I can’t stress enough how crucial navigation is. Navigation helps guide the employees to find the right document or material. When coming up with navigation categories, it’s important to recognize that they shouldn’t be too vague or long – employees may be looking for something in a hurry and spending a large amount of time trying to read through the navigation categories will have the opposite effect than what they’re going for.
In your focus group, come up with some categories, bounce ideas around the group to find where content will live within each category. Does the content make sense under each category? Is the category clear and quick to read?
Once you’ve implemented your navigation, have Pilot users test out your navigation:
In addition to documents being one source of truth, another key use of an intranet is to bring people together. Larger companies especially struggle with this as they’ll have locations across many areas or large department sizes. The employee directory helps bridge this gap as you can quickly find the person you’re looking for by name, or by department.
Employee photos help visually make your directory pop and stand out! A great way to leverage this is by adding an employee profile widget to your home page – you can feature employees (i.e. Employee of the month), or highlight new hires across your organization. As the employee profile is pulled from the directory, it’s quick and easy to pull in the employee’s information.
The main reason you likely opted for the intranet was that you had problems with employees finding the right document or the right version of that document – you’re looking for a source of truth. By having the documents reside directly on the intranet in their correct categories or location, you set the expectations of maintaining these documents and policies.
Within the Intranet, you can set up Review Dates assigned to each individual document or policy – depending on your internal processes, you may need to review these items each quarter, or yearly, to account for any changes made.
Policy changes can happen, and the importance of knowing that employees have read these policies is high on the list for many organizations. Within the intranet, you can push out quick nags to employees who haven’t yet read these policies, as well as report on who has/hasn’t read them. You can set up to 3 reminders for each policy at various intervals – this helps remind the employee either by email, site notification, or both that they still have something that they need to read.
You can also add a widget to your homepage which will only appear when the employee has something that requires their attention. Other ways you can use this widget could be for simple things like lunch and learns where the employee needs to provide their meal preferences (i.e. choose between options 1, 2 or 3).
New customers often struggle with deciding on the best way to approach department and team sites. This can be organization specific depending on your needs, but best practices around this uses sites to compartmentalize. For example, if your human resources team needs a source of truth for maintaining policies, it makes more sense for them to own their own human resources department site; there, they can maintain all content and their page to suit their needs.
Since online forms can be complex depending on what you’re trying to do, forms may not be essential to launch with, however, it can be a huge ROI for many companies that currently struggle with paper forms and processes.
One example of this could be with regards to documenting a transaction with a customer (i.e. customer makes an account change), that transaction would then need to go through a few people before the change would be successfully completed. The workflow process of that form shows who submits the request, the people who have worked on it, and when it was completed.
Using Forms can also help simplify current processes – take time sheets for example. If payroll needs to know how your hours need to be distributed for each pay period, including any vacation or sick days, it can be captured through a form submission. The employee and payroll manager can go back to the form response to see all previously submitted time sheets in the case of any disputes.
Did we cover the core features that worked for your launch? What were some core features that made your intranet launch successful? We’d love to hear about them!