The benefits of the intranet
Intranets are a great tool within the internal communications toolbox. Complimented by an employee social network, such as Yammer, they can add massive value by enabling small teams to distribute considerable amounts of content and engage across large organisations.
How do you use yours?
Your communications strategy will define how they intranet works and is used. At the outset there are and lots of decisions to be made about the technical solution, who can post content, how frequently it is updated and branding.
I’ve found that intranets work best as part of a multichannel offer, however analytics will let you know how many of your colleagues are accessing information via the intranet. Content presented at face-to-face sessions can be filmed or repurposed as intranet content in the form of a leadership blog on news article.
My experience of a SharePoint based intranet
At Lambeth Council the need for a new intranet was necessitated by old technology no longer being available. This provided a great opportunity to involve users, strip back content and assisted with the organisation was moving towards an Office 365, collaborative online and file sharing approach.
The launch was supported by a naming competition which generated considerable interest. Aside from corporate news which was led by communications, the model was to encourage user generated content. Users were able to publish blogs directly to the homepage and encouraged to customise their their team sites. The only barriers was the un-user unfriendly user interface, which required considerable support from internal communications to ensure that colleagues could post their own content.
The intranet development working group included IT, HR and internal communications. We founds it was essential to have clear ownership, roles and responsibilities around all aspects of the intranet.
My experience of a WordPress based intranet
My current role uses the Helpful Technology– WordPress Government Intranet and in 2013 the Department for Culture Media and Sport were the first to adopt this solution.
We are proud that a large percentage of our content including imagery, video and design elements, is generated by employees. The flexible nature of WordPress means that we can be creative in our delivery e.g. using widgets, live bar charts, infographics and quick polls.
Whilst the backend dashboard is incredibly user-friendly, currently Internal Communications post all content. Soon we will be moving to a devolved workflow process to allow colleagues to post events and vacancies.
The recent Intranet now conference Twitter feed provides some case study examples and cutting-edge intranet developments.
Intranets are products, not projects by Sharon O’Dea looks at an approach to how you perceive and use your organisations intranet. She points out that “Great intranets deliver a ‘long wow’ rather than a big bang, constantly developing to add new services in response to user needs and business objectives. So they’re not projects but digital products, constantly evolving in the same way that an app or good transactional website does to keep up with changing demands.”
What’s your experience of intranets?