Jane McConnell of NetJmc & Co conducts an annual survey “Global Intranet Trends”. The 2010 report is subtitled ‘Towards the workplace web’ and reflects how organizations are positioning the intranet as the gateway to corporate information, applications, and employee collaboration and communication tools. Like many surveys conducted around internal communications, social media plays a big part in the direction that intranets are moving. The following observations are from the “Global Intranet Trends for 2010” report and provide a glimpse into how social media benefits the intranet.
The individual voice is emerging
Highlights from the report indicate that the concept of allowing employees to comment on intranet content is gaining ground.
“Commenting on official content” such as letting employees publish comments and questions about articles written by management is in “general use” in 20% of organizations. Another 20% are testing it or have it in some parts of their organization.
Social Media benefits appearing
Organizations that have already implemented some form of intranet social media are experiencing the following benefits:
1. Increased employee engagement
2. More effective knowledge sharing
3. Better informed employees
Social Media concerns shifting
Perhaps most interesting are the results that indicate less doubt regarding the relevance of social media to business needs, senior management hesitancy, and employees wasting their time. That said, it was also reported that there is a higher degree of concern about the difficulty of finding information and potential user resistance.
This is the 4th annual report by JMC. The survey included 300 organizations, ranging in size from under 1,000 to over 100,000 employees.
Another example of how social media can provide tangible benefits was through a recent article on Ragan.com, showcasing the SaskPower intranet. SaskPower is not an Intranet Connections client; however they utilize similar Intranet Connections features on their home page. SaskPower does a lot of things right, and we love this example for its design properties and their commitment to a people-powered intranet.
“Communicators at SaskPower redesigned their site intranet to be more interactive and allow staff to comment on articles. Although employees were initially hesitant, commenting has become a popular feature of the intranet.” — ragan.com
One feature of note with SaskPower is their “Life @ SaskPower” – a great way to engage employees by sharing their stories, and a wonderful way to build community and culture through the intranet.
(screen shot courtesy of ragan.com)
As more case studies are presented, and more organizations adopt not only social media tools, but the concept of social media – focus on your employees, provide ease of use, options for better communication, collaboration and participation – the more we will see clear measurements for how social media benefits the intranet.