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5 Tips for Building a Convincing Modern Intranet Business Case

The way we work - and where we work - has changed. Prior to Covid-19, 'virtual' workplaces were on the rise thanks to technology leaps and increasingly flexible work practices. The global pandemic has accelerated this shift, with organisations forced to prioritise their digital transformation strategies to cope with mandatory full-time remote working.

A modern intranet is a worthy investment, but it's important to be able to demonstrate its strategic and tactical value to stakeholders. Being able to clearly qualify (and quantify) the expected return on investment (ROI) of a modern intranet will help your organisation understand how it can boost productivity, employee engagement, and support better connectedness and collaboration during remote working.

Here are a few things to consider when building a convincing business case for a modern intranet.

1. Quantify a return on objectives

Clearly identify what you want to achieve and put a number to it wherever possible. 'Improve productivity' and 'increase engagement' are important targets, however, quantifying a return on each objective will be more impactful in securing senior-level buy-in. This may include items such as:

  • increase the number of people reading news stories by 30%
  • reduce time spent searching for documents and associated costs by $X***
  • reduce email load by 20%
  • reduce the number of systems people use to find information by 70%

*** This can be a powerful dollar figure that shows a clear return on investment. McKinsey predicts the average employee spends 1.8 hours searching for information a day.  Based on this, you can demonstrate a conservative estimate of 30 mins wasted on search a day.  The average Australian weekly wage is $1659. If you take this average and calculate the cost of each employee wasting 30 mins a day and multiply that by the number of employees in your organisation (we will use 200 for this example) that could be costing a business $1,194,480 a year on lost employee time.

2. Identify your key stakeholders

There is no doubt employees may be at the top of the list being the end-users in this stance. However, you'll need to address a variety of stakeholder concerns and expectations. To do this, start by identifying who your key stakeholders are and what will most appeal to them. Stakeholders to consider:

  • IT staff
  • communications
  • human resources
  • management

stakeholders

In some cases, stakeholders are brought into the journey at a later stage after the product demo and this could make convincing them of the value of your purchase more challenging. If possible, bringing stakeholders on the journey early on and including them in the demo allows them to have their requirements heard and initial concerns addressed.

(More on this and how to address their pain points and shared benefits in a moment)

3. Speak to the bottom-line value

Inefficient work practices can seriously affect an organisation's bottom line, employee satisfaction and employee retention.

According to Gartner’s 1Q19 Global Talent Monitor, work-life balance is currently the top driver of attraction for Australian employees. On the other, unsurprisingly, employees reaching burn-out was one of the top factors cited for leaving organisations in Hay’s HRG report. Decluttering work practices and creating better efficiency in administrative, low-value yet time-intensive tasks can go a long way in helping employee frustrations and daily satisfaction.

Modern intranets - or digital workplaces - can empower an entire organisation to be as productive as possible while supporting greater flexibility and remote working.

These gains come about through improved communication, enabling collaboration and simplifying other common processes.. Surveys can be a great way to measure these improvements and validate a need for an improved modern intranet.

4. Spotlight the indirect benefits

A convincing business case should speak to direct costs, savings and quantifiable objectives, while also highlighting the indirect benefits it can serve. Employee engagement is a prime example of this and should be discussed in relation to the organisation’s bottom line and safeguarding its talent.

Engaged employees are those who feel a connection to the organisation, an understanding of their role and its importance in the organisation's strategy. They're the ones who are likely to work harder and better through 'discretionary effort' - that little extra something that they choose to give because they feel like part of the team.

Discretionary efforts among employees, however, are at their lowest point since 2014. Garter’s 2019 Global Talent Monitor revealed only 15.7% of employees reported high discretionary efforts when performing their roles. This highlights a serious need for organisations to re-engage employees and assist where possible in streamlining their work processes.

Improving employee engagement also reduces 'presenteeism' - the ones who aren't actively disengaged, and may even be happy at work, but are really giving you the bare minimum to get by.

Chances are that increasing engagement in your organisation will produce not just a healthier bottom line, it will lift motivation and wellbeing across your employees and make it easier to retain staff. In fact, Gallup has found companies that invest in their employees outperform those that don’t by 4x higher average profit.

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5. Showcase solutions to pain points

We're all in this together, so consider all areas of your business, whether sales, IT, human resources or finance, and how they might benefit from a modern intranet.

Consult with each key department in your organisation. Find out what their 'pain points' are and explore how a modern intranet would make their own jobs easier, more productive and enjoyable. Solutions to pain points may include:

  • Ability to create and schedule content at speed for communication managers, and a lightened workload for IT managers.
  • Fewer emails and better communication channels that reach employees with relevant information to do their jobs.
  • Greater transparency and access to information and resources in a centralised location.
  • Effective collaboration tools and digital channels that can support formal meetings and casual social gatherings like virtual coffees, passion-related online communities, or digital water cooler rooms to keep employees feeling connected.

Navigating through shared pain points and finding measurable solutions will not only showcase far-reaching business value, it will also increase your chances of achieving stakeholder buy-in. If done well, a modern intranet can become an essential part of the organisational culture.

A modern intranet can create the fabric that continues to keep your organisation feeling connected, engaged, and productive while remote working. Your business case can help to identify and improve key factors that impact your organisation’s bottom line, making it a convincing solution for senior stakeholders.

To explore how a modern intranet may increase value in your organisation, contact us to schedule a demo.

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