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How to Break Up with Your Company Intranet

Michael Vasey
Michael Vasey

Your intranet may have important and useful information in it, but it’s only effective if employees actually use it. Let’s be honest—traditionally, intranets are difficult to access, feature interfaces that remind us of the 1990s, and aren’t very good at helping employees find things. In fact, a survey by Prescient Digital Media showed that only 13% of employees reported participating in their intranet daily—and 31% said they never do.

But what is the alternative? You can still repurpose the best of your intranet and bring it into the channels and devices that are the most current and useful. Consider creating a mobile app for your employees. An employee engagement app can help you:

Identify and Categorize Top Content

Use the 80/20 rule: identify the top 20% of information that employees access 80% of the time. This content is clearly in high demand. Keep employees coming back by placing it prominently and making it easy for them to access. Then, categorize that content into buckets. In our experience, employees most often go hunting for categories like HR/benefits or community, as well as company resources, forms, calendars, or the employee directory.

Create a Mobile Employee Directory

One of the most frustrating parts about intranets for employees is its inevitable ability to house outdated content. Employees come and go, and keeping that information up-to-date is a must if you want teams to collaborate and be as productive as possible. A mobile app not only allows you to keep information current in a quick and easy way, but it also gives employees headshots and basic contact information for easily connecting with peers using the native functions of their smartphone.

Centralize Resources

“Isn’t this what an intranet does?” Yes and no. An intranet is supposed to be the place where employees turn for information, but often ends up being one in a line of disparate mediums that documents get thrown at. For resource centralization to work, it has to be in a place that employees regularly turn to and can easily access. And because employees spend nearly four hours every day on their phones, it’s pretty safe to assume they’ll have their mobile device on them most of the time. In a mobile app for your employees, you can upload PDFs, images, and documents, or link to external URLs without having to leave the app interface. Keep your most current, most important resources in your app so employees have easy, one-click access to them 24/7. 

Send Real-Time Communications

According to Salesforce, 96% of executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communications as the main source of workplace failures. But when an intranet is your “hub” for employee information, how can communications stay current? And are employees notified when new messages and content are added? With a mobile app, push messages can be scheduled in advance or sent at a moment’s notice for fast, effective communication with employees no matter where they are. Plus, messages are stored within the app’s message center for future reference.


Breaking up is hard to do. But when it’s in the best interest of both parties, it makes parting a little easier. Staying current with your organization’s technology not only makes it easier to access important information, but also keeps your employees engaged through the devices they trust and use most.

Want more employee engagement tips like these? Check out the Employee Engagement Executive Value Guide.

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