The business world is changing – constantly changing. The intranet is a perfect example of how much the world of business has changed since intranets were introduced to ensure smooth and easy workplace communication. The painfully slow modem and hefty telephone that used to mean so much back in the day are long gone. Thanks to the ever-changing nature of the business world, modern social intranet systems have revolutionized workplace communication.

Currently, the intranet is very similar to the social networks that we use to connect with loved ones and friends, complete with functionalities that have immensely advanced employee engagement.

It is still important for managers to keep in touch with their subordinates in addition to improving communication between staffs in any organization, even if the methods have changed. One way to achieve cohesion and a smooth working atmosphere devoid of tension or miscommunication is to maintain an open channel for easy communication.

Below are 8 easy practices  you can put in place to improve communication and employee engagement in the workplace:

1. Simple Can be Perfect!

The amazing thing about modern intranets is that they are highly customizable and, as a result, companies can do a lot with functionality and usability. In fact, a company may choose to set up their own social network that is both completely unique and adaptable to the company’s ideologies and policies.

But, as they say, you can have too much of a good thing. Some companies may be tempted to take this customizability a notch too far – creating social communication networks that are complex to navigate and difficult to grasp. While sophistication should not be discouraged, in matters of communication, simple is always best. An intranet that is simple and easy to navigate will ensure that communication is swift, easy and encouraged.

2. Solicit For Feedback

One way to find out how your employees really feel about the systems you have in place is to ask for their opinion via a survey. Contrary to what some people may think, surveys are still an effective means of gathering information. However, the goal should be to make the survey as easy and simple to complete as possible.

When designing a survey, ensure that it is straightforward yet open-ended. Soliciting for a few “yes” or “no” answers may not really do the trick, but also keep in mind that a long survey will discourage employees from completing it. Bottom line, keep the surveys simple.

3. Offer Training

While managers may shrink from the idea of offering extra training to employees due to its time-consuming and sometimes expensive nature, a well-prepared training can be very beneficial to employees.

One good approach is to offer in-person group training. To begin, employees may be put into various groups to explore the features of the intranet network and ask questions as they arise. Make yourself available to answer questions during the course of the training. Employees will learn to engage with the intranet together, which will considerably improve communication and reduce confusion in the workplace.

4. Travel More

In this day and age, when social media and electronic communication has robbed many employees of the opportunity to travel and connect with people face-to-face. No electronic system can totally replace real communication and the social skills that are developed by actually going out to close deals, meet people and attend events. Managers should endeavor to raise the travel allowances of their employees to enable them to attend more one-on-one meetings. This can greatly reduce miscommunication and foster valuable personal relationships.

5. Lay Down the Rules

For an intranet system to be effective, employees should know what they are responsible for and what roles they ought to assume. Ideas can be misconstrued due to poor or insufficient communication from the managers to the team of staff regarding roles and responsibilities.

Harness the power of your company’s social network by creating a page or window that reminds employees of their part in a project or task, what is expected of them and when it should be delivered.

6. Allow Your Employees to Work Remotely

Remote working is a surefire way to boost employee communication. You can also accord employees days off where groups or teams can hold meetings via the intranet or other social networks while in different physical locations. This will enable them to engage and interact with the company’s intranet system.

7. Be an Example

If you don’t use the intranet to its fullest potential, your employees are likely to follow suit. Instead of making a verbal announcement from your desk, pop up on the company’s intranet to lead discussions, open forums, and request reports. Likewise, delegating duties to members of your staff via the intranet can help them keep in touch and engaged with the system.

8. Keep It Lively

Work can be stressful, and employees can feel the heat during a long and tasking day. The intranet can also be used to ease any workplace tension and keep things fun and social.

A good way to achieve this is to post a funny video or meme that can start a conversation or encourage a reaction from employees. Also, special boards can be created for employees to share personal experiences or funny moments of their own.