Sometimes dismissed as ancient relics, company intranets have come a long way since their first appearance in 1994. Next-generation platforms have reinvented themselves. They provide state-of-the-art collaboration, communication, and knowledge management tools under one virtual roof – perfect for today’s hybrid workplaces.
So, if you are planning your first intranet or looking to revive an existing one, this post is essential reading. We share some ideas and intranet examples to inspire you to revolutionize your business in 2023.
Definition Of A Company Intranet
Let’s get right back to basics with a handy definition.
An intranet is an internal website only accessible to employees. Think of it as a gateway to your digital workplace.
The platform provides single-sign-on access to the tools, information, and services workers need daily. Simply put, it’s a springboard for achieving the growth, productivity, and streamlined operations every business wants.
Overview Of Company Intranet Benefits
A company intranet can deliver a ton of business benefits. Here are just some of the highlights.
Power Up Employee Engagement
Fun and engaging, your people will love using the software. And it will drive employee engagement by delivering the tools staff need to make their daily work easier. Share news and updates and connect workers via team chat. Be sure to include social features like follows, likes, and activity walls for a modern UX. And keep your finger on the pulse of staff opinion with snap polls and online surveys.
Promote Collaboration And Teamwork
Whether co-workers are remote or office-based, modern intranets make collaboration a breeze. Private project spaces bring team members together to brainstorm, share information, and track progress. Plus, you can embed M365 or Google Workspace apps directly in your internal intranet site for real-time collaboration.
Intranets simplify internal comms in our multi-channel, always-on digital world. They provide a single source of truth for all team or company news. You can have conversations and discussions up, down, and across the organization. Take your pick from business IM, interactive blogs, podcasts, newsfeeds, and activity walls. And personalized notifications and alert features ensure workers get all the important information.
Streamlined Business Processes
Automate workflows on the platform for faster approvals and streamlined operations. Whether submitting a vacation request or ordering critical supplies, the software automatically routes customizable online forms to the correct department for action.
Better Knowledge Management
Capture, store, and share vital company knowledge in your centralized intranet. Powered by an advanced search engine, finding and searching content is simple. Whether in-person or remote, your people have the company’s collective knowledge at their fingertips when they need it.
Improve Company Culture
The company intranet software has become an indispensable tool for the modern workplace. This digital hub can streamline processes and enhance company culture in a number of ways. By providing a one-stop-shop for company documents, resources, news, and events, corporate intranets are extremely useful to organizations of all sizes.
Human Resources personnel often use them to post company policies and other relevant information. At the same time, CEOs can provide their employees with insights into the company’s vision from easy-to-understand blogs. All in all, intranet software helps companies build better workplaces where everyone is on the same page when it comes to company culture.
Do Companies Still Use Intranets?
The short answer is a resounding yes. With so many great benefits on offer, it’s really a no-brainer. You may have fallen into the trap of believing intranets are little more than glorified document management systems. However, the technology is constantly evolving. And for many organizations, they are mission-critical digital workspaces perfectly suited to modern hybrid workplaces.
Big-name users include the likes of Adidas, IBM, Princeton University, and Estée Lauder. However, they are not just for large corporates. The software’s flexibility means they are also relevant for SMEs. MyHub’s customers come from a broad range of organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries.
What Should A Corporate Intranet Include?
There is a clear path towards success for businesses interested in intranet adoption. A modern intranet must engage employees across the entire organization and make it easy for them to access the information they need from HR policies to key organizational updates.
Additionally, having an experienced team to design and implement your company intranet as well as provide ongoing support will increase engagement levels and ensure smoother adoption. Taking the time upfront to do this right can cut costs with long-term technical issues, engage more employees, and help drive productivity across the business.
When it comes to deciding what to include in your corporate intranet, there’s a vast choice to entice you. Modern platforms come with pre-built templates, making it easy to develop a customized solution. The final choice depends on the size of your organization and its unique set of needs. However, there are several must-have features, including the following:
Centralized Knowledge Hub
It’s the go-to platform for all company news, resources, and information.
Departmental silos have long been a challenge for company culture, as communication between company divisions can become limited over time. For company leaders, the main issue is how to bridge this divide while still maintaining productive workflows and efficient collaboration.
One way to combat this is with the use of modern intranet software, which can provide an excellent platform for bridging company divisions and giving employees a central hub for communication and collaboration.
By encouraging a company-wide culture through effective usage of a company intranet and its features, such as document sharing, video conferencing, and an internal calendar of events/activities, departmental silos can be dramatically reduced in any organization.
Do away with departmental silos with self-service access that empowers staff.
Internal comms is a top priority for all organizations. Your company intranet solution should include features like forums, team chat, and file sharing that will encourage employees to improve information flow and multidirectional communication.
Speed up decision-making and approvals with automated workflows. Ensure your platform has customizable online forms, project management tools, and task lists to improve the efficiency of your operations.
No two businesses are the same. You will want to create a solution that’s tailored to your organization. Ensure your internal website has the flexibility and customization options you need.
Improved Transparency And Accountability
Implementing a company intranet solution has become a common practice for businesses looking to improve transparency and accountability.
Being an internal communications platform that helps promote company culture by fostering collaboration and communication between employees.
Online processes guarantee that decision-making and accountability are transparent across the entire company. This provides greater oversight and a clear record of communication and decision-making for managers and staff.
This technology enables companies to have a single source of truth that gives clarity and consistency with fundraising, finance, and other company initiatives.
Which Company Has The Best Intranet?
UX research and consulting firm Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) is a valuable yardstick for determining the best company intranet. For over 20 years, NN/g has published an annual top ten list of the best intranets. This year’s top spot went to IBM for a record fourth time. The IBM platform was praised for its superior employee experience.
But it’s not just multinational corporates that produce the best company intranet strategy. Also recognized in the annual awards are smaller businesses like the American Medical Association. With just 1000 users, this platform took out the top spot for small organization intranets in 2018. And another previous winner is Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., which has only 350 users.
And what makes these examples so special? The bottom line is that they offer a great experience for employees and deliver on business objectives.
Here are some of the vital features to look out for when selecting the best software for your organization:
- Easy to deploy
- Simple to manage
- Engaging UX and interface
- Intuitive navigation and advanced search capabilities
- Security and reliability
- Ongoing support
- Customization options
- ROI with cost-effective pricing
- Wide-ranging choice of in-built tools
Check out our post on the 21 Best Intranet Software For Employees In 2023 for more advice and analysis.
What Companies Use Intranet Software?
Businesses of all sizes and sectors have much to gain. You name it: from architects to transport and logistics, intranets are the driving force behind organizations worldwide.
Here we showcase how just a few different industries are using theirs. Check out our website for real-world intranet case studies on MyHub’s customers.
Healthcare And Medical
The internal intranet site is a central hub for sharing critical policies and procedures. This ensures that health workers access expert knowledge quickly and easily. Staff use private team chat channels to share updates, including changes in shifts. Patient referrals are automated using customizable forms. And employee onboarding is simplified using an online checklist.
Education And Training
News, updates, and knowledge are centralized for easy access, breaking down departmental silos. And alerts and notifications keep everyone in the loop. Registration, course selection, and student onboarding all take place online. The software’s collaboration tools simplify joint working on research projects.
Corporate calendars help legal professionals keep tabs on critical events, including trials or billing cut-off dates. Dedicated secure client areas make it easy to update clients on legislative changes impacting their business or collaborate on preparing affidavits, wills, contracts, or other legal documents. And larger practices find the employee directory a handy tool. They use it to showcase internal expert knowledge and current projects.
Charities, NGOs, and NFPs
No technical expertise is needed to get up and running, which is perfect for this time and budget-pressed sector. Create dedicated staff and volunteer areas, providing access to everything they need to know. Forum, chat, notification, and alert tools ensure teams communicate and collaborate regardless of location.
How Do You Write A Company Intranet?
Writing the software from scratch is a big undertaking. It requires technical know-how and can be labor-intensive. That’s why most companies nowadays select a cloud-hosted intranet. With these platforms, all the hard work has been done for you. The technology is tried and tested. And all you need to do is populate the templates with your own branding and content – simple!
However, even with out-of-the-box platforms like MyHub’s, it’s still a good idea to thoroughly plan and prepare. After all, you want a solution that addresses your unique requirements. The following checklist will ensure your platform does just that.
1. Be Clear About Your Aims And Objectives
Think about what you want the internal website to achieve, as this will guide your choice of modules and features. For some companies, internal comms is the number one priority, while for others, it will be streamlined processes or more effective collaboration.
2. Get Your Staff Involved
Make sure you involve your people in the planning stage. The intranet should assist them in getting the job done. Find out what’s on their wish list of tools and apps. Plus, the early involvement of the workforce helps to secure buy-in. And it will help you with adoption further down the track.
3. Select An Intranet Provider
Selecting a supplier is a critical step. You want to ensure the provider offers the perfect balance of functionality and support at the right price. And there are hundreds out there to choose from. Use the detailed guidance in our post How To Select The Best Intranet Supplier to help you come up with a shortlist.
4. Set Up And Deployment
Now that you have selected your provider, the next step is set up and deployment. And templates make that a simple task, even for tech novices. Use the drag-and-drop page builder to complete the pre-built templates. And then, apply the extensive customization options to make the platform your own. Full color, image, logo, and CSS customization are just some of the possibilities. Complete this step, and you are ready to go live. No piloting or testing is needed as the software is already tried and tested.
5. Measure Success
Now that your exciting intranet is fully up and running, it’s time to consider ongoing success measures. Ensure yours has all the integrated metrics you need to monitor usage and performance.
What Are Examples Of Intranets In Action?
Many providers offer free demos, so you can get a good feel for the software before you sign on the dotted line. And it’s even better if your supplier has a free trial offer. That way, you can dig deep into the platform and explore how it will work.
And if you want inspiration on design and layout, check out MyHub’s comprehensive Intranet Design Guide. This free-to-download resource has plenty of valuable tips and advice, plus good practice intranet examples, including essential must-have features. Our guide will save you time and hassle with a simple step-by-step walkthrough of everything you need to know.
Company Intranets In 2023: Quick Recap
Whether starting from scratch or rejuvenating an existing platform, you may be surprised by how far the software has come. Here’s the deal: the company intranet is now a mission-critical piece of digital real estate for organizations of all shapes and sizes. They give employees centralized access to all the information, tools, and services needed daily. Whether your people are in-person, remote, or hybrid, they can collaborate, engage and communicate with colleagues under one virtual roof.
Revolutionize your business in 2023 with an all-in-one solution and power up your company’s productivity and performance.