The intranet of your organization is the network of digital systems that strengthens the structure, culture and processes of the organization. Adjusting these systems to turn it more social will help to make the structure, culture and processes of the organization more social.
A great way to introduce symbolic organizational change is socializing your intranet because intranets are wide-based, guarded, noticeable and essence to who your organization is.
The top reason for socializing the intranet is obtaining and sharing related information. A report by Mckinsey & Company states that the average worker spends an approximate 28 percent of the workweek managing email and almost 20 percent searching for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can assist them with certain tasks. The problem is only the most updated information lies in the brains of your co-workers while your stagnant intranets is usually a location where outdated files gather virtual cobwebs and dust. The report shows that companies can reduce the time employees spend looking for company information as high as 35 percent. This is why sharing information is the top of the list.
Another reason to introduce social intranet is efficient collaboration. Coworkers can communicate and get work done in the same place with an integrated social intranet. This helps to save time and keeps related people in the circle in a way that email enforcing won’t.
An implemented social intranet can:
-Shorten the duration of meetings
-Allow improved document collaboration
-Allow discussions that would otherwise fill up email inboxes
The third reason of why organizations prefer social intranet is efficient top-down communication that advocates company culture. It allows managers to have an efficient two-way conversation with their employees. This helps to get the message across easier as well as build trust and make employees feel more involved in the organization’s happenings. Virtual Q&As via social intranet is a popular way for senior managers to connect with employees. Virtual Q&As are easy to manage and can reach staff across different time zones and locations.
The next reason of socializing your intranet is creating a protected space for the employees to explore, practice, experiment, experience and learn how to be social with each other. An intranet is an equivalent protective space for communication — it makes it highly unlikely for a member’s participation to cause harm to the organization’s reputation or to harm the organization’s relationships with external shareholders through a firewall that maintains the intranet internal. The organization would not be at risk while the members learn to socialize.
Since most of the activities on a social intranet is organization-related and not task related, there won’t be an evaluation on the participation of the members on intranet social tools as part of their performance. For example, discussing about the company’s mascot or logo or even the latest trends would not contribute to the employee’s work performance.
The organization can be made to feel cosy and homely and more welcoming to the participation of the members through conversation on the social intranet. For individuals and departments that are willing to take risks and open up to become more social can be provided with a secure base by the social intranet.
Last but not least, the final reason of socializing your intranet is that it creates a rich display and continuous strengthening of the identity of your organization and making it easier to create genuine social behaviours. A pertinent, clear, fixed sense of the identity of your organization makes it easier for members to discover how to use social tools in convincing and appropriate ways to that particular organization.
Interaction among members creates, expresses and strengthens the organization’s collective identity. It can be a direct interaction in real life or a tech-social one on social media. The online interaction of members’ with social tools works to transform and communicate the organization’s identity into the intranet’s form and space. To put it differently, through their digital communication members discover how to convey the values, norms and character of their organization. By doing this on a shared intranet, members can help to invent the signature ways of the organization of communicating values and purposes.
The members of the organization needs to be rather secure with the identity of the organization so other shareholders would know their partners are reliable and trustworthy. The organization doesn’t reveal too much of itself in an effort to entertain and please external shareholders when it is secure and confident in who it is. Additionally, it produces the confidence and trust of shareholders through its consistent and reliable behavior.