How to Create an Intranet: 7 Steps to Success

Stuart Sinclair - May 12, 2022

Few tasks strike as much dread into a manager’s heart as the idea of setting up the company intranet. The negative associations are so embedded that the task of creating an intranet is often ‘delegated’ from person to person. Intranet development carries an assumption that it is a complex, tedious process best left to the technical experts. And to be fair, that used to be the case. However, it is worth re-asking the question "what is an intranet?"The traditional employee intranet required considerable setup and support to get it up and running. But technology has moved on…

Today’s employee apps provide a mobile intranet solution that covers all the bases, and more besides. These apps provide all the capabilities of a traditional intranet platform. On top of that, they offer a mobile intranet platform that puts the workplace in your people’s pockets. They are user-friendly, simple to customise and can be personalised to users to keep them engaged. And, crucially, an intranet app is so much easier to launch than the old-style intranet software.

So, how to create an intranet with minimum hassle and effort? In this blog, we take a closer look at the key steps you need to consider to ensure it’s delivering on your objectives. We’ll explore how to set up an intranet that maximises engagement without causing you to lose your hair in the process.

How to create an intranet in seven simple steps

How to build an intranet that meets all your company’s unique requirements, boosts engagement, and doesn’t take months out of your life? These seven steps will put you on the path to success…

#1 Decide which functions you need

It’s important to remember that your employees will have many reasons for visiting the intranet, and you need to cater for all of them. The intranet meaning is different for every individual. While the internal communications department will want to use the intranet to convey information, your workforce may have other requirements. Some of these functions will include; accessing useful apps and tools, locating shared files and resources, keeping up with company news and events, connecting with colleagues and providing personal feedback. While a traditional intranet platform may struggle to cover all these functions, you’ll find that the modern mobile intranet has these elements already built-in and ready to go.

Top tip: How to develop intranet functions that really hit the spot? Make sure you speak to your audience first. Your employees are the ones who will be using the system, so ask them which tools and features they would like to see.

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#2 Make it accessible to the entire workforce

The old-school intranet platform was entirely desktop-based, requiring a log-in from the company computer at the office. Thanks to the recent move to remote working, this way of thinking has changed. Today’s intranet app is a completely mobile platform, accessible not only to home workers, but also to those on the front line and on the road. You’ll need to make sure your intranet portal is fully compatible with multiple operating systems and works seamlessly across IOS, Android and Safari. When you’re exploring how to make an intranet website that connects with every employee, you need to choose a mobile intranet that reaches across your entire organisation

Top tip: How do you make your intranet accessible to everyone? The answer is to remove all the technical barriers. Allow employees to use their favourite means of communication, whichever device, app or platform they prefer.

#3 Choose the best intranet software

It’s worth taking the time to explore your options when choosing the best intranet app for your company. Which intranet is right for you? Not all apps are built the same. You’re looking for an intranet design that transforms the traditional static platform into a dynamic, engaging experience and creates company-wide engagement. Look for special features such as instant notifications (vital in times of emergency), a robust two-way feedback channel, the ability to personalise content, and integrated monitoring tools. A good employee intranet should have a wide range of tools and modules at your disposal. And, crucially, it should be simple to get up and running and user-friendly for fast adoption.

Top tip: Your intranet needs to be as easy to implement as it is to use. With TalkFreely, fast-track implementation gives you a launch schedule of under two weeks. You’ll be able to roll it out, with no IT resources needed, and see an immediate uptake.

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#4 Customise to your company

How to create an intranet website that builds trust? The answer is strong company branding.

With so much information readily available on the internet, and not all of it reliable, you need to make sure your employees can recognise official company content. There is a big difference between the intranet vs internet, and you need to highlight this. Your intranet homepage needs to reinforce a solid internal brand for maximum transparency. Personalised company branding will create clarity and trust for your employees. Whether you use your company’s colour palette or take the brand experience to the max with a fully customised app that delivers your complete branding, it’s a vital element of any successful site.

Top tip: Put some extra thought into the design of your intranet homepage. This critical page should provide quick access and ‘at-a-glance’ answers. It needs to take your employees directly where they want to go via the fastest route possible.

#5 Allocate ownership

Who’s in charge of your intranet? Unless you allocate ownership for the relevant sections and pages, you will find your intranet quickly becomes out of date and loses relevancy. Intranets have a bad reputation for being repositories of dated information, and for good reason. Your intranet strategy needs to clearly identify ownership to ensure the content is kept up-to-date.

Once employees realise that regular news and updates are available, they will come to rely on it as a trustworthy source of information. But equally, as soon as the information becomes unreliable, you will quickly lose that hard-won trust you have built.

Top tip: Look for an intranet app that makes updating content simple and easy. Automated scheduling and built-in news modules will help to ensure your information is always engaging, relevant, and updated.

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#6 Add access controls and personalisation

It’s worth considering that some areas of your intranet portal will need to be restricted. Confidential and sensitive information should only be searchable and viewable by those who need to see it. A good intranet app will enable you to identify those areas and lock them down securely. And it’s also worth considering how to set up an intranet that people actually choose to use. Personalisation is the key. Your intranet needs to provide a range of information that is personalised to the employee. Keep communications relevant by filtering content based on the groups and posts people follow.

Top tip: Make sure you select intranet software that can filter messaging. Your intranet will need to have the functionality to send out direct messages to specific teams, create dedicated group conversations, or message the whole company

#7 Measure impact and tweak accordingly

So, your new intranet is up and running, and everything seems to be going well. But now is not the time to step back. This is where you need to keep a close eye on the impact of your communications with integrated monitoring and reporting tools. There are many intranet ideas you can use to assess the impact. Engagement surveys will capture and evaluate employee engagement levels across the company, while regular pulses and polls will ensure you are gathering a consistent stream of feedback. You can also employ standardised measures such as eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) and Happiness Index to help you track loyalty levels.

Top tip: How to create an intranet that measures and tracks your results? Choose an internet app with in-built survey modules to make your life easier. And make sure it also provides in-depth reports for external analysis and reporting back to head office.

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