Effective tips to plan out your SharePoint Intranet
Intranet is a basic need for all industry types and functional roles as it is a great help when it comes to digital asset organization. It has emerged as a very powerful tool for modern day businesses to empower employees, boost communication, improve collaboration within teams and streamline all the day to day processes. In short, it has become central repository for all the key information that staff needs to get the job done.
Let us understand first of all WHY companies need intranet for their daily tasks and where it can become handy.
- If you feel that your employees are disengaged from each other. They need a common social platform where they can visit every day to chat and solve their issues mutually.
- If you are looking for a free digital space to store your important project documents and files and make them accessible to employees whenever they need them.
- If your teams are scattered and email is not conducive to keep up with the speed and agility of your industry.
- If you have multiple projects going on and you want a centralized dashboard to track the progress of them.
- If you have multiple offices/ development centers in different geographic locations with no centralized communication platform.
- If you want to create an internal news space to share all the important things going on in your organization and boost employee morale and productivity.
- If you are looking for ways to collect data and run reports, to do things like track customers or manage HR functions.
1. Selection of an Intranet provider
There are a number of factors which can influence your decision to select intranet software that fits best for your business. Analyze the immediate needs and requirements of your team to set up goals to be achieved from the software. Get the budget in place. Review multiple vendors who have a possibility to give you quick deployment, flexible quote and amazing add-ins to add value to your intranet. Do not rush in for such decisions. A careful think through beforehand will surely help you overcome several problems.
2. Effective launch and training
There needs to be a Launch Plan (from Orientation to Training to content generation to go LIVE). Launching a new company intranet is as sophisticated as a new product launch happening in your company. Give high value to it. Plan it effectively and think through various aspects of it. It’s just not letting your employees know about the new piece of software which they would be using daily. It’s building up emotional connection with it where they become super excited about using it to ease out their difficult tasks. Try to gather as much information or requirements of your organization as well as employees, to assess what would help the employee ‘Reach’ the intranet, ‘Use’ the information available, ‘Revisit’ the Intranet often.
3. Friendly Home page
Remember, it’s difficult for your employees to adjust to any new intranet. Keep the home page simple but highly intuitive. Employees tend to use intranet if they get a quick navigation to daily tasks like meeting calendars, important news and happenings of the company at one place, project management tools and other social sites access. Selection of ingredients which built up your home page is equally important here. Mantra for effective usage of intranet is use a clean user interface with minimal design and with all important applications on the home page.
4. Company brand association
At a basic level, your company intranet must have a strong brand, a sense of identity that distinguishes it from the other public website or general information sources within the organization. There should be a single look-and-feel that encompasses the entire intranet. This includes a standard page layout, colors and navigation. It’s important that you carry the company logo and theme colors into the intranet pages but not necessarily copy them. Some companies play with color theme with change in seasons or moods, sometimes with festive times as well. This tends to give a freshness to the daily moods of the users also.
5. Careful Selection of add-ins and work flows to build intranet
Next important thing which you need to take care of is the selection of readily available Add-ins or Apps or Web-parts which build up an effective and productive intranet for your company. These help in getting a head-start by immediately deploying the Add-ins (instead of recreating each feature/functionality everything yourself). Make sure each of your departments have something in the Intranet that brings them closer to collaboration and communication. Over past decade, Beyond Key has successfully developed lot of add-ins and workflows which can becomes serious ingredients for your company internet and across each functional area as well.
6. Timely review of intranet acceptance and productivity – Analytics
Things just don’t end up after setting up the intranet. They begin with it. Revisit the acceptance rate of the new social tool with your employees after using it. Check the difficult edges reported by your team and work on improvisation. If things are going smoothly, you can think of how to keep the progress moving. If you’re not meeting your goals, however, this is the time to consider how you can improve upon your intranet utilization.
7. Regular upgradation
Our observation- SharePoint intranets which have not been updated lesser than a week tend to loose connection with users. So, continuously update, improve and refresh the content as well as look and feel of the intranet. Add Information which remains relevant and usable for a long time. Keep adding pages on Company’s updated approach, achievements and happenings. Appointing a SharePoint manager can surely help you better organize and update SharePoint content to keep it evergreen.