The perfect intranet: 13-point checklist

The perfect intranet: 13-point checklist https://www.thoughtfarmer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/TF_ILL_Owls_small.png

A perfect intranet is more than just features. It’s about employees feeling connected to each other, informed on company news, and empowered with the knowledge to do their job. Does your intranet match up to this list?

March 10, 2021

Finding the perfect intranet is hard. Shiny features, persuasive sales calls, and of course the pressure of finding a solution that fits your budget and makes everyone happy.  

A good intranet is critical to the success of your organization. Especially in a remote or hybrid workplace where employees now require a digital/virtual headquarters to access documents, people, and news. A perfect intranet can also play a large role in connecting employees to culture and a deeper purpose. 

So whether you are acquiring an intranet for the first time, looking to improve your existing intranet, or just want to know if your current intranet is on par with award winning intranets, we invite you to review this checklist: 

    1. Personalized content
      A great intranet is sticky, and has a way of keeping employees coming back day after day. This requires not just new and frequent content, but content that is personalized to its users. Personalized content also removes the ‘noise’ of any content that is not relevant to employees.
    2. Powerful search functionality
      Employees will lose faith in their intranet if they cannot find the information they want at the speed they expect. Research estimates that enterprise organizations lose nearly $2.5 million annually due to employees’ inability to locate and retrieve critical information. Your intranet should allow faceted and filtered search and should pretty much resemble the ease of Google search. Anything less is wasted time—and money.
    3. Opportunity for employees to take action and participate
      Intranets have evolved a lot in the last 20 years, and have gone from a place for reading things, to a place for doing things. A perfect intranet is interactive and allows for feedback, surveys, and form creation. Things like vacation requests, hardware requirements, or benefits enrollment should all be easily accommodated in your intranet.
    4. Self service features
      No one has time or patience for confusing navigation. Your intranet should make it easy for employees to find what they are looking for, so if there are links and content you know are popular, make sure you include that content up front, or in quick links. Determining which pages are the most popular is another topic altogether, and you can learn more about optimizing intranet navigation through a process called task testing.
    5. Looks and feels like your company
      Your intranet should feel like an extension of your own brand. Some intranet solutions are locked down and don’t allow for branding elements and personalization, which is such a shame—particularly if you have a vibrant workplace culture. We have a lot of customers that take customization and personalization to an entirely new level, and no surprise, these are also the customers who maintain the highest engagement and visitation rates.

      Checkpoint Intranet Screenshot

 

    1. Supports the employee lifecycle
      Employees are at the center of your organization, and their journey and lifecycle (from their first day on the job to their last day) should be supported on the intranet. For example, where are your employees currently accessing onboarding material? Where are they completing learning and development opportunities? And, is there a place for employees to feel appreciated and rewarded for their efforts? All of this can and should occur within your intranet.
    2. Quiet and useful notifications
      There is a fine line between notifying employees and bothering them. A good intranet accomplishes this by ensuring notifications are purposeful. One way to achieve this is to allow users to choose which pages they follow and which they don’t. A perfect intranet also makes it easy to sign up for and manage summary digest emails which keep employees notified on the pages they follow.
    3. Ability to broadcast emergency communications
      Notifications are a great way to keep employees informed, however, when we get too many notifications, many of us choose to turn-off notifications, which can be problematic in the event of an emergency. This is when you need an emergency broadcast alert system on your intranet. This empowers communications professionals with an easy, efficient way to send quick all employee alerts about important news.

      What does a perfect intranet look like?

      Download our whitepaper for some incredible inspiration.

      Download now
      Six Inspiring Intranet Examples, cover

      Broadcast

 

    1. A mobile app
      Mobile apps help keep employees connected—particularly deskless employees. But, with the majority of employees working from home, ‘work’ has become something we do, rather than a place to go. This has made it more challenging for employees to stay updated and informed on critical news and information. A solid mobile app is a great way to stay connected and notified about important news or updates. It’s also a great way to improve intranet adoption.
      TF-Homepage-Illustrations-Solutions
    2. Minimal visual and cognitive noise
      Have you ever looked at an award winning intranet? One that received accolades specifically for it’s design? If so, you probably noticed the simplicity of the user interface. But a beautiful intranet isn’t just another pretty face, it also helps to encourage high visitation and adoption. Get inspired by looking at these award winning intranets.
    3. User-configurable links and bookmarks
      A perfect intranet creates a strong user experience that empowers employees to manage and monitor their own areas of interest. One way to achieve this is to ensure pages and content can be bookmarked for later viewing. This ensures employees have quick access when they need it, yet doesn’t interfere or distract them from other tasks.
    4. Collaborative and social tools
      Good intranets provide ample opportunity for discussion and engagement. Through dedicated group areas like knowledge wiki, communities of practice, commenting, or status updates, employees have a real opportunity to connect, and most importantly, learn from each other.


 

  1. Distinction between corporate comms and personalized peer-to-peer comms
    Having dedicated feeds for each group helps ensure no one misses important updates. It also ensures people know who the communication is coming from. We recently designed our own intranet (read our blog post to see how it turned out)  and by separating corporate comms and personalized peer-to-peer comms, it really helped ensure the critical corporate stuff stays up faster, rather than getting piled in with a bunch of random junk posts from other groups etc. 

As you can see, a perfect intranet is so much more than just its features. It’s about delivering a superior employee experience where employees feel connected to each other, informed on company news, and empowered with the knowledge and tools they require to do their job. 

Improve your intranet by checking these boxes and let us know how it goes!

Have questions? Get in touch! We're always happy to hear from you.