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Redefining your internal website: 10 fresh new ways to maximize your company's intranet

Redefining your internal website: 10 fresh new ways to maximize your company's intranet

Jonathan Davies


See how an intranet works

Learn how an intranet works with this short video.

15 mins read

Wed, Sep 6, '23  

Increasing employee satisfaction is on everyone's mind lately, and with good reason. Elevated experiences at work can boost morale, ramp up productivity, and solidify retention. In fact, 81% of business leaders vouch that highly engaged teams show better performance and productivity.

But how can organizations effectively engage their employees? While many companies still rely on traditional internal websites, forward-thinking companies are adopting the next-generation tool: the social intranet.

In this article, we'll explore the fundamental differences between these platforms and discover how a modern social intranet can help your organization achieve its goals.

What is an internal website?

An internal website serves the same purpose as any other website but is exclusively for internal use. The primary objective is to streamline internal operations, provide essential information, and facilitate productive communication.

Internal websites have seen significant advancements since their origin in the 1990s. Today, the internal site doesn't just serve as an information repository. It offers features such as file management, blogs, bulletin boards, dedicated helpdesks, and more. Some platforms integrate social media, search functions, and forums to enhance the user experience.

What is a modern social intranet?

A modern social intranet takes the typical internal website up a notch. It’s not just a website — it's a dynamic platform that boosts employee collaboration and interaction.

The term "social intranet" might conjure images of social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. While there's a semblance, a social intranet combines those elements with a business-oriented approach. Teams can share, communicate, and collaborate using features like adaptive dashboards, efficient communication tools, team-centric workspaces, and organized document storage.

Why choose a company intranet over an internal website?

Technology is reshaping how teams communicate, making traditional internal websites increasingly obsolete. For a dynamic, responsive workplace, intranets take the lead. They not only connect remote teams but also improve collaboration and efficiency.

Here's where company intranets stand out:

Staying connected and boosting engagement

As businesses become increasingly globalized, intranets are more than just a bridge between teams located across cities and continents. They replicate the feel of a virtual office, ensuring distance never comes in the way of productivity or team spirit.

While a basic website provides information, an intranet encourages engagement. It allows users to actively participate through chats, forums, and feedback, fostering an authentic sense of community.

Effortless integration and collaboration

Intranets today don't function in isolation. They're built to blend effortlessly with various business tools, from HR software to project management suites, offering a streamlined work process.

Intranets support teamwork and quick decisions in today's fast-paced workplace. Features like shared calendars and real-time messaging ensure that work progresses without a hitch.

Updates and recognition

A single source of truth for company information, updates, and knowledge is essential for the modern team. There are multiple ways to disseminate information on intranets, not just top-down, including customized Pages and Channels for specific departments or teams.

More personal than a typical website, intranets let managers share news and celebrate achievements, big or small, building a culture of appreciation across the organization.

What features does a company intranet need?

Social intranets with advanced features are more than just useful tools — they’re vital for success. However, an intranet is only as helpful as its capabilities, so selecting the right tool for your team is crucial.

When picking the right intranet for your company, make sure it can:

  • Share important information. Company intranets help disseminate important information quickly. Ensure your solution allows robust sharing via multiple channels. Pages provide teams with a comprehensive view of what they need to know, step by step, and with the context they need to understand it.
  • Serve as a helpful communication tool. A successful intranet facilitates communication by offering employee directories, easy navigation, and a clear organizational structure. Ideally, the best solutions enable employees to communicate privately, work in groups, and share files.
  • Easily integrate with existing applications. With the right intranet solution, you can integrate your existing tools, like project management software, instant messaging programs, sales platforms, and more, to manage existing workflows. Some tools even allow you to create your own integrations via API.
  • Encourage collaboration and socializing. Intranets that integrate social networks foster community, improve adoption, and promote teamwork. Social intranet software should allow users to comment and post in collaborative channels, tag other intranet users, and share multimedia content.
  • Support the company culture. Use the intranet to strengthen your business culture and effectively communicate your message to employees. A fully branded experience incorporating your company logo, typefaces, and colors will make your employees feel at home and increase adoption.
  • Promote efficient interactivity. Efficient intranets are crucial business tools for simplifying and automating essential tasks and processes. An intranet should enhance connectivity with advanced search, knowledge management, and workspace integration features.

How to make the most of your company's intranet beyond a simple internal website

Modern social intranets are more than just communication platforms. They’re multifunctional hubs for employee engagement, collaboration, and productivity. Make the most of your company intranet by combining operational efficiency with creativity, team building, and even a little fun.

Here are a few unique, effective, and enjoyable ways to use your company's intranet.

1. Digital idea pitching

Encouraging innovation within your company can be transformative. You can foster an environment that stimulates creativity by offering space on the intranet for employees to submit and discuss their ideas. Employees can share their ideas, engage with others, and potentially see their concepts become reality.

How to start: Create a designated Page on your intranet for idea pitching. Enable comments to facilitate lively Q&A sessions and add widgets to incorporate multimedia files. Using intranet integrations, you can visually present the most popular ideas and add voting features.

2. Resource and skill sharing

Harnessing the collective skills of your workforce can greatly benefit collaborative projects. Incorporating employee expertise into the workplace encourages informed teamwork and fosters a better understanding of each colleague's strengths, enhancing collaboration.

How to start: Build detailed employee profiles that showcase individual skills and add sections for endorsements and collaboration requests. A People Directory with advanced search functions makes finding the right colleague for a project even easier.

3. Integrated training modules

A learning-driven environment is pivotal for employee growth. Turning your intranet into a learning hub provides a convenient platform for ongoing employee skill development. A dedicated learning center also ensures the team stays updated and equipped with the latest knowledge.

How to start: Incorporate diverse learning materials like video tutorials, articles, and interactive quizzes. Offer certificates upon course completion, and always seek feedback for refining the content.

4. Interactive employee channels

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful team. Providing tailored discussion Channels and Pages for departments to broadcast achievements and updates can foster an open and collaborative environment, enhance transparency, and strengthen team relations.

How to start: Create department or topic Channels with titles, descriptions, and hashtags so they’re easy to find. Announcements, comment feeds, and real-time messaging allow members to share feedback and support.

5. Virtual talent shows

Your employees have talents that extend beyond their job roles. Celebrate these hidden skills with an opportunity to showcase their hobbies and abilities in a talent show. This light-hearted approach offers a fun way to boost morale, strengthen team bonds, and increase engagement levels for the entire team.

How to start: Host your virtual talent show via live stream with integrated links for video calls or via pre-recorded content posted on Pages or in Channels. React with emojis and GIFs to comment, appreciate, and engage with the performers.

6. Onboarding roadmaps

A well-structured onboarding process sets the tone for a newcomer's journey. A great onboarding process increases employee retention by 69%, according to SHRM. A comprehensive onboarding guide helps new employees integrate seamlessly and become familiar with the company's culture.

How to start: Create an interactive onboarding channel with resources, videos, and interactive sessions that guide new hires through onboarding. Happeo’s employee onboarding process template makes everything simple.

7. Team achievements wall

Highlighting both personal and professional achievements bolsters team morale. In a shared space, showcasing these triumphs fosters gratitude and optimism. It's not just about celebrating — it's also a powerful motivator, reminding everyone of the unique contributions they make.

How to start: Create an interactive "Wall of Fame" on your company intranet. Allow peers to post, share, and interact with each accomplishment, ensuring every achievement gets its deserved limelight.

8. Collaborative project spaces

Centralizing project information is pivotal. With designated intranet spaces, teams stay aligned and zeroed in on their goals. Not only does this enhance organization, but it also paves the way for more robust collaboration and superior project results.

How to start: Use templates to create dedicated Pages for teams and projects quickly. Integrations allow you to link user cards, calendars, and Channel feeds so that all team members are on the same page. Universal and Federated Search facilitate easy collaboration across all documents and platforms.

9. Real-time feedback loops

Instant feedback can provide invaluable insights. Gathering opinions and suggestions in real-time ensures that the organization stays responsive and attuned to employee sentiments. An intranet solution that supports polls and surveys makes it easier for employees to respond and share their valuable perspectives.

How to start: Make your internal site interactive with feedback tools such as polls and quick surveys. This proactive approach can lead to faster resolutions. When combined with advanced analytics, you can transform feedback into actionable strategies for improvement.

10. Company-wide challenges

Internal challenges, whether sustainability initiatives or productivity contests, can spark motivation and energize the workforce. In addition to having fun, these events foster camaraderie and instill a sense of purpose that motivates everyone toward a common goal.

How to start: Launch and monitor these challenges using your company intranet. Set up registration platforms, progress sharing boards, and leaderboards, creating a dynamic and competitive environment that still prioritizes collaboration.

Expand your internal website with Happeo

Modern social intranets offer many capabilities essential for fostering collaboration, innovation, and a strong sense of community within a company. A social intranet is more than just a communication platform — it’s the center of employee engagement and streamlined operations.

If you want to unlock these possibilities and create a vibrant digital workspace for your team, consider exploring Happeo. Contact us for a demo or download our feature list to learn how Happeo redefines internal websites with intranet, enterprise social networking, and collaboration.