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10 intranet best practices to ensure success with your company

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Employees are more disengaged than ever before, so how should your intranet enable workers to get the right info to get the job done? We asked IT, HR and Comms leaders what they want in a modern intranet—see the results!
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Firstup teamed with Pulse, experts in social research, to generate insights from HR, IT, and Comms professionals about the modern intranet. Exploring the limitations of antiquated platforms vs. solutions that address the needs of today’s workforce, we uncovered the essential features and technology leaders want to support their enterprise-wide communications. 

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Get access to the full report to learn what feature 80% of respondents believe to be the most important in a modern intranet solution 

Events of the past year have physically transformed the workplace and increased the demand for a better digital employee experience. Traditional intranet solutions fail to reach every worker and organizational leaders are realizing they need a modern intranet solution to improve employee engagement.

Here’s a list of the 10 best intranet practices to ensure success with your company.

10 tips for intranet success

#1. Optimize the reach of your communications using mobile devices

To make an impact on deskless and remote workers, communications must meet workers when and where they prefer. This is especially true for engaging deskless workers, as they may not have access to a desktop at all times, but probably do have access to a mobile device. Simply relying on posting to the intranet for all your communications will not be enough to engage your workforce. You need to meet them on their devices. 

Having a multichannel approach that includes mobile is the best way to optimize the reach of your communications. Multiple channels maximize the number of touchpoints, making sure that your messages are being seen. A multichannel approach could include:

  • Instant messaging: helps connect workers and increase communication
  • Newsfeed feature: top-level company snippets that remote workers can easily consume
  • Mobile app: supports deskless and frontline staff who may not have access to a desktop 
  • Video calling: helps increase the human touch and makes employees feel seen

Diversifying your strategy in this way will help increase engagement with your messaging and encourage workers to be connected. A mobile app will especially help reach frontline workers to be informed and up-to-date on organizational goals. 

#2. Design your intranet with usability in mind

Since the intranet team is responsible for uploading, creating, and managing the intranet, it can often be difficult to step back and make sure that the intranet is user-friendly. You should ask yourself, why are workers using the intranet? Are they using it to collaborate with colleagues, discover new information, or simply fill out paperwork? 

Here’s what your intranet needs if you want to make it easy to use and provide employees with the tools they need.

  • Integration functionality: Automatically push news and updates right to the intranet without having to take an extra step. 
  • Search functionality: Critical to ensuring a user-friendly experience. 

Your intranet should be the first place your employees go to get the information that they need. Optimizing their experience means making sure that your intranet is built to enable and support your workforce.

#3. Measure how well your intranet contributes to broader business objectives

Your intranet should serve as a platform for internal communications and help reach broader business objectives. Ask yourself, what role does the intranet play in solving strategic organizational goals, and is it aligned to help reach them? 

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The only way to know if the intranet is contributing to your enterprise success is to measure your internal communications performance. To optimize your communications strategy, you need to know what is working and what is not. By analyzing your communication metrics, you can uncover how different employees interact with your messages. 

You will first need to define what metrics you will track to analyze your performance. Whether it’s increasing intranet adoption or empowering employees to communicate through the intranet, identifying key performance indicators will help you track your progress. Through tracking your metrics over time, you can create actionable insights to redefine your communications strategy. 

#4. Leverage your intranet to encourage a bidirectional dialogue

Intranets are usually thought of as a way to receive messages, but not as a platform that encourages conversation. Yet corporate communications will become stale and go unread if your intranet is only filled with announcements published by the intranet team. 

To encourage the use of the intranet, you should create spaces for employees to interact on the platform. 

To foster two-way dialogue, enable your intranet to support users having conversations. Users should have profiles that have information similar to what’s available on their LinkedIn profiles. 

#5. Use your intranet to create a strong company culture

As the digital workplace continues to play a larger role in shaping businesses, your intranet should serve as a vehicle to transmit your mission and values to your entire workforce. You should be able to use your intranet to easily communicate messages about your organizational brand and purpose to employees. 

Features such as employee recognition, performance objectives, an onboarding process, and encouraging workers to be active on the intranet can contribute to building a successful company culture. With a dispersed workforce, it may be more challenging to keep up with those kinds of features, which could in turn affect the quality of your company culture. 

Employees should feel comfortable building and contributing to your company culture through a vibrant dialogue on your intranet. Make resources available that empower employees to build a strong company culture.

Help your organizations better engage and support all your people.    

#6. Decentralize your communications

Decentralized communication is the latest trend shaping internal communications. Instead of being in control of every message on your intranet, encourage your employees to take ownership of their intranet. 

While it can be difficult for some IT teams to give creative control to multiple individuals, we suggest making a management system part of your strategic planning; such a system will allow you to set approval guidelines to ensure posts align with your company brand. 

Ultimately, an intranet is created to enable employees to do their jobs. Decentralizing your intranet will help create authentic, personalized, and relatable content. 

#7. Create highly engaging content

If you want to truly capture your employees’ attention, your intranet needs to have more content that provides value to your entire workforce. 

The way we consume content has changed. That means the tools we use to engage our workforce need to reflect the ways we communicate when we’re online or out of the office. 

Your intranet should be a tool to help provide an amazing employee experience. Teams are much more likely to be engaged with your content if you keep the content focused on encouraging worker participation instead of top-down messaging. 

Download the Pulse report to see how your peers rank content personalization and customization when evaluating modern intranet solutions.

An intranet should be a place for dialogue between employer and employee, instead of a place that workers only go to consume information rather than participating. 

#8. Make your intranet content easy to find and searchable

Employees predominantly use Intranets to search for information, communicate across an organization, and manage workflows. 

Because intranets have been used for such a long time, they’re traditionally structured in an outdated way. This structure often forces employees to search through thousands of pages or folders to find the information they need. 

To optimize your intranet, make your content easy to find and searchable. Having a company intranet makes it easy to store and access all your files in a central location. Any communication that happens on an intranet is also saved for as long as the intranet is up. This makes it easier for individuals to search for past posts from their company intranet. 

#9. Create personalized, relevant, and targeted content

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The best way to keep employees engaged is to create content that is targeted and relevant. For example, if you know frontline workers use your company app more than they open your emails, you can direct a majority of the in-app messaging to focus on their needs.   

The best way to target content is by dividing your workforce into different audience segments. These segments can be based on location, job title, or tenure. New hires may appreciate receiving personalized communications towards onboarding and easing their entry into the organization. 

Homepages provide another opportunity for companies to personalize their intranet. Employees could have different homepages based on their language or region. Personalization will make workers want to come back and use your intranet because it will contain information that is unique and relevant to them. 

#10. Integrate communications channels on a workforce communications platform

While an “intranet refresh” may be on your to-do list, the best way to optimize your intranet is to integrate all your comms channels into a workforce communications platform.

To keep your workforce interested in your messaging, you have to reach employees on the channel that they prefer. With a workforce platform, you can post content directly to all your comms channels, whether desktop or mobile. This will ensure that your employees see your content no matter how they like to receive information. 

Download the free report for the latest intranet insights from IT and Comms leadership. 

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We are changing our company name, but our platform is still the same—Firstup. We are redefining the digital employee experience to put people first and lift companies up. We make communication solutions that build authentic engagement and create two-way conversation between employees and companies. Our powerful orchestration engine connects every worker, everywhere, on any device with personalized information that helps them do their best work. That’s why 40% of Fortune 100 companies like Amazon, ABInBev, Ford and Pfizer have chosen us to power their frontline, simplify their digital workplace and unlock the potential of their workforces. Get started at firstup.io.

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