The Executive Intranet is third in a series talking about departments and stakeholders that should be involved with your company intranet. Be sure to check out the previous two posts: The HR Intranet and The IT Intranet.

I recently received a call to participate in a fall intranet conference and my topic is how to leverage the intranet for change management. This isn’t exactly my area of expertise but through my business I have been thrown into the deep end of adapting to rapid change. Some of this has transferred into my favorite topic: company culture.

Executive teams are typically responsible for the company culture, company goals and initiatives. Yet the leadership voice often does not filter down and resonate personally with employees. Your intranet can change this and in very simple ways.

The Executive Intranet can:

  1. Promote, foster and improve two-way communication from leaders to employees. If employees feel like the company leaders care about them it can shift culture
  2. This makes employees more engaged. If employees are engaged they take better care of your customers. This produces happy paying customers, which keeps the shareholders happy
  3. Executive involvement on the intranet can lead the way. The intranet CAN be your #1 tool to empower and educate your employees through leadership, mentoring and executive involvement

I’m sure you have read one or two reports over the past year on the impact happy employees make to an organization. Engaged employees feel connected.

The best way to tap into this magic is through an Executive Intranet.

Executives are busy people. How can you make this happen? Show them the impact just 20 minutes will make. Ask your managers, executives, or the company CEO to post a short, 3 paragraph intranet blog post that shares their point of view on any topic. Ask managers and supervisors to take 5 minutes to comment on an employee nomination.

You may have to facilitate. Make it easy for executives to contribute. On a weekly basis compile a short list of content: employee news, a 10 year anniversary, a great idea that was shared on the intranet. Email the links to executives asking them to comment. It might take perseverance but it’s worth the effort.

Let me take you off topic for just a minute. My 7 year old son is in grade one at Cleveland Elementary School. The principle Doug Beveridge is a blogger. He wrote a post recently that was touching, personal and I felt connected. I didn’t have to meet with him face to face. This happened purely by the power of writing a blog post. It is pretty cool. Check it out if you are interested. I learned all over again how storytelling and writing from the heart creates impact: http://blog44.ca/dbeveridge/2012/04/18/thoughts/

I am a bit of a reality TV junkie and so I am glued to American Idol. Last night Jennifer Lopez told the contestants your voice is amazing but it’s not enough. The audience has to connect with the emotion you have through the lyrics. Without emotion, without showing yourself, you can’t connect.

Your intranet can connect executive leaders to all employees.

Here’s one more idea to consider. I have often marveled over Twitter. It is a communication channel that has removed all barriers to powerful people. You can tweet to celebrities. I can connect with the guy at Mashable. I can get advice from intranet mentors much smarter than me. People who are normally untouchable are suddenly approachable to everyone. The CEO can be approachable through the intranet. This may be a departure from the staunch corporate hierarchy of old but when you talk about change management and fostering a collaborative culture, what a great (and easy) place to start.

These are very small gestures that have huge impact and shows that leaders are people too.

  • They are on the intranet
  • Their voices are being shared via the intranet
  • They are just like you and me
  • They are leading the way
  • They are driving buy-in
  • They are getting their message out through the company intranet
  • They are no longer untouchable – they are now approachable

It starts in small steps and grows in strength and conviction.

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