Building an intranet business case for the new world of work

How purpose, hybrid work and the proliferation of content are shaping new intranet initiatives.

If you’re building a business case for a new intranet, you’ll need to know what your stakeholders care about and craft compelling stories that bring the new intranet to life.

At first glance, some of the primary drivers for building an intranet have remained constant over the years. Organizations often invest in intranets because they want to:

  • Create a unified culture
  • Build connection and community
  • Help employees find the tools they need to manage their careers and jobs

But underpinning these simple goals are a more complex landscape of organizational shifts.

In this post, we’ll look at four major trends that are changing what communicators, stakeholders and employees need from an intranet. This will provide you with a solid foundation, so you can build an intranet business case that responds to your organization’s current needs and goals.

Purpose-led cultures

Prompted by competition for talent, globally evolving views of what it takes to build a respected brand, and a growing awareness of the importance of purpose, more organizations are attempting to increase engagement, productivity and employee tenure by bringing more meaning to each employee’s work.

Communicators are telling us:

  • “I want our intranet to create meaningful content and experiences that motivate employee contribution and inspire purposeful work.”
  • “I want our intranet to inspire all of our employees to work toward our vision and goals.”

Hybrid working modes

Undeniably, the way we work is in a state of flux. Many organizations feared productivity would drop and had little appetite for the required changes it would take to allow employees to work from home, but COVID has accelerated working from home as a viable and desirable way to work.

To build an intranet for those working from home, the office (and everywhere in between), communicators now say:

“I want our intranet to help build culture and create meaningful collisions if employees are not in the office.”

“I want to be able to measure engagement and connection when I can no longer rely on the office vibe and visible signs of connection.”

Content and collaboration proliferation

The idea that we once thought we could wrangle all the content in the organization is quite humorous now. Employees create content at unprecedented rates. Our options for how and where to collaborate have also proliferated. Employees now complain that there are too many options to get a job done. "What tool, when?" is a common phrase that describes the unsatisfying job of helping users find their best collaboration option.

As an intranet buyer, you might be saying:

  • “I want our intranet to help employees find the content and tools to do their jobs amid a content and technology glut.”
  • “I want our intranet to optimize the connection and collaboration that produces valuable innovative outcomes.”

Growth in health, wellness and safety engagement

Traditionally considered a “benefit,” employees expect their employers to offer reasonable health and wellness support. During COVID, however, it fell upon the communicator to interpret and share federal and local law and public health information with employees, which often differed based on their country, city and job role. As COVID continued, communicators found themselves addressing the fatigue, fear and mental health issues that accompanied our altered world.

Employees continue to expect their employer to offer broader well-being guidance and support. According to Gallop's research, workplace stress is at an all-time high. With a more significant role in this area, communicators often say:

  • “I want our intranet to encourage employee wellbeing and deliver health and wellness content and measure effectiveness.”
  • “I want to ensure our organization is getting the correct information to people within our complex geographical and physical working environment.”

It’s clear the world of work has changed. Given the variety of goals and objectives we’ve covered, it’s important to get clear about the broader trends that your own internal executives and business stakeholders are trying to respond to and ensure you have a firm foundation of the broader organizational goals you are attempting to impact.

If you’re ready to start building your intranet business case, download our step-by-step guide.

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