Creating great intranet sites

We always get asked what’s the difference between a good intranet and a great intranet? There’s no top-secret formula, just a few simple steps you need to follow if you want to make your site stand out.

1. Allow everyone to have a voice

A great intranet should allow everyone to communicate with each other, no matter their role or level of online knowledge. Your CEO must be able to cascade key messages and all colleagues must be able to feed back. Office 365 now includes lots of tools that can help you achieve this, such as blogs, comments and sharing. 

2. Have all the key transactions in one place

Your intranet should be at the heart of your organisation and have all the necessary services and applications on there to make this the case.  Whether it’s HR documents, expenses or travel booking, it should all be on your intranet. Not only does this make it easier for your colleagues but it’ll also increase traffic to your site.

3. A gateway to business knowledge

Intranets are a great place to share knowledge and create a library of information, which is invaluable if colleagues move within teams frequently. Great intranets should also make clear who the key contacts are for particular areas, making good use of the expertise within your business. SharePoint offers fantastic search and content discovery features that not only indexes web pages, but also reads the content of PDF and Word files.

4. A digital reflection of the values of the company

A great intranet will feel like part of the company, just like an office or advert. Think of it as a digital reflection of your values and ethos!

5. Build a strong community

Your intranet should be more than just a file library. Strong communities encourage users to collaborate and innovate, and helps make colleagues more engaged with the company they work for. Allowing strong meaningful profiles, allowing users to express their personality, will help to make this a reality. Also, incentivise users to keep their profiles complete and up to date – don’t let it become a graveyard!

6. Be open and transparent

Be clear about who controls what and what the guidelines are for using the intranet. Set up a newsletter encouraging colleagues to submit their content and ideas so they can contribute to the growth of your intranet.

7. Available however your colleagues need it

Make sure your colleagues can access your site whenever they need to and that it’s responsiveness to their particular device. You may also want to consider setting the home page for the browser to be the intranet homepage so users don’t need to type in a URL.

8. Good training

Training is essential so that your colleagues are confident in using it. Your users will be of varying skill levels so training will help a large percentage of them understand the layout of the site and how to use the various features.​

If you follow these steps, you’ll soon see the benefit as your intranet starts to grow!