Sometimes intranet vendors feel a lot like cable providers. They offer you a lot of stuff you really don’t want, and you definitely don’t want to pay for. But just because you’re not interested in 200 channels on college golf doesn’t mean that you’re done watching tv. It only means that you expect what you want when and how you want it. And just like consumers have been cutting the cable cord for years, businesses are now starting to be more vocal about their intranets. They want useful and functional tools that actually help businesses. So how do you clear out the intranet clutter and find the features that really are essential? As intranet experts, we’re here to share the top nine intranet features you actually need for collaborative software success.
Convenient Company Sites and Pages
Company sites and pages are some of the most effective ways to communicate and provide long-term information to your employees. Company strategies, policies, services plans, HR information and anything else they need can be organized on specific sites and pages located within your intranet. Providing information this way helps to break down information silos between departments and gives everyone a place to find what they need when they need it. Company pages should be customizable, easy to use, easy to build and allow employees to receive update notifications.
Announcements and Updates Areas
As a one-stop-shop so to speak for of all of your internal business needs, having space for company updates, announcements and news are given intranet features. A well-built intranet keeps you up-to-date on company announcements, company news, departmental news, new employee announcements, customer wins and really anything else you might normally receive through regular company email. An announcement area keeps employees organized, informed and reduces the risk of the frightening need for email bankruptcy.
An Active and Thriving Social Space
Your intranet should have an active area where managers, employers or employees can write posts on updates, ideas, insights or any kind of company communication. These posts should be able to be shared with the entire company, just within a department or with only a few select people. Posts should include social components as well, such as comments and likes that allow coworkers to elaborate and collaborate together. This kind of working social sphere helps to develop ideas, increase updates and encourage a positive work culture.
An Org Chart You Can Actually Use
Believe it or not, when org charts are used right they can be not only informative but also encourage collaboration and creativity. Intranets need to provide employees with an easy to find and easy to understand org chart that clearly displays skills, resources and contact information. You should be able to browse by person, department, location, and skill. And you’ll never hear anyone complain about a predictive type-ahead search bar. Admins need to have control over what employee content is shown and should be able to build a hierarchy either manually or automatically sync with your AD/LDAP.
Easy Polls, Surveys and Quizzes
Surveys, polls and quizzes within an intranet can help you acquire information as simple as what to have for a company lunch and as serious as ideas about new company projects and goals. As effective communication tools, easy to use polls, surveys and quizzes are key intranet functions. Your intranet should offer you multiple out-of-the-box templates as well as the ability to create your own personalized and customized versions. It should also provide the ability to select who you target, show you analysis and insights and allow participants to answer anonymously, which will encourage honest answers and help to break down the spiral of silence. Fun, engaging, visually appealing and gamification modules are an added bonus as well.
Centralized Document Sharing
Intranets are designed to be a central hub for your business, allowing content and information to all be accessed and stored in one central location. So, of course, it stands to reason that easy to access document sharing is one of the must-have intranet features. A well-designed company intranet must store and organize any kind of document or media file securely and in an easily accessible location. It also needs to provide seamless file and media sharing on posts, comments, chats, pages, updates and any other kind of communication.
Effortless Access From Anywhere
Today’s employees no longer work stagnant 9-5 jobs entirely out of office chairs. Our modern business society is active, mobile, remote and flexible, and the intranet we use needs to be too. Last year 43%, almost half of the American workforce, reported that they spent at least some time working remotely. And as technology and businesses continue to grow, those numbers are only going to increase. An intranet that works across all devices gives you the freedom to work however and wherever you need, allowing you and your employees to meet your goals and find greater success.
Branding and Customization Abilities
Brands are a representation of a company’s values and personality and are an important part of both a consumer and an employee’s experience. In fact, some research is starting to suggest that branding may be even more important to employees than it is to customers. For employee branding to be a success it needs to, like a real personality, be consistent throughout your company’s actions and resources. In order to keep that continuous feel, your intranet features need to be on board. An effective intranet will let you share and express your brand and its specific personality through company logos, colors, customization and personalization.
Straightforward Admin Access
Most admins already have more tasks on their plate than they can handle, the last thing they need is an uncooperative intranet. Good business intranets allow changes to be made quickly, easily and without unnecessary complication or frustration. You should be able to easily make the changes you need without having to call IT or be a software expert. Intranets should give admins access to set defaults, assign managers, enable a sync with AD/LDAP, enable branding features and more, without having to take a training course or spend time learning how to wrangle results.
At MangoApps, we developed our intranet over time as we recognized, added and adapted intranet features based on our own company’s needs and the needs of our business customers. MangoApps is proud to offer all of the must-have features we’ve talked about here as well as a few more you can add if you like. We use our intranet to connect and collaborate every day and are always looking for ways to update and improve. The MangoApps mission is the provide everyone with intranet engineered to make business goals a reality. To see how your company can benefit from an engaging modern Intranet, learn more about Mango Intranet, and contact us to schedule a demo.