How To Create The Best Company Intranet – The Full Guide

A company intranet is more than an internal communication platform. It’s the voice of your company. A strategic intranet platform promotes employee efficiency and reduces employee turnover, which drives a business forward. 

So how does a company establish and maintain a successful intranet? It’s easier than you may think.

Best Company Intranet - Teamwork

What is the Purpose of the Company Intranet?

The purpose of a company intranet is to::

  • Communicate and share information
  • Connect employees, teams, and departments
  • Simplify collaboration to increase productivity

Additionally, it’s an internal collaboration tool that goes beyond being a content resource. It’s a place to interact, chat with colleagues, find answers, learn about what’s going on in the company, and be part of the company culture.

One of the key corporate intranet goals is to offer a cohesive experience for employees. This experience applies to all departments, a company intranet is the type of software product that impacts everyone when managed correctly.

What Benefits Does a Modern Company Intranet Provide?

In the past, the intranet was just another app that people avoided using. It had the reputation of being difficult to navigate, boring, and full of documents you didn’t need.
So why would a company use an intranet then? The industry became fiercely competitive over the past decade, modern intranets are cloud-based, sleek, user-friendly and practical. Intranet technology is expanding fast and capabilities are constantly evolving.

For many enterprises (and companies of all sizes), their intranet platform is a place where team members catch up, find information, share ideas, and socialize. These intranets have names that match the company identity. Our intranet at LumApps is named, “We,” it ties in with our company mission and values. An automotive company might name their intranet, “The Shop.”

In today’s digital workplace the company intranet must address employee needs. In other words, think of employees as customers and the intranet as a website selling company value. This is another reason why it needs a name and a brand.

Homepage Example - LumApps Intranet

After a company decides on a fitting and compelling name, it’s time to think about benefits.

  • Communication – a way to connect with colleagues in real-time.
  • Information – always up-to-date information on company activity.
  • Collaboration – working together to achieve the same goals.
  • Engagement – resource for personalized, interesting and useful information.
  • Knowledge – an up-to-date knowledge base for sharing and management.
  • Productivity – engaged employees are more productive and report higher satisfaction.
  • Organization – an all-in-one resource for document and information storage.
  • Connectivity – a reliable global employee network and directory.
  • Corporate culture – building shared beliefs in the company values through transparency and communication.
  • Employee social advocacy – improving brand awareness and trust through social media.
  • Mobility – allowing employees to connect wherever they are, including those without a desktop or desk.

These benefits are tracked through case studies and testimonials, and they all contribute to an intranet’s purpose.

LumApps Intranet Platform:

Discover LumApps

What Features Should a Modern Company Intranet Have?

Corporate intranets are unique and tailored to a company’s specific needs. It should blend with the objectives of the company and be a company-wide, go-to resource.The best company intranet solutions plan around features that benefit productivity.

The modern corporate intranet features to consider:

1. Integrations

Make a list of existing, work-critical apps, such as Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Zendesk, Slack, etc. Consider intranet platforms that provide native integrations with those tools. Employees can carry on with work processes and maintain (or improve) efficiency.

2. Cloud-based

Employees need to be able to access the intranet wherever they are, at any time and on any device. Whether working remotely or in the field, quick and reliable intranet access is essential. This also helps with global needs, allowing employees to connect despite time zone or geographical differences.

3. Mobile app

Mobile intranet features encourage engagement as employees can access the platform from where we spend most of our time – our phones. Having mobile device access allows employees to conveniently socialize, forward information, and engage with colleagues.

4. Customizable

Intranets can be built to support a company’s specific needs. An automotive company will have different needs than a retail company, intranets should have flexible features and functions to accommodate accordingly. Also, being adaptable to business changes and growth is essential.

5. Analytics

A critical part of an intranet solution is analyzing intranet engagement metrics such as views, shares, likes, and posts.

6. Content creation

Internal communication features such as news feeds, blogs, announcements, chats, and multimedia. Along with content collaboration tools such as sharing documents and repurposing content for greater visibility.

Portal Example - LumApps Intranet

7. Knowledge sharing and management

The intranet should be a valuable resource that stores easy-to-find information for employees allowing them to do their job effectively From finding template letters to researching product information to referring to technical manuals, the organizational capacity of an intranet is limitless. And a key best practice of this intranet feature is to ensure all files are kept up to date.

8. Social

A place to get together virtually to share ideas, relevant information, network, and collaborate. Intranets with consumer-grade social features improve teamwork and create strong brand advocates, and build community.

9. Multimedia

Videos, graphics and multimedia files improve the employee experience through better engagement and education. Visual information is easier to retain long text-based reports.

10. Additional access (extranet)

Some intranets give clients, vendors, business partners, or the public external access to certain sections of the platform to streamline communication or business processes. For example, to make bookings, share files, access media, make payments or conduct training

11. Security

The highest level of security is essential for an intranet as it contains sensitive and confidential company information. Security protocols must ensure the right people have access and maintain sufficient data security.

It’s important to consider not only the basic features of an intranet, but also those that will make it more than just a platform to disseminate information. Discover 30 essential features your intranet should have.

Lookbook example - LumApps Intranet

Choose the Best Company Intranet Software

An all-in-one intranet platform is an ideal solution for most businesses. It brings together everything under one umbrella, making it easier to use and manage. Coworkers across the globe can communicate and collaborate efficiently in a digital environment.

From a high level, intranet software should be flexible and powerful. This means one platform is many things at once:

  • An internal communication platform for creating awareness, improving internal networking, reporting, and building social connections.
  • An employee collaboration platform where people can share expertise and ideas.
  • An employee engagement platform to create a strong company culture.
  • A knowledge management platform that gives a voice to internal experts and enhances knowledge sharing and learning.
  • A single point of entry that opens the door to a robust and collaborative digital workplace.

When evaluating different intranet platform options, there are several key considerations.

  • Fits your business goals – Short and long-term goals. How will the intranet fit with the company strategy? What is the best intranet structure to facilitate operations and meet company needs?
  • Enhances business activities – Consider how the platform will impact the day-to-day work of employees. Will they find it easy to use? Will they enjoy using it? An adoption strategy impacts these questions.
  • Have a variety of tools integrations and features – As mentioned, integrations with other platforms is a major benefit. Additionally, features such as multimedia, a personalized news feed, and employee directories are crucial for the employee experience.
  • Meets your budget – What is the optimal return on investment your company is looking for? What is the current state of your digital transformation? A digital workplace requires time and resources to align with budget impacts. Basic, quick-fix intranet platforms can be very limiting and offer little flexibility.

Whilst there are ‘off-the-shelf’ intranet platforms available, these can be very limiting and offer little flexibility.

A custom-made communication platform can evolve and improve as your business grows. It should align with your company culture and values, by creating an experience, and not be just an information board no one sees in the corner. . Each work tool should operate both independently but also in harmony with the others, providing the most relevant experience for users, in order to support the smooth running of your business.

This kind of intranets are flexible and combine:

  • An internal communication platform for creating awareness, improving internal networking, reporting, and building social connections.
  • An employee collaboration platform where people can share expertise and ideas.
  • An employee engagement platform to create a strong company culture.
  • A knowledge management platform that gives a voice to internal experts and enhances knowledge sharing and learning.
  • A single point of entry that opens the door to a robust and collaborative digital workplace.

A custom-made communication platform evolves and improves as your business grows. It should align with company culture and values by creating an experience, and not just a digital bulletin board. An intranet should make life easier for everyone. It should allow employees to do their jobs more effectively and communicate with each other in real time. So choosing the right intranet software from the very beginning is crucial.

Improve Collaboration with an Intranet PlatformImprove Collaboration with an Intranet PlatformImprove Collaboration with an Intranet Platform

 

Choose the Intranet Name and Design

Why is the name and design of an intranet important? Company intranet names and designs are all about branding. Just like your website needs to be eye-catching and attractive, so does your intranet. It should be modern, appealing and reflect your company image.

Your intranet should encompass your values and objectives through its design. Are you a fun-loving marketing company or a serious law firm? When deciding on the design and name, think about how you wish to portray the company to employees.

So what makes a good intranet name? It has to be something people resonate with and refer to often. Keep the name short and simple so it sticks with people.
One common naming method is to decide the intranet via a survey?

Ask the team to develop some creative name options. Then narrow the field to 3 or 4 options and conduct a company-wide vote. Offer a prize for whoever creates the winning name. Including employees in this process is the first step to intranet adoption and success.

Next, the design needs to be attractive and appealing. Here are some ideas for defining the design:

  • Review your company brand and how you can apply it to the intranet.
  • Get inspiration from creative examples.
  • Choose colors and shapes that are easy on the eye and simple.
  • Work with your intranet supplier to produce a design that inspires.

Designing an intranet is different from designing a website as it’s providing information rather than selling a product. Fresh design perspectives might be required. Intranet providers can help with examples and background on what works and what doesn’t. Once there are mock-up designs, involve employees by gathering feedback.

LumApps Intranet Design Example

Build your Intranet Strategy

Once you’ve finalized the name, design and provider, it’s time to set out a deployment strategy. This project involves deadlines, moving parts and many team members. 

Your strategy should include:

  • Page creation – how many pages will be needed, or how many need to be migrated? What elements should be included?
  • Page templates – prepare a series of intranet templates: pages, articles, newsletters, etc. that will be available once the intranet is live.
  • Governance – who is responsible for each section and community?
  • Content inclusion – what content will the intranet provide (news, available jobs, new hires, events, profiles, training, etc.). How will it be organized? Who will manage and update content?
  • Documents – beyond general content, what specific documents will be included such as company policies, forms, planning documents, roadmaps, etc.
  • Surveys – Prepare surveys in advance to measure employee satisfaction and intranet adoption.
  • Employee access – a database of employee access should be created, listing who will need access to which parts of the intranet. This will need to be updated regularly to ensure security is not breached (for example if someone leaves the company).

A successful internal marketing plan will ensure that as soon as the final intranet is signed off, employees are itching to use it. Create a buzz. Find hooks to engage employees right from the start. Offer competitions, prizes or organize a launch event to celebrate. Be active and engaged regularly with your employees through the intranet. Establish objectives and goals then track progress.

Read more: How to Boost Intranet Engagement: Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Characteristics of Award-Winning Intranets

Onelmerys – Change Management Features

Onelmerys is a world leading supplier of mineral-based solutions. With more than 16,000 employees, 240 locations and €4.4 in revenue – their intranet needs are complex and constantly changing. That’s why it was crucial for LumApps to develop a platform that would evolve and facilitate change management. This was especially poignant as Onelmerys went through three CEO changes in three years, along with global restructuring and digital transformation.

Their intranet handled these changes due to several key components.

Progressive Roll-Out – The intranet implementation process began with a minimum viable product (MVP) that included a foundation for early adopters. The team was able to identify problem areas before the launch was expanded company-wide.

Communication Channels – The Onelmerys intranet creates a direct communication channel between executive leadership and employees. As big changes occur, such as CEO turnover and restructuring, this communication channel gives employees the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Fast Deployment – Change management is more difficult when projects drag on without clear expectations or deadlines. The Onelmerys intranet launched in just under six months, including the MVP soft launch. Team members and stakeholders were able to stay agile and use the tool for new challenges instead of focusing on the implementation process.

Award: IntraNET Reloaded: Best Customer Success Story

JetBlue – Build Brand Identity

JetBlue is synonymous with branding. In an industry known for customer complaints, they are the fun-loving friend who loves to party. They are known for over-the-top customer service gestures and pleasant flying experiences.

Their intranet had to align with this sentiment. MyJetBlue launched several years ago. Technical components were certainly involved but it’s the customer features that stand out. For instance, all employees (known as Crew Members) can show appreciation for a story or post by clicking the “That’s Fly” button. The intranet is built around a fun and playful theme. At the same time, it delivers helpful resources and organizes information for more than 10,000 employees.

LumApps accomplished something similar with Japan Airlines. They employ more than 36,000 employees and needed to modernize a communication platform that was ten years old. The site represented their brand by updating the look and feel. It also delivered new features such as a powerful search engine and providing content in both Japanese and English.

Award: Nielsen Norman Group – 2017 Intranet Design Annual Winner, WebAwards – Best Intranet Website – 2017

Danish police – Embrace Culture Change

Another award-winning example comes from an industry not known for communication platforms, public service. The Danish National Police is a complex structure with multiple stakeholders and a vast amount of distributed content. Two previous intranet applications had failed to gain traction. The third time around, a culture change took place along with technical implementation. An active steering committee with representatives from IT, HR and communications made the commitment possible.

The experience was simplified to a personalized news feed and document library. This increased adoption and helps users understand the internet’s value immediately. The culture of information sharing then grew. The substantial usage allowed the intranet to be improved through feedback cycles and regular reviews.

Award: The IntraTeam Danish Intranet Price – 2018

This is the new version of the original intranet. Modern intranets are :

  • Sleek
  • Easy to navigate
  • Fast
  • Practical
  • User friendly
  • Cloud-based

Read the full definition

  1. Integration
  2. Cloud-based Access
  3. Mobile app
  4. Customizable
  5. Analytics

See all features in details

When evaluating different intranet platform opportunities, to streamline your digital workplace, you should consider intranet softwares that:

  • Fits your business goals
  • Enhances business activities
  • Have a variety of tools integrations and features
  • Meets your budget

See all the steps to choose