A successful intranet provides your organisation with an engaging digital workplace for empowering employees to complete their daily tasks, collaborate with coworkers, and securely share information.
In addition, a company intranet should positively impact your organisation’s company culture by giving them the tools to boost employee engagement and improve internal communications. Not only will this enhance the employee experience, it will also help you achieve the ultimate end goal of intranet success – increased employee productivity.
How do you build an intranet that increases productivity?
So, what makes a succesful intranet? It’s important to understand, first of all, what makes a good intranet. Knowing this will help you build an intranet solution that helps staff feel engaged and productive. Follow our top tips and intranet success factors to get started:
Create a user friendly intranet design
A beautiful, user-centric intranet homepage design is a key component to gaining user-adoption and ultimately achieving intranet success. In essence, it’s the starting point for many employees in their quest to increase productivity and collaborate with colleagues.
Putting in the time and effort to create a good digital experience will pay off. The intranet’s design should correlate with your company’s branding guidelines but not replicate the company’s website, given that both have differing objectives and goals. Your intranet should possess a unique design to match its employee-centered objectives. Navigation should also be employee-centered and continuously tweaked as the intranet starts gaining some traction post launch.
Create an intranet governance policy
An intranet governance policy acts as a guide to all staff by providing a high-level intranet strategy that describes its purpose, management, and ongoing maintenance. The policy can be presented to users as a document or accessible through a departmental intranet page. It ultimately helps companies achieve intranet success as it provides the following:
- Support for the intranet team
- Elimination of end-user confusion
- Firm establishment of the intranet’s goals and objectives
Have a purpose which is aligned with corporate values
Intranet software must be there to serve a purpose: from improving employee engagement to assisting with the development and communication of the organisation’s culture.
Creating and defining the intranet’s purpose should be one of the first tasks which needs to be fulfilled before the intranet is launched. The intranet’s design, content strategy, and overall goals will derive from this purpose.
Each intranet is unique in the fact that it portrays and supports the organisation’s corporate values. These values will help to support the intranet project team during both the post and pre-launch phases and will ultimately help to answer questions, such as ‘should there be corporate social networking tools from day one?’
Assign content champions from each department
Intranet content should be up-to-date and relevant; it will therefore require the contribution of various departments and project teams. It’s also appropriate to define the content strategy in relation to each application, for example, what type of content should be shared in the knowledge management app. If you have corporate collaboration tools, setting out basic usage guidelines will reduce any apprehensions related to sharing content.
Deploy a phased approach to the intranet’s launch
Deploying a phased approach to the intranet’s launch will help to gain employee buy-in and increase user-adoption, as new applications and functionality will be rolled out in a systematic and manageable manner.
It’s always great, from an end-user’s perspective, to introduce new functionality after the initial launch as it continues that ‘just-launched’ momentum. Be upfront and transparent with intranet users regarding the upcoming phases as their input is critical to the intranet’s success.
Monitor intranet usage and feedback
Try to identify intranet pain points and areas in need of improvement by continuously monitoring intranet usage and employee feedback. This is extremely important during the initial launch phase but it should also be an ongoing activity. It may even be useful to create a feedback form on the intranet system to effectively capture important data and ensure it’s received by the required employees.
Choose intranet applications for your current and future business needs
Intranet applications should correlate with the organisation’s business needs and requirements. It’s important to discover each department’s needs to enable the intranet team to produce a checklist of required functionality. Being aware of both current and future business needs are important factors for intranet success.
Modern intranets easily integrate with single-sign-on providers, which allow staff to effortlessly log in to the intranet without having to input their access credentials. Removing any unnecessary barriers which prevent employees from accessing important information on their intranet will contribute to its success.
Effective intranet search engine
Effective intranet search functionality ensures that users can rapidly find information that’s relevant to them, which will ultimately save time. If intranet users cannot locate information quickly, intranet usage will fall as they’ll lose faith in its abilities.
Intranet search features such as Best Bets, Alternative Suggestions and Search Requests allow end-users to submit their feedback to an intranet administrator who can then implement incremental changes.
Social intranet functionality
Having social intranet functionality on your corporate intranet will help to create an open culture where employees can collaborate across departments and office locations. If your organisation is quite apprehensive when it comes to introducing corporate social networking tools, opt for a phased approach to ensure you gain management buy-in.