So what should your intranet include? Even if you gather a team of the biggest intranet experts, you should always think first about your employees’ needs and the essence of your business. If your intranet is built for white collar professionals you may want to offer your employees easy access to shared documents, team workspaces, corporate news streams, etc. On the other hand, if your employees are more mobile (frontline workers, retail associates, sales representatives, etc), they will need a different intranet experience, including features such as profiled news, employee directories, support communities, etc.
So do you want to build an intranet that actually helps your employees improve communication and collaboration?
Discover the list of 30 essential intranet features that will drive intranet adoption and motivate employees to use your company intranet on a daily basis!
The Intranet Should be:
1. All-in-one intranet platform
An intranet platform provides a single source of truth where employees can find all the necessary information for their day-to-day business activity. A great intranet allows people to get things done efficiently.
The core functions of an intranet:
- Communication – allowing employees to connect and exchange easily.
- Collaboration – sharing skills and knowledge to reach common goals.
- Engagement – encouraging employees to get involved in company activities.
- Productivity – facilitating and optimizing work processes for better results.
Modern intranets are solutions oriented for mobility in the workplace. These days many employees need flexibility in their work, and most of them need a safe and secure connection wherever they are. A cloud-based intranet allows staff to work from any location and gives access to all the tools and widgets they need, whether they are in the office or on-the-go.
A cloud-based intranet usually has a higher adoption rate and is able to scale quickly compared to locally hosted corporate intranets. It also allows people to connect and browse the intranet whenever they have a free moment, just like they do with social media for example.
3. Integrated with popular collaboration suites
An intranet doesn´t have to stand alone and should integrate with your existing collaborative suite like Google Workspace (Gmail, Google Calendar Google Meet…) or Microsoft 365 (Outlook, OneDrive, Google Drive, Sharepoint…).
Being fully integrated with your business suites makes access easier and creates a united work environment. You should also be looking for third-party integrations like HR planning, messaging, survey tools … whatever complements your business.
Another great intranet feature is its capability to integrate RSS news feeds to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest industry or world news.
4. Knowledge sharing platform
Smart businesses realize the power of the intranet to turn into a knowledge sharing platform through its continuous and perpetual flow of information. Knowledge sharing is a powerful way to drive employees’ motivation and performance.
All kinds of knowledge support can be stored on an intranet, from sales figures to research studies or the company’s history. Every employee is an expert in their own sphere, and sharing their experience not only projects confidence, but it helps other current and future employees benefit from this knowledge, whether or not they have a direct relationship.
“The social intranet is more than just an equivalent of social media channels for the company. It’s a way to build strong company culture.”
An intranet is not only a business communication tool, but it’s also a great tool to build social connections in the workplace. Most modern intranets contain a range of social features. They allow users to interact with both the content they read and the people behind it. The social intranet is more than just an equivalent of social media channels for the company. It’s a way to build strong company culture. This social feature invites employees to interact, chat in real-time, video message and get to know each other through various social communities of interest.
Another key feature of the cloud intranet is its ability to enable a mobile workplace with a dedicated intranet mobile application. This allows all employees to connect from their mobile device, no matter their location. It allows access to information immediately, therefore saving time delays when people are working remotely or in different time zones. Mobile intranet features can be designed to suit your company, for example, to broadcast news or live events, open support channels, etc.
A data breach can be a deal breaker for any Intranet. That is why, another highly valued criteria is the security and protection level an intranet software can provide. Companies hold a lot of sensitive and confidential information on their internal communication platforms that needs to be protected from hacking, viruses, security breaches and malicious attacks. Organizations looking for a safer internal network should also consider shifting from locally sourced platforms to cloud-based ones, which is proven to be a wiser investment for businesses.
8. Multilingual platform
International organizations need solutions that can serve them across multiple locations. A multilingual intranet ensures that all employees have access to the same information and tools no matter their native language. You can choose to use built-in translation software and have content localized or use human translators for more accurate translations.
9. Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system provides a structure and brings everything together into a unified and framed system. It should allow users to find and access information and documentation, easily and quickly.
The CMS is more than a source of information, it’s also a key creation tool for the intranet. It allows users to create, modify and customize digital content. Employees can easily publish professional-looking documents and embed images, graphs, color and videos. Keeping content up-to-date will facilitate the intranet user experience, and at the same time increase the chances of fast intranet adoption.
Discover LumApps Intranet
The Intranet Should:
10. Improve Corporate culture
The intranet is the perfect tool to build a strong corporate culture by projecting a sense of fellowship. This is essential for successful company culture as employees need to feel like they belong and are valuable. Encouraging people to share and connect on an efficient intranet platform promotes collaboration and teamwork that drives strong results.
11. Use Profiled information
Nowadays personalization is key, even in the workplace. Targeted or profiled information means supplying only relevant content to individuals. Foremost, staff should have access to the important work information that helps them improve their everyday performance. Don’t overwhelm people with content they don’t need, such as administrative operations in a subsidiary firm or office renovation in another region. The intranet should provide tailored content according to the position, team, location, etc. of an employee.
Build a news feed that is personalized to each employee and corresponds to their needs and interests.
12. Promote Employee Social Advocacy
When employees support and believe in the company values, they can turn into powerful brand advocates. Employee advocacy is a marketing strategy that can be much more powerful than paid advertising. An innovative intranet platform should provide an employee advocacy tool that helps business to:
- Build brand image and reputation
- Attract and retain top talents
- Increase social awareness and reach
- Improve employee engagement
- And much more…
The Intranet Should Have:
Beyond the qualities of a communication platform, the intranet can be a social and collaborative digital workplace. Create a strong employee network by providing communities and groups they need and want. Professional communities can be formed around different localization, teams, expertise, etc. In addition you can create social communities built around common interests. For example, an employee could set up a book appreciation group, a salsa dancing group, a dog walking group… The possibilities are endless and they all drive positive team relations.
14. Employee recognition center
An intranet is an ideal place to acknowledge employees’ work and efforts. Showing appreciation to your employees by congratulating them can do wonders in terms of employee motivation, loyalty, retention, turnover, the list goes on and on. Use your intranet platform and dedicate a space for sharing employee success stories, outstanding achievements, new qualifications, or just saying “Thank you for a job well done.” Whether someone has achieved the most sales or organized the office “cake day,” recognition goes a long way to boost morale.
15. Employee Directory
An employee directory holds extensive information on staff contact details. From their team and skills, to their activity and experience, you can find all necessary information in a single place. Allow employees complete additional profile information they are comfortable giving such as background, interest, hobbies, etc.
This intranet feature prompts communication and collaboration by connecting people according to their expertise. If you need someone to proofread a document, show you how to use Track Changes or design a cover page, just search the employee directory.
16. Job Board
A common company intranet features is the internal job board. This gives employees a chance to discover open jobs positions ahead of the public, to support internal career development. It also promotes employee advocacy and referral programs, which is an excellent source to attract top talent at much lower costs for the organization.
17. Leadership corner
The intranet can be both a horizontal and top-down communication tool. Leaders and management should be active users who engage on the platform and set examples. A leadership corner is a great space for leaders to exercise transparent communication and share their values, goals and plans for the organization. Open a direct channel and allow for two-way communication between employees and leaders. What you include is up to you, an expert rubric or a quick one-liner, but the most important is that these efforts will definitely boost your employees’ motivation and loyalty.
18. Business apps catalog
When you do an enterprise search you often don’t have time to read everything. This useful feature allows you to save business apps and pages to use in the future. Users can create their own personal set of resources and categorize them, making things easy to find in the future. Intranet admins as well as users can add bookmarks to a central application library, when they find something that may benefit their team.
19. Smart Notifications
This feature is ideal to keep employees informed and always up to date. It can be used for quick reminders (next Friday is “bring your pet to work day”), or corporate announcements (company sales up 23% year-on-year). Intranet notifications are a way to attract employees’ attention to what’s important. Use a pop-up notification or homepage banners and your message will likely gain more interaction than just another email that clogs up the inbox.
20. Smart internal search
Powerful search capabilities are the foundation for a high-performing intranet platform. You need to look for a global internal search, which can surface information from both the intranet database but also third-party tools like your collaboration suite. Intranet search plays a big role in the user experience, as nowadays people are used to typing a keyword and finding information quickly, so you want them to have a similar experience within the digital workplace. In order to provide a powerful search that can surface pertinent information, you need to take a step back and think about your metadata. Providing relevant categories and tags that will allow creators to sort and class content from the very beginning, will make search results more relevant.
Measure the success of your intranet with analytics. This part of the internet software is an invaluable data collection tool to analyse a series of indicators:
- Who is using and contributing to the intranet?
- When are they using it?
- Rate of adoption and engagement
- What content is being viewed and used?
- What do users like or dislike ?
- What are employees searching for?
22. Efficient and customizable user interface
The intranet should deliver an effortless user experience. Screens should flow seamlessly between each other, menus and links have to be relevant, and provide easy overall navigation of the platform. Employees don’t want to spend hours learning how to use new systems, as the intranet is probably not the only digital tool they use on a daily basis. Your intranet should be simple to operate and intuitive. A best practice is to conduct an initial user test and then an onboarding training for all intranet users.
One size does not fit all. When you develop your company intranet it’s important to select the apps and tools that your employees need and will use. A personalized intranet platform represents the individuality of the company. It should evolve and adapt to the organization, just like a valuable member of the team.
23. Beautiful design
A good intranet has a sleek design that represents the company’s brand and values. It’s also attractive to deliver a better experience when browsing. Clever design is all about simplicity. High-quality images, color and clear fonts speak to the reader and draw them in. A well-designed intranet is a reflection of your brand identity. It can look as professional as the company website, but don’t forget that the users are your employees, so provide a personal touch that shows your company culture.
24. Forms and Templates
Intranet platforms should allow you to create a library of templates that employees can use when creating content, like news announcements, blog posts, knowledge base articles, etc. Give your employees the tools to make sharing information easy. You can also provide corporate forms and templates: sales reports, contracts, appraisal forms, email invitations, etc. Storing all those useful forms in a dedicated place on your platform will save search time and will improve operations across the organization.
25. Intranet Newsletter
A newsletter conveys key information and gives employees a retrospective view of achieved goals. It can cover anything from company performance to employee promotions or the annual company picnic. An intranet newsletter is short and contains relevant news and stories that are quick and easy to digest. Build newsletter templates that contain consistent sections, multimedia, interactive buttons, etc. to retain readers’ attention and ensure better click-through rate.
26. Employee Surveys
Need to know what your employees want to do for the Christmas party? Or maybe you want to conduct something more complex, like an employee satisfaction questionnaire? Leverage your intranet to send out surveys and increase participation by sending reminders. And of course the intranet is a great place to share your survey results and the future action plan.
Bring your intranet to life with a range of multimedia tools. Intranet multimedia can include videos, podcasts, images, live blogs and webinars. There’s no limit to the multimedia that can be used to engage employees. A good integration with platforms like YouTube can make your intranet more attractive for users, as a short 30-second video is more appealing to users than a block of boring text in an email.
28. Team Calendars
Visibility is crucial for good team work. Integrating a smart calendar can help employees track each other’s activity and availability. The intranet calendar can be used to book appointments and meetings, show important dates, log vacations, feature upcoming events, etc. It allows teams to work together to maximize their time.
In addition to everyday task management, teams can use the calendar to share their roadmap with the rest of the company and indicate important dates, thus promoting transparency in the organization.
29. Task Management
The electronic version of your ‘to do’ list. Shared work environments allow teams to create, view and participate in projects. Having direct access to these project action plans from your intranet portal can definitely facilitate the flow of information and allow you to easily track deadlines and progress. You will be able to directly contact the task manager or find the support documents you need to execute your tasks. Your intranet platform can either provide a task management system or ensure a seamless integration with a trusted application.
30. Event Management
The intranet is more than an information board. It can be a tool to plan and hold conferences, corporate meetings, webinars, and online learning. For international enterprises, internal live streaming has many benefits. Speakers can interact simultaneously with attendees from various departments and locations, without having to travel or repeat the same session several times. And for good old-fashioned external events, the intranet can house all the planning tools and information needed to make an event run like clockwork.
- All-in-one intranet platform (communication, collaboration, engagement…)
- Integrated with popular collaboration suites (Google Workspace, Microsoft 365)