The design, development and implementation of an intranet require both planning and conceptualization of what the organization wants to offer to its human resources.
A number of factors should be taken into account when developing an intranet to ensure that the channel follows and strengthens the performance of human resources who should act as key value generators in organizational processes as well as in the relationship with the internal and external publics of the targeted organization.
In order to have human resources that will put the organization in an important institutional and commercial position, their information and training needs should be satisfied so that their action capacity and responsiveness are increased.
In this context, in addition to public information about the organization, experiences from daily work should be provided through forums, case studies, space for comments and reviews, etc.
In general, the content architecture included in internal communication networks or Intranets can be grouped into:
Structured contents: refer to the information from the organization which allows less feedback from users. These include speeches of senior managers, search engines; glossaries; databases; product cards, personalized surveys; self-training on-line; regulations; administrative procedures manuals; press reports; business information (sales manuals, business plans and results, product or services catalogues, etc.).
Unstructured contents: their main aim is to promote a fluent and permanent feedback from the users of the internal network. That is why a smart search engine is chosen; dialogue is encouraged through the creation of spaces where comments, suggestions, opinions and contributions can be uploaded, etc.; training focuses on topics of interest for the mutual development individual-organization and on the invitation to participate permanently in Social Responsibility actions etc.; articles about operational activity are included in the news, etc.; commercial information includes innovations as well as new strategic developments undertaken by the organization.
An efficient and effective Intranet should be able to integrate into their sections a balance of both types of contents to avoid, on the one hand, human resources‘ perception that it is a channel to get clear instructions related to organizational discourse with little participation of them as members and, on the other hand, having too open sections that may cause inconveniences when implementing innovations arising from collaborative work.
The aim of all the contents present in the Intranet should be to help in the incorporation of value to organizational processes, as well as providing training and measurement tools that help increase productivity and competitiveness based on a solid network that links all members and levels of the organization.
This connection is also favored by increasing horizontal communication through sections that allow constant interaction between human resources: social events, classified ads, sports and cultural news, for example.
The administration of the analyzed Intranet involves two dimensions:
Design and Contents
A Communications team of at least three people who are in charge of:
Managing the design and the generation and/or Edition of Contents.
Regular update of contents.
Integrating Human resources contributions.
Generation of development proposals, etc.
Type of services: Outsourced or mixed.
In most cases an Intranet platform is purchased to be adapted by the IT Team of the Organization.
Development of the Intranet Platform according to internal requirements.
Technical Support of the Intranet.
Technical Support to users.
Regulation and Digital Security.
Type of services: Outsourced or mixed.
While developing the Intranet, organizations will pass quickly through several stages which will modify and permanently overcome its initial architecture, if there is a strong commitment to ensure horizontal participation of all the human resources of the organization.
Collective Interaction that is the question
The key to a successful intranet is to achieve broad horizontal levels of interaction between all members of the organization. That is why sections should complement normative, management and social contents, as we mentioned above.
Currently, in the context of the boom of processes related to constant innovation and knowledge management, the Intranet architecture that has obtained more space and results in the market, is the one that is similar to a Social Network.
However, when implementing a new channel of communication with the coverage and importance of Intranet, it is advisable to work progressively, starting by basic levels of interaction.
To do so, the Intranet should have a “Contact us” Section to receive, answer and share suggestions, to send online surveys to measure the degree of implementation and get reviews about the different messages received, and to evaluate the possibility of performing on-line administrative procedures concerning the human resources area .
After having tested it for at least three months and having performed a quantitative evaluation of data traffic and a qualitative one of the type of interactions, new tools, that add greater opportunities for interaction, can be proposed, always taking into account the management process required to coordinate the channel effectively.
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