A group of people interconnected with lines

Are you maximising the use of your Intranet?

Intranets have evolved over time. Way back in the distant past, they were just an internal website with a few bits of key information for staff and were usually looked after by IT. Often they were too complicated for editors and no-one really added content. They never got upgraded or progressed.

Time line showing internal website to employee portal to social intranet to employee experience intranet.

Then came the Employee Portal. We started to use it for self-service – time sheets, booking holiday, etc.
Then, the Social Intranet came along around 2010 – probably spurred on by the likes of Facebook and blogging. Now you could start to personalise your content, but did we ever really do that? Some did, lots didn’t.

And now our employees are expecting even more. They now want an Employee Experience Intranet. This includes:
• internal communication
• community building and interaction
• knowledge and learning content
• tailored personal content

We recently held a focus group with staff at Tandridge District Council to ask them what their vision for their future intranet would be. The group identified a huge list of wants and needs but ultimately, they wanted it to be:

  • Easy to navigate – Information clearly signposted with a good navigational structure and chunked into specific categories.
  • Easy to search – good search mechanism, organisational structure, staff directories, etc.
  • Up to date news content – Reduce necessity for constant all-staff emailing, by announcing news and important information with news alerts incorporated.
  • Plenty of varied media, eg. text, images, video – Include engaging video content and video of staff briefings to increase interaction.
  • Personalised / tailored content – A tailored, personal and community approach. Include recognition and e-card content to encourage staff interaction.
  • Visually appealing – The ability to refresh the homepage constantly when news feeds, blogs, staff interaction is updated.
  • Social aspects – Ability to like posts, tag friends, share interesting personal content.
  • On-the-go – A mobile first responsive intranet that is available ‘on-the-go’ and off-network.

Is it possible to design an intranet that can meet all these needs?

Ashford Borough Council have recently updated their intranet and have included the use of e-cards to encourage staff interaction and recognition. They also have regular blog posts to help make the site fresh and visually appealing.

A different approach is being taken in Essex County Council. Here they are developing an Open Intranet which will be open to everyone (including the public) without a login. This will make it much easier for all staff to have access to the intranet on the go and off network but of course means that it cannot be personalised or tailored and any confidential information will be stored elsewhere. The content will be relevant for all staff and signpost where necessary to information that’s stored on other systems. This follows Devon and Buckinghamshire who have also developed open intranets.

Are you thinking of redesigning your intranet? If so we may be able to help, please get in touch.