When we ask intranet teams what they want to do with a new or existing intranet, sometimes they say they want to make it more social. Even though some teams use terms like “modern intranet” or “digital workplace” that are similar, “social intranet” is still a popular term.
Most of the time, a social intranet is one that has a lot of social and collaborative features that allow employees to engage regularly with one another.
This makes it different from a traditional intranet that only focuses on internal communications and static content. Many companies want to set up a social intranet so that employees are more engaged and the company culture is less hierarchical.
In this post, we’ll talk more about what a social intranet is, its main features, and the benefits it can bring.
What is a social intranet?
There is no official way to explain what a social intranet is. But a social intranet is usually thought of as an intranet with many social tools and features that allow users to publish content, add comments, post contributions, and talk to each other. It can also have social networking features, like being able to keep track of other employees.
Most of the time, these social features are visible and well-used enough to balance out the more formal, top-down parts of an intranet, like corporate news and more static evergreen content.
On a social intranet, a lot of user-generated content comes from the bottom up. This should make the site more dynamic and lively by getting contributions from employees all over the organisation.
The social features of an intranet could be built into the HRMS software you use to run the intranet, or they could be added from a different platform.
For instance, many social organisations are using uKnowva as a one-stop-shop for integrating their core HR functions like payroll, onboarding, timesheet, attendance, leave management, performance management, and offboarding, along with the engagement and management of employees.
This happens when the intranet is infused with the HRMS as an added feature of the entire product as a self-serving portal for all employees from day one to the last.
What makes a social intranet unique?
There are some things that every social intranet has in common, but not all of these will be on every social intranet.
The streams and feeds of activity
Activity streams and feeds from social platforms are often built into the pages of social intranets. These may show up on the homepage, which may be a personalised collection of feeds from different groups or on a specific page as a feed related to the subject, topic, or community. These feeds will not only show conversations, but they will also be a place where users can talk to each other and add to them.
Commenting, sharing, and liking messages
Most social intranets let users comment on, share, and like more formal communications, like news and messages from leadership. This can be a great way to start a conversation and find out what people think about ideas and topics.
Blogs and other user-made content are examples
Social intranets make it possible for everyone to publish, making sure that everyone has a voice. Most of the time, employees can post blogs, news about their own team, user-made videos, and even photos on a social intranet. You are much more likely to find a cat video on a social intranet than on a traditional intranet.
Features of social networking
Many social intranets have social networking features like the ability to follow colleagues, use @mentions, and add #hashtags. These can be very helpful when using social intranets to send messages and talk to other people in the organisation.
Communities, groups, and discussions
Support for communities, groups, and discussion threads that let employees talk to each other is one of the most essential parts of a social intranet. The best thing would be for everyone to be able to see these. A social intranet could support communities, software user groups, employee resource groups, and even non-working communities like sports and hobby forums. This creates a better bond for employees at workplaces on personal interests as well. It helps to make the workplace community stronger and more robust. That is also one way for shy or introverted people to connect with others and create their own professional network based on shared likes or interests.
List of employees
The employee directory on a social intranet can feel very different from that of a typical intranet. Employees can fill out sections to give a complete picture of their life inside and outside of work, as well as their past work experience, making the directory more like LinkedIn. Their profile might also show what they’ve done for the intranet as a whole.
Surveys and polls
Polls and surveys are good ways to find out what employees think and get quick feedback on different topics.
Social intranets can help a lot with employee engagement, adoption, and building a purposeful and progressive company culture. Get in touch with intelligent HRMS tech experts who have answers to questions about how to set up an intranet or make it more social.