Thanks for visiting the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) website. You'll see this post may refer to the "Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF)," the "Digital Workplace Forum (DWF)" or "IBF Live." But that doesn't match our website name!
In a nutshell, we merged IBF and DWF into one service and changed our name to "Digital Workplace Group." The new name represents the broader set of services we've grown to offer, beyond an original focus on just intranets. We also changed the name of our monthly webinar from "IBF Live" to "Digital Workplace Live."
Although we've relabelled things, we're proud of our decade+ history and have left this page intact. Enjoy your time on our site and please contact us with any questions or comments.
In a post last month, Sam Marshall talked about some recurring patterns in intranet strategy and governance. Having recently joined the IBF benchmarking team, I’ve been digging around in the archives to see how members fare in another area of the IBF benchmarking model: communication and culture. This looks at how well the intranet supports the culture of the organisation and functions as a two-way communication channel.
Looking at how organisations score, one of the weakest areas within communication and culture is how effective the intranet is at making employees feel informed about what’s going on and that they can contribute to the organisation. The themes arising here where scores are weak include:
- The intranet is seen as a one-way channel to push information and communication to employees, with other channels (often email) used for getting employee input and feedback.
- A lack of visibility of senior executives online and, even where they are visible, a lack of opportunities for employees to engage in two-way discussions with them.
- Surveys and polls may be run from time-to-time, but a lack of ongoing opportunities for discussion.
- Where two-way communication does happen it is carefully managed and edited by internal communications.
- Corporate strategy is not clearly communicated via the intranet.
Recommendations for improving employee involvement on the intranet depend very much on the culture of the organisation, and include:
- Making sure that senior leaders are visible online and enabling employees to interact with them (e.g. – via online chat or Q&A sessions)
- Introducing less formal two-way communication options, such as the ability for employees to comment on news articles and internal blogs.
- Facilitated discussion boards that allow employees to discuss business-related issues. Discussions may be pan-organisational, or focus around a particular event or area of the business.
- Gathering feedback from internal cascades or team briefings via the intranet.
- Where employee questions and concerns are answered via email or in face-to-face sessions (e.g. – town hall), posting them, along with the answers and any additional follow-up material, to the intranet