Why intranets are key to unlocking employee engagement

A universal message from the general email address blasted to all employees can have the same effect as stapling a memo to the bulletin board in the break room. Your people may take a half-hearted glance, but are they engaged? In this blog, we explore how intranets, and more specifically targeting and personalization, are helping to power authentic engagement with internal communications.

Colleagues discussing employee engagement in the workplace

Sending the entire team information which only impacts the sales team in New York or the warehouse in Denver leads to message fatigue and cluttered inboxes. Employees get into the habit of thinking that most of the company emails they get are, in fact, not intended for them, so why bother reading it? The delete button ends up receiving more clicks than the email itself. 

If employees aren’t reading your comms, they’re missing out on information that will help them do their jobs as well as the cultural messaging designed to bring them together to meet shared goals. As Internal Communicators, stimulating engagement with comms is the first and most crucial hurdle to cross.

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8 ways to transform internal communications with an intranet

Download our essential guide as we highlight eight ways your intranet can transform your internal communications. Packed with practical solutions from real organizations such as the Hershey Company, this guide will help to inspire your own communications strategy.

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The employee engagement problem

According to a 2017 Gallup poll, on average, few employees feel engaged at work. In this unsatisfying environment, the paycheck becomes the employee's sole goal with passion taking a back seat. A disengaged, unmotivated workforce can lead to grave results. When people on your team are bored with their jobs, they're tempted to default to a 'phoning it in' work ethic that barely achieves mediocre. Innovation disappears, growth stagnates. 

You will bleed talent too. The majority of workers report that a vibrant workplace culture ranks higher than a fatter salary. This risk is especially true among the largest growing sector of the workforce - Gen Y. If you don't fix the culture, your business could fall into the inefficient and expensive hire/train cycle to fill these (routinely) vacant positions. 

The bottom line is the bottom line. Unhappy, disinterested workers hurt your business. A company that doesn't support and motivate their employees will suffer the consequences to the tune of $450 billion to $550 billion per year in the US alone. On the other hand, companies that prioritize active employee engagement and make it a vital part of their overall business strategy have higher rates of productivity and profitability

Spamming your employees with stagnant, one-size-fits-all messages, which have little or nothing to do with them, won't foster the winning workplace culture you need to reach your business goals. As the research shows, dead-end, lackluster interaction makes your most precious resource - your hard-working employees - feel undervalued, underappreciated, and utterly alone. 

Committed employees are just as crucial to your business as your customers and your product. According to numerous studies, your internal comms are the most effective way to engage your people, retain their talent, and inspire their productivity. Intranet options offer a tech solution that will optimize how you interact with your employees and deliver the right info to the right people with a personalized touch.

The secret behind engaging internal comms (getting an intranet advantage)

Your employees are digital savvy, internet veterans. Old school ways to interact with them fall short because they are used to high-level, intelligent communication from the palm of their hand. Every minute of every day, they are on the receiving end of personalized targeted messaging that keep them engaged and in-the-know. Social media platforms and targeted advertising have raised your employees’ expectations about how you should communicate with them. 

The rise of social media has given the average person access to a continuous feed of highly personalized information that has been tailored by the user to intimately meet their preferences. More importantly, they can engage with this information in any way they want. With a few simple taps on their phone's screen, they can give and get immediate feedback by letting loose an endless stream of comments, upvotes, and emojis. In turn, they have grown used to being an active participant in the discussion and are no longer content with being a passive consumer.

Meanwhile, consumer technology has taken personalization into the stratosphere. The hyper-engaged consumer may have the impression that advertising campaigns - and even the products - are tailor-made just for them. After all, emails address them by name and give them a heads up about the latest fashion trends in their size, while apps let them know when their favorite band has a new single ready to stream or when to take their next drink of water. 

And yet the story is different in the office. The innovative personal touch stops at the cubicle wall when sterile internal comms fill up their inbox. Employees are left to wonder: does my company even know my name or what I do? 

With an intranet advantage, your internal communications platform can match the tailor-made aspects of social media platforms and the technology-enhanced targeting of the advertising world. 

Employees can decide how they would like to represent themselves by customizing their profile. They can choose what content to follow and give your comms team feedback on what works best for them. This two-way approach to communication not only ensures your people are looped in and engaged but also reminds them that they are as essential as the customers they serve.

Also, because you can target distinct messaging to various audiences within your company, your internal marketing will connect like never before.  For example, let's say your company has a new community outreach program, but different locations need different details about the charity’s fundraising day. In the past, you would send one message with an epic word count to everyone on the payroll that would almost guarantee low engagement. With the intranet advantage, it's just the Shanghai factory that gets the unique website link and the volunteers in Houston who get the size request form for the event day tee shirts. Portals eliminate the inbox to trash pipeline of the ‘TO: ALL EMPLOYEES’ email and get your message where it needs to go.

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7 steps to futureproof your internal communications strategy

As leaders reimagine their world of work, it is internal communications that will lead the way in aligning the workforce against this vision. Future corporate communication strategies will be decidedly inclusive, agile, and digitalized. To succeed in this new era, internal communications teams will move towards an omnichannel approach that brings the consumer experience into the workplace.

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Upgrade your internal comms with an intranet

A happy workforce is devoted and productive. With the advent of social media, employees now expect internal comms to be interactive with customizable features and content that speaks to them. The intranet portal experience will help you create and maintain a flourishing workplace culture that inspires the best from your people by making them feel valued and appreciated.

To learn more about how Unily’s intranet solution could increase employee engagement for your enterprise, reach out to one of our intranet experts today. Not ready for a conversation yet? Download our free guide to learn how an intranet can transform your internal communications.

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