5 Easy Steps To Building A Company Intranet That Innovates & Engageson 8 January 2019
Let’s be honest: Most company intranets today are outdated and unexciting. They tend to be static, one-way communication portals built on older technology that’s cumbersome to support. Rather than being a hub of activity, they’re practically ghost towns.
That’s unfortunate, because the reasoning behind effective company communication is still very relevant—it leads to fewer mistakes and greater productivity. However, the approach companies take in enabling that communication—i.e. the intranet—clearly needs a new, modern-day spin.
If you’ve been tasked with building an intranet for your company, you’re in the right place. This article shows you how to create one that’s accessible, engaging, and secure, and delivers maximum benefit to your company as a result. Let’s get started.
How To Set Up A Company Intranet
A good company intranet gives employees the tools and resources to be more productive, and ensures everyone is on the same page. (Tweet this!) However, not all company intranets are trying to achieve the same goals. Follow these five steps to create an intranet that’s right for your company.
1. Plan for adoption and change.
There are a number of solutions available on the market, and planning ensures you aren’t overwhelmed. So before jumping in, use these guiding questions to hone in on what type of intranet solution to look for:
- Why are we doing this?
- What challenges will an intranet help solve?
- What outcomes are we expecting?
- What functionality should the intranet solution have?
- What success metrics do we need to develop?
- How will this intranet change the organisation and how we do things?
- How can we get employees to adopt the solution we choose?
You’ll need to get buy-in from senior management and other key parties within the organisation to ensure you have multiple perspectives and much-needed support. Additionally, you’ll need to put together an internal stakeholder team to oversee the solution selection process.
2. Identify the right solution.
With your stakeholder team in place, you can collectively research the market and identify potential intranet products. Make sure to keep the guiding questions in mind as you review vendors and their offering. Do the solutions align with your answers?
In addition to the guiding questions, you’ll also want to consider interesting company intranet ideas that will make the solution more appealing to employees. If you want to implement any of the ideas listed below, make sure the solution you choose has the capability to support them:
- Competitions that get employees involved. For example, you could put together competitions for naming your intranet, the most interesting photo of one of your products in use, or a simple raffle giveaway. A polling feature within the solution would come in handy here.
- Feedback collection about operational processes, department-specific items, managerial performance, company news, etc. The main idea is to give employees a voice so they feel involved.
- Social feeds for a modern feel. Today’s world is social, and business is no different. Having a social feed as part of the intranet offers a familiar experience, further encouraging usage.
- Blogging about customer success stories, professional-personal storytelling, or anything else. A blog feature provides employees with a way to share their lives and feel connected to their peers. Your company culture will determine how open you let your employees be on these channels.
- Internal marketplace to give your employees a safe space for buying, selling, and exchanging items.
- Employee directory that includes full employee profiles—departments, projects, skills, areas of expertise, etc. Make it easy for employees to find peers within the company to help on projects, solve problems, and provide guidance and mentorship.
After shortlisting vendors, your team will need to review vendor demos and eventually purchase the solution that best fits your needs.
3. Configure the solution.
There’s a spectrum of customization when selecting a solution—from off-the-shelf to fully bespoke. But even off-the-shelf solutions will require some degree of configuration to suit your specific organisational context and way of doing things.
In any case, you’ll want your intranet to be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and highly organized so employees aren’t faced with any friction in their experience. Here, you’ll be setting up the different channels and usable areas of the intranet—i.e., creating the structure.
4. Build the solution.
This is where you fill in the areas you’ve configured with content. Remember, avoid approaching this as if the content will be static. Plan to change this content over time to keep it dynamic and interesting.
You may also brand your intranet, giving it an identity of its own that employees can refer to (see example image below). Again, this will help with connecting employees with the solution.
5. Roll out and measure success.
Everyone handles rolling out an intranet solution differently, but you’ll likely test it with select groups before opening it up to the entire company. Generally, the larger your company or the more complex the solution, the longer the rollout will be.
This is also where you’ll set roles and responsibilities of employees, such as who will handle training, governance, policies, content creation, content approval, etc.
Lastly, you’ll want to refer back to the success metrics you developed to help refine the solution. Analytics, engagement levels, and the like will help in addressing any changes you’ll need to make over time to keep your intranet a sought-after staple in your organisation. (Tweet this!)
Benefits Of A Company Intranet
Creating a company intranet takes time and effort, but it’s a worthwhile endeavour. If you follow the steps above, you’ll create a modern-day intranet and realize several benefits:
1. Promote information accuracy.
Traditionally, company information is shared by word of mouth or email chains, which can produce confusion or misinterpretations. Further, if employees are making decisions based on that fragmented information, they could be making costly mistakes. The centralized nature of an intranet ensures all employees have access to the same, up-to-date, accurate information on important subjects.
2. Improve productivity.
Traditional information-sharing methods also take up more time—employees must search for and verify information, which means they spend less time making decisions and performing their duties. Intranets that are highly organized and searchable give back time to employees for use on more important tasks.
3. Reduce knowledge silos.
Even in larger organisations, key insights and knowledge tend to collect among a small number of employees across departments or business units. Without an intranet that includes blogging, forum, or social capabilities, these knowledgeable assets don’t have an outlet for sharing what they’ve learned. Organisations can use the intranet to encourage cross-collaboration across siloed areas and mitigate lost knowledge when these employees leave.
4. Encourage innovation.
Cross-collaboration also leads to innovation. Employees from different business lines or departments have diverse perspectives and experiences, whether from interacting with different types of customers, handling backend tasks, or dealing with a myriad of other contexts. Providing channels for these employees to share their insights and stories can spark new product and service ideas, process improvements, selling tactics, and so on.
5. Increase employee engagement.
Employee engagement has been a hot topic in business for years now, and 36% of businesses see employee engagement as a top challenge.
While an intranet won’t negate all problem areas of engagement, it can make employees feel more connected to their companies and their peers through social interactions, giving them a voice through polls and other feedback channels, and showcasing their insights and talents through blogs and success stories.
Engage your employees with a next-level intranet solution: Glasscubes.
Glasscubes is a powerful intranet solution that can help your organisation achieve all its communication goals. And the best part: Customers rave about it because of its simplicity. Setup, maintenance, and training—they’re all easy to understand and do. Our intranet and collaboration solution requires no specialised IT personnel or world-class trainers. You can get everything you need from Glasscubes by simply logging in.
Further, to increase employee engagement, Glasscubes employs social feeds to keep users engaged in a manner they’re accustomed to. Employees can post, like, and respond about organisational matters in the same way they do on popular social platforms (see example image below).
In addition, Glasscubes enables your employees to do something no other solution the market can: Create individual workspaces. These are segmented areas of the intranet employees can create for a specific purpose, such as for department announcements or smaller team projects. Employees can even create a workspace for themselves! The uses of workspaces are endless, and they provide employees with another compelling reason for engaging with your company’s intranet and other users.
Get the comprehensive SaaS solution that enables you to create the perfect intranet—one that employees look forward to using when they get to work. Start your free trial today.