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How to build an intranet

By Gabe Scorgie

7 min read

How to build an intranet
Illustration by Jimmy Foulds

An intranet is a private network accessible to authorized personnel within an organization. It was traditionally designed for simple communication between employees and sharing files. At best, it also gave access to organizational resources.

With modern technology's advancement, intranets have become popular tools for companies. They promote company culture and boost employee engagement and productivity at all organizational levels.

An intranet provides numerous advantages, including enhanced communication, easier information sharing, resource organization, and increased collaboration among employees.

Intranets also help to create a centralized location for company news, announcements, and internal communication.

However, intranets also come with certain limitations. Design, development, and ongoing maintenance require extensive effort.

Intranets can also be vulnerable to unauthorized access if not properly secured, and they may not be suited for remote workers who require constant connectivity.

Organizations that invest in building effective intranets create an empowering environment for their employees, promoting collaboration, communication, and productivity.

Assessing your organization's needs


Assessment is key when building an effective intranet for any organization. Before implementing an intranet solution, it's vital to identify any pain points or barriers to communication and collaboration within your workplace.

Lacking centralized information sources, finding it difficult to access resources, or ineffective communication channels need to be fixed before implantation can occur.

Next, setting clear and measurable goals and objectives for intranet implementation should be undertaken. These include improving employee engagement, streamlining workflows, or increasing collaboration among team members.

The next step after identifying what the intranet needs is to select its tools and platforms.

This may include an existing platform or a custom-built solution based on your organization's specific requirements.

Security features, scalability, and usability are crucial when choosing a platform.

Conducting a specific needs analysis is vital in defining the features and functionalities required of an intranet, from user requirements such as easy navigation to employee directories. Discovering the technical needs, such as security measures or integration with other tools, also matters.

Assessing your organization's needs early is the cornerstone of creating an effective intranet platform.


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Selecting the right platform

Assembling an effective employee success platform is key to building a collaborative and engaged workforce. In this section, we highlight some key considerations to help select one that satisfies your organization's goals and objectives.

  • Define Your Goals: Set clear objectives for your employee success platform, such as improving communication, expanding knowledge sharing, encouraging employee recognition, and cultivating an enjoyable work culture.
  • Consider features and functionality: It is essential to evaluate the features and functionalities provided by different employee success platforms in order to find tools that support seamless collaboration, performance tracking, feedback mechanisms, and personalized development opportunities.
  • Scalability and customization: When considering which platform best meets your organization's scalability and customization requirements, make sure it can adapt to its growth as it occurs and meet changing needs. Look for customizable features that enable you to tailor it so it reflects both the brand image and culture of the business.
  • User-friendliness: An intuitive and user-friendly interface is crucial to encouraging employee adoption and increasing employee engagement. Assess how usable and accessible the platform is across different devices and operating systems.
  • Integration Capabilities: Evaluate how well an employee success platform integrates with your current systems and tools, such as HR management systems, learning management systems, and other relevant software programs. Seamless integration between HR management software, LMSs, and any other relevant platforms creates a harmonious digital ecosystem.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select an employee success platform that empowers your workforce, fosters collaboration, and enhances employee engagement - ultimately driving overall organizational success.

Developing and implementing your platform


The development and deployment of a platform may seem like a challenge, yet it should be seen as an investment by any organization that values effective collaboration and communication.

There are various approaches to creating your intranet, working with developers or using pre-built templates as two possible routes. But customization of all kinds reflects your organization's visual identity and branding standards.

Essential elements

As part of developing your intranet, it is vital to identify and prioritize essential features like user authentication, document management, and news and announcements. Furthermore, mobile responsiveness must also be ensured across devices to meet the needs of remote and frontline workers.

Once a platform has been designed and deployed, conducting rigorous user tests and collecting feedback are vital to identify issues or improve.

Ensuring employee adoption and engagement through adequate training and support will facilitate an easy transition onto the new platform. It will ultimately contribute to improved organizational communication, collaboration, and productivity.

Enhancing adoption and engagement

To maximize the efficacy of an intranet, it's critical that employees adopt and engage with it. A communications strategy must also be in place to promote its benefits.

Engaging employees by inviting user-generated content creation, employee surveys, and feedback mechanisms is an excellent way to foster engagement while instilling ownership and pride in employees.

Relaying success stories and best practices via your intranet can motivate employees to utilize it and demonstrate its worth.

But ongoing maintenance is essential for an intranet to remain effective and successful. So keep the platform updated and ensure all users can access the most recent features and content.

Security must also be managed properly to prevent unauthorized access or data loss. Meanwhile, database backups should also be conducted on a regular basis.

Monitoring your system

Monitor usage analytics and solicit feedback from employees that provides invaluable information. This feedback can cover usage trends, preferences, and improvement areas matching the employees' needs and expectations.

It ultimately leads to continuous enhancements that address employee performance.

By increasing your intranet platform's adoption and engagement rates, its power could grow to drive employee productivity, collaboration, and satisfaction. The outcome will have an impactful effect on your organization's bottom line.

Ensuring ongoing maintenance and upgrades

Establishing an intranet platform is just the first step toward making it work effectively for your company. Achieving maximum return on investment requires ongoing maintenance and upgrades to maintain peak efficiency.

Assigning employees to manage and administer the intranet platform is the cornerstone of successful intranets. Employees assigned this duty should possess knowledge about intranet technology and features. They must also commit to maintaining, administrating, and upgrading it.

Regular upgrades of an intranet platform and its features are critical in keeping up with rapid technological advancements and remaining current.

Upgrades may involve adding new features or connecting them with third-party software and adjusting and improving existing ones.

Keeping your data secure

Furthermore, security is a highly crucial aspect of any intranet. An intranet can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, data fraud, and other malicious activities if not properly secured.

Thus, companies must take precautions to ensure that the data stays protected and confidential.

Strong authentication protocols can achieve this protection, such as:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • End-to-end-encryption
  • Data audit logs

Furthermore, something as simple as regular password changes can also reduce the risk of unauthorized access or data loss. Higher techniques are also available, like setting up an intrusion detection or a system alert.

Intranets are powerful tools that can improve organizational communication, collaboration, productivity, and efficiency. Building a successful intranet requires

Conducting surveys


Conducting user surveys and assessments is an excellent way to collect insights for improving an intranet platform and gathering feedback for immediate implementation that keeps it user-friendly and meets employee needs.

Staying current with emerging intranet development technologies is vital if your intranet platform is to perform at its highest potential.

Employees assigned to maintaining it must conduct ongoing research into new emerging technologies that contribute to its optimal functioning to support it effectively.


By providing employees with easy access to key information and project collaboration resources in one central place, the right platform offers employees the perfect location to collaborate on projects and communicate among themselves and with leadership.

Any intranet project must be carefully considered against potential pitfalls before investing time or resources into creating one.

Although challenges will present themselves, with careful planning and maintenance, an intranet platform can dramatically enhance employee experiences. It will also contribute to the overall organizational success and employee well-being.


Get a platform that connects people

Find out why orgs are ditching their old intranet in favor of platforms that help build energized, high-performance workplaces

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Gabe Scorgie

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