Creating a Connected Workplace: Building an Intranet that Drives Employee Engagement

By Chiradeep BasuMallick - Published on March 4, 2024
Article is about Intranet Engagement

Is the intranet only a resource for convenient and unlimited file sharing?

Let’s pause for a moment and think about this: intranet functionality extends beyond document storage, impacting team interactions and collaboration and strengthening engagement and culture. We shall examine several aspects of an intranet in this article. Also, we’ll talk about how it could help you meaningfully influence your business and its core values.

Understanding Your Intranet Audience

Whether a business has 250 or 250,000 employees, the ability to segment its workforce and deliver relevant, targeted messaging and data will either make or break intranet success and efficacy.

Moreover, your organization can be viewed from 30,000 feet in the air. Assess how your company has disseminated information and engaged with its employees so far. Then, plan how you envision the relationship developing in the coming years and define the necessary steps to achieve that.

Classifying an organization’s employee database might be a challenge for certain entities. This happens routinely because of the rapid growth of a company and the absence of a designated individual responsible for guaranteeing that the database architecture is updated regularly. Assigning an audience analysis owner and segmenting employees based on demographics, roles, and information needs is the first step to building an intranet that drives engagement.

Key Features of an Engaging Intranet

Next, you must map out the features to meet your audience goals. Typically, these will include:

1. Personalized content feeds

The subject matter of the intranet must be customized in line with the position, team affiliation, geographical placement, and other relevant variables for every employee. Develop a news feed tailored to every staff member’s specific needs and interests. Avoid overburdening individuals with unnecessary details, like administrative processes in a subsidiary company or office remodeling in another location.

2. User-friendly design and navigation

An intranet that needs to be more transparent and easier to navigate discourages even the most technologically proficient worker. The design must be intuitive, uncluttered, and direct. This lets employees allocate more time to active engagement instead of trying to find the right buttons and tabs. Increasing adoption rates can be achieved by managing – reading, reducing – the learning curve, and employing widely recognized design principles.

3. Integration with daily tools and applications

The intranet solution must provide seamless integrations with external apps, spanning leading collaborative suites like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, as well as social media platforms, messaging tools, and proprietary applications. This feature consolidates internal communications into a single centralized hub.

4. Social features for collaboration and communication

A basic thumbs-up – whether on LinkedIn or the employee intranet – is the fastest, most popular, and easiest way to indicate engagement. Engaging in emoji-based responses to posts is an encouraging initial move. Along with these features, the intranet must offer the ability to comment and share on collaborative channels, identify fellow users, and send multimedia materials like images, videos, and podcasts.

5. Mobile accessibility for on-the-go access

It’s critical to have a responsive design that runs smoothly on all types of devices. As the number of handheld devices increases, most people want to access work-related information while on the move. This functionality is advantageous for businesses with remote workers or individuals carrying out their duties away from their workstations or the primary HQ or sub-sites.

Developing a Content Strategy for the Intranet

Your employees should access organizational data through the intranet. Fill it with frequently accessed content to maintain its utility, appeal, and relevance. Make it the primary reference for locating this kind of data. Expand your content as you grow, starting with what you already possess.

Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  • New hire welcome: By introducing new employees via the corporate intranet, you allow others to send out greetings. Look at inventive material that extends beyond the individual’s name and job role.
  • Crowdsourced content: Encourage recurring open calls for staff content, allowing members to share their opinions and ideas with the broader community.
  • Scheduled posts: Different forms of content are essential to sustaining interest, but the company also strives for uniformity by scheduling the release of particular items at regular intervals. For example, plan the distribution of a weekly company-wide news update on a recurring time and date.
  • Recognition posts: Some people demonstrate exceptional proficiency in achieving their sales targets, while others distinguish themselves as leading contributors to virtual discussions. A specially designated section inside your intranet should be used to highlight the successes of these individuals.
  • Job vacancy announcements: Support long-term career goals by sharing job postings that invite applications from employees. An internal employment board is an excellent example of employee intranet engagement content.
  • An events calendar: Is it customary for your organization to organize virtual happy hours, keynote addresses, or seminars? Enhance engagement by enabling universal access to an events calendar through the organization’s intranet.

Content creation for the intranet requires practice and effort. Developing content guidelines ensures the material is accurate, timely, up-to-date, concise, and easily understandable.

Your intranet rules & guidelines will establish what’s expected from contributors and assist in generating visually appealing content that’s easy to peruse and understand. Ideally, a content strategy should be incentivized – through recognition and rewards – to boost engagement sufficiently.

Launching and Maintaining Your Intranet

Before moving forward, it’s vital to ascertain the intended objectives that you wish to accomplish with your intranet. Although it can fulfill different goals for genuine success within the framework of a company, it has to be adjusted to the unique needs of its employees. Implement user segmentation data to assess and resolve employee requirements.

Requesting inputs from employees may help pinpoint the main areas of dissatisfaction. The value of employee feedback goes beyond mere guidance. Maintaining their interest and telling them about the project fosters a feeling of ownership for the intranet rollout.

Next, adapt the intranet design to meet the specific requirements of your employees. You are ready to go live with your intranet once the initial prototype has been completed and the feedback is incorporated.

 #ProTip: Before anything else, initiate a soft launch with a relatively small focus group to see how well it lands. This allows you to rectify any minor flaws that may surface.

Change management is equally important. When a significant change is impending and could directly impact employees, adequately preparing them for it can prevent unpleasant surprises or adjustment issues. Also, you must ensure a sense of anticipation and excitement accompanies the launch. The entire organization can be kept abreast of the situation by providing updates in the weeks leading up to your Go Live.

Regularly oversee and assess the usage of the intranet to detect any potential concerns and make essential upgrades. Launching an intranet help desk where users can submit inquiries and provide continuous training and support – is a typical example of initiatives like this.

The Role of the Intranet in an Employee-Centric Organization

A productive and high-functioning intranet meets the data standards for your senior leadership and your employees. When you regularly create and disseminate appropriate, current, beneficial, and well-indexed content, your intranet will become a bright, rich, and compelling meeting ground for your organization’s best and brightest.

Remember, you’re not just building a digital workstation – you’re also nurturing an active employee community.

Also, remember that there needs to be a universally applicable strategy. Specific organizations might prefer collaboration tools that facilitate rapid-fire exchanges of ideas, focusing on assets like collaborative workstations for teams with easy file access. Large, global businesses could assign higher priority to features such as organizational schematics and multilingual platforms.

Evaluate your needs carefully, collect detailed stakeholder inputs, and plan a phased-out launch to smoothen your way forward.

Next, download Microsoft’s whitepaper on How to Boost Employee Engagement in Hybrid Work Models. Follow us on LinkedIn for more such insights. 

Chiradeep BasuMallick | Chiradeep BasuMallick is a content marketing expert, startup incubator, and tech journalism specialist with over 11 years of experience. His background includes advertising, marketing communications, corporate communications, and content marketing. He has collaborated with several global and multinational companies. Presently, he runs a content marketing startup in Kolkata, India. Chiradeep writes extensively on IT, banking and financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, financial analysis, and stock markets. He holds a literature and public relations degree and contributes independently to leading publications.

Chiradeep BasuMallick | Chiradeep BasuMallick is a content marketing expert, startup incubator, and tech journalism specialist with over 11 years of experience. His backgr...

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