Discover the Magic of Top-down and Bottom-up Communications with a Social Intranet

Andrew Kratz

Top-down vs bottom-up... what is it? I often discuss these two terms and the magic that they create inside a community-based intranet.

"Top-down" refers to the traditional intranet messaging originating from corporate communications, HR, IT, and other business units. It includes C-suite leadership and vision messaging, policy updates, and additional key information to keep employees aligned with the companies goals and mission.

"Bottom-up" is the ability for employees to leverage a collaboration platform to self-organize their work in ways that make sense to their department or project team. They can quickly create workspaces and groups that align with their project using appropriate content types and page layouts.

Having both of these occur inside a community platform creates unexpected magic.

Here is how it works.  

Management teams are continually looking to find effective ways to deliver their messaging to their employees. The company intranet is a critical delivery vehicle for this information. Unfortunately, a static intranet is often not very effective. Employees have little reason to spend time on the intranet on a day to day basis. They often do not see the messaging and information presented on the Intranet. However, with a community, everything changes.

Employees leverage the community platform for bottom-up collaboration with their teams and department. They are doing their day to day work on the community. At the same time, top-down content from the management team is produced and presented to the staff. The odds of employees consuming this corporate content significantly increases because they are all part of the same platform. Additionally, since a community encourages interaction, employees engage with the content by commenting, liking, and sharing it with their peers. This is the networking effect which further promotes the content across the company.

By having employees consume more of the corporate messaging, they are more likely to be aligned with the company's mission and be more engaged with company goals. This is the magic of a community in action when you leverage the platform as your intranet.