Using an Intranet for Organizational Development

In this, my third blog post in a series on solving business problems with intranets, I’m writing about how a custom intranet can help with organizational development.

Finding and retaining good people has never been more important than it is right now. Even with the massive labor market dislocation that has affected our economy since 2008, attracting the right people who are qualified is still quite a challenge. Key concerns of prospective employees, especially the newest generation of workers, include:

  • How will they be developed?
  • What is their career path?
  • What training opportunities are available?
  • What kind of teammates will they have and how can they learn from them?

Existing employees wonder the same thing, and if your organization is not answering those questions with real solutions, an outside organization most definitely is in an attempt to poach your best and brightest.

The complete answer is broader than just technology, of course, but there are some very interesting ways that an intranet can help.  A few examples:

  1. Training management. An intranet can be used as a repository of online training materials (e.g., video training, archives of live training sessions, and reading material or e-learning content). It can be used as a communication mechanism for information on offline training (e.g., training curriculum descriptions, schedules, etc., and the ability to solicit ideas for other training programs).  Lastly, it can be used as a mechanism to solicit input for training to be developed (e.g., training surveys).
  2. Metrics. Company, department, and individual metrics are a key way to drive growth and development of your firm and people. Not only does display of performance against metrics satisfy management’s desire to measure performance, it can also tap into the trend of “gamification” whereby employees can be more readily engaged to solve problems by turning them into games. Read more about gamification here:
  3. Facilitate social interactions. Intranet based social features can help reduce the friction of new employees meeting and developing relationships with others in the organization. For existing employees, this can ease the ability to find a colleague who can mentor you on a particular skill or facilitate interaction between disbursed teams. For rapidly growing organizations, this can allow existing team members to learn about new team members more quickly and rapidly.
  4. Information management. An intranet can provide a repository where employees can find the information and forms they need for professional development needs (e.g., training plans, professional development opportunities, etc.).

Is people development an interest to your organization? Feel free to contact me to discuss your ideas.

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