SaaS Intranet Templates
The beauty of using a SaaS-based intranet provider is that your intranet templates have already been designed for you. You don’t have to worry about individually designing each feature or app; instead, you can choose from a range of materials that have already been provided with the intent of making your intranet run more smoothly. Before you can deploy your intranet solution to your business as a whole, however, there are several things that you’ll need to accomplish. Understanding how to properly use your intranet template will streamline the process and make it easier to deploy your intranet solution.
Intranet Modules, Applications and Pages
You’ll need to choose the modules, apps, and pages that are needed for your business. The template is there. Now, the question is, what will you do with it? There are several pieces that will need to be updated within those intranet templates before you make it available to your employees. Keep in mind that your intranet template will come with a number of great features that sound exciting. Some of them will be useful. Some of them won’t. Don’t feel as though you have to use a feature simply because it’s there.
Your calendar can be placed up pretty quickly. You can always add data to it over time. Decide how you’re going to use it. At a minimum, your calendar should include important company-wide dates: the date of the company picnic or barbecue, scheduled days off, and the cut-off for open enrollment in your insurance plan. Your calendar can also be customized to allow for other important dates: big project end dates, the dates when particular sales goals need to be met, or anything else that’s important to your employees.
Employee profiles might be among the hardest pages to put together. Ideally, you want to include all the critical information: contact information for all of your intranet users, including work phone and email address, and a brief summary of their job description or duties are the bare minimum your employee profiles should hold. You can also have each employee write a brief biography that includes their accomplishments, awards, and other critical information.
Company News and Blog
Your internal blog should contain information that’s relevant to employees who will regularly use the intranet. There’s no need to release it immediately, especially if you aren’t prepared to release important content. Instead, you should wait until you’ve put together at least three or four relevant, informative posts. Some ideas: highlight employee contributions, discuss upcoming events or incentives, or go over little-known employee benefits, especially those that many employees fail to take full advantage of. Plan to use your blog to add genuine value to your readers. One of your first posts, for example, could be your vision of how your fellow employees can use the new intranet structure to their greatest advantage.
Intranet Quick Links
Quick links pages are often tricky to maintain. You want to be sure that they’re designed to be truly quick. That means providing a short list that makes it easy to find the site your employees are looking for. Failing that–for example, if you have a longer list of sites that your employees need to be able to find–you should break up the list of links with headers that are easy to identify and understand. Ideally, you’ll also check those links regularly to make sure that all of them are working.
Documents and Files
Uploading critical files and forms to your intranet will make them easier to access for all of your employees. Be sure to check your form information. Is this something that is designed to be printed? Make sure it’s formatted properly. On the other hand, if the form populates a spreadsheet or other document, you’ll want to check it to make sure that it’s working as intended.
Designate levels of security within your intranet structure. Chances are, you don’t need all of the information available on your intranet to be accessible to everyone within your organization. You may have projects that only need to be open to particular individuals, particular levels of information within your company structure that allow particular information to be available to specific individuals, and other security concerns that make it necessary to break down the security parameters for each tier within the company. There are several different layers of security you’ll need to consider.
Access and Roles
How do you want your employees to access your intranet? With a cloud-based intranet, your employees will be able to access the company intranet from anywhere. They’ll be able to get to it from the office, from home, and when they’re on the go. If you want it to be simple for them to get into the system, particularly if it doesn’t contain sensitive information, you can make password requirements much simpler than if you know that you have information that needs protecting.
What projects will be contained within the intranet structure? For example, you might provide forums just for individuals working on particular projects: a fantastic way to collaborate, share information, and keep all of the critical data generated for a given project in one place. You might decide that employees who are working on some projects need access to information that isn’t available to others. This information can be set up selectively based on current projects and your employees’ need to know, but you’ll need to take the time to fully develop your intranet structure to allow for it.
What different tiers of security naturally exist within your company? Obviously, upper-level management will have access to more information than other departments within the building. Your IT department might have full access to the intranet, while other departments have their access customized according to what they need. This type of security serves several purposes. First, it keeps employees from accessing sensitive information that they aren’t supposed to have. Second, it streamlines the appearance of your intranet, making it easier for each employee to use. Finally, it reduces the amount of time that will be spent on irrelevant information simply because it’s there.
Intranet Templates and Customization
Customizing your page with logos, colors, and fonts will let you create the appearance you’re looking for. What do you envision when you think of the company intranet? Do you want a clean, polished design that displays your company logo on each page? What colors do you prefer to use: your company colors? A popular color scheme that matches the one for a local sports team? Many intranet templates allow for customization of each page that will allow you to take the template and make it your own.
Wondering how much the color scheme for your intranet really matters? Consider this: when your employees see that familiar logo as they browse through the intranet pages, it will increase their sense of connection to the company brand. Each positive experience on the intranet will be reinforced by that image, reminding them of all the reasons why your business is an excellent place to work.
If you’re ready to select an intranet template that will allow a full range of customization, you can start a free intranet trial today. We’ll provide the template. You’ll provide the critical details that will take that template and make it your own, customizing it to the unique needs of your business and your employees. Your intranet is of course as unique as the needs of your company. We’ll not only provide you with the intranet template to get your intranet off the ground immediately, but we’ll also help you complete your setup.