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How To Improve Internal Communications Using CMS Intranets
Improved internal communications is the holy grail for many businesses. And although much effort is spent searching for solutions, somehow it seems to remain elusive. And it’s an issue that affects all organisations regardless of their size. In fact, small to medium businesses often have more flexible working and tend to employ freelance and remote workers which means that internal communications is often a bigger issue for these companies. So what’s an organization to do? Is there a holy grail or magic formula that will fix your internal communications issues? Well, the truth is improving internal communications is a continual journey, involving a number of small steps that together amount to significant leaps forward. It doesn’t, however, have to be a difficult and torturous journey. In fact, it is possible to quickly and easily make improvements to your organization’s internal communications by using your CMS intranet. And guess what? While you’re at it, you’ll also be realizing some other very important business benefits as well.
CMS intranets have been around now since the 1990s and the technology has evolved to become super easy to install and manage. No great technical expertise is required as the CMS intranet comes with a number of pre-built intranet page templates along with a range of powerful business modules and tools out of the box. You simply and easily drag and drop functionality and content onto your secure, customizable intranet pages. The end result is an intranet that is totally unique to your company, which contains all the information, data and tools staff need to get the job done more efficiently and effectively.
How A CMS Intranet Improves Communication
Every individual step forward with your CMS intranet can make a big difference overall and so let’s look at some very practical ways an intranet will help to improve internal communications.
News Blogs And Newsletters
A common grumble when it comes to internal communications is staff feeling as though they are out of the loop and don’t know what’s going on in the company. Well, that’s easily remedied with the CMS intranet’s news features.
Using the CMS intranet’s flexible page layout and design options, it’s possible to set up an online newsletter or blog that highlights key company news and updates. It’s a simple process to add and edit text, images, videos and files so that your news feed looks very professional and utilizes a range of media for maximum impact. What’s more, you can set up a series of pages and subpages to cover team or local news as well as the corporate stuff. Just use the simple set of permissions and rules to restrict access to only the relevant staff.
The great advantage of using the CMS intranet in this way is that you remain in control. With a traditional system of cascading team briefings, the message can get diluted along the way. Using a CMS intranet, however, means staff receive the same consistent message and at the same time.
This feature follows on from keeping everyone in the loop and is the perfect tool for highlighting key company or industry events as well as important dates or milestones. It’s intuitive to set up and super easy to keep updated. It often quickly becomes an essential tool for staff members as it represents the single source of truth for the organization. Need to check the date of the next sales seminar? No problem – simply search for it on the company calendar. What about the deadline for submitting your quarterly budget returns? Easy. Rather than searching through an overloaded email in-box, simply go directly to the company calendar. And so a process that might have involved several steps as well as many minutes now takes just a click of the mouse and a fraction of the time.
Another frequent complaint when it comes to internal communications is a sense of isolation and the right hand not knowing what the left is doing. A great way to counteract this and to empower staff at the same time is the simple-to-setup staff directory. With detailed biographies, areas of expertise and photos, the staff directory is a comprehensive resource that allows employees to connect with each other. Need a staff member with marketing expertise to join your working party examining the customer experience? No problem. The staff directory enables you to quickly and easily identify internal candidates. Or perhaps you’re looking for a subject matter expert who can resolve a technical query about a particular product? Again, that’s easy with the staff directory.
In addition, the self-service nature of the staff directory makes it a powerful enabler of connections and collaborations. It also helps staff to have a sense of the bigger picture and where they fit into the whole scheme of things. And on a very basic level putting a face to a name is fundamental to promoting good working relationships. The staff directory may be a simple tool, but its impact is not to be under-estimated.
All these initiatives in themselves are great, but the real issue at play and a fundamental employee gripe is that they are meaningless if they don’t involve an element of listening and feeding back. The distinguished architect Jeff Daly summed it up nicely as follows:
Two monologues do not make a dialogue.
And that’s where a CMS intranet can make a huge difference because it enables you to have two-way conversations and a genuine dialogue with staff. How? Well, there are a number of ways and below are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Enable comments on the news feed and newsletter so staff can put forward their ideas and insights.
- Develop surveys and quizzes to canvas employees’ views with the CMS intranet’s easy-to-use forms builder or else use the embedded Google app. Be sure though to feedback to staff on the outcomes of the survey and action taken as a result.
- Create team or joint working project spaces on the CMS intranet to encourage collaboration across the organization.
- And why not try deploying social intranet features such as follow me functionality, site activity walls and direct messaging.
Improve Communications And Much More
The bottom line is that there’s no magic wand you can wave to fix internal communications in your organization. But what you can do is take some significant steps forward with the help of your CMS intranet. What’s more, the CMS intranet is easy to setup and manage on an ongoing basis which means that you’ll be improving internal communications with the minimum of effort and in a short space of time.
And if that isn’t enough in itself then how about simultaneously improving employee engagement, streamlining business processes and enhancing information and data sharing? You see, these are also important business benefits that are on offer with your CMS intranet, making it an incredibly powerful tool in any organization’s management arsenal.