An intranet content management system is vital in creating an effective and engaged digital workplace.
Being able to publish content quickly, simplify information management and increase social engagement among employees, all from an easily accessible internal communication platform, will have a huge effect on how efficiently your organization runs.
At the beating heart of your intranet is your intranet content management system, or intranet CMS. This allows your team to maintain a modern intranet that reduces inefficiencies, builds networks among your employees and works as an effective internal communications tool.
As it’s such an important tool for your business, there are a few non-negotiables when it comes to what you should be looking for in an intranet CMS.
Here are our top five.
1. Your employee intranet CMS needs a good user interface
This is a simple point but an important one. Your company intranet should streamline internal communication. You can’t do that if your intranet CMS is difficult to use.
If the words ‘content management system’ scream ‘clunky, slow and fiddly’ to you, you’re not alone. Many CMS solutions are unintuitively designed. Far from streamlining internal communication within your business, a poorly designed intranet CMS may be adding inefficiencies to it.
That’s why it’s so essential to look for an intranet CMS with a clear, uncluttered user interface that’s easy for users to pick up. Easy drag and drop page building with widgets is a great place to start here, and you should also look for:
- Advanced search functions to save time trawling through page hierarchies and libraries
- Customizable dashboards so that each user can easily access the tools they use
- A visual text editor with real-time previews available to make page editing easier
2. Your intranet CMS solution should be secure
Your intranet CMS solution contains much more than content creation tools. You might use it to host important company documents, personal records of employees and other information that could prove of value to hackers.
Look for strong inbuilt security features that will protect your intranet CMS data from external threats, but also focus on access controls internally – insiders are responsible for 22% of security incidents annually, according to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report.
Graph showing change in frequency of different security breaches. (Source: Verizon.com)
Restricting access to sensitive data stored in your intranet CMS ensures that if accounts are compromised (for example by device loss or a phishing scam), risk of data loss is minimized.
It’s also important to analyze your company’s security needs based around your sector, and look for specific features that support these. For example, if you’re a US-based healthcare provider, you will want HIPAA compliance as a top priority in your intranet CMS criteria. All of these are features offered by Claromentis.
3. Your intranet CMS should facilitate organization-wide participation
The mark of a successful intranet is that it’s dynamic. The best intranet solution isn’t a static corporate news site updated every now and then by a small internal communications team – rather, it’s a two-way publishing platform where employees build their social network, share engaging content and access crucial company information.
To reap the employee engagement benefits that come with a dynamic corporate intranet, you’ll need to encourage users to create user generated content and have the tools to support this.
Accounts with access controls are again one way to do this. These allow employees from across your organization to contribute – for example by building guest posts – without being able to access absolutely everything.
Content targeting options are another great feature to look for – these allow you to serve the most relevant, engaging content to employees from your intranet CMS.
You should also look for a strong set of social tools and moderation functionality. This helps you keep on top of comments and conversations, and to add to them where necessary. Being able to create and moderate discussion threads, monitor comments on important posts and encourage engagement are vital functions of your employee intranet platform – make sure your content management system facilitates them.
4. Your intranet CMS solution should be code free
A fully customized, branded intranet platform can have a huge effect on employee engagement and sense of shared purpose with the rest of your organization. This means that customization options are an absolute must for your intranet CMS, so that you can build and brand your digital workplace in a way that makes sense for you.
There’s one potential issue here, however; the average user from an internal communications team doesn’t have a background in frontend development. So, you’ll need to ensure that all customization tools can be used effectively by anyone who doesn’t know HTML/CSS.
For the majority of corporate intranet users, drag and drop tools and visual interfaces are the way forward, and take much of the time and effort out of using your intranet CMS.
5. Your intranet CMS should offer extended functionality
In Buffer’s 2022 State of Remote Work Report, 97% of respondents claimed they would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. And, in general, businesses seem increasingly happy to oblige, with 72% planning on allowing some amount of remote work permanently.
Because of this, businesses are starting to view their intranet tools as the backbone of their digital workplace. From the intranet, employees can request and approve leave, manage expenses and perform a diverse range of actions essential for the day-to-day running of your organization.
This means you need to look for employee intranet software solutions with features that extend beyond basic page building and document management. Some of these features include:
- A form builder that supports employee engagement surveys, as well as filing expenses and booking leave.
- Analytics, so you know which pages on your intranet platform are being read and which are underperforming
- Integration with learning management systems (or an integrated LMS of its own) so you can manage digital content across your workplace from a single access point.