How Your Intranet Can Be Used as a Social Media Interface

This week's opinion piece has been contributed by Gil Artmoore

There are a lot of reasons that social media has the stigma of not being especially workplace-friendly. 

These include the wrong personal details leaking into professional lives, their use as a covert way of scouting potential hires, and irresponsible discussion of workplace situations being among them. But what if there were a way social media could not only shake that stigma but be positively integrated into the workplace?

As it happens, many companies are already doing this, and not just with corporate Facebook and Twitter pages. Even before social media became a thing, the boundaries between work and home were already starting to thin. 

Remote workers and flexible working hours, not to mention globalisation, have necessitated changes in the way coworkers communicate.

To foster better internal communication, many companies have integrated aspects of social media into the way they work, and got great results in the process. Let’s look at some of the benefits of the social intranet and how it can help improve the workflow at your company.

Take employee recognition to the next level

Many companies adhere to the adage that a happy employee is a productive employee. One of the best ways to cultivate a positive work culture is with the tried and true employee recognition program. Think about it. Would you rather work somewhere your accomplishments are recognised? Or would you rather work somewhere your best stuff is brushed off as just you doing what you’re paid for?

One great way to boost morale is by recognising employees for their accomplishments and dedication to a company social intranet. Doing so in such a forum means other employees can also comment to express their appreciation for their coworkers, which adds an extra dimension of meaning for the employee in question.

Provide a forum for all employees to comment on things

It may be tempting to limit the effect that the eternal complainers might have on the rest of your team. The reality is that most people would prefer to work someplace they have a voice than someplace they don’t. If your company is exceptionally large or even global, it’s also possible for some people to just get lost in the crowd. They feel like the higher-ups have no idea who they even are.

A social media intranet is a perfect way to offer employees that voice they want. Merely being able to weigh in can make a huge difference in your employee retention rate. It’s also an excellent place for your biggest company cheerleaders to blog about the most positive and engaging aspects of the workplace.

Create a space for employees to share ideas and knowledge

One of the most critical functions in the modern workplace is collaboration. But how do you accomplish that when you have teams that are geographically separated from one another, possibly by thousands of miles? What if collaboration is slowed by critical players living in entirely different time zones?

Think about how much information is shared in informal chats among employees sharing an office or floor. This is how a lot of great, business-shaping ideas often begin to take shape, and by providing a similarly informal platform, you empower geographically distant coworkers to collaborate in the same fashion.

Encourage a positive working culture among your employees

Aside from the recognition-focused stuff we talked about earlier, a social intranet is also a great place to put the spotlight on other positives that will energise your workforce. Changes that will bring good things the staff’s way features on work done by specific departments, and upcoming events can also be broadcast in this way.

Present information that’s relevant to everyone in your company

One of the mistakes many companies make is focusing on high-level business successes by top-level executives and completely ignoring the rank-and-file employees. This is a great way to get people not to visit your social intranet.

Make sure they see stuff they care about, and one of the ways you can do this is soliciting their input on upcoming company initiatives. As we talked about earlier, people feel a lot more engaged when they feel like they have a voice. Getting to help shape their workplace is a terrific way to accomplish that.

Conclusion

Social media has become the new normal of how people interact and share information. Your company needs to jump on the bandwagon and start using modern technology to build an internal structure