How to create a social intranet employees will love

Thriving digital workplaces produce a social network accessible to all employees from any device. Here’s how to make it the most trusted information source in your company.

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When my former company conducted a comprehensive internal survey a few years ago, the intranet ranked as the most trusted source of important information about the company. Other sources, including top leaders, direct supervisors, and co-workers, lagged far behind.

At first, these findings confused me. How could a digital environment be more trusted than face-to-face contact?

I met with employees across the organization to probe further, and together we identified various attributes and behaviors that inspired trust in our intranet.

If your organization is on the path toward a digital workplace—with a robust intranet, enterprise social network, online ideation, electronic messaging, and other business-critical systems, available anytime, anywhere, from any device—consider these tips to build trust:

1. Be respectful. Trust begins with trust. In everything you do, demonstrate your respect for all the people of your organization, regardless of their rank, function, location, or tenure. Seek to understand the work they do, and constantly evolve to better serve them.

2. Be accessible. Develop multiple points of access-from desktops, at shared kiosks, from home, and from mobile devices-to reach all the people of your organization.

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