The Importance & Benefits of Using an LMS as Your Employee Intranet
Sarah Greesonbach | 12 min read
Here’s a fundamental truth of success that’s hard to plan for:
As your company grows, so does its organizational data. And as your organizational data increases, the need for making that data easily accessible by everyone within the organization becomes increasingly important — and harder to do.
That’s why so many organizations are making it a priority to set up an intranet system.
What’s an intranet system? It’s a local or private network where employees can store, organize, and share information related to their work. It’s similar to creating a “Wikipedia”-style site that’s restricted to employees within your organization, where you can keep company data and internal communications accessible.
There’s just one thing — intranets are so popular today that there are endless options for organizations to consider. And with all of those options come concerns for security, ease of implementation, and employee usability. Which is why we’re so excited to share how companies are using LMS platforms like Wisetail to create powerful, accessible intranet systems.
How an LMS can power up your Intranet
What is the purpose of an LMS in this context? Using an LMS platform like Wisetail to build your company’s intranet allows you to organize your information in an accessible and flexible way. In fact, using your LMS in this way builds upon the importance of intranet systems, as it directs employees back to one single source of information for engaging with company data. This benefits both the organization and the individual employee because:
- The company maintains an organized and up-to-date source of information
- Your employees have access to the data they need when they need it
The purpose of an LMS and the purpose of intranet systems are similar in this regard, which is why many larger organizations may have an intranet in place, or an LMS, or both, but not yet merged them to be as useful as possible.
When integrated within your company intranet, an LMS can be much more than ‘just’ a place to deliver training to your workforce. Leveraging the power of your LMS as an intranet can help streamline communications, increase engagement, and reduce inefficiencies — and more.
Benefits and Disadvantages of an LMS as an Intranet
You don’t have to enroll in an intranet course to discover that using an LMS in this way isn’t the right fit for every company. Understanding intranet advantages and disadvantages is an important part of deciding whether or not the benefits of intranet systems outweigh the disadvantages of intranet systems, such as the cost of setting it up, implementing it, and maintaining it. Otherwise, your employee intranet CMS (content management system) won’t be a worthwhile investment.
First, let’s explore the benefits of using an LMS as an intranet.
Benefit #1 – LMS as a Portal
In a successful company, the technology you use can expand with organizational growth. This leaves many organizations deploying software, apps, and platforms to operate their Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and payroll, employee scheduling, operations and ordering forms, certification facilitation, and more.
In day-to-day operations, this requires employees to remember all the sites, URLs, and unique passwords they need to do their job — and it’s very inefficient. Using an LMS as an intranet allows you to condense some of those operations into one system. It also allows you to corral those sites and passwords out of employee email and into one single system of record, giving employees immediate, one-click access to every external system or resource they might need.
Sugarfina has created a portal for its employees to quickly access additional sites and resources.
Benefit #2 – LMS as a Document Repository
One of the biggest benefits of intranet CMS is the ability to establish a document repository. When information is easily accessible, workers can spend more time getting their work done, rather than wasting time searching for files or data they can’t seem to find.
At Wisetail, the fundamental goal is to create a platform that allows you to engage with your modern workforce on a daily basis. Wisetail gives you the space to upload and/or embed forms, documents, reference materials, and more in order to build the basis of an employee intranet CMS.
Utilizing your LMS to host employee onboarding and offboarding documents, such as checklists, forms, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and flow charts gives employees quick and easy access to all these resources and tools within one system.
Many of our current clients have taken this a step further and broken out all of this information into department-specific buckets. Users can log in to the system and navigate directly to their department within the repository, where they have immediate access to any and all information regarding updates, processes, and more.
MM.LaFleur’s LMS – MMoxie – incorporates all of their documentation within their Resource Library.
Benefit #3 – LMS as a Job Board
If your organization makes it a point to promote from within, it’s critical to the efficiency of your hiring cycles that you make employees aware of the opportunities that are available. Whereas under normal circumstances your HR team might circulate an open listing among a few managers who might be able to make a recommendation, using your LMS as a job board builds transparency in your hiring practices and ensures that all employees have access to the same information and opportunities.
Whether an employee wants to interview for a job today, or plan for their possible career path tomorrow, using your LMS as a job board is a great way to ensure your talented team members have the information they need to make decisions about their employment with your organization.
Wisetail ensures that all of our employees are aware of internal job opportunities through Apex.
Potential Disadvantages of an Intranet
When an organization installs an intranet from scratch, potential disadvantages include the cost associated with set-up, licensing, and time to implement. It can also be challenging to facilitate change management within your company and get employees and managers committed to using the new tool regularly.
How to Set Up an Intranet so Employees Use It
One of the biggest challenges associated with using an LMS as an intranet is figuring out how to set up an intranet system in a way that employees will embrace and use it regularly. However, this is a common hurdle for any new software that can be addressed with change management best practices like the following:
- Communicate the change clearly and support employees with all of the information they need to use the programs (“Here’s your new password and login for the intranet tool! If you have any trouble with it, set up a quick video call with our tech support person for personalized instructions”)
- Explain the new expectations for employees and how it will be enforced (“We’re no longer using email to communicate about X, so if you email instead of using the Intranet, we’ll refer you to the Intranet post about it”)
- Show clear examples and use cases for how employees can use the new tool for their specific role (“In your role, you can pull up the intranet for all of your sales calls to have convenient access to all of our current promotions, deals, and sales assets you can send potential clients”)
- Reinforce the new behaviors by sending regular intranet updates (“To support this roll out, we’ve scheduled weekly newsletters featuring new content on the intranet and how your coworkers are using it to streamline their tasks”)
An intranet is a powerful tool that can support employees in a wide variety of roles within an organization. But tools are only as effective as they are applied to the work employees do — so it’s critical to support any LMS-as-intranet initiative with long-term change management and behavioral cues that drive real adoption among employees.
Grow, Retain, and Empower Your Workforce
There are an endless number of intranet solutions and LMS platforms available on the market today. The sheer number of document management and collaboration tools you could use to help your organization succeed is almost overwhelming. The most important part of this process is finding a platform and a partner that can be customized to what your organization needs today, while being flexible to what your organization might need tomorrow.
At Wisetail, we’ve helped hundreds of organizations to build internal LMS and intranet systems that streamline documentation, training tools, job opportunities, and one-click access to external systems. We’re proud to partner with companies like yours to help you grow, retain, and empower the passionate workforce that makes you unique.
BY SARAH GREESONBACH
Sarah is a writer for Wisetail. By analyzing and condensing cutting-edge research and data, she helps L&D professionals develop their instincts and arrive at actionable insights for employee engagement and training. She loves to consider the possibilities of humanizing, organizing, and minimalizing all things HR.