Organizations are complex environments. While digital technology has changed the way we work and communicate, an effective staff Intranet should aim to simplify the complexity of work.
Staff intranet’s that succeed are able to identify information and tools that are frequently used by staff to complete tasks. This goes beyond a web page dedicated to current policies and procedures, employee handbooks and branding style guides, etc. The Staff Intranet should aim to surface data from other key applications (ERP, BI, HR, CRM systems), support micro business applications (interactive staff directories, survey and feedback forms, job and project boards) and provide a powerful search (search within documents, staff directories and discussion forums).
A staff intranet should allow employees to build their personal profiles so they can be discovered by others. In a large organization, getting to know your colleagues especially when working from separate locations is paramount in building a successful project team. Profiles should enable staff to update their professional information; their role in the organization, the projects they’ve worked on, their expertise and their interests. Successful staff intranets should aim to put staff at the center of the Intranet experience. Key features that a staff intranet should cover:
- Clear and intuitive navigation: While Intranets grow in size overtime, ensuring that an intuitive navigation is maintained will enable staff to locate the information they require.
- Defined taxonomy: When staff author content to the Intranet, ensuring they associate pre-defined metadata categories will go along way to ensuring a well structured Intranet is maintained.
- Tools that reduce work effort: Looking beyond standard staff Intranet content, providing tools that close the gap on work effort will accelerate the use of the intranet by staff. These could include staff directory search, skills and expertise database (find people based on project experience), projects directory and more.
- Integrated search: Search is fundamental to ensuring staff can find what they need. Many staff intranets provide poor search experiences, so ensuring staff can search within all content and data will drive trust and engagement of the intranet.
An effective staff Intranet should aim to simplify the complexity of work.