Top 6 features of an Intranet

In this article we outline what we think are the top 6 features which make for a good intranet.

Intranets can be a great way to get information out to your organisation’s employees and as we have previously lean’t WordPress is the perfect choice for building your Intranet on.

However in this article we are going to look at the top features we think you should include in your Intranet. These are features that are helpful for everyone as well as some that help engage users can get them interested in visiting your Intranet more often.

1. Meet the Team

The Intranet should be about bringing everyone in a medium to large organisations together and there is nothing better that allowing people to easily see colleagues they are working with but may not necessarily see on a daily basis.

A good meet the team section allows colleagues to see who does what and where they are located. It can even provide a quick way of contacting people.

It is also a good idea to organise your team into the different departments and roles and provide a quick filter or search functionality for finding people. This could be based on their work skills but maybe also their interests so that colleagues can get in touch with others who have similar interests in a more social interest. A photo is each person is nice to have too, or if users want, they could provide a little intro video about themselves which others could watch.

2. Company News

An important part of any company is keeping the organisations employees up-to-date with what is happening in the company.

A good Intranet should always provide a news section where news can easily be posted, categorised and tagged so that it can easily be found.

Using WordPress makes this easy as it comes with built-in tools to easily post all the latest news from your organisation. WordPress’s built in categories and tags can be used to organise your articles so people can find just what they are looking for. News posts can also include a variety of media including photos and of course videos. These are easily embedded from social video sharing sites such as Youtube and Vimeo simply by copying and pasting the video URL.

If appropriate, you can also allow Intranet users to comment on news articles, giving their opinions or ideas of the things happening in your company. This really gives people a voice and encourages them to engage more.

3. Policies

All companies need to have a strong set of policies and guidelines to govern their users. WordPress provides an easy way to house these policies all in one place. It makes them easy to find and easy to group together into different categories.

It is essential that your policies are up-to-date and version controlled so you can track the changes that have taken place to them. WordPress provides a revision history for all content types as well as easily allowing you to display modified dates so users know when they were last updated.

No more sending out policies as attachments on emails which often results in anyone having their own copies. This leads to people having the wrong information. Policies can now easily exist as web pages which always show the most up-to-date version.

4. Knowledge base or FAQs

If you have ever worked in HR or a personnel department you will know that you probably get asked many of the same questions over and over again – how do I file an expense claim for example.

A great idea is to build up a bank of these frequently asked questions in the form of a knowledge base. Each question can have its own page to link to and also be searchable. FAQs can also be categorised and tagged so users can easily find the topics and questions they are looking for.

In the long term this will save the organisation hours of work and always mean that users are getting the up-to-date answer to their queries as making changes means updating things in one place only.

5. Request forms and/or surveys

Using WordPress we can build in the facility to create many different types of form to collect data you need. This could be things like holiday requests or anything else that you have previously have done either manually or by using email. The information can then easily be exported for use in a Spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel.

Using surveys to gauge people’s opinion is a great way to encourage employees and members of your organisation to feel they have a part to play in many areas of the organisation.

6. Training area

A popular feature of Intranets we have built is to build up a training area. This could be something simple to start with with some information to provide to users. However this could also be something much bigger with a series of editable lessons, perhaps with video content that users work through. At the end of the lessons or course you could even provide a test in the form of a multiple choice quiz. A pass means you could provide your users with a certificate for passing the course!

Providing training this way means that users can complete the training from anywhere using any device. They can also complete this during their own time and at their own pace rather than having to block out a day or two for everyone to complete the training. This provides a much more flexible training system.

About the author

Mark is the lead WordPress developer at Highrise Digital. He has been working with WordPress for over 13 years, way back to 2005. He focuses on back-end development, integrating the website build with WordPress so it can be editable.