A social intranet: a good fit for your organization?
Is a social intranet a good fit for your organization? In this blog, we share our view. Which 8 requirements are there for an organization, collaboration, or project team to make a social intranet a success?
Social intranet requirements:
- Open culture
- Willingness to share
- Flexible work environment
- Social and interactive platform
- Perseverance and structural budget
- Constant content publication
A transparent, open culture with open communication is essential for a social intranet’s success. A social intranet’s success depends on its users and an open culture stimulates people to use the social intranet. With a social intranet, open communication and interaction is essential: ask questions, discuss, explain choices, vote on ideas, share information, and have open conversations. Mett’s social intranet allows for all that.
The open culture also means that communication is not bound to the platform, but also occurs offline. The social intranet is a complement to the offline communication.
Willingness to share
Organizations are more successful when people share knowledge. A social network revolves around sharing. Sharing knowledge, information, documentation, and opinions. Put energy into a social network, and the users will return it. A social intranet is a social collaboration platform. That’s why it can only be successful when users and managers are willing to share.
All users and managers of a platform must be involved in the organization or collaboration. It’s mainly that last group that is important to mention. In an interview with one of Mett’s partners, Partners+Pröpper, it emerged that communication managers often set up a social intranet, but don’t quite know how they can get users enthusiastic about using it.
The key word here is involvement. Managers must give the right example to other users and schedule user trainings so that users get to experience what a social intranet can mean for them, what the benefits are. The managers should therefore take an interest in their users, because otherwise the platform won’t add value in the user’s eyes, which means that the platform won’t be used successfully. Our team can advise you in this process.
Flexible work environment
A social intranet revolves around its users. Managers may indicate beforehand how they would like the social intranet to be used, but the users ultimately decide how they will use the social intranet. This requires flexibility. Try and learn. Talk with users regularly and learn about their needs.
But the social intranet should also be flexible. In Mett, the manager can easily enable and disable features. This way, only those features that are regularly used are visible, which makes the platform clearer and easier to use.
A social intranet only adds value when the information found on the platform is relevant to the user. That requires focus. When large organizations implement a social intranet, they will need to set up focus groups of people who work closely together. This helps create a familiar environment for the user, which stimulates them to use the social intranet the way it’s meant to be used.
Social and interactive platform
The social element is what sets a social intranet apart from a standard intranet, because this adds interactivity to the platform. For that reason, it’s important that social elements are prominently visible and that the user is invited to use them. A social intranet is accepted into an organization better and quicker when the users are familiar with the social elements. That’s why this should be recognizable features, such as the like button, the vote button, the posting of updates, and the option to comment on all pages. How social is your intranet?
Perseverance and structural budget
To make a social intranet a success requires time. It requires a structural budget and attention to inspire and activate people to actively use the social intranet. It’s a long process, during which everyone needs to get accustomed to a new style of collaboration. Try and learn. Ask the users about what they need on a social intranet and involve them in the process. You will see a return on this investment in the great amount of time that users save.
Constant content publication
A successful social intranet is a community that is alive. Besides static content, it will also require the publication of dynamic content. If something new is published every day (however small that may be), users get the feeling that the platform is alive, which in turn inspires them to actively publish on and make use of the platform.