Intranet and corporate culture – how does that fit together?

Why a kicker does not help to change the corporate culture and how a social intranet helps to make the corporate culture visible, you will learn in this blog post.

Ulf Kossol
published on 27. February 2020

With the introduction of the intranet in the company, the possibilities of communication and information change – in many companies new possibilities are added which did not exist before. The CEO blogs in the Management Blog. Communities are founded from a central location. But all too often we observe that the creation of the CEO blog does not, or only slightly, lead to employees commenting. Working methods and practices do not or hardly change at all due to the introduction of social functions. The same is true for the kicker that is placed in the employees’ hands, but which hardly receives any attention.

But why do these attempts to change the corporate culture not work?

What we often hear as consultants in companies is something like “We don’t have the right mindset for this” or “Our corporate culture is different there, it won’t work”.

But the organization is what influences the corporate culture. Processes, instructions and guidelines exist in companies, how they are lived is what shapes the corporate culture. Will I be reprimanded by my colleagues or by my manager if I publicly express my opinion? I will not do so. The phrase “We’ve always done it this way?” is a common one, isn’t it? Yes, and this is where the corporate culture comes in. After all, culture is ultimately what is normal in the organization, not what is dictated by management or a set of rules.

So the question we have to ask ourselves in order to make changes in the corporate culture is

“What situation must be created so that the organization can deal with this way of working?”

Practices, processes and regulations must be dismantled so that both managers and employees can develop freely and can best solve customer challenges and not hide behind regulations.

Now you could say that this view is very narrow-minded and yet individual employees in the company are rebelling against rules and practices and not abiding by them. And, of course, there are those who have developed their own culture for individual employees and teams who, contrary to invisible practices and visible ways of working, have developed their own culture for themselves. They do so either incognito or even legitimized by official bodies. Exceptions confirm the rule. And they are even a great opportunity here.

With regard to our Social Intranet, this means that the Social Intranet can make visible which corporate culture is lived in the company. Are there more open or more closed groups? Are employees therefore more cautious and prefer not to give too much away or is transparency the predominant value, which is also lived in the Social Intranet. Does management welcome the fact that a proportion of working time is spent in communities and that cross-functional discussions on topics are held with other departments, or do employees really have to intrinsically want to do this and make it possible in their free time so that work is still done? And to get back to the kicker: are the 10 minutes of kickers deducted from the working time or is the exchange with colleagues encouraged and even welcomed in a relaxed, fun environment in order to push highly concentrated Excel lists again afterwards and to serve customer wishes with a new fresh approach?

What opportunities does the introduction of an intranet offer for changes in the way we work with each other and how these changes affect the corporate culture? This and the opportunity to exchange views on these influencing factors is offered by our interactive session on “Corporate Culture: How the Social Intranet can contribute to change” on March 18th and 19th, 2020 at our #boostyourintranet Masterclass in Berlin. We are looking forward to meeting you!