Going beyond your corporate intranet software

Once upon a time, corporate intranet software was a technology breakthrough. Employees could visit a central place to get work information. And they did.

Going Beyond Corporate Intranet Software

Suddenly, major information and company news could be disseminated in the blink of an eye. Important forms, updates, and messages could all be found in one place.

Think employees still depend on their corporate intranet software? Think again.

“Intranets are the most hated thing by employees. Show me an intranet that employees love, and I’ll give that communicator a Nobel Peace Prize.”

— Mark Ragan, CEO and Publisher of Ragan Communications

Consider what two surveys found:

  • Only 13% of employees visit their intranet daily and 31% never do – Prescient Digital Media
  • 74% of employees feel they’re missing out on company information – Mindshare

Clearly, something has changed. But then with the rapid progress made in technology each year, it’s no surprise. After all, even just a decade ago, smartphones were still a novelty. Most people were using flip phones and Blackberries.

Today, smartphones are a necessity.

Most people could not imagine life without one. They give us access to everything we want to know—all available at our fingertips. Personalized information is instantly available and accessible wherever we are, in just a few clicks. That information also is shareable with our social media networks.

Except when we’re at work, and that’s a problem.

This is why nobody knows what’s going on at your organization or where to get the information they need to do their jobs better. Trying to find simple things like forms, information about company benefits, or even the scheduling for a conference room can become an ordeal.

That’s because corporate intranet software is an outdated concept from a bygone age. It’s hard to access. Few people use it. It is a relic from an era when employees could be found sitting at their desks. But today, workforces are more dispersed. According to Gallup, 43% of employees work remotely at least part of the time. In this new world, the intranet actually has become a barrier to getting the best work from employees.

Yet organizations cling to a dream that their corporate intranet software can be fixed. They believe a magic intranet exists. And employees will flock to it like moths to a flame. However, this seems to be more wishful thinking than actual concrete planning. It is, in essence, doubling down on a broken system that is not serving the needs of any of its users. Employees don’t know what’s going on. Management can’t measure communication effectiveness. HR can’t effectively distribute forms or connect with employees with vital information.

Corporate intranet software also defies every trend of how people receive and send information today.

The world, and your workforce, have changed.

Think for a moment about how we consume digital media.

In our personal lives, information comes to us. It’s in the palm of our hands, on those little super-computers that we check incessantly–our mobile devices. More than 85% of U.S. adults now get news on their smartphones, the Pew Research Center has found.

For digitally savvy Millennials, it has been this way their entire lives. And those Millennials will represent 75% of the workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with Millennials becoming the new force in the workplace, changes must be made in the way employers communicate with them.

Old methods are no longer sufficient because younger workers are demanding more engaging and personalized ways of connecting with their organizations. They want the same mobile experience they have in their non-work lives. They want a platform that’s as mobile as they are. That’s because, for them, the workplace might be an office, their home, or even a coffee shop or bookstore. Difficult-to-access corporate intranet software simply is not the answer anymore.

The explosion of smartphones and tablets has completely changed society. In our more connected and more informed world, making employees go on a scavenger hunt just doesn’t make any sense. It’s exhausting. It’s inefficient. And it doesn’t work because it’s out of touch with how people communicate today.

Corporate intranet software is a sterile, one-way platform that distributes information in a wholly inefficient manner that’s one-size-fits-all. By simply putting up company announcements on a webpage, there is no way of knowing how many employees have read it, if they understood it, and if it drove them to take the appropriate action. And that, of course, is even assuming that your employees have access to their corporate intranet software in the first place.

There’s no such thing as a “better intranet.” Even if you build it, they still won’t come. People want the information to come to them, not to go looking for it. And to that the employees who don’t have corporate email and it’s easy to see why the workforce would not be fully engaged with your organization. Employees are regularly missing potentially important communication, memos, or feedback. This could also result in problems with employee compliance, reduce productivity, and increase inefficiencies.

Consider this analogy: Think of corporate intranet software like roads. Imagine trying to completely redesign America’s roads to make them safer and more efficient. While it’s a worthy goal. tearing up decades of work, and throwing away all the engineering that went into the original infrastructure, would be completely unfeasible. Changing your company’s internal communication system would be no different.

Something has to be done.

The problem with current organizational communication is the way it is set up. It no longer works. The current intranet model is a broken one. What’s needed is a modern intranet.

The intranet is an antiquated destination model. What’s needed is a modern, personalized distribution model will deliver the most important information to each employee so that they can easily do their work and become more engaged with the organization. You need to liberate your corporate intranet software so that it finally reaches its full potential, and in a way that is more engaging to modern, millennial employees.

The real solution is an Employee Communication and Engagement (ECE) Platform. It will extend the reach of your existing infrastructure by delivering relevant information from your intranet, and all of your other communication systems and sources, to exactly where your employees want to receive content. And this can be done without interfering with existing intranet operations.

Let’s go back to our roads analogy. So, instead of tearing down and replacing America’s highway system, what if we improve efficiency with smart cars and ride-sharing apps that have made transportation more personalized and modernized? ECE Platforms are not much different from those smart cars and apps. By creating an extension of the current transportation system, these companies have revolutionized the way we travel. And, by creating an extension of your current communication channels, an ECE will revolutionize the way your organization connects and engages with your employees – just like the way your employees connect and engage with one another in their personal lives.

Simply put, an ECE Platform is a better and more modern way to engage today’s employees.

Let’s break down the main differences between outdated corporate intranet software and a modern ECE communication solution:
Corporate Intranet Software

Valuable content is stored on your corporate intranet software. Imagine all of the links, images, and information that could be on the home page. It all gets to your employees as quickly and efficiently as possible. News and announcements. Company forums. Business documents. HR policies and procedures. Directories. Organizational resources and tools. Payroll information.

However, none of it gets into the hands of employees because they won’t visit clunky corporate intranet software that’s hard to access and even harder to find what they want. Even when they do visit, it is easy to suffer from “information overload,” as they become overwhelmed by an excessive amount of information. This is similar to turning on a firehose of company news, and expecting employees to take a sip. Eventually, they will stop visiting the intranet altogether because there is no value to them.

So, employees are in the dark. This negatively impacts job performance and company revenue. According to Gallup, employees who feel disconnected cost companies up to $600 billion each year. Not only that, hard-to-find information makes it harder for employees to become advocates for your company.

An ECE Platform has the functionality of corporate intranet software – putting your relevant content in the mobile hands of employees, making it ideal for today’s workforce.

With an ECE platform, both your company and your employees benefit immensely. Here’s how:

For employees

Relevant and interesting information is aggregated, curated and targeted from all sources—your corporate intranet software, the internet, management/shift meetings, customer conversations, and so on. And it’s all targeted to them, wherever they are. Employees are subscribed to information they need and can opt-in to other categories of content they want. It can be accessed on their mobile devices, on the web, by email, or through collaboration tools. Employees stay informed and get the resources they need for work in the way they want to receive it—on demand.

This gets news in the hands of younger workers the way they’ve grown up receiving information. Everything comes to them. And it’s only the personalized, relevant information that they want. Millennials are not used to having to hunt through dozens of emails or clicking through web pages trying to find content important to them.

Employees can also easily share approved content on social media. Imagine transforming each of your employees into a PR machine, sharing approved company news and information to the countless people in their social media networks around the globe. A well-connected and engaged workforce could be your biggest advocate.

For organizations

The secure platform delivers targeted communication that ensures employees always get messages important and relevant to them, immediately. Leadership always knows who is engaged with the content – regardless of it was accessed by the employee. And because the organization knows who got the message, communication efforts can be measured. Controlled feedback mechanisms such as comments, polls and surveys ensure that employees’ voices are heard. Managers then can target improvements in communication, engagement and programs. And, as famed management expert Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Additionally, an ECE can help secure employee safety during a time of crisis by ensuring they have all the information they need, in real-time. For example, Dynamic Signal was able to quickly notify employees at its corporate headquarters during recent police activity at a nearby company – ensuring their safety throughout the entire ordeal. This would not have been possible had these employees had to rely on corporate intranet software, email or collaboration tools. Clear, accurate, authentic messages were delivered to every employee on their smartphone with the ECE Platform.

Organizations need effective communication to succeed. Communicators, HR leaders, and line managers know the value of an engaged workforce and the impact it has on productivity. But they’re being failed by systems that actually are making it harder for them to connect with employees.

Doubling down on a destination model won’t solve the problem. An estimated 80% of global employees don’t work in front of a computer and might not even have access to your corporate intranet software.

The truth is, most organizations probably don’t think enough of the impact of strong communication on employees. They underestimate the impact of an informed workforce that understands the company vision, mission and values. But the reality is that an in-the-know workforce is a motivated workforce that will do more to boost the productivity and profitability of your business.

“Fixing” your corporate intranet software will cost millions and take years to complete. And it will be all for naught. Employees will still ignore it.

Or you can spend far less money and, in just a matter of weeks, bring your existing corporate intranet software to where your employees are.

That’s the power of an ECE Platform. That’s the answer to modernizing your corporate intranet software. Bring your company’s communication into the future. Provide employees with the tools that they have come to expect.

Employees are your most valued asset. Give them the information they need and want to shine on the job.

Get access to our latest report to learn what feature 80% of IT and HR leaders believe to be the most important in a modern intranet solution.

Related resources



Firstup is the world’s first intelligent communication platform. More than 40 percent of Fortune 100 companies use our platform to connect with their people, design and deliver personalized communications, and gain engagement insights throughout the employee journey. With Firstup, employers can view engagement data in real time, by organization, department, or employee. That helps leaders better understand their workforce, make informed decisions, and provide better experiences from hire to retire. Companies like Amazon, Tesco, Ford, and Hilton use Firstup every day to improve outcomes for their employees.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Enjoy our blog? Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox.