Intranet Best Practices

Regardless of which intranet you use, there are some simple things you can do in order to help ensure not just more frequent usage, but a more rewarding experience for everyone.

Some tools might make these best practices easier, but none of them are exclusive. So let's start building a more delightful digital employee experience! 

Put people first

People are the beating heart of an intranet. Without people, an intranet is just an empty, lonely room full of links, policy docs, and admin posts. This is why it’s absolutely essential to focus on optimizing the experience for end users.

Focus on onboarding experience.

An intranet should be intuitive enough for anyone to learn to use, but don’t count on everyone picking it up immediately. Focus on a comprehensive onboarding experience so each member of the team knows how to get the most from this essential tool.

Optimize for deskless teams.

Depending on the organization, deskless teams can often outnumber those in the office; however, they’re often left with substandard communication tools.

This is a significant issue, because teams outside the office are frequently working closest to customers and products. Their insights are priceless, and the better communication channels they have available, the more effectively they can share those insights.

The mobile experience of any intranet you use should be at parity with anything someone can access from a desktop. Explore ways to enhance that experience, whether through third-party apps, or a more mobile-friendly intranet.

Make it easier for internal communicators to get their job done.

Intranets are a home base for your entire team, but they’re an especially important place for internal communications professionals. For many organizations, this is the most effective place to share and facilitate crucial communication.

With that in mind, it’s vital for internal communicators to have a tool that fits their needs. Tools like scheduled sending, secure delivery, and confirmed receipt can help ensure internal communications make it to their intended recipients, but not beyond them.

Embrace multi-channel communication.

Last, but not least, take advantage of the multi-channel communication opportunities an intranet can provide. Don’t just send an important message to a single platform that might not reach its entire intended audience.

Send it across a diverse range of channels and mediums so that people aren’t burdened with hunting for communication—it finds them.

Migrate key processes

One of the best ways to encourage active participation in an intranet is to bring everyday processes into the fold. There are numerous processes you can bring into an intranet, and even more resources. We’ll outline a few below, but there are many more.

Share company-wide emails as intranet posts.

This doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) share these important communications through email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. In fact, if you’ve integrated these tools into your intranet, the entire process can be automated.

Let the intranet become your source of truth and historical record.

The intranet is perfectly suited as the main source of truth that other communications refer back to. It’s the historical record that anyone can reference instantly with a quick search or a scroll down the feed.

Make the intranet your key company culture tool.

Showcase the best parts of your organizational culture on your intranet. Celebrate company wins, recognize great contributions from individuals and teams.

An intranet can be an exceptional tool for highlighting company core values in action, and helping everyone to connect daily behaviors with organizational culture.

Integrate everything you can.

Many modern intranets focus heavily on third-party integrations in order to expand functionality instantly. Whether you’re adding new communication channels, collaborative tools, automated user management, or even external social media content to the feed, integrations can give more life to an intranet without much extra work from administrators.

Designate and empower champions

Intranet content doesn’t make itself—at least not until you’ve established a practice of engaging with it as an organization. Until then, a digital workspace needs champions.

Who should be your champions?

In the past, these champions often sat predominantly on the IT side of the organization. Having members of the IT team invested in your intranet is great, but it's important to remember that most modern intranets have less need for direct involvement with IT.

Ask yourself: who is using and contributing to the intranet? Who would you expect to contribute regularly, and who would find those contributions valuable? Identify those personas and tailor the content to meet their needs and interests.

Ideally, everyone in your organization will be using an contributing to the intranet, so it's helpful to include not just administrators, internal communicators, HR, and IT.

Focus on collecting a diverse range of champions from different functional areas of the business, different tenures, and different seniority levels. Each will have their own valuable insights to share on the intranet experience.

Measure success

Think about what success looks like for your intranet. Is it weekly engagement, a threshold of content consumption, increased employee engagement, or—most likely—a collection of things?

Once you’ve defined success, it’s critical to be able to measure progress towards (or away from) it. Post analytics can help you understand how well individual messages perform, as well as how well communications are performing overall.

Engagement signals like emoji reactions on posts can provide some instant insight into the audience’s reception.

Use this data to guide future decisions about features to integrate, content in the intranet, communication cadences, and even the content of your communications.