With all the tools available to companies, it's no wonder why competition is so stiff. It's easy to make the right moves to get ahead, yet the playing field is as level as ever ... because the best companies are combining a number of tools to reach their goals. One of the most useful tools being social intranet software.
The purpose of a company intranet is to provide a private, secured online network where employees can create content, communicate, collaborate, manage tasks and events, and develop the company culture. It’s your company’s home-base, team touchpoint, central repository, multifunctional communication tool and more.
There are many ways companies create and use intranets ... and they all involve people working together. A true intranet solution improves communication with collaboration tools. This then helps with newer and better intranet ideas and solutions. No matter how well-tuned you think your intranet is, you can always improve it. No intranet can claim perfection ... so progressing towards a more effective network will only benefit your organization.
Here are 36 intranet ideas to create the best company intranet:
No matter your type of business, your team will need to access important files and documents. Your intranet document management system can range from templates to employee guidelines and everything in-between. Make them accessible by putting them in an area that won't get overlooked. You'll also want to tag and rate content so it can be found through a search.
Give your company intranet solution its own personality by branding it. Give it a unique name ... this adds character.
Naming your intranet gives it an identity that draws people in and promotes adoption. The name will influence the way the intranet is perceived and used within the organization.
Beyond its humanizing effects, naming helps distinguish the system from other systems and makes it easier to reference. Without it, employees could refer to it as "the intranet", but also as "the network", "the portal", or perhaps the name of the technology provider, like Communifire. An intranet name provides a common vocabulary.
Once you've made the decision to name your intranet, the next question is:
What should I name it?
Good question. I wrote an entire post to help you. You can read it here: How to Choose an Intranet Name
Your intranet is the perfect platform for broadcasting your company's wins. Did someone win an award? Did someone get a promotion? Posting success stories is a great way to motivate employees ... and it makes each day more worthwhile. It also gives people a change to reach out to others to share in their success with a congratulations.
In Communifire, admins can award badges, or shout outs, for outstanding achievements. There is also a point system feature, where employees accumulate points for notable contributions. This builds positive employee morale, acknowledges members for their accomplishments, and cultivates continued growth within your company.
Often, the intranet homepage is the first page employees see. Use this as an opportunity to inspire and motivate members by creating a visually pleasing intranet design. With drag-and-drop page building features, you can customize your homepage to fit your brand without any HTML experience. Users can also view anything you deem important, such as company updates, articles, and a section for useful links, instantly.
It's important to remember that your intranet solution doesn't have to stay the same. Nothing is set in stone. As your business grows, so will the needs of your intranet. Experiment with different workflows, different intranet ideas, and different intranet designs. Once you find something that sticks, the rest will fall into place on its own. Keep experimenting.
The best way to approach content marketing is by sticking to a consistent schedule. Put a schedule in place, and make sure everyone in the content creation process follows it.
Well-designed intranet software combines many tools that help merge processes ... including communication, sales, marketing, content creation, and more. If employees have access to these tools in your digital workplace, they have a good chance of meeting your expectations.
Brand identity and consistency are important to your business ... and the color scheme of your company intranet is no exception. At the same time, switching things up (color options) won't hurt. This will keep people interested. There are countless reasons and opportunities to try a new color scheme for your digital workplace. For instance, seasonal color changes can lift peoples' spirits ... and also breathe new life into your intranet. Get creative, and take suggestions from your staff about what they'd like to see.
Most people only use their intranet calendars for scheduling meetings and internal events ... but this just scratches the surface. If every team member lives in the same area, create a calendar devoted to events happening around you. This could be sporting events, food/wine, and anything else. People can RSVP, and in the end, you're left with a great team-building exercise.
Take your events calendar a step further and display photo albums from company gatherings in your intranet. Demonstrate that you care about your staff and want to share fun get-togethers with the entire company. This builds a stronger community within the organization and adds a balance between work and fun.
Text is effective and necessary in all aspects of your company intranet, but too much of it can cause fatigue. To break things up a bit, consider posting images. Images not only break the flow of text, but they also add visual context to your subject matter. The web is a treasure trove of images, so use this to your advantage.
Have you ever experienced what it's like to navigate a jumbled intranet? If you haven't, then believe me, you don't want this for your organization. Providing your employees with a clean, sleek intranet navigation solution is essential. It's as easy as using white space, smooth lines, and plenty of strong boundaries. If your company intranet is easy on the eyes, everyone will love it.
Getting people to try new intranet ideas can be difficult, especially if they're busy. Give your staff incentive to take part in conversations and create great content. Hold an intranet contest and offer prizes and rewards. For example, the most active user for this week gets a $20 gift card. There are many options here, so get your people communicating and collaborating.
"Throwback Thursday" has completely infiltrated major social media platforms. Even though many people have passed this stage in social media, #TBT is a great way themed days can add fun to the week. You can take this same concept and apply it to your intranet solution ... "Photo Friday" is an option that comes to mind. When one or more days of the week has its own theme, you'll be adding some spice to your intranet solution.
Inspiration can motivate employees and keep them on track. And there are plenty of ways to develop an inspiring social community. One great way to kick-start things is to post inspiring employee engagement quotes in your digital workplace. This can help get the wheels turning and give your employees a moment to think. Try to post at least one quote per day or week, but don't overdo it!
Hiring from within comes with many benefits. If you're creating new jobs, try using your intranet as an internal job board. You can post jobs, conduct interviews, and more ... all without having to leave the digital workplace. This can save a great deal of time, money, and energy on the part of managerial staff.
When you tag your intranet content, searching for it becomes less stressful. Apply tags such as "marketing", "internal documentation", and other common phrases to your content. This is an effective way to manage intranet content. It will save you a lot of time recalling past information.
Early adopters are people who hold more interest in and see the value of their new company intranet. These people can help take your intranet to new heights. Identify them, and make them community leaders. In the end, they can provide even more valuable intranet ideas to create a better company culture.
When employees are taking on new projects and tasks, they're going to have questions. This is especially true when learning how to use the company intranet, which is why you should add a Q&A forum. This is an excellent team-building exercise. It's also a good way to keep confusion at bay. But it's essential that managers check-in and answer the questions. You can create more intranet discussion forums as well, like one for employees to discuss new examples of intranet ideas they may have.
Employees want to offer feedback about the intranet ... things they enjoy and things they don't. By getting feedback, you can steer the direction of your intranet design ... and also come up with new examples of intranet ideas for the future. You can do this by formulating questions in a survey or posting a forum thread. Reaching out is an act of good will that will shed a positive light on your managerial abilities.
The workweek can be stressful at times, especially when deadlines are creeping up. Sometimes, it's good to inject a bit of humor into the situation ... to ease the tension. Your company intranet serves as the perfect platform. Post a funny video, comic, quote, etc. No matter what it is, humor will help keep your employees stress-free.
Employee profiles offer a glimpse into the lives of colleagues. They're a great way for people to get to know each other better ... and encourage increased collaboration. Use profiles to highlight strengths. This means identifying experts is easier than ever. Getting people to fill-out their profiles can be tricky, but a little persuasion can go a long way.
There's no warmer welcome than introducing a new employee to the entire company through your intranet. Your platform's social tools makes it the perfect place to connect new team members with staff. Create a post on the homepage and share a link to his or her profile for further networking. It's an easy gesture and immediately demonstrates to new employees that the intranet is the tool used to communicate throughout the company.
A strong internal communication system is a game changer when it comes to interacting and collaborating. Your company intranet can be a place for members to have conversations with each other through one-on-one chats or group messages. Bypassing the back-and-forth of emails and allowing colleagues to ask questions in a quick, personalized manner builds relationships between teams, departments, and employees. Check out this blog post to learn How to Get Employees to Start Online Discussions on your intranet.
Video is one of the most effective forms of media for helping people learn just about anything. It's also useful when applied to training new employees. Relieve the time and stress of onboarding with great training materials, such as videos in your digital workplace. Be sure to organize everything, so you can go as in-depth with your training videos as you feel is necessary.
When you add an intranet solution to your company, you'll have a lot of documentation to go with it ... often in the form of paper documents. You can get rid of this excess paper by uploading these documents to your digital workplace. Individuals can then search for information without having to leave the company intranet. Scanning and uploading documents can take time, but it's well worth it.
You can use today's intranet platforms for content creation. This makes them far more robust and useful than those of the past. An intranet solution that features a WYSIWYG editor lets anyone create and publish content in the digital workplace. They don't need experience with coding. Always encourage users to create content if they feel they have something to share.
While we're on the topic of content, no one is a better authority over your company than you. Your company intranet should reflect that with valuable, timely, and relevant information to help departments do their jobs well. Encourage department heads to post helpful articles, case studies, updated HR forms, etc. By providing teams with content they care about, the intranet becomes a place they want to go to.
Encouraging everyone to post information is the first step. Keeping tabs on its impact is the next step. Surveys and forums are excellent options to get direct feedback from staff, but monitoring analytics will accelerate this information. Identify what your employees are viewing and if they like it by the number of "likes", "shares", "sentiment", and comments a post receives – all tracked in the analytics tool.
If you decide to refresh your platform, whether it's a new intranet design or internal communication strategy, this data will determine if your platform is engaging or needs adjustments.
If you have many departments (sales, marketing, etc.) working from your company intranet, keeping everything organized can be a tricky process. This is one of the main reasons why you'll want to segment your intranet with digital workspaces (or groups). This will ensure that it doesn't become difficult to navigate. Create individual spaces for each of your departments. This will ensure that no one gets the wrong, or irrelevant content. Segmentation only grows in importance as your organization grows in size. So get started early.
When employees trust their company and the individuals who represent those core values, they are happier to do their jobs. The intranet can be a way for higher-ups to communicate directly with employees by sharing news, company changes, or simply creating a personalized weekly note. By consistently engaging with your employees, your employees will be engaged with their work… this alleviates a challenge large companies and remote teams often face.
Department silos can happen in the same building. If your business is entirely remote or has remote teams, the couple hundreds or thousands of miles that separate members can add more challenges when it comes to engagement.
Use your platform's strong social features to overcome these barriers. Create a space for remote members to post photos, videos, and jokes. Continue to recognize outstanding behavior with gamification features. Implement weekly or monthly team building exercises through video meetings to play games – a particularly fun intranet idea. Share weekly Spotify playlists. Punderdome, a pun card game, only requires a manager to have the cards while other members work in teams. This is one of many games you can schedule throughout the year.
Your company intranet is designed to connect every employee, no matter the distance. Use its features to build stronger relationships and happier team members.
Check out this blog post, where we share Axero's 8 Rules for Working Remotely and Functioning Well as a Team.
There are some departments or employees that need their own space to privately discuss topics and share information. Use your platform's permission settings to make this easier.
Management personnel, or anybody working on confidential tasks, will have a secure place to openly collaborate and discuss topics not open to the entire company. Rather than communicate through multiple platforms such as email, chat, and Dropbox to work on projects, users can accomplish all of their tasks in one place. Edit unfinished documents, discuss department plans, or share files in one private hub.
If your company intranet doesn't have a mobile app, you're missing out on a huge feature that many employees want. These days, accessibility is not just a request, but an expectation. When users are on the go, they want to access work instantly.
Perhaps a staff member is at a work convention and doesn't have a laptop handy. Or maybe an unexpected meeting popped up and you need the name of an individual who worked on a project.
Regardless of the situation, your digital workspace should fit in the palm of your hands. As long as the mobile intranet design is easy to navigate and has essential features, your staff will never be too far from their desk.
Intranet software is evolving every day. Platforms such as Communifire consistently releases updates and new features to improve productivity and user happiness.
Pay attention to emerging intranet trends and feedback from employees. Sometimes it's not the content that is lacking but the tools. As your company's needs expand, make sure your company intranet is growing with it.
Every CEO and manager wants their employees to thrive within the company intranet. Making effective strides can take time ... and setting unreasonable expectations will result in failure. Try to articulate goals that won't be difficult to meet. This is a great way to move things along and feel as if you and your staff have accomplished something.
Creating a better intranet solution requires a lot of trial and effort ... but it's not impossible. Use the many examples of intranet ideas above, or come up with your own (You can share them in the comments section below, if you'd like). Then stay on top of what's happening in your digital workplace, create a plan of attack, and success is right around the corner.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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