Common Content Areas for Intranets
By Mark Anderson, CEO/CFO | Posted September 25, 2017
People say that no two snowflakes are alike. The same thing is true for intranets. But there are some common types of content that intranets should share, including policies and procedures, HR content, corporate content and social content.
Covering these areas in your content is not only helpful, but essential. It can create a framework that ensures your intranet delivers information that is not only informative, but also engaging. In turn, this can support your staff by giving them access to the tools they need to do their job and manage their career.
Content related to productivity is important because it gives employees the information they need to do their jobs on a daily basis. This kind of content covers a broad area, but I’m going to narrow my focus to just one of them: policies and procedures. Every company has policies and procedures. A policy is a set of principles and related guidelines that a company establishes to define its long-term goals, direct the scope of its actions, and to protect its interests. A procedure is a fixed way of completing a task, and it includes a sequence of steps that must be followed for the task to be completed properly. Companies depend on policies and procedures to establish the rules of conduct within an organization. Policies and procedures also outline the responsibilities of both employees and employers.
It’s critical for employees to have access to the most up-to-date version of your organization’s policies and procedures. Traditionally, organizations have used printed manuals to convey their guidelines, rules, focus and principles to staff. Today, intranets are a great replacement because they can give employees instant online access to your current policies and procedures. And when updates are needed, administrators can make them quickly and easily online. So staff members don’t have to make do with outdated material until new manuals are printed. They can simply log onto the intranet to pull up the most recent version—assuming you’ve been making timely updates.
Intranets are ideal tools for publishing policies and procedures because they let you put all of this important information in one place. This way, employees will know exactly where to go to find the latest take on the company’s rules, which means they’ll be more likely to use them. If used effectively, intranets can present policies and procedures in a way that advances your organization’s goals and interests.
Intranets can serve as a powerful HR “hub” for employees. And there is a plethora of content items you can include on an intranet to serve and engage staff. A key example is training-related materials. You can use your intranet to easily manage courses, assessments and other training initiatives online. The system can also document the status of each employee’s training activities, providing a permanent record for compliance. Another example of helpful HR content to include in your intranet is announcements about job openings. Posting open positons shows that you care about supporting the careers of your employees internally.
Intranets are also an effective way to collect feedback from employees, thanks to features like surveys and polls. And if you want to thank staff members for a job well done, you can use the employee recognition tool to highlight their accomplishments right on the Home page. You can also announce promotions, awards, birthdays, anniversaries and other important news through your intranet.
Using intranets to publish and communicate important HR information to employees has a number of side benefits. For one thing, it cuts down on sending email—which is always a good thing. And it saves administrators valuable time from not having to create and send emails to multiple recipients. Plus, it ensures that all employees have convenient access to the information they need to do their jobs.
Other helpful types of HR content can include information about pay/salary, benefits, and attendance and leave.
Useful content about your organization can help staff stay informed, productive and engaged with coworkers and the organization as a whole. The content will vary, depending on the current needs and interests of your employees.
For example, intranets are excellent vehicles for dispensing information about your products, services and rates. Providing accurate and up-to-date information about these areas is critical. It can make employees more efficient so they can better serve customers.
Other important types of content in this area are an organizational chart, employee directory and employee profiles. From a practical standpoint, this information can make it easier to find the right employees for teams and special projects. It can also help keep employees more connected and engaged as they perform their duties.
Intranets are also the ideal spot to present important and timely corporate news. Your intranet can be the go-to place where you inform everyone about the latest developments happening within your organization. It can also be a tool for sharing news that can help promote your corporate culture. When it comes to providing corporate news, the possibilities for topics are endless. Just be sure that your news items are relevant to a significant number of your employees.
People are social beings, and this should be reflected in intranets. Your intranet should also convey the lighter and fun side of your organization. Remember the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It’s an old adage, but it still applies today. And it simply means that it’s not healthy for someone to work all the time without rest and enjoyment.
So make sure your intranet promotes online discussion that lets employees encounter interesting topics, express their insights, and promote their ideas. Blogs and online forums are great places to stimulate lighthearted discussions between co-workers. Your intranet should also share information about social events, community service opportunities and other outside activities. And you can take it a step further by creating social committees, sports clubs and other groups that can use your intranet as a central hub.
Choosing Content Carefully
Keep in mind that the virtual real estate of intranets is limited and should be used strategically. So try to make sure the content you’re presenting addresses the kind of information that most employees need to know. Content that’s too narrowly focused can actually be a disservice because it takes up valuable space that could be better used on another topic.
Obviously, creating helpful content for intranets doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a conscious effort, but if you keep these common content areas in mind, it will make the process easier.
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