Modern intranet platforms offer a sleek, consumer-like user experience. They often have an intuitive layout that encourages participation and a news feature that automatically updates every employee with regular, relevant company information.
An intranet also houses all of your company’s important documents in one place, allowing employees to access them quickly and easily. This saves time and increases productivity.
The need for a centralized hub to house all communication channels, processes and information is more important than ever. In the age of Covid-19, working-from-home, and heightened remote work, intranets have risen in popularity as a solid solution to help companies build an effective internal communications and engagement network.
An enterprise intranet is much more than a document-sharing platform, with advanced tools like messaging, forums, media sharing, and a search function, it allows employees to stay up to date on news and events happening across the organization. It should also prioritize personalization, allowing employees to tailor their homepage and content to their interests.
It’s also a great way to break down departmental silos and encourage employee-to-employee engagement. For instance, an intranet can host employee bios and profiles to provide transparency on the company’s talent pool and facilitate organic knowledge sharing as employees connect with each other and share resources. A centralized communication channel also helps to promote common corporate culture and recognition of employee milestones (i.e. “Congratulations Jane on your 3rd year with the company!”). All in all, an intranet helps to bring everyone on the same page, ensuring that every employee has access to what they need.
One of the most important aspects of any intranet is how it facilitates collaboration. Employees need to be able to collaborate in real time with each other regardless of where they are located or what device they are using. Look for an intranet platform that includes chat functions (preferably integrated with the other communication tools your team already uses) as well as file-sharing functionality.
A good intranet will also provide a place for employees to interact with each other and share their ideas and expertise, which helps drive engagement. Employees who feel engaged in the company are more productive and loyal to their employer.
Providing employees with a way to give feedback in a structured manner through surveys and social walls and to showcase their work is another key feature. This encourages innovation and employee satisfaction. A great intranet will also allow for easy integration with other commonly used systems and tools like document management software, project management tools, and email systems. Lastly, look for an intranet solution with advanced analytics functions that help you track how and when employees are using the system.
The modern intranet has evolved into a tool that serves many purposes. It acts as a central hub that houses communications, but also allows employees to manage their workday through tools like calendars, task lists and project management.
Employees need to be able to find the information they need quickly and easily. A well-designed intranet will make it easy to locate company policy documents, training materials and FAQ pages. It should have a newsfeed that delivers personalized content to each employee, and can support collaboration with tools like forums and surveys.
Intranets should include integrations with commonly used systems, like document management software or email, so employees don’t have to leave the platform to complete a process. This helps increase productivity and improve the employee experience. Self-service tools allow employees to submit requests, like vacation or time sheets, without needing to contact a human resources employee. Lastly, an intranet with strong analytics will provide granular data about how and when employees use the platform, so administrators can continually improve its functionality and usability. In addition, a robust intranet will have the ability to deliver communications via push notifications, group-specific channels and tailored communication for specific moments in an employee’s lifecycle.
A centralized information hub helps make sure employees have access to critical company-wide updates and information. This includes the company vision, goals and initiatives that are being pursued across departments and teams. It also includes department and team-specific updates that are relevant to their workflows.
Intranets also provide a central repository for documents, policies and procedures to ensure that they are readily available and easily searchable. They can also host employee directories to facilitate finding and connecting with colleagues. Many solutions feature features popularized by social networks that improve bottom-up communication, encouraging employees to contribute their own content through blogs and personal stories.
As companies adopt more hybrid and remote work strategies, they must consider how to best meet workers’ information needs. While traditional intranets are a powerful tool, they can be frustrating to use if they have not been updated to reflect the reality of distributed and mobile workers. They often take years to release new versions and can require significant changes in existing workflows. This can add to the cognitive load of employees who switch between an average of 13 tools at any given time.
The social network feature of the intranet makes it easy for employees to connect with one another and share information in a more informal, social manner. This can help build team spirit, and can also improve the efficiency of internal processes such as knowledge management and file sharing.
For example, a news feature can be designed to work in a similar way to the social media apps that people use at home — with regular updates, a feed of bite-sized pieces, and the option for more details when they want it. This can make dispersed workers feel like they are right in the middle of their organization’s cultural hub, regardless of location or time zone.
It’s important to carefully consider how social features should be implemented in order to avoid creating extra work for the user. For example, it’s not helpful to require people to update their profiles on both the traditional employee directory and a Facebook-like tool, as this will cause duplication of effort. Instead, the best approach is to integrate community tools into the main intranet portal so that users encounter them naturally over time.