A social intranet is the best internal tool to create a sense of workforce community. It can help bring in collaboration and boost efficiency amongst geographically spread out employees. It’s the best way to pool know-how from your employees and create a valuable knowledge base.
Get people to upload user-created content about new innovations, your latest campaigns or organization news. Start an Idea Center where employees can drop in their ideas on how your organization can do business. Enable various tools such as Wikis, forums and blogs and polls to gather ideas, content, opinions and so on.
Make sure everyone in your company is able to access the internet, from any computer, remote or otherwise. Also test load speeds – you want the site to be light enough so it loads quickly even on slow connections. One more – make the content friendly for folks with disabilities.
Create a thorough employee database that contains with every possible bit of interesting information. Include info on hobbies and interests too, so that people are tempted to connect with each other. Encourage all your employees to fill out detailed profiles so others know whom to approach for what.
Enable various intranet apps and databases to talk to each other. For example, when a user searches for an employee, info should come in from the HR database, Project Management database, Google Maps for location and so on.
Don’t force your users to sign in multiple times just to access information from various internal databases. Allow a simple, single sign-on and enable access to all relevant information. If you want to keep some information private, don’t put it on the intranet.
You don’t need to pull out the bandboxes, but do what you can to prevent your intranet from going wild. Some amount of monitoring is required to keep the content relevant and appropriate. However, remain flexible while enforcing a strong sense of ethical responsibility.
Clean Design and Navigation
Emphasize on a great, friendly design layout along with eye-friendly fonts and colors. Don’t cram functionality – decide what goes on which page and keep the structuring simple. Reduce the number of clicks, and provide breadcrumbs so people know where they are.
Get your employees to suggest a great, ear-friendly name for the intranet. This helps create a stronger, more positive bond. Also allow users to move widgets around and personalize their intranet as they want to. Also provide a good WYSIWYG editor with a spell check so people can create content on the fly.
Provide a centralized, superior Search feature backed by a great search engine on each page. It should be powerful enough to search through all your databases and bring relevant results together into one search. Allow filtering, sorting and advanced Search options.
All your employees should be free to contribute content, never mind how senior or junior they are. Don’t create a roadblock situation with a long approval process. Also, users should be able to comment, share their knowledge and opinions and rate, share, bookmark and flag inappropriate content.