It’s true: your employees likely hate your Intranet and it’s probably getting in the way of efficiency. Enterprise companies use their Intranets to communicate internally, yet a study shows that the majority of employees are dissatisfied with their enterprise social media.

Prescient Digital Media’s The State of the Social Intranet 2012 report delves into the state of enterprise Intranets, their functionality and, most importantly, how employees use them (and feel about them). And when it comes to employee Intranet satisfaction, well, it’s not very widespread. Here’s a closer look:

Only 22% of organizations rate employee satisfaction with Intranet 2.0 tools as good or very good.17% of organizations rate executive satisfaction with Intranet 2.0 tools as good or very good, and only 19% of organizations rate their overall satisfaction with Intranet 2.0 tools as good or very good. Bottom line, at all levels of the enterprise, satisfaction with Intranets is pretty dismal. And when it comes to employees at all levels, we all know that if they don’t like it, they don’t use it.

Forrester’s study published this past February entitled “SharePoint Enters Its Awkward Teenage Years” also substantiates the basic findings discussed here and, more importantly, explores whether SharePoint, the key component of many enterprise companies’ social and content operations, has what it takes to deliver on customers’ needs for mobile, cloud and social now and in the future.

If you’re an enterprise company using an Intranet system, this might be an opportune time to examine your employee satisfaction with the tools. Many Intranets include social components like blogs, discussion forums, wikis and commenting and are often precursors to external adoption. For many of our clients, we find that a company Intranet can be a training ground for employees, managers and senior leaders to understand how to interact socially amongst one another and teach them the basic premises of blogging and sharing thought leadership in a “comfortable” space. Thus, Intranets can play a big role when it comes to getting your team members comfortable with content creation and social networking and engagement.

My take? Companies that understand the importance of creating a dynamic Intranet experience for their employees can ultimately make the transition from internal social to external social exponentially easier. As with anything, it takes the commitment and buy-in of senior leaders, spending money to buy the right kind of system, investing in ongoing training and support and making a commitment to continual change and adaptation as the web continues to force growth and capability online.

And as you decide what system to implement and/or upgrade to, don’t overlook the power and importance of gathering feedback from your employees and execs. Remember to reach out to your connection base on LinkedIn and in other peer groups and ask people about their experiences. You’ll find plenty of SharePoint users, because up to now that’s been the choice of IT leaders, but you’ll likely also find Yammer users, as well as advocates of Jive, Box, IBM and Google.

Like any digital tool, a company Intranet is something that constantly evolves to better serve users, so it’s important to make sure you’re giving your employees a platform that works beyond document collaboration and delivers a user experience that makes your team members excited about using it instead of groaning at the thought.

Are you surprised by the study findings? Are you an Intranet user? Which one and how do you like it?

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