The idea of a next-generation intranet has led to a variety of approaches including the use of social networks to increase personalization and interaction within the intranet to the use of gamification to increase participation. Although these approaches have increased the functionality of the corporate intranet, they have not fully unlocked the potential knowledge benefits of bringing employees and information together. To take advantage of the benefits of social and gamification, intranets must take an evolutionary leap that takes advantage both of game mechanics and the strength of interconnected interactions.
Staging the Intranet
From a gamification perspective, one of the most pervasive themes in games is the idea of levels. Nobody starts at Level 99 or Stage 99; we all start at level 1 and move on.
Likewise, there should be an introductory framework or hierarchy of information that is available for new employees that is based on foundational knowledge needed to understand how companies make decisions. By making sure that employees have understood the history and logic behind business policies, new employees can gain greater insight both into how to work within the company and to bring in change if foundational assumptions may be outdated or unnecessary in today's work environment.
These stages should not fully replace the idea of an open intranet, but should be available as an option for employees who are more goal-oriented or focused and may work better with a structured environment or with topics associated with multiple layers of business logic. By providing areas that can be unlocked through interaction or by downloading specific combinations of content, companies can create an intranet where every employee in a specific stage shares a specific background.
Intranet as Employee Engagement Tool
In addition, the next generation of intranets should be able to recognize themes associated with content that is viewed or downloaded. If an employee looks up competitive information for several vendors, for instance, the intranet should pick up on this competitive intelligence theme and make multiple suggestions such as: