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Something for Everyone: 21 Features to Expect from Your Intranet

Mike Hicks

January 30, 2020 · 4 min read
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Choosing an intranet solution should be largely about finding a partner that you feel will provide you with the guidance and support to create a digital workplace that engages and inspires your people across the organization. But when it comes down to brass tacks, there are certain core features you must be able to check off your list when choosing a new solution.

Before you start that list, identify the needs of each of your stakeholder groups:

  • End users – these are the people who are supposed to use your intranet every day to manage their work. In this sense, we mean employees or members.
  • Content creators – these are the people who use your intranet as a tool for publishing content and communications.
  • Administrators – these are the people who are involved in deploying, building, and maintaining your intranet solution.

All of these groups are essential to the success of an intranet that is truly meant to engage and inform. Failing to address the needs of anyone of them when evaluating solutions will inevitably cause friction once you get to the implementation stage.

Now, let’s break down which specific features will help get buy-in from each of these groups.

Features for End Users

You need features that help users be more productive – saving them time, effort, resources – by having everything available in one place. Not only do you want them to be more productive, but you also want them to be involved and engaged with what’s happening around them.

Your intranet platform should help them do four key things: consume content, find information, interact with each other, and manage their work.

Features like:

  • Notifications: Keep employees up to date with real-time notifications about new posts or content.
  • Subscriptions: Receive instant, daily, weekly, or monthly notifications for followed content, as set by the user or administrator.
  • Social features: Use blogs, polls, comments, and likes to build culture and create a dialogue between employees across your organization.
  • Search: Quickly find anything in your intranet (or via integrations to third party repositories), from files to articles to subject matter experts.
  • Profiles: Find which colleague has the expertise you need by viewing their profile or starting a chat.
  • Microblogs: Connect employees with their coworkers – near and far – by creating a virtual water cooler to share a quick note or direct them to important updates.
  • Tasks: Make project management easy by keeping track of all your to-do’s, reminders, and requests.

Features for Content Creators

These are your digital workplace managers, intranet managers, communicators – or anyone else who regularly posts content on the intranet. As the “super users” of the platform, they’ll need access to a wide range of features that allow them to create, publish, distribute, and manage content – in a simple and seamless fashion.

Features like:

  • Multiple content types: Choose from different channels for publishing content, including blogs, wikis, calendars, and forums.
  • WYSIWYG editor: Post content with the ability to format text, add images, embed videos, and switch to HTML code.
  • Translation: Enable content creators to draft, review and display content in multiple languages for end-users around the world.
  • Moderation: Review and approve content and comments before they’re published.
  • Broadcasts: Call attention to important information by broadcasting messages to the entire organization or individual groups.
  • Drafts: Save content as a draft so you can come back to it later and collaborate with other authors.
  • Future Publish: Schedule content to publish at a future date and time so you can load it when it works best for you.
  • Labels: Make it easy to manage and find content by categorizing items by type, topic, department, or your own organizational labels.
  • Read Tracking: Enable users to acknowledge that they’ve read and understood a piece of content.

Features for Administrators

This role can often be split amongst the digital workplace managers and your overloaded IT staff. You need features that ease the burden and allow them to breeze through admin tasks, with confidence in the platform’s security and ability to hand off work to individual teams.

Features like:

  • Easy configuration: Use intuitive drag-and-drop controls to publish content, display information, and view and edit the structure of your intranet, including pages, spaces, and channels.
  • Admin controls: Set permissions and manage members and user accounts with management settings.
  • Solutions: Cut down on implementation time with pre-built solutions for common use cases like onboarding, team rooms, and knowledge bases.
  • Authentication: Make it easy for users to login to your intranet with single-sign-on (SSO) and LDAP integration.
  • Integrations: Use a simple drag-and-drop widget to integrate out-of-the-box, third-party applications into your intranet.
  • Reporting and analytics: Get performance and usage data at your fingertips — with preconfigured dashboards, overviews, and data from third-party analytics tools.

Don’t stop at features

At the end of the day, a lot of modern intranet providers will offer the same suite of features as standard, but you should still do a thorough review to ensure your intranet can do everything you need it to – now and the future. It should be user-friendly (for both technical and non-technical staff), scalable and secure, and give content creators an easy and efficient way to publish their content.

But above and beyond features, you should be looking for a vendor that offers services and support that enable you to grow your basic intranet foundation into a successful digital workplace.

If you can find a solution that has it all – from the full range of features to the support you need to get the most from them – you’ll be well on your way to a connected community that empowers users at every level.

Learn more about Igloo’s full suite of features here: https://www.igloosoftware.com/product/features/