7 Characteristics of a Successful Intranet
Now, more than ever, it has never been more important to be connected at work. With the diverse range of communication and increase in collaboration comes the need to work in a more understanding, social, and unrestricted way. A successful intranet is essentially the foundation of a connected, engaged, and productive workplace. However, it is crucial to develop a clear, structured, and compatible intranet plan that allows you to manifest your organization’s efforts. When a successful intranet is deployed and managed correctly, it seeks to unite your people, drive productivity, create a positive culture, and deliver significant results for all stakeholders. Organizations will reap the benefits of a great intranet if they are willing to provide more time and effort to their internal communication. In this article, we will go over the 7 main characteristics for creating a successful Intranet.
1. Objectives and Plans
When an organization decides to commit to an intranet, it is often driven by controlling, expanding, improving, and reinforcing its “why.” The planning, discussions, and perspectives behind a successful internal communication plan need to include all key stakeholders, especially employees. You might have the lowest-cost, best plan for your industry, and most advanced technology service. However, if your employees are not on-board with the business objectives, embody the company’s identity, and find meaning in their work, an employee’s misinterpretation of its mission and values can grow. This is where a successful intranet comes in. The people in your organization are more inclined to be disciplined, passionate, and proactive in their role if they understand how their work aligns with its mission, environment, and purpose. Organizations need to tailor their intranet to solve the problems their people face and the solutions they need. “Objectives and plans” are the main characteristic of a successful intranet as it seeks to establish the groundwork for an empowered workplace, positive culture, and goal-oriented environment.
2. Deployment Plan
With a clear plan and the right team behind you, you are ready to move onto your new intranet building phase. As part of this stage, you will begin to populate your intranet with the necessary information and content identified during your planning stage as a ‘must have’ for users. You’ll create and fill user profiles, establish a brand for your intranet, and craft those all-important homepages that will act as the window to the intranet for your users.
An intranet should be structured and designed so that employees are confident in finding what they are looking for. It should be logical, intuitive, and easy. However, most organizations have substantial knowledge assets. Managing the large volumes of content, users, information, and different user requirements can be an overwhelming task – but it’s also essential to your intranet success. For this reason, creating clear information architecture and building a defined structure is the best place to start. Without this, many intranets can become a dumping ground for information: users will be forced to navigate multiple versions of documents, unintuitive or illogical structures, or battle low search functions. Your intranet will quickly become unfit for purpose.
Ideally, you could begin by brainstorming how content should be logically grouped and termed. Then you will most likely need to do a content audit to make sure irrelevant, incorrect, or duplicated content is not transferred over. In your case, I would consider what content you have and its quality and relevance, who owns it, and where it resides. After you create information architecture and structure, you can migrate what you need and introduce other intranet features, branding, and adoption strategies.
3. Intranet Features
Creating and deploying a successful intranet that all users love is every corporate leader’s goal. However, it can be challenging to know where you can begin when you have various features, pages, functionalities, and tools to choose from (especially when many of these capabilities come at a hefty price). Every organizational intranet is set out to be unique depending on its purpose, user needs, objectives, culture, and challenges facing the business. Before deploying your intranet, you must have a clear idea of what you need and want to accomplish.
Most Microsoft 365 users are currently fascinated with the new SharePoint and Microsoft Teams features rolled out in 2021. If you would like to learn which tools are best for you, how each tool works, and ways to optimize your intranet, book a quick meeting with our experts: here.
4. Importance of Critical Mass
Critical mass, inclusivity, and buy-in from everyone are also essential factors for an intranet deployment to start on the right foot. Leaders in the organization need to provide great reasons for their people to use the intranet, get the numbers behind it, and adjust as needed. That is not to say that small businesses cannot benefit from an internal communication solution. It just means that we must know what technology is necessary to get an optimal return on investment from an intranet.
Different platforms provide different communication methods and, in turn, require a different number of users to keep it going. Nonetheless, your intranet relies on users to engage, create, and manage content. The better the intranet user experience and design you provide, the higher attendance you will receive. This is all heavily affected by the tools deployed, internal leadership, and company-wide adoption/governance efforts.
5. Enterprise Productivity, Flexibility, and Stability
The productivity apps, advanced functionalities, and interactive web pages are meant to provide strategic direction, open communication, and performance-driven collaborations. However, it becomes very easy to get lost in the mess with the abundance of application tools and constant updates. The best company intranets are equipped with advanced yet, necessary productivity and automation architecture and apps that help your people. Here is a quick summary of Microsoft 365 apps to better understand the functionalities and their purpose: productivity tool overview.
An intranet’s features range across the technological spectrum depending on what capabilities you would like to have, ease of use, and flexible intranet platform. In an organization’s lifespan, it can go through many brands, management, and team changes; a robust intranet must be able to adapt, innovate, and not fail at the first sign of struggle. Nonetheless, the best intranets create consistency and internal stability. You can create a common identity, sense of ownership, and strong community by developing an internal brand and driving homogeneous content, such as newsletters, homepage, blogs, social features, etc.
6. Security Protection
More than two-thirds of those businesses who overcame cyber-attacks are unwilling to act upon the attack and secure their systems. Companies either do not have enough money invested in cyber defense or don’t have a strategy or plan to detect threats, protect data, and reduce damage the moment it happens. Thus, the most successful intranets can keep their organization’s information, ideas, and people secure from inside and outside threats.
Considering information protection, it is necessary to ask how you can secure data stored in the cloud. Security and intellectual property policies are other key components that work across all office applications, file types, and networks. It is meant to protect intellectual property, restrict data from being downloaded or shared without approval, and implement time-based access. The cost associated with a data breach or data loss is substantial. Successful intranet platforms need to take precautions, configure the right policies, and have somebody that can also manage those policies (whether it’s an in-house expert or third-party group).
7. Data Analysis
Intranet analytics is the most underestimated characteristic of an intranet. It has the power of letting you know how your entire digital workplace platform is doing, what employees want/need, where to adjust, and what is working for your company. It provides you with clear answers to important questions. This is a vital factor to not only your intranet’s growth but your entire organization. Learn to gather deep insight and data into how your intranet performs with sophisticated tools and metrics.
The process of creating a successful corporate & internal communications plan can quickly turn chaotic and fail without the right system integration, expert guidance, and support. Klarinet Solutions helps organizations overcome these hurdles of doubt, experience, and uncertainty regarding corporate communication. We specialize in enhancing system performance, optimizing user experience, and developing streamlined processes that support business objectives. To find out more about how we can help you optimize SharePoint, Microsoft 365, or intranet, please contact our solutions delivery team or reach us by phone (866) 211-8191.