- 93% of employees prioritize new communication tools rather than the same old meetings.
- 66% of engaged workers work in a healthy culture
- Annually, $370 billion is lost as productivity cost due to disengaged workers
Benchmarking is the process of comparing something – a company’s product or services – with impartial metrics or industry standards.
Benchmarking helps company accomplish two things:
- Create an “apple to apple comparisons” of intranets and digital workspaces and…
- Offer detailed recommendations for improvement.
Types of Benchmarking
Although experts say there are several types of benchmarking, there are only two main types: “informal benchmarking” and “formal benchmarking.”
1. Informal benchmarking:
This type of benchmarking is what we mostly do unconsciously when at work or at home.
Whether it is how to cook a better dinner, how to use a software tool, or play our favorite game, we are always learning from comparisons and from the behaviors and best practices of others.
Most of our learning comes through either:
- Talking with our colleagues and learning from their experience during coffee breaks and networking are great ways to learn from others.
- Consulting with business consultants who have experience of implementing a process or activity in business.
- Visiting and participating in Internet forums, conferences, and seminars.
- Online websites and database that share benchmarking information to learn best practices and benchmarks.
2. Formal benchmarking
Formal benchmarking can be divided into two types – performance and best practice benchmarking.
- Performance benchmarking: This formal benchmarking involves comparing the performance levels of an organization for a specific process. The resulting information can be used to improve and/or set performance goals. This benchmarking may involve the comparison of financial measures (cost of labor, the cost of energy, revenue collected, etc) and non-financial measures (staff turnover, budget processing time, absenteeism, call center performance).
- Best practice benchmarking: This formal benchmarking involved searching for and studying organization who are considered to be high performers in some particular field of interest. Knowledge gained through this study is taken back to the organization, and if they’re feasible and appropriate, these best and high performing practices are implemented into organizations’ own practices. It involves the whole process of identifying, analyzing, and implementing best practices.
Who uses Benchmarking?
In the west, most large companies use benchmarking as a tool to continuously learn and improve their systems such as an intranet and digital workspaces.
The resources required to carry out regular benchmarking properly and in a way that maximizes the efforts may be huge, and that’s why it is used more frequently inside large organizations.
In addition, there are usability vendors offering best practice benchmarking services to all organizations (small or large) who may not have the required resources.
7 Ways to Use Benchmark Your Intranet Performance:
1. Get invaluable input to build intranet strategy and roadmap
Your usability vendor identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your intranet and/or digital workspaces and builds a roadmap that tells you what you should do next.
Vendors use detailed information resulting from benchmarking assessments to make important decisions such as where to go and what to do with the intranet and digital workspaces.
Their years of experience of evaluating large companies’ intranet and digital workspaces means you’ll get impartial, accurate, and expert recommendations.
2. Know where the intranet is currently, and then work on it
This step gives you a clear idea of where your intranet is now so that necessary action can be taken to improve it.
If you benchmark your intranet just before implementing a major change, and then right after it, it will give you a crystal clear measure for improvement.
And when this type of benchmarking is performed repeatedly, it provides consistency you can depend on.
3. Cut through the Internal Politics
Benchmarking provides impartial and accurate feedback that is capable of supporting business cases and influence senior management decisions.
Internal politics happening inside an organization often hinders purpose and decision making.
This is why benchmarking evaluation is a vital tool as it gives organizations impartial and accurate data about intranet.
4. Compare with other intranets objectively
This will help answer mission critical question: How well your intranet is performing compared with your competitors/peers?
Usability vendors use reliable framework for every benchmarking evaluations they perform.
This way, you’ll often get true apples to apples comparisons of your intranet or digital workspaces with your peers.
Their regularly updated league tables and comparative scoring practices show exactly how well you are measuring up to other large companies.
5. Show proof of bad news about Intranet to justify your expenditure
Sometimes, you need bad news to motivate people to take action.
For this, you’ll have to provide concrete evidence to the board of a poorly designed intranet or why it is lagging behind in order justify needed investments.
Benchmarking frameworks are platform-neutral, impartial, and deliver accurate information to help improve your existing intranet.
To ensure consistent scoring, you can even place a second benchmarker to review every evaluation.
This way, you’ll get unmatched honesty.
Although the truth may hurt, but at least it can justify needed investments.
6. Provide proof of intranet’s value to validate improvements
Provide proof of intranet’s value and how it can do even more for the company.
Over the years, usability vendors have slowly and steadily evolved their benchmarking methodology, which keeps them current and also gives accurate feedback.
If your intranet is truly wonderful, that’ll show in the benchmarking scores.
7. Help new members of your team get up to speed
This step helps a new member of a large organization know where the team is and where they need to be.
In large and complex organizations, intranet teams are constantly shifting and changing.
A benchmarking report provides a reliable measure that gives new members an objective assessment.
This makes them clear about the strengths and weaknesses of the intranet and how it compares with the industry standards.