There are so many options today for building an intranet that it can be hard to know where to even start.
ClearBox Consulting recently released their annual report of intranet and employee experience platforms, in which they provide an independent review of 31 of the best products on the market. Clocking in at nearly 700 pages, this exhaustively researched report is no small feat and an incredibly valuable resource. Organizations looking to amp up their intranet game should definitely download a copy to help guide their own research.
For those in the market for a new intranet who’d rather skip to the best parts of the report, ClearBox also published the article “ClearBox Intranet Choices 2022,” which details the six solutions they felt stood out from the broader report. It’s a great shortlist to start with when beginning the evaluation process.
Regardless of which version of ClearBox’s analysis you look to for guidance, though, there’s no doubt that all the solutions they highlighted are the top performers in their field. Each has a lot to offer in the areas that really make an intranet a valuable resource, including user experience, internal communicator features, findability, social and collaboration tools, and mobile options.
But choosing a vendor is only half the battle. Once you’ve built an intranet, how do you keep people on the site and get them to engage with all the features, functionality, and content you’ve provided?
It isn’t easy, especially given the high expectations we have of digital workplace technologies these days. Even ClearBox recognizes the challenge of creating a feature-rich intranet, saying "Many intranet teams set out with an ambition to be a workplace hub, but they won't fulfill it if transactions immediately take employees to other systems.”
So, can it even be done? Can you build an intranet that draws employees in and keeps them engaged so they stick around? Absolutely. Here’s how …
Most intranets are created with the idea that “if we build it, they will come.” And that’s true - but only to a point.
Employees will certainly show up If you create an attractive interface that displays information they want or need, especially if you throw in a mix of additional resources, like links to benefits information, help desk resources, and travel and expense documents.
Unfortunately, they’ll leave almost immediately, as soon as they click through to the service they initially came to find. That’s the problem with creating an intranet that does a good job of being useful. It draws users in then sends them right back out again.
But what if you turned that paradigm around, and instead of linking out to the resources employees want and need, you brought those services in?
By integrating a digital assistant with your existing intranet, you can transform your intranet into a digital destination that intelligently aggregates important services, tasks, and information into a single, connected experience.
Many high-performing intranets of all shapes and sizes have used a digital assistant to create award-winning and noteworthy intranets that draw people in and keep them there. But what does a digital assistant bring to the table that an intranet alone doesn't?
A digital assistant amplifies the intranet by offering intelligent digital services that simplify work experiences and integrates seamlessly into an intranet platform to provide a single, connected employee experience.
By integrating across core business systems, the typical digital assistant will provide:
Unified activity stream to help employees see exactly what needs their attention - from company announcements and news to systems reminders and notifications, as well as information that may be of value to the employees, like new learning opportunities.
Microapps that provide simplified access to information from enterprise systems, eliminating the need to log into disparate systems to view HR information, such as time off balances, payroll details, and more.
Chatbot or conversational interface to help employees answer questions and even handle tasks, such as submitting help desk tickets and resetting passwords.
Multi-channel experience across mobile and collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, so employees can access communications, personalized information, and enterprise services wherever and whenever they choose to work.
The features of a digital assistant are effective at keeping employees engaged with the intranet because they help overcome big challenges of today's digital workplaces, digital friction and attention management.
Missed company communications due to content overload
Lost productivity from data silos and shifting through irrelevant information
Multi-step processes that take employees outside of the intranet
Complicated and time-consuming actions from managing multiple digital channels
Workers need all the help they can get with these issues. The average company maintains 651 SaaS applications and adds 10 new apps each month. This puts most workers in the position of having to toggle between apps as many as 10 times each hour, causing 30% of employees to feel as though more than half of their work consists of manual and repetitive tasks that distract them from value-added work.
The more you can use the intranet to solve these issues for employees, delivering the tasks and information employees need to work effectively, the more people will flock to your site – and stay there.
For more information on how a digital assistant can help amplify your intranet, check out this demo video or our recent blog “Help Employees Work Smarter, Not Harder, with Workgrid.” Also, did you know that Workgrid’s digital assistant works across multiple platforms, including intranet platforms like Igloo? Learn more about Igloo + Workgrid.