people can work together side by side, having conversations, planning events and collaborating on customer issues.
6. Improve communication and knowledge management
Communication is fuelled by knowledge, and your company’s intellectual capital is a veritable gold mine. If that knowledge isn’t saved and shared, it’s a wasted investment, hindering innovation and growth.
Your intranet can drive your company’s vision forward. Through centralized company communications, especially from leaders, people are fully informed and fully aware of how their role contributes to the company’s success. As a result, leaders and employees are collaboratively charging toward the same business goals.
7. Increase productivity and save on costs
Perhaps the strongest bottom-line and measurable business value of an intranet is the productivity gained from enabling staff to connect with the tools, information, and people they need to do their jobs.
Employees can get more work done, faster, when they have the most efficient tools for gathering information. They spend less time searching, disrupting peers to ask questions, or logging into multiple platforms. The net result — operational cost savings that contribute to your company’s profitability over time.
Don’t risk lagging behind
Are your employees engaged, collaborating and innovating? If your answer is no, it could be affecting your ability to compete.
Further, McKinsey reports that employees spend approximately 1.8 hours per day searching for people and information within the company, which costs companies thousands of dollars per employee, per year.
Get buy-in for your intranet investment
Bottom line? The most successful organizations use their intranet as a competitive differentiator.
If you’re leading the case for digital transformation and the intranet is on the list, or you’re a digital workplace manager creating a business case to upgrade your intranet, you can use these seven benefits to support your quest to get buy-in from senior leadership.
At Igloo, we partner with leading organizations across the world to solve their communication, collaboration, knowledge management, and culture challenges by providing an industry-leading next-generation intranet platform and a portfolio of digital workplace solutions.