What your Intranet finally evolves to, is really up to your imagination. You can either have it as a one page welcome board flashing on everyone’s screen, or go to a more detailed and powerful level of credential based access, sharing, collaboration and engagement tool, built to propel your company’s growth aspirations. The good thing about an Intranet is that its range of functionalities can be expanded or reduced based on the enterprise business need and employee preferences. However, there are some features that are absolutely essential in order to tag it as a true blue employee intranet portal. Let’s explore these seven mission critical features that need to be present in an employee intranet system.

1) Content Management – Content is the fuel that fires your Intranet. Earlier the portal needed separate third party integration with a Content Management System (CMS). However Intranet nowadays simply cannot do without built in CMS, or integration and compatibility with external CMS. With workplace evolving every minute, the need for fresh, up-to-date, and relevant content is extremely important. After all, isn’t the basic function of an Intranet downloading and uploading of content?

2) Fine Grained Permissions – Providing controlled access to various elements stored within the portal really enhances its efficacy. While general leadership messages and HR policies will be visible to every employee, confidential financial projections, earnings and revenue sheet needs to be accessed only by finance, sales and operations heads. Such fine grained permissions not only include credential based sign in, but also provides role based and department wise access to information. This feature tremendously improves the practical utility of the portal.

3) Forms, Policies, Documents – This one will appeal to HR! The employee intranet portal can provide a central repository for all types of forms and policies (personnel public data such as extensions, leaves forms, expense claims, mediclaims, payroll, salary, performance review policy, transport policy, alerts about updates to policies, to name a few). The section can offer direct download, as well as online form fillings for ease of use. Operations guys can also put up tech documents, cheat sheets, templates, manuals, and library files – all documents that help carry out routine or repeated tasks.

4) Mobile optimized – Handled smartly, mobility can go a long way in helping employees build rapport with the corporate Intranet portal. Instead of stuffing everything into the mobile version, you can limit access to those routine and ultra-essential functionalities that can be easily worked with, on the smartphone’s limited screen size. These may include -

  • Texts – These include manuals and policies for read-only access
  • News feed – Providing read-only access to blogs and news feed helps employees stay abreast of latest happenings within the company
  • Address book – Having an address book with names and numbers can help users exploit the native functionalities of smartphone such as calling or messaging
  • Databases – This one will especially be of value to sales and marketing teams and for operations managers.

5)Superior Search – A portal’s success relies heavily on how fast content can be discovered within it. This feature also helps build confidence of the accuracy, relevance, and reliability of the portal when employees need it the most. Content indexing and advanced search options (wildcards, autosuggest) are bare basics to today’s corporate search needs. Popularize the use of metadata to be added with content, so that the search engine can determine if a result is more relevant than another. The search box’s placement and occurrence in every page view is important as well, in order to maximize its efficacy.

6) Maximum Interaction – It is imperative to make the Intranet interactive to ensure better employee engagement and faster adoption across the board for the portal. Examples include –

  • Event calendar – Alerts employees about important dates, events, meetings, functions, or project launch.
  • Feedback – Offering a survey or taking a poll provides a feedback mechanism that will be welcomed by employees as it allows them to air their thoughts
  • Wiki-like – Keeping the content updated and added upon, is a feature that helps extract greater participation and better content production overall.

7) Casual corner – Online collaboration can be further enhanced by bringing about a section in the Intranet reserved for not-so-official work. These may include classifieds, games, puzzles, trivia, daily comic strips, or contests. Such casual corner can elevate the adoption of the platform, bring about better communication among employees, and give them short breaks from works. Add an extra level of gamification (top posts liked, top occurrences of recognition, highest number of posts published etc.) and employee interaction can get a real boost.

Following DEEP™’s philosophy of Create, Communicate, Connect, and Collaborate, will allow business owners to take charge. They can elevate their employee engagement initiatives with the help of an enterprise grade employee Intranet portal such as DEEP™.