5 Major Intranet Challenges to Avoid and How to Solve Them

Intranets are highly overlooked communication tools. Let us teach you to harness them for better employee satisfaction.

August 2, 2023
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When we hear the word, 'intranet,’ it’s easy to picture some outdated tech from the dawn of the digital age. However, it's far from that. In fact, many forward-thinking businesses are using intranets as key communication tools. 

Here's why: Forbes reports that 49% of workers believe poor communication reduces their overall productivity. So, what's the fix? Intranet systems. With their potent knowledge-sharing abilities, they've become secret weapons for creating more efficient work environments.

While intranets have their perks, they also have potential downsides. But the right intranet tool, customized for your organization, can help you overcome these challenges.

This article outlines the potential hurdles of intranets and provides practical solutions to them. With this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to fully harness the benefits of an intranet system and integrate it effectively into your workplace.

Intranet 101: What Is an Intranet? 

An Intranet is a private network that is used to share company information between staff quickly and securely. You can think of it as an internal website for employees. The primary goal of these tools is enhanced communication, but modern systems are a lot more than that. Intranets now include everything from knowledge bases to reward platforms and news bulletins. 

These software act as a central hub for all necessary workplace information, boosting productivity by eliminating the time employees spend daily searching for data and colleagues.

However, as useful as that is, they weren't always that way. 

intranet description

History of the Intranet

The first intranet services that came into the scene in the nineties were basic. Most were essentially digital employee handbooks containing little more than a welcome page, important company information, and contact details. They were all boring, with plain text and a flat look. 

Those systems were called 'Enterprise Information Portals' and comprised bulky applications that were difficult to install and update. This combination made using them challenging and caused most of them to be abandoned by employees as they weren't worth all that stress. 

Later, intranets evolved to be more dynamic and took advantage of the internet. They moved past being static bulletin boards, allowing more employee engagement and collaboration. When cloud-based integrations became possible, various intranet features like knowledge bases were incorporated. 

These little innovations all led up to the modern intranet

These systems bundle robust knowledge bases, data analytics, and rewards programs into one tailored experience. Each feature encourages effective communication without distracting employees from their duties.

Intranet Advantages

Did you know that 89% of workers search between 1 to 6 sources for information to do their jobs effectively? According to Coveo, this takes about three hours daily, which could be better spent being productive.

Intranets consolidate your various information silos into one comprehensive platform, ensuring that your employees focus on things that matter. That improves your employee experience in many ways. We'll look at a few here:

  1. Enhanced Internal Communication

The main advantage of adopting an intranet is to improve internal team collaboration. Intranets enable your company to consolidate all workplace communication. That makes it easy to navigate your company's ecosystem and engage with other employees.

Workplace teams that communicate effectively could see an increase in productivity as high as 25%. With the integration of an Intranet like Assembly, your employees can provide better quality work in shorter times. 

Multinational corporations would benefit from a unified communication platform to keep all employees informed regardless of their time zones.

  1. Easy Access to Information

Many modern intranets incorporate knowledge bases and data analytics to enable swift access to important company information. Everything from general announcements to employee directories and handbooks is easily gotten with these tools. Some tools even offer integration to other content and human resource management systems. 

By leveraging the concise information on these systems, your employees can make better decisions and be more productive. This will also improve customer service, as client information can be called up swiftly on intranet directories. 

  1. Seamless Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding is usually a time-intensive process undertaken by a few employees. This pulls them away from their usual jobs for the period taken to assimilate the new hires into your company's ecosystem. A modern intranet can resolve this resource-draining activity. 

Quick onboarding materials can be uploaded into your intranet for new hires. These would include employee handbooks and contact details of vital staff. These systems can carry the brunt of onboarding, letting your employees focus on other matters. 

  1. Reduction of Unnecessary Meetings 

Meetings should be held moderately as they are the number one killer of office productivity. Whether physical or virtual, most accomplish little, wasting time and draining energy. 

With an intranet, announcements can be passed on to the general news board. Employee opinions and feedback can be collected through anonymous surveys. Assembly even offers an idea portal to ensure that workplace brilliance is not overlooked. 

Intranets help employees collaborate and make suggestions without passing through anxiety-inducing meetings. 

  1. Improved Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is closely linked to morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. Engaged workers are more likely to care about the company's welfare beyond their paycheck. These workers would be more committed to your business goals, so managers aim to foster that in their employees. 

Intranets as platforms for employee interaction help build that sense of being part of a team. This is instrumental in building engagement, leading to increased company retention and higher productivity. 

Intranet Disadvantages

What are some disadvantages of the intranet? That is probably the question on your mind right now. With all the benefits of intranet software listed here, you might be waiting for the catch. Well, every rose has its thorns. Here are some drawbacks of using intranet technology in your office:

  1. Excessive Information

The primary purpose of an intranet is to provide a unified location for company information. This strength can also be a weakness. Employees can easily be overwhelmed and confused with all the information in one place. 

This becomes worse if the intranet isn't adequately optimized. The result is that workers would stop using the system, returning to the inefficient communication tools that they're used to. 

  1. Vulnerability to Security Breaches

One frequently asked question about these systems is, 'What are the risks of intranet projects?' This is a major one. 

It is another issue with consolidating company information in one location. With multiple data stores, a hacker must hack all of them individually to access confidential information. However, once an intranet has been breached, all an organization's information is laid bare.

A ready-made software like Assembly comes with adequate security measures to prevent these breaches, but a self-built one may not. Keep this in mind if you're building an intranet on your own. 

  1. Difficult Adoption Process

You'll have to educate your employees on how to use every new technology introduced to your workplace. Most intranets, however, are a bit more complex. 

These systems usually require a complete overhaul of your business's communication methods. That means you'll spend hours of valuable time educating your workers on the features of the software. This would be better spent elsewhere. 

Intranet Challenges and Their Solutions

Intranet projects do have their disadvantages, but it should be evident that the benefits far outweigh them. This software benefits every company as increased communication, centralized information, and enhanced productivity are vital. 

These disadvantages can all be overcome by an optimized system. So the question now should be: 'How can I make my intranet better?' We're going to help out with that.

You need an intranet solution that can handle all your communication needs. One that is easy to use without compromising on vital features like knowledge bases and human resource management. Your company may be able to build one in-house, but you'd be better off with Assembly as it ticks all these boxes. 

We'll walk you through some challenges you will likely face while setting up your intranet. We'll also show you how they can be resolved with Assembly. 

  1. Employee Engagement 

The most common challenge to an intranet is low employee interaction. That is a problem because users make these systems work, filling them with the information they provide. 

Employees are more likely to stop using an intranet that is unintuitive and unhelpful to their activities. They'll log in less once they find easier ways to get the information they need. 

With Assembly, your employees are greeted by a user-friendly interface with intuitive controls. Thanks to the global enterprise search feature, a simple query calls up the information you need from Assembly and all your connected tools. 

You can also access surveys and a rewards center with 100+ retailer gift cards and swag to increase engagement. Let your employees know that they matter. 

  1. Hidden Costs

When building an intranet, it is easy to jump in without complete knowledge of all the costs. That can become a problem halfway through.

You'll have to develop every application yourself, purchase some equipment, and train tech support for it. Every needed feature adds more development time, which could cost you. 

The perfect solution is a ready-made, cloud-based alternative like Assembly. You get a clear price on your intranet that is likely cheaper than a self-built one. Reliable tech support and seamless integration with all your other tools are bonuses. 

  1. Irrelevant Information

With a centralized communication platform, one challenge you are likely to face is information overload. Your employees would be surrounded by news and messages that are irrelevant to their jobs which would only hamper productivity. 

Assembly gives you a few ways to resolve this. The message editor lets you choose who can view, comment, or post announcements. This ensures that your information only gets to the intended recipients. 

The communication avenues are also optimized with personal channels different from the general feed. You can also curate your integrations to select only the essentials. 

  1. Intranet Management

Intranets need to be continually managed and updated as necessary. You should assign a manager or a team to curate the contents of your system. This ensures that your information remains relevant to your workers, conserving employee interaction. 

Is an intranet difficult to maintain? Not with Assembly, it isn't. 

You'll also worry about equipment maintenance and app support with a self-built system. Assembly takes all that off your hands. You can focus on enhancing your employee engagement, and we'll handle the rest. 

  1. Expansion Readiness

Your choice of intranet should last the lifespan of your business. You don't want to outgrow your system after investing all that time and energy optimizing it. This is a major issue for self-built tools.

Assembly is aware of this. That's why it has various plans to cater to your business, regardless of size. These packages come with increasing levels of automation and tools you will need as your company expands.

Enhancing Employee Collaboration with Assembly 

An intranet is a gift that keeps on giving. While the setup and initial adoption can be tricky, the benefits are worth all that effort. These systems provide efficient communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration for businesses of all sizes. 

Your choice of intranet software is crucial to its effectiveness in your company. It can determine if you succumb to these challenges or you overcome them. We hope you do the latter.

Choose a scalable intranet system with seamless integration, effective communication capabilities, and an extensive reward program. Choose Assembly! 


Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered