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Three Ways to Create Success for Your School Intranet

Three Ways to Create Success for Your School Intranet

Cara Heimbaugh

4 mins read

Wed, Dec 27, '23  

A school intranet should be unique as the student body and staff it represents. So if your intranet has rigid limitations or a clunky experience that blocks users from the information they need in what small time they have during the day, it will lead to low adoption rates, poor engagement, and frustrated users. 

One area where this truth is well known and understood is the education sector. Users at schools and universities are busy, and many times are not perpetually in front of a computer screen like users in other industries. They are educating and engaging with students, sharing their knowledge and information. They need an intranet that meets them where they are, is equally engaging, and fit for their purpose. Additionally, education is typically a highly regulated field with policies, procedures, and documentation at the helm of its operational model and vital to the day-to-day routine of most employees. 

As experts in the intranet space, Happeo has researched our education customers and the market to understand the needs of educational institutions when it comes to knowledge management, as well as how to build and equip an intranet to meet schools’ unique needs.

Top Goals for School Intranets

Through our research, we have discovered that 67% of teachers, management, and support staff are accessing the intranet on a daily basis and 95% of them on a weekly basis. This means that school employees want to visit a centralized location for their needs and to stay up-to-date and connected to colleagues.

Across all roles and purposes, education-focused employees mainly use intranets to share information, search for information, create news and announcements, utilize the organization chart, and manage site content. To support these uses, there are three intranet pillars that can make or break a successful intranet experience for schools. 

Single Source of Truth

Educators need to be able to have one reliable place to find accurate and consistently up-to-date policies, documentation, and knowledge management. Using intranet pages to collect important information and organize it into a clean, easy-to-use format reduces frustration and keeps all faculty and staff on the same page. 

A central HR Management System can also help to close the gaps between school buildings or campuses, giving faculty and staff the same access to uniform personnel information. Also, leveraging an intranet  for tools and integrations, such as learning management systems for training, is the best way to track and manage continuing education and compliance training for everyone in one place. 

Structured Internal Communications

When there are news and announcements to share, making sure that information is seen by everyone who needs it requires structured internal communications. Many times, intranets function with ad hoc communications that are broadcast in hopes that they reach the right eyes, many times with little success. 

To support structured communications that can reach teachers across various locations with varying schedules, it’s important that an intranet’s communication function is easy and clear to navigate in terms of menu structure and labeling. Having dedicated channels for targeted communications also reduces unnecessary noise and disseminates relevant information for each user. Finally, creating a function for two-way communication has a major impact on adoption, engagement, and satisfaction rates for school employees. Enabling functions like comments, threads, and reactions allows for dialogue, connection, and employee voices to shine through. 

A Modern, User-friendly Interface

Schools are bursting with learning, personality, growth, and fun; a teacher’s intranet should exude the same. Having an intranet that is difficult to navigate and boring in design does not work to further engage users. And when users aren’t engaged they are getting the information they need, nor are they sharing their own knowledge. 

There are some key features that can help provide a user-friendly experience for school intranet users, with the most-requested feature being a strong search engine. Nothing ruins an experience more on an intranet than having to sift through search results, files, and documents to locate necessary information. Intranets are primarily hubs for important information, so they should be set up to make doing just that simple. AI can help elevate search functions to have curated answers, rather than just lists of results. 

Beyond that, it should be fast. Educators and staff don’t have time for a slow experience. They need to be able to access the information in as little time as possible, between classes, during a plan period, or at lunch. A modern intranet should be able to keep pace with the speed of the user.

Finally, a modern school intranet doesn’ t need to be dull. Having an intranet with an aesthetically pleasing, on-brand design significantly improves user engagement by fostering a positive and professional atmosphere. It enhances the user experience, instills trust, and reinforces organizational identity and values. Consistent branding creates recognition and familiarity, encouraging regular visits and increasing overall adoption. 

The  success of any intranet lies in its ability to adapt to the unique needs of its users, and school intranets are unique from intranets in other various industries. Happeo understands how to build a digital home for schools that solves common pain points and brings educators together, and remains committed to providing intranet solutions that empower educators, foster engagement, and elevate the learning experience. 

Discover more about Happeo’s intranet solutions for schools, or connect directly with an expert to discuss your unique goals today.