Best practices

7 Best Practices for Your Company Intranet

Creating an effective company intranet requires more than just assembling a collection of tools and resources. It involves crafting a digital ecosystem that is engaging, intuitive, and serves as the nerve center for your organization's communications, culture, and collaboration.

Below are seven best practices to ensure your next intranet strategy not only meets but exceeds these objectives:

1. Make It THE Go-To Place for Communication

Your own intranet website should be the first place employees turn to for internal communications, updates, and collaboration. To achieve this:

  • Centralize Information: Ensure all important announcements, updates, and resources are easily accessible. This includes HR policies, company news, and project documentation.
  • Encourage Daily Use: Integrate daily work processes with the intranet, such as time tracking, project management, and team collaboration, to make it an indispensable part of your employees' workflow.
  • Promote Engagement: Foster a community by encouraging employees to share updates, celebrate milestones, and support each other's work within the intranet.

2. Have Mobile Access

With the rise of remote work and on-the-go job roles, mobile access to the intranet is crucial. Ensure your intranet is:

  • Responsive: The design should be mobile-friendly, providing a seamless experience across all devices.
  • Accessible: Employees should be able to easily log in from anywhere, at any time, ensuring they're always connected.
  • Feature-Rich: Mobile versions should offer the same functionalities as the desktop version, from searching documents to participating in discussions.

3. Should Be a 2-Way Street from the Start

An effective intranet supports two-way communication, allowing employees to not only consume content but also contribute. Implementing the intranet best practices this involves:

  • Empowering Employees: Provide tools for employees to create content, share ideas, and give feedback.
  • Leadership Participation: Encourage leaders to actively use and contribute to the intranet, setting a positive example for the rest of the organization.
  • Facilitating Discussions: Use forums, comment sections, and social features to foster dialogue and exchange of ideas among employees.

For instance, Chris, our CEO at Slite, loves writing. When he came back from paternity leave, he shared a fun update about his time off.

A heartwarming note from Chris after parental leave!

4. Use News for De-Facto Big Company News

Treat your intranet pages as the primary source for significant company announcements. This strategy:

  • Ensures Consistency: Having a single, reliable source for big news avoids confusion and misinformation.
  • Builds Anticipation: Use the intranet to tease upcoming announcements, creating a buzz and ensuring employees check in regularly.
  • Celebrates Success: Share achievements and milestones on the intranet, making it the hub for positive news and celebrations.

5. Some Writers Will Lead the Change, Identify, Encourage, and Give an H/T

Identify and champion the intranet users and content creators within your organization. To foster this culture:

  • Spotlight Contributors: Recognize and reward employees who actively contribute quality content to the intranet.
  • Provide Training: Offer workshops on content creation and best practices to empower more employees to contribute.
  • Encourage Departments: Each team or department should have designated contributors who regularly share updates and successes.

6. Have Great Search

A powerful search function is essential for an effective intranet. Ensure your search tool:

  • Is Comprehensive: It should index all content, including text within documents, making everything easily findable.
  • Supports Filters: Allow users to refine searches by date, department, content type, etc., to quickly find what they need.
  • Learns and Improves: Implement machine learning algorithms to improve search results based on user behavior and feedback.

7. Make It Measurable

Tracking the usage and effectiveness of your intranet is vital for continuous improvement. Focus on:

  • Analyzing User Data: Monitor how employees use the intranet, including popular content, search trends, and engagement levels.
  • Gathering Feedback: Regularly survey employees to understand their needs, frustrations, and suggestions for improvement.
  • Setting Goals: Define clear metrics for success, such as adoption rates, daily active users, and satisfaction scores. Use these metrics to guide enhancements and demonstrate the intranet's value to the organization.

Company Intranet Examples

In 2010, Nielsen Normal Group picked these as the best 4 Company Intranets:

Image Source

But how different can they look? Let's check out these examples:

#1 Sharepoint’s Social Intranet

This is the quintessential intranet. You have a one-click access to all important links. There's company updates well placed at the bottom so as to not disrupt daily work. The company's key 5 metrics are visible to all employees, changing in real-time.

Sharepoint's Sample Intranet

#2 Interact’s Company Intranet for Healthcare

This is another great one. This is aimed to support frontline workers and help them access information fast.

Company Intranet for Frontline Healthcare Workers

#3 Slite

Since most conversation is focused around Slack/MS Teams, we've made changes to how your company intranet looks, making it completely personal for everyone. This is how we show updates: the most read docs, a neatly tucked away notification section to see where you're needed, and a sidebar to across your favourite channels/docs right away.

A stripped out, clean, workspace where users get to pick what they see first

Ishaan Gupta
Written by

Ishaan Gupta is a writer at Slite. He doom scrolls for research and geeks out on all things creativity. Send him nice Substack articles to be on his good side.

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