Intranet best practices: Enhancing internal communications and collaboration in 2024

Emrecan Dogan

Head of Product

An effective intranet search is a critical component in the infrastructure of any modern organization, providing employees with access to the information and tools they need to perform their work efficiently. As the workplace continues to evolve, with an increasingly distributed workforce and an ever-greater reliance on digital communication, the role of the intranet as a central hub for collaboration and corporate culture becomes more pivotal. It serves not only as a repository for documents and a platform for communication but also as a reflection of the company’s values and priorities.

Establishing best practices for intranet deployment and management is essential to realize its full potential as a resource that enhances productivity and engagement. Organizations must seek to understand their specific intranet needs through thorough analysis, which involves setting measurable goals and aligning intranet strategy with business objectives. Crafting an intranet that is user-friendly and meets the diverse needs of its users requires a thoughtful approach that encompasses both the technological framework and the content strategy.

As intranet solutions have evolved, usability guidelines have become increasingly refined, drawing on extensive research and accumulated experience from numerous implementations. By adhering to these best practices, companies can create dynamic intranets that are not only highly functional but also promote a sense of community and inclusiveness among employees, regardless of their physical location.

Functions of the intranet

The intranet serves as a central hub for an organization, enhancing internal communication and collaboration. Below are the key functions that support a more cohesive and productive workplace:

  • Communication: An intranet allows for seamless information dissemination across departments. It provides a platform for announcements, company news, and employee recognition.
  • Collaboration: It offers various tools such as file sharing, project management, and social networking to facilitate teamwork. By using the intranet, employees can easily collaborate on documents and access shared resources.
  • Knowledge Management: The intranet acts as a repository for company documents, policies, and procedures. This centralized knowledge base ensures everyone can access the latest information and best practices.
  • Productivity Enhancement: Streamlined processes and easy access to tools and resources on the intranet help increase overall employee productivity. By reducing the time spent searching for information, employees can focus more on their core tasks.
  • Employee Engagement: Intranets can host forums, surveys, and social features that encourage interaction among staff, fostering a sense of community and belonging within the company.

These functions are critical for a more engaged and aligned workforce, as they address several aspects of internal operations. An intranet that is well-structured and aligns with the organization’s goals can significantly contribute to a company's efficiency and culture.

Top intranet search engine best practices

Effective intranet search engine practices critically enhance an organization's ability to retrieve information. The right techniques can transform the user experience, ensuring that valuable data is readily accessible.

Best practices

  • Comprehensive indexing: Intranets must index all the relevant content comprehensively. This includes documents, pages, and multimedia files, creating a vast database that users can access. As explained by Nielsen Norman Group, an intranet needs to be effective in its search capabilities to be useful to its users.
  • Advanced search options: Users benefit from intranet search engines that offer advanced search options. This includes the use of filters and queries to narrow down results, making information retrieval both efficient and accurate. The guide provided by Glean emphasizes the requirement of robust search features in contemporary intranet search engines.
  • Autocomplete and suggestions: Incorporating features like autocomplete and offering suggestions can significantly improve search efficiency. These features quickly guide users to the content they are likely to need.
  • Relevance and ranking: Effective search engines rank results based on relevance to the user's query. Utilizing algorithms that prioritize the most pertinent information saves time and ensures a more productive search experience.
  • Regular updates and maintenance: Keeping an intranet's search engine up-to-date with regular maintenance and updates is crucial. As new content is added or existing documents are modified, the search index should reflect these changes to maintain its utility and accuracy.
  • Search analytics: The use of search analytics aids in understanding how users interact with the search function. This insight allows organizations to continually refine and improve the search experience, tailoring it to user behavior and needs.
  • User feedback mechanisms: Providing a way for users to offer feedback on their search experience can reveal valuable insights into potential improvements.

By adhering to these best practices, organizations can ensure their intranet search engines are powerful tools that enhance productivity and the overall user experience.

How can Glean help you achieve the best-in-class intranet experience?

Glean's intranet search engine offers a range of vital features that empower organizations to take control of their knowledge management.

  • Comprehensive indexing: Glean aggregates data from multiple sources and presents it in a well-organized manner, ensuring that employees always have access to the information most relevant to them.
  • Seamless integration: Glean connects back-office systems seamlessly with content management, creating a unified and efficient experience.
  • Federated search: Employees can simultaneously search for information across various sources, from executive briefs to cloud-based applications.
  • Speed: Glean's rapid search engine provides instant access to critical information, saving employees valuable time.
  • Customization: Tailor Glean to your organization's specific needs. Ensure that it aligns perfectly with your workflow.
  • Natural language processing: Glean understands natural language nuances and partial word matches. It makes search queries more intuitive.
  • Ranking and personalization: Prioritize search results based on business rules and employee roles, ensuring that the most relevant information surfaces first.
  • AI-driven personalization: Leverage AI-driven personalization to customize search experiences. It enhances employee satisfaction and efficiency.
  • Search analytics: Gain valuable insights into what employees search for, enabling data-driven decisions and improving the intranet's functionality.

Read more: How to search in Glean

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