How to ditch internal email in favor of an intranet

Do all-staff bulletins and other updates flood your employees’ inboxes? A central information hub can abate that barrage without leaving your people in the dark.

Whenever I tell outsiders that we’ve discontinued “all staff” emails within our company, it inevitably elicits gasps.

Countless organizations rely on email for internal communication, so the concept of ditching all-staff emails seems inconceivable. “How else do you communicate?” they often ask, and I reply, “Through our company intranet, of course.”

We didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, let’s not send out emails and instead put notifications on the intranet and hope that employees read them.” That would be ludicrous. Instead, we eased employees into the transition.

We started reducing internal emails by posting bulletins on the intranet and sending a quick all-staff email advising them to check it out. Eventually, we eliminated that step, because by then employees knew to check the intranet regularly for information.

We recommend delegating responsibility for different areas of your site to specific intranet admins, which avoids having one person become the bottleneck in posting updates. For example, each of our departments is responsible for keeping its site content up to date. If delegation makes you nervous, you can add an approval feature in most applications.

RELATED: See live virtual intranet tours at our NYC Intranet Best Practices Summit.

Subscribe employees to relevant content

Most intranets have a home site, as well as a variety of department sites. Using subscriptions within the software, you can subscribe your employee groups to content that’s most relevant to them.

These subscriptions can be sent via email, so that when you post new content to these areas of your intranet, employees get an email with a quick summary and a link to the full content on the intranet.

Subscriptions can also be sent through site alerts, so that when they log in to the intranet they have all their site alerts in one place.

As an administrator, you can subscribe employees to intranet content, or they can subscribe themselves.

Make your intranet your home page

With active directory sync and single sign-on, when your employees access your intranet they are automatically logged on. Therefore, making your intranet the home page when employees open the browser provides seamless intranet access.

You can redirect employee logins to their specific department site page if information posted there is more relevant to them. When I log in to our intranet, for example, I am redirected to my department page. However, I routinely pop out to the home page to see what’s going on around the company, and I use site alerts to stay up to date with general information.

Our company intranet is called SQIRL, derived from our incorporated name SQ Box Solutions and an acronym for SQ Internal Resource Locator. Our mascot is a squirrel, and our tagline is “We’re nuts about intranets.”

By removing all-staff emails, we’ve made SQIRL our one-stop shop for employees to access all the resources and information they need.

Have you tried reducing internal emails in your organization?

A version of this post first appeared on Intranet Connections,.

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