Are you looking for an intranet platform for your business? Firstly, congratulations for making a smart business decision. Intranets are a sure-fire way to streamline your business infrastructure for more efficient and effective operations. But when it comes to selecting the right intranet software for your business, it can be hard to make a choice when there are so many options out there. However, for a flexible, cost-effective and hassle-free alternative that you can tailor to the needs of your business, intranet templates are hard to beat. Let’s find out exactly why.
What Is An Intranet Template?
Quite simply, intranet templates make the whole process of setting up an intranet platform much simpler and quicker. Intranet templates already come complete with the necessary coding, initial design and basic graphics. All that’s required is for you to put your own stamp on the template for a truly unique intranet platform. There are a range of intranet templates to choose from so that you can pick and mix those that are relevant to your business needs.
Benefits Of Choosing 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 developing 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. That’s the great advantage of the intranet template model – you can select only those modules and apps that are relevant for your business needs.
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 annual staff picnic or barbecue, scheduled days off, and the cut-off for open enrollment in your insurance plan. Don’t forget to include any industry networking events or conferences as well. Your calendar can also be customized to allow for other important dates: big project end dates, the launch of your latest company product, the dates when particular sales goals need to be met, or anything else that’s important to your employees. It will be the go-to platform for staffing wanting to keep up to date with company events and deadlines.
Employee profiles are more than just an online staff directory. Of course, it will include all the critical information: contact details for all of your intranet users, including work phone and email address. Employee profiles can also be an important way to connect and empower staff and so including a brief summary of job duties, current work projects and areas of expertise means that your directory also becomes an important company-wide knowledge database. It’s an easy process for staff members to, for example, identify for themselves internal sources of know-how on digital marketing or problem-solvers who can help with a CRM software issue. Similarly, the Human Resources department can use employee profiles to easily cherry pick potential members of an organization-wide working group to develop a program of employee benefits.
Company News Feeds and Blogs
Your internal news blog should contain information that’s relevant to employees who will regularly use the intranet. It’s best to include a mix of industry, company and team news and updates. News feeds and blogs are a great way to improve the flow of information in the organization. Enabling staff to comment on posts also means that you are actively encouraging a genuine dialogue with staff. It makes for a more responsive and engaging management style.
Getting started can be a challenge and so here are some ideas: highlight employees’ contributions, discuss upcoming events or incentives, or go over little-known employee benefits, especially those that many employees fail to take full advantage of. Use the news feed or blog to advise staff of the latest product launch, so that frontline staff who interact with your customers are in the know. Keep employees updated on any industry changes or government policies that could impact on your business. 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.
In addition, you may want to consider introducing a vlog or incorporating videos in your news feeds. Using diverse media is a good idea as it adds variety and is more engaging. In addition, often it is a better way to get your communication across – most people are more receptive to the personal touch than receiving a written message.
Intranet Quick Links
Quick links pages are a great idea for giving staff instant access to the most popular apps. Some companies have gone a step further. Recognizing that employees will have differing frequently used apps depending on their team and job role, they have enabled employees to make their own customized quick links.
A shortlist of the most popular tools and features is the best starting point for your quick links so that employees can easily find information and resources. Alternatively, if you have a longer list of sites that your employees need to be able to find, then 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.
In addition, it’s important to ensure you regularly review documents, files and content on the intranet to ensure that it is up to date. For your intranet to be successful the information must be current otherwise at best staff members will feel frustrated and at worse, they will start to log off. Set up mechanisms for reviewing content so that any outdated files, forms or data is either updated or deleted. Most companies find that spreading the editorial role across a number of individuals within teams helps to spread the editorial load and a top to toe review every six months should be sufficient.
Surveys And Polls
You can use the surveys and polls intranet template in a variety of ways including the following:
- Engage staff with a snap poll on how to improve the customer experience.
- Canvass employees for their views on a variety of work-related aspects such as the new company logo, the location of the office Christmas party or proposed changes to the employee benefits package.
- Develop a checklist to assist with onboarding new employees or staff training and development initiatives.
Adopted by many companies as a good way to bring staff together and encourage camaraderie and a positive team spirit, social intranet templates are becoming popular across the board. Far from being a frivolous time waster, social intranet features such as follow-me functionality, site or team activity walls develop connections between staff as well as facilitating joint working and collaboration.
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 the organization. You may have projects that only need to be open to certain individuals, particular levels of information within your company structure that allow 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? 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 design? 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’s 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.
Intranet Templates Just What Your Business Needs!
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 or sign up for a no-obligation demo. 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.