The Top 10 Things to Look for in a Modern Intranet

Intranet Tips, Employee Engagement, intranet features

The word ‘intranet’ encompasses a vast array of internal communications platforms geared towards companies and organizations; expecting the same great functionality and tools across all ‘intranet’ solutions is futile. The range of differences is enormous, with intranet solutions ranging from modern feature and functional beauty, ticking a lot of intranet feature boxes to those that are archaic functionally minimalistic, downright clunky and difficult to navigate.

 The current workforce shift towards an increase in millennial and Gen Z workers further compounds the organizational need for a modern intranet that supports mobile and remote employees while building a corporate community that transcends international, regional and office borders. 

Top 10 for Your Modern Intranet 

It can be challenging to determine which features are essential and which are just ‘nice to have’ when exploring the options for a new intranet solution. That’s why we’ve created a list of crucial elements to help clarify the essential components for a truly modern intranet. 

1.     User Experience & Modern Intranet Interface

 These days, most people interact with technology on a daily, if not hourly, basis, whether at work, at home or during leisure time and have become accustomed to certain standards when it comes to user experience. Modern intranets must oblige by the same high standards of a consumer grade, 1st class user experience, as that’s what users have come to expect. A thoughtful user interface is important to ensure intranet buy-in and adoption.

 intranetpro-home-1Image Source: Pexels {edited} 

When considering a new intranet solution, pay close attention to the user interface to see if it’s conducive to streamlining employee tasks. Aiding employees in completing tasks more efficiently with access to the information they need is an essential modern intranet requirement. Personalization capabilities are also important, such as organizational branding, which is essential for building user trust and fostering a sense of community. Personalization and targeted content capabilities also go a long way to achieving cohesive intranet design. 

2.     A Personalized Modern Intranet Content Feed

Empowering employees to tailor their news feed on the intranet homepage is a game changer when it comes to creating a modern intranet. Enabling employees to select the information that’s relevant for an individually curated homepage can transform the intranet experience into a two-way platform of genuine connection. Whether it’s creating links to access popular content or choosing which department sites to follow, providing this choice to users really puts them in the hot seat and empowers them to personalize the intranet solution to meet their specific needs.

A personalized content feed can greatly help to encourage engagement and peak users’ interest in the intranet solution. Rather than all employees across all departments and locations receiving the same information on their homepage newsfeed, users can now pick and choose the content that they deem most relevant.

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3.     Engagement Level Modern Intranet Analytics

 A modern intranet needs to be equipped with analytics to measure intranet engagement and provide robust data for highlighting improvements and informing decision making. Engaged users are essential for a successful modern intranet and reliable intranet analytics play a significant role in achieving this. Engagement level intranet analytics enable intranet managers to review and analyze the intranet content that users are most engaged with so that the most engaging style of content can be replicated. Similarly, the insights gained by such powerful intranet analytics can shed light on content that has lower levels of user engagement, giving intranet managers a chance to change it or remove it if it’s irrelevant.

Employee opinion surveys are a popular tool used by many organizations in an attempt to measure engagement, however this approach is notoriously dubious. Organizations typically select a specific period of time, within which employees are encouraged to complete a survey that strives to measure their engagement. The problem with this is that many employees are too busy or reluctant to complete the survey and the results can vary dramatically depending on how the employee feels in the precise moment they complete the survey. This approach provides organizations with engagement levels during a specific point in time providing a narrow snapshot. A modern intranet solution with built-in engagement analytics solves this problem by providing a holistic view of employee engagement over a period of time.

4.    Simple Content Management & Content Authoring

 Simple content management and authoring capabilities are vital for organizations looking to encourage fresh, interesting content on their intranet while avoiding content publishing backlogs. Empowering content authors by providing them with the ability to publish content on their respective departmental sites creates ownership and drives intranet adoption. Organizations with multiple intranet content authors experience diversity of thought across their content which can be hugely beneficial once content publishing guidelines are created and enforced.

When looking for a modern intranet, make sure that the content management capabilities are easy to use and content publishing roles and responsibilities can be easily set and updated as required. In a truly modern intranet solution, content publishing is a straightforward and seamless process, enabling content authors to regularly publish content without a hitch.

5.     Modern Employee Engagement and Social Interaction 

It’s no secret that engaged employees are more productive and in the age of social media, many organizations are taking the positive aspects of these social platforms and incorporating them into their intranet solutions. Organizations are regularly on the lookout for innovative ways to drive engagement and many do so successfully with a modern intranet.

In the past, intranet content was a one-way information ‘push,’ with management using it predominately as an outward communication tool to the workforce. Nowadays, the benefits of a ‘pull’ approach to organizational communication is widely documented and an intranet solution with social capabilities is the perfect platform for achieving this. A modern intranet solution should provide employees with the ability to engage and communicate through likes, comments and shares, encouraging them to interact with organizational content, harnessing camaraderie and a positive organizational culture. 

6.     Effective, Modern Internal Communication Tools

A modern intranet enhances organizational communications by serving as the backbone for all internal communications. Disseminating information quickly is essential in a modern intranet and content authors should be empowered to achieve this with the right tools. Seeing as the intranet is the go-to source for reliable information, it’s important that content is managed effectively and kept up-to-date, this also impacts information retrieval, which we’ll explore in more detail later in the post.

A reliable intranet platform enables organizations to quickly disseminate information when time is of the essence, such as alerts, which are pushed out to all employees and prominently displayed on their intranet home page when required. To enhance internal communications, organizations can deliver content through a variety of mediums, such as video, to enrich information delivery and intranet engagement. A modern intranet solution provides intranet managers with essential tools for driving efficient and timely internal communications to employees across all global locations.

 Modern Intranet Platform Image Source: Pexels 

7.     Empower Modern Employees on the Modern Intranet 

Employees should feel empowered by a modern intranet, supporting them to complete tasks more efficiently and enabling them to tailor the homepage towards their needs. When employees are empowered to configure their intranet homepage towards their specific tasks, productivity increases as they have fast access to the information they need most.

 Productivity is enhanced as employees receive only the information that matters to them while reducing exposure to distracting information. Providing employees with the ability to interact with intranet content through likes, comments and shares, empowers employees and provides them with a platform to authentically engage and collaborate across the workforce. An intranet solution that truly empowers employees positively impacts intranet uptake and usage. 

8.     Reliable Intranet Search Experience

Efficient information retrieval is an essential component of a modern intranet and is an important consideration when evaluating a new intranet solution. Employees rely on the intranet to access important information, policies and documentation that supports them in successfully completing tasks. Excellent search functionality is one of the most important features of an intranet solution as it can make or break user acceptance. 

Employees must save time and benefit from having steadfast search functionality for retrieving organizational information for a truly modern intranet. Whether employees are searching for a colleague in the employee directory or trying to retrieve content on the intranet, it needs to be fast, effective and reliable. The type of information you decide to host on your intranet is an important consideration, but information retrieval is even more so. When assessing an intranet solution, it’s imperative that employees can conveniently access intranet information through reliable search functionality.

 Fast Intranet Deployment

Image Source: Pexels

9.     Proficient & Timely Modern Intranet Deployment

A modern intranet is thoughtfully deployed with a tried and tested approach to solution delivery. Choosing a robust intranet is only half the battle. Attempting to achieve a successful installation is where the fun really begins. It helps to choose an intranet provider that has a proven approach to implementation and intranet delivery with expertise to effectively guide you to achieve modern intranet success.

A modern intranet solution provider has the expertise and know-how when it comes to the planning elements that occur before implementation. There’s some work on the organization’s side but it’s worth it to obtain a truly engaging intranet that employees love. 

10.  Modern Intranet Management

Intranet managers should have the ability to create new departments and sites quickly, without the need for technical support. Ease of administrating user roles and adding and removing user privileges as needed are important considerations when evaluating intranet options. It’s crucial that intranet managers are empowered and equipped with effective tools that are easy-to-use for streamlined intranet management. 

Superior intranet analytics can greatly help with intranet management by providing insights into popular areas of the intranet and highlighting areas for improvement. A modern intranet platform furnishes intranet managers with the tools they need to fully manage the intranet solution with ease, without having to rely on technical assistance.

Other Modern Intranet Necessities?

While we unfortunately had to limit our list to 10, there is much more to today’s modern intranet than a traditional, David Letterman style ‘Top 10 List’. What would you add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!



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