Why intranet managers should be ‘workplace anthropologists’

Why it’s important to know what employees want before tossing social features into an intranet.

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That was one of many reasons why iQ won the 2011 Ragan Communications Employee Communications award for best social intranet, and why it was featured in this month’s IBF Live broadcast from the Intranet Benchmarking Forum.

Paul Miller, founder and CEO of IBF, told the broadcast’s audience that just last week he visited a company where managers couldn’t say what employees wanted to communicate in their day-to-day jobs.

Ephraim Freed, community manager at IBF, said that knowledge should be a priority.

“Great intranet managers are really like workplace anthropologists,” he said.

Earlier in the program, Freed said he believes “the hype cycle” for social tools is coming to an end. Intranet managers are beginning to understand that tools have to be more than just cool, they have to serve a purpose.

The two intranet tours during Tuesday’s broadcast, one from Quintiles and another from the Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, demonstrated ways companies can use those tools to help employees do their work.

Henry County Health Center

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