Social Intranet at Work: Pros and Cons

Improving employee engagement using an intranet at work

Coworkers connecting via a social intranet.

In the highly competitive Silicon Valley job market, retaining top talent is essential to achieving agility and competitiveness in your marketplace. One of the key elements of retention is employee engagement, and social intranet systems provide wonderful ways to do so. However, these systems also have limitations, as discussed below.

Intranet as an Engagement Tool

The application of social media to the professional workspace is a logical extension, and Facebook has made significant strides into this arena, although there are many other social intranet providers from which to choose.

Some of the key benefits of utilizing a social intranet include:

  • The ability to engage remote workers--contributors who are not on-site and would otherwise miss out on the social interaction of break room chats.
  • An outlet for peers to immediately recognize others for their contributions and efforts, through quick updates and “shout-outs.”
  • If adopted and utilized, personal pages and bios can be used to deepen knowledge and awareness of colleagues’ interests and hobbies--creating the opportunity for deeper understanding and more beneficial relationships.
  • A forum for workers to engage in a discussion of non-work topics including volunteer opportunities, social events, and industry trends.

All of these items can help to integrate a distributed workforce, enhance your organization’s culture, and keep your employees engaged.

Possible Challenges to Intranet Adoption

As noted by employment law site, not all members of your community may be approved to use your intranet. There can be a significant legal risk to granting temporary workers, freelancers, and other non-employees the same access as that given to your corporate employees, and for this reason, many organizations do not include contingent workers on their intranets. This can result in the need for additional systems for content distribution of key documents and communications which might otherwise be delivered via the intranet. Multiple systems can incur greater overhead for maintenance and can create confusion as to where to go for the right information.

In addition, an intranet system is only as useful as it is accurate and current. Team changes, departures and new hires must be updated frequently in order for the system to be a reliable source of record.

Lastly, a system can only be successful if it is adopted widely. One of the greatest advantages of Facebook at Work is that virtually everyone is familiar with the Facebook interface. If you are considering a different system, pay close attention to how quickly a user can become fully active, and the ease with which the site can be navigated.

Menlo Partners Staffing - Your Partner in Recruiting

Increasing employee engagement via social intranet and other tools will help your company maintain a talented and productive workforce. To help identify top talent partner with the recruiters at Menlo Partners Staffing for expert sourcing and screening of San Francisco Bay Area candidates matched to your company’s culture. Contact our office today! Thanks for reading.


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