Are company intranets actually useful, or are they just another tick box for management?
In theory company intranets are a great idea – a place where the business can share information and resources with employees (and vice versa). In reality though, it feels a bit like intranets are underused. I remember one company where the most interesting thing online was that week’s cafeteria menu.
Also, and this is a personal niggle, I think the content skews too much towards what the company thinks employeesshould care about rather than what they actually care about. It’s great if the share price is up or that, you know, the CEO raised £50 during a charity golfing tournament. But how does that info help me book a meeting room or find the cheapest place to eat lunch that day?
Coca-Cola Enterprises has a short video explaining how its intranet is set up. While global news is hugely important for Coke, you’ll see they also want to save people time by giving them access to HR tasks and tools (presumably things like forms and calendars) and to foster collaboration and community.
That’s really where the value of an intranet lies, by allowing you to connect with different parts of the business. It’s a sad reality that people might work in the same room, but never speak to each other. An intranet can facilitate those conversations, whether it’s by allowing people to find cross-departmental collaborators for projects, organise who’s going to beer o’clock on Friday or even have an online swap shop for unwanted items.
What kind of things would you want to see on an intranet?