“Build it and they will come,” right? It worked for Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams when he created a baseball diamond. But it doesn’t work for intranets.
Yet many organizations build them and then they’re done.
Many intranets lack:
- Good and easy-to-use design
- Integrations with other applications to help make people more productive
- Engaging and fresh content with governance plans
- Change management
- Ongoing support, including communication, for continual improvement
That’s where intranet services can help. Our opinion over here at ElevatePoint is – if your vendor isn’t providing the list below, you’re using the wrong vendor.
Intranet strategy and planning
Your intranet should have a purpose and should help employees meet organizational goals as well as support your communications plans. That roadmap should continue to support your intranet objectives as well as handle organizational changes – from re-orgs to bigger strategy like rebranding and acquisitions.
Design and UX
Intranets should come with experts, who can provide proven success with people using their intranet. Best practices for intranets in UX include:
- Meaningful search results
- Flexible and scalable design, available on mobile devices
- Menus that give navigational information at-a-glance
- Information that’s easy to read and understand with white space providing for the eyes to rest
- Information that’s well organized
- Collaboration is easy and adds value
- Be relevant, personalized to meet your needs
It shouldn’t take an act of Congress to search your intranet and get information – quickly and easily – that’s relevant, easy to read and easy to understand. That’s a starting place for your intranet. Your intranet should be able to do more – from providing personalized information to bringing your brand and culture to life. Your intranet should include your colors and logo, but do more – taking on the personality of your company. For example, if you’re in healthcare, you need an intranet to demonstrate personalized service and patient care with pictures and stories of your patients and how your organization is making their lives better. If you’re in technology, you need an intranet to demonstrate your innovations, including giving each other kudos for good ideas.
If your intranet isn’t bringing your brand and culture to life, then how can employees demonstrate your brand and values themselves?
Do more with integrations
Your intranet can be a powerful tool. In some companies, employees never leave a web browser to do important work. That’s all automation, integrating third-party applications to be more productive. For example, imagine a world where your new employees are onboarded on your website – completing benefits information and other necessary work as well as learning about your products and services. That’s possible with integrations with your HRIS system and Learning Management System (LMS).
One of the biggest hurdles organizations have is information that’s out of date or not useful. You’ve seen it. You search for benefits, getting information with an intro from the HR leader who left her position about three months ago. You then start to wonder, “Has this been updated?”
It seems innocuous, but that question, “Is this information accurate?” causes good intranets to crash and burn. When you can’t trust the information in your intranet, what good is it doing?
Having a plan to keep the intranet updated, and meeting regularly to ensure it’s updated, is the only way around it. Setting up your own internal governance system takes time – from knowing the right people to involve to having tools ready to use.
It’s a simple fact: no one likes change. Sure, they like to introduce change, but they don’t like it thrust upon them. That’s true with intranets, too – even the worst of them.
There are ways to get employees on board, including getting buy-in from them and involving them in your plans. The more they’re part of the change, the less resistant they’ll be to the change itself.
Some vendors send customers regular tips and ideas to take care of their intranet – ideas to improve writing, sharing and collaboration best practices, ways to increase adoption and more. Sadly, most intranet vendors don’t do any of that. They deliver a solution and wave goodbye.
That’s not true at ElevatePoint. We’re partners as you take care of your intranet. We’re there when you need assistance. In fact, we have experts on-hand to help with everything above. Our tech gurus are Microsoft alumni who helped create SharePoint. Our change managers have a vast background, including with lean and Six Sigma processes. And our communicators have been on the front-lines communicating good news and bad to employees, just like you.We have tech gurus, Microsoft alumni, change managers and communications professionals on-staff to help with your intranet project.