An employee intranet can help your staff be more productive, make it easier to find documents and information - and make HR admin tasks simpler, like requesting leave or updating company policies
And although they have traditionally been the preserve of large companies, cloud intranet services mean creating an employee intranet is relatively straightforward.
Not sure if your business needs an employee intranet? Here are ten ways it could help your company.
1. Know where to find important documents
Your employee intranet can provide a central repository for key business documents. Your proposal templates, price lists, product specifications and more can all be saved in this location.
Saving important documents in a single location helps avoid problems with version control, because your staff can be confident they're working from the most up-to-date option.
2. Make sure everyone knows what's happening
Your employee intranet is an obvious place to post news and updates about the company. These might include your latest customer wins, press coverage or industry news.
Some intranet software will allow you to pull in newsfeeds from other websites or sources, then publish them on your intranet pages. Doing this may encourage your employees to visit the intranet regularly.
3. Reduce the number of emails you send and receive
Email overload can be a source of frustration and stress, sapping your productivity and causing you to miss important messages.
Your employee intranet can dramatically reduce the volume of internal email in your business, because your staff won't need to ask each other for documents or information they can find on the intranet.
4. Make HR tasks easier
Setting up and keeping on top of HR processes can be time consuming. As staff numbers grow, the informal procedures you used to rely on can become impractical and inefficient.
A good employee intranet can streamline many HR processes. You can create functions for requesting, approving and tracking annual leave, monitoring absence levels and more.
You can also use your employee intranet to distribute updated staff policies and training, and log when staff have seen them or taken part.
5. Get instant access to contact details
Your employee intranet can incorporate a full contact directory listing everyone in your business. If anyone needs to reach someone else, they can search for their details.
You can also pull in data from your customer database or CRM system, allowing relevant staff members to track down the right contact details for key customers.
6. Easily manage IT support requests
Your employee intranet can include an online form to search IT support articles and request help if necessary. It can also record information about the nature and frequency of requests, so you can prioritise IT investment and training.
7. Track and allocate resources
You can use your employee intranet to show the availability of resources like meeting rooms and allow staff to book them online.
You can also set up your intranet so employees can use it to request or take part in training or place orders for items like stationery and business cards.
8. Share selected information with customers
Although you'll almost certainly want to restrict intranet access to your employees, you can create an area for your customers to use. This is often called an 'extranet' or 'client portal'.
Usually, customers are provided with a username and password they can use to sign in to your extranet. You can share project documents or other items there that your customers need to see.
9. Keep remote workers up to date
Although there are many benefits to working remotely, you sometimes have to work harder to make sure remote workers know what's going on and feel like they're part of the team.
By sharing updates and news through a hosted intranet, you can be confident remote workers are able to stay in touch.
10. Boost employee morale
One of the challenges of creating an employee intranet is making sure it gets regularly accessed and used. One way to encourage uptake is to give employees reasons to use it that are outside of your core business functions.
For instance, you can create forums for arranging social events, buying and selling items and other discussions. This helps employees buy into the idea, boosting morale by bringing people closer together.