What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private network that an organization uses. It allows authorized users to access information and applications unavailable to the general public. 

This gives organizations more control over their data and allows them to keep sensitive information private. 

You can use intranets for various purposes, such as sharing files, collaboration, and communication. You can also use them to give employees access to internal resources, such as employee manuals and company news. 

By giving employees easy access to the information they need, intranets can help improve productivity and efficiency.

Benefits of an intranet

There are several benefits to getting an intranet if you are part of a large organization or employees work remotely or in different locations. 

Keeping information in a centralized location

Large companies can benefit from a central place to find contact information for employees. A place to store documents means that employees can easily access large files and don’t need to use awkward email attachments. 

Employee engagement

An intranet that looks like a social media platform is an effective way to keep employees engaged. Equally important is the integration with existing software, so employees don’t have to seek information across several platforms. 

Improve productivity

With news, information, documents, and contact with other employees all in one place, an intranet has the potential to improve employee productivity. 

Connect employees in different locations

In a large organization, or one that’s embraced hybrid or remote working, it would be easy for some employees to feel disconnected. An intranet can help employees connect to one another and the leadership team. 

Choosing the right intranet for your business

In the past, intranets have been accused of being clunky and difficult to use. More and more intranets have reinvented themselves into what we now call modern intranets. 

These cloud-based intranets can be accessed more easily from anywhere and often include a mobile app for employees who are not desk-based.  

This is good news for businesses who want to connect their entire workforce, from those who work in head office to those in the warehouse or factory floor. 

The best modern intranets are those that look like a social media platform, as employees are more likely to engage with them. The employee communication platform, Workvivo, reported that up to 90% of employees engaged with their social intranet.

If you’re thinking about choosing an intranet, look out for one that has these features:

  • Compatibility with your existing intranet or software like Slack, Sage, or Google Suite
  • The ability to do polls and surveys so that you can learn more about your employees
  • A dashboard for insights so you can see which content your employees love. 
  • A mobile interface or app that’s as good as the desktop version
  • Cloud-based file sharing allows employees to access the documents they need easily.
  • Llike a social media platform, there are fun features like comments, likes, and shoutouts.
  • The ability to connect employees in different locations by job role. For example, you might have a cleaning team in each one of your offices who never have the opportunity to connect.  
  • Push notifications so that your employees are unlikely to miss an essential piece of news
  • Useful organizational features like an events calendar and a people directory. 

Tips for using your intranet effectively

If you’ve decided that an intranet is a good idea for your business, ‌consider the following ways to ensure you use it to its fullest: 

Give ownership to people across the organization

Involving people in content creation to be used on the intranet will make them more likely to engage with the platform. This might be as simple as interviewing employees in different roles and posting the articles on the platform for everyone to read. 

Use different channels for different messages

Celebrate big wins with a shoutout, deliver important news with a video message, or knowledge share with a podcast – use the channels available to your best advantage. 

Give shoutouts and celebrate wins together

Boost morale and let everyone know that their good work really counts! Celebrating wins together is a great way to connect the team and make them feel valued. 

Create polls to ask employee opinions 

Asking for someone’s opinion makes them feel valued. If your intranet has the option to create polls and surveys, why not use it as an opportunity to ask their opinion on how the intranet is being used. It’s a great way to find new ideas and really make your intranet work for you.