Intranets come in all different shapes and sizes, and are as unique as the company they intend to support. Whilst specifics will differ from business to business, a perfect intranet solution should aim to contain the following ingredients to ensure successful adoption.
To make an intranet, you will need:
– A spoonful of intuitive design
– Large handfuls of content
– A generous squeeze of social features
– A dollop of documents
– Intranet advocates; enthusiastic and engaged
Step 1 – A spoonful of intuitive design
An intranet should be easy to navigate. One of the most common complaints and reasons for failed intranet adoption is that the user cannot find what they need to do their job, so it’s incredibly important that you choose an intranet platform with an intuitive user interface, which also fulfils the principles of usability. Researching intranet design examples and following the advice of experienced intranet UX designers will help with this.
Step 2 – Large handfuls of content
An intranet without content is like a morning without coffee; dull, tired, and difficult to engage with! For an intranet to be successful, it must contain relevant and up-to-date information, otherwise users will fail to see the appeal of actually using an intranet. A frequent frustration from staff is that they find their intranet outdated, and this will be based directly on how much appropriate content is produced.
Based on your company and strategies, content can be centralised or decentralised; meaning you can either have a dedicated team of intranet content creators, or have staff from various departments contribute articles.
Step 3 – A generous squeeze of social features
Being social and constantly connected online is fast becoming the norm of daily life, and an intranet is no different. The social intranet is concerned with all things communicative and collaborative, and ties together all the amazing content that you will be creating. A social intranet allows you to share your stories, content, and voice to your company community, much like social media platforms such as Facebook allow you to share with your friends and family.
Step 4 – A dollop of documents
The original intranets were mainly focussed on document sharing and information gathering, and that still stands true today; albeit it only makes up one part of a perfect intranet! The efficient storage of vital company documents is paramount to successful intranet adoption, and is very often one of the defining reasons why a company will choose to deploy an intranet. Document management allows the company to store their files in one central hub, with the added benefits of version control, secure access rights, and a check-out/check-in process to facilitate productive working. The advantages of cloud computing can also be realised here, with regular backups providing a fail-safe for companies with reams of critical files.
Step 5 – Intranet advocates; enthusiastic and engaged
Of course, an intranet is ultimately about connecting people and allowing them to work productively. Getting your intranet team or intranet enthusiasts to promote the software within your internal comms strategy will ensure that the company is aware of the amazing benefits that the intranet provides, and propels it as being the go-to destination for all company matters.
What do you think makes the perfect intranet? Let us know in the comments below!