Intranets are one of our favourite solutions to create for our clients.
Why? Because they can have an incredible amount of influence on corporate processes, have the ability to transform organisations from the inside out and ultimately can provide a great return on investment.
Discussing an intranet is a fascinating conversation, typically there are preconceived ideas on what an intranet is and what it can do for an organisation or business. Unlike a public facing website, most people don't get huge exposure to different intranets, and are likely to not have had first hand experience of a high functioning or effective one. They can also vary depending on where you’ve worked due to the needs of your organisation and how the intranet was set to address those needs.
What someone thinks of when hearing the word ‘Intranet’ and what we actually mean could be two different things.
An intranet should be unique for the organisation that is using it. That means taking the universal concept of an intranet and applying it to your current business can limit what you can achieve or the value you may think it can have. The aim of an intranet is to provide a dynamic interface including relevant features and functionality that make staff need (and want) to use it every single day based on how your business operates, and their role.
Typically an intranet is a secure network or platform which is used to host basic internal communication, documentation and functionality. It provides the opportunity to increase access to information and provides increased data integrity. When used correctly an intranet can form a key element to a business’s digital ecosystem using a wide range of tools, widgets and applications in one single digital location. This ecosystem should streamline processes, grow and change with an organisation with the overall aim of saving time and money.
15 benefits of an intranet.
- Teams can collaborate easier with open discussions.
- You can get specific and quality feedback from staff.
- Individuals can share knowledge with a broad audience (rather than an email chain that often misses people).
- Leadership can have quick and easy access to the whole organisation.
- Departments can have their own area and manage their own content.
- Two-way communication is achieved using modern techniques (forums, Q&A's, likes and ratings).
- Boosts recognition of staff and work completed.
- Helps employees find relevant (and updated) information quickly.
- Connects your company across locations and time zones.
- Improves employee onboarding processes and training.
- Provides organisational clarity and consistency.
- Reinforces your brand, values and messaging.
- Reduces unnecessary emails and meetings.
- Brings your workplace and culture to life.
- Improves employee engagement, satisfaction and value.
Company intranet features that staff love.
- Document management and collaboration - Within an organised digital space, employees can receive or share files instantly with version control.
- Forms - Get rid of spreadsheets and time-consuming data input methods.
- Workflows - Coordinate actions and milestones in an organised manner.
- Custom integrations - Include the system or software you’re already using as a company and create custom integrations to allow staff quick access easier than ever.
- Smart searching - The more efficient your search is, the faster and more likely employees are to see and find the information available to them.
- Dashboard functionality - Give staff a personalised experience with their own dashboard that includes a notification panel, checklists with tasks outstanding and project status'.
- Event management - Avoid those awkward coffee room conversations with staff who, “didn’t get the memo”. Manage attendance and standardise event submissions with a quality event management system.
- Team workspaces - Teams and departments can stop using massive email chains and start using a central hub or space to discuss and manage their next project.
- Mobile responsive functionality - It goes without saying that you need something that works with mobile, especially as organisations are focussing more on remote access for staff on the move.
- Recognition content - Although most people are modest in this regard, recognition is about building community and connection amongst the team (and letting people know what is going on around the company). Recognition areas are an effective feature of a personalised intranet.
- Well-populated profiles - Help connect your team with staff profiles that are more than a name and phone number. These can have photos (recent ones) and creative bio's that reflect your organisation’s personality as well as breaks down walls between leadership and staff.
- Dynamic widgets - Give content admin the power to customise and update the look and feel or provide regular updates to areas within the intranet, avoiding that retro 90's feel from something literally last updated from the same era.
- News modules - Let the team know what’s going on around them, especially when it is material that can’t be shared with the public (like winning a new contract or deal).
- Social tools - Give your team the ability to communicate across regions and offices with your very own controlled online community.
What type of intranet should you have?
It is important to consider the options, you may be looking for a file repository as the basis for your intranet or possibly wanting to integrate with something like Microsoft SharePoint. You might even have a preference for a social network based approach to your intranet with the aim of increasing staff engagement. As part of this thought process and planning it is important to ask staff, "What do they think of when they think of an intranet and what is it that they need from it?" Also, plan to approach an experienced 3rd party (like us) to see how they can build a high value solution that meets employee needs and provides practical daily benefits to your organisation (and a great ROI).
An intranet can still look pretty while doing what you want.
If you're going to go through all the effort of building an intranet, remember you are in the digital world and competing with other digital technology and experiences out there. Your staff are familiar with social media and dynamic functionality that is now expected with anything digital.
“People feel more strongly about the aesthetics of an intranet than you might expect. It’s a value that is hard to reflect in a cost-benefit analysis, but the emotive impact is real.”
[Source CMS Wire]
At Integranet, we approach building an intranet for our clients by first conducting workshops and business analysis to understand holistically your organisation’s needs. We then focus on a quality user expereince and user friendly design to quite simply "keep it pretty". This means we can build an intranet for your Perth business that staff will love to use.
City of Cockburn's intranet is just one of the many projects our team has completed.
Approaching our team for a free consultation can be a great starting point for building a custom intranet that works. Let us know what you would like to achieve and we will find ways to ensure it is an extra-mile digital solution worth doing.