A lingering pandemic, a volatile economy, vaccine mandates, emerging security threats. Are we done with 2021?
If the last year (ok maybe two years) have left you feeling helpless and uncertain about the future, we have great news. No, we can’t magically make the chaos disappear, but we can offer a glimpse into how to best manage the future of work.
You see, back in early 2020, remote work was still a new and uncertain concept for many organizations. However, as we approach 2022, we finally have accumulated enough data to understand what works, what doesn’t work, and what employees truly need to be successful (and happy) in the workplace.
The intranet as a single source of truth
With the rise of remote work, organizations have seen an explosion in the use of different tools to help aid collaboration. These tools have Increased the quantity and complexity of information, and have contributed to confusion in workplace communication. Leaders and employees alike find themselves struggling with finding the correct information, living in the right system.
Whether your employees are office-based, home-based, or frontline workers, they all need quick and accurate access to the information, resources, and people to do their job. A single source of truth (SSOT), like your intranet, is a critical way to connect employees to valuable knowledge within an organization. Much like it sounds, a single source of truth is defined as the practice of structuring information and data into one central location.
It will only work if the content on the intranet is up to date and relevant. We expect organizations to rely on an SSOT that increases the signal, and reduces the noise. It should ensure employees are finding the right information they need to do their job the first time.
A platform for mental health
Employee physical and mental health has been a topic of discussion since the early days of the pandemic, but 2021 really brought this to the forefront. Some organizations (e.g. Hootsuite and Hubspot) even shut down operations for a day to prioritize their employees’ wellbeing.
But what role does an intranet play in employee mental health? An intranet provides employees with a sense of security, safety, and control. In 2022 we predict more and more organizations will rely on their intranet to provide a centralized location for employees to promote wellbeing, tips, and mental health resources.
Organizations that don’t listen to their employees will struggle to retain talent during the great resignation or turnover tsunami, when retention is critical. They also risk missing out on valuable ideas and innovation, which can impact the bottom line. This is why in 2022 leaders will rely on tools like their intranet to not only listen to employees, but to gather valuable feedback through form submissions and employee surveys.
Whether it’s the deployment of a first ever intranet or an upgrade to a better platform, no one has the patience for a lengthy deployment anymore.
Many organizations will be looking at intranets that let them build, design, and launch within a matter of weeks or months( and without the need for specialized skills). They can no longer rely on costly and lengthy in-person consulting and services to launch their site. In 2022 we expect to see a shift to intranets that are self-sufficient, with templates and options pre-configured right out of the box.
Streamlined business processes
Organizations will be looking to consolidate their business processes right inside their intranet instead of relying on multiple, external disparate IT systems to achieve business outcomes.
The intranet should be a single place where employees request vacations, manage HR approvals, request equipment, and submit IT tickets. They may still end up in different systems, but they don’t need to be aware of these systems to begin their journey. Processes will need to be easy to follow, fully self-service, and automated as much as possible.
Ready for the global workforce
As the world and workplace becomes increasingly more dispersed, intranets will need to keep up. In 2022 expect intranets to offer a seamless experience across multiple offices and locations around the world, with different time zones and languages. Features such as auto event date/time calculation and auto page translation will be important and critical for connecting a global workforce.
A key requirement for organizations that span many different locations is an intranet that lets you build and maintain your brand, no matter where your employees are located. As we all work remotely across different locations, having a sense of connection and belonging to a brand is needed to rally everyone around a common cause.
A place for asynchronous work
As we have all discovered, Zoom and video fatigue is a real thing. As hybrid and remote work environments continue to rely on video meetings, and synchronous communication, employees will be seeking out ways to work asynchronously to get stuff done. Intranets that support asynchronous collaboration will be important in 2022. Instead of attending a live Zoom meeting, the intranet serves as a place for employees to asynchronously collaborate on Google Docs, comment on posts, and respond to polls and surveys.
With communication increasing in frequency and complexity, there is a risk of communication overload. And we all know what happens when we get too much communication; we tune out, or worse, we unsubscribe.
To temper the communication burden, internal communication professionals will be relying on their intranets to create targeted and personalized news, updates, and announcements. Expect intranets in 2022 to offer a way to customize what, where, and when employees choose to receive communications.
Have questions? Get in touch! We're always happy to hear from you.