Your organization probably already has an intranet today, but when was the last time you checked it and easily found something without first calling a friend to ask where it was? Does your intranet help your team feel engaged and provide them with the information they need to efficiently do their best work?
Enabling your employees to productively and securely work from anywhere has never been more important than it is right now. An intuitive, engaging, targeted, and self-service intranet can have a tremendous impact on your people and their work.
As you look to improve the return on investment and return on objectives of your intranet, here are three areas to consider.
1. Ensure it reflects your brand
Your intranet should reflect your brand and your business. As such, it should not be treated like just another IT project. It is important to engage your communications team and other subject matter experts across your organization to capture all the perspectives required for a positive user experience.
Branding your intranet isn't just about adding a logo or corporate colors, it should amplify the voice and the heart of your company. What are the characteristics and traits of your company culture? Who are the different personas within your organization? What are the cultural norms of how you celebrate and recognize success? Those are all elements you'll want to bring to your intranet.
2. Tailor your information architecture (IA)
In order to have an intranet that is meaningful to your users, it needs to be structured, labeled, and categorized in a way that echoes how people work. Once you have your personas defined, look at what types of information each of them needs. What common or unique terms are used within your organization or within different teams?
With a role-based approach and tags, you don't have to build a complex site hierarchy. You can present the same information in a different way to different audiences without changing your site architecture. In fact, you can easily ensure the most popular, practical, and relevant content is never be more than three clicks away through good IA and search. Utilizing the power of search allows users to find content based on attributes of the file instead of digging to find where they saved it. This approach also eliminates nested files and folders which results in employees creating endless bookmarks and not really knowing what content exists.
3. Stay close to "out-of-the-box"
For those familiar with SharePoint Online, you've likely seen the tremendous investment Microsoft has made in the product over the past few years. With the release of SharePoint modern experiences and a host of other improvements, it is now easier to publish dynamic intranets that seamlessly integrate with other line of business and collaboration tools. By taking a low-code approach and keeping your intranet as close to out of the box as possible, you can reduce the total cost of ownership for your intranet and ensure your able to take advantage of the latest updates as they are released.
Your intranet should enable, not inhibit, your employee's productivity. A well-designed and targeted intranet can help employees work more efficiently, streamline processes, and be a valuable part of your internal communications strategy. So, embrace the voices! Intranets are most effective when developed as a partnership between IT and the business. Does your intranet reflect the lifeblood of your organization?