Intranet Excellence: 5 key principles of award-winning intranets

When forming strategies and plans ahead of your next intranet initiative, you should adopt the key principles of the best solutions on the market: Personalization, enhanced accessibility, knowledge management solutions, customizing to solve business needs, and long-term work focused on continuous improvements.

In the fast-paced world of corporate communication and collaboration, the intranet has evolved into a pivotal tool for global organizations. The prestigious 'Intranet and Digital Workplace Award 2023' – this year handed out for the 17th year by Australia-based consultant company Step Two – recognized the cream of the crop, intranets that excelled in various aspects. This article distills the key takeaways from the five Gold and five Silver winners, focusing on the core principles that can elevate an intranet to a driver of success.

You might also want to check out the articles on two of the winners, global appliance leader Electrolux and forward-thinking Swedish municipality the City of Malmö.

1. Personalization: Tailoring the Experience

A standout feature among the winners was their commitment to personalization. In mid-sized and larger organizations, the one-size-fits-all approach is no longer valid. Instead, envision a scenario where each employee is greeted by a startpage, content, and resources customized to their role, department, and preferences. Relevant news, updates, and tools take the spotlight. This level of personalization nurtures engagement, streamlines workflows, and sends a clear message: you matter.

But personalization doesn't stop at content. The winners leveraged user data to recommend content, suggest connections, and curate learning paths. It's about delivering an intranet experience that feels tailor-made, giving end-users the feeling that 'this is for me'.

2. Enhanced Accessibility: The Gateway to Inclusivity

Accessibility has emerged as a crucial factor to ensure that an intranet can be reached and consumed by all employees. Inclusive design isn't just a legal obligation; it's a moral and strategic imperative. Winners ensured that every employee, regardless of physical abilities, could navigate the intranet seamlessly. This not only breaks down barriers but also promotes diversity, leading to a richer exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Enhanced accessibility doesn't just benefit individuals with disabilities; it enhances the intranet's reach within the organization, fostering a culture of inclusivity that can drive success.

When it comes to including all users in the intranet scope, we also want to mention the rising interest in providing a relevant digital workplace also for frontline workers - a group that has been overlooked for many years but that now see rising attention in communication and collaboration initiatives.

3. Knowledge Management: Unleashing Business Value

Effective knowledge management applications were a common thread among the award winners. Intranets have evolved into hubs where organizations can capture, organize, and share their collective wisdom.

Winners understood that knowledge, when harnessed effectively, can drive substantial business value. They integrated tools that facilitated knowledge creation, sharing, and retrieval. Think of it as a digital library where employees access best practices, historical data, and expert insights with ease.

Knowledge management applications also encouraged collaboration and innovation. Employees could collaborate on projects, tap into colleagues' expertise, and expedite problem-solving. Wisely planned knowledge sharing and management will help improve decision-making and accelerate growth.

4. Continuous Improvement: The Key to Relevance

Successful intranets are dynamic ecosystems that evolve with the organization. The award-winning intranets had teams dedicated to continuous improvement, proactively seeking feedback, identifying pain points, and refining the intranet's design and functionality.

These teams recognized that the intranet needed constant care and attention. They provided training, resources, and clear explanations for new features. This commitment to improvement ensured that the intranet remained a vital asset.

5. Customization: Tailoring for Excellence

Lastly, customization played a pivotal role in success. Recognizing that each organization has unique needs and challenges, winners tailored their intranets to seamlessly integrate with their business processes.

Customization allowed the organizations to tackle bottlenecks and inefficiencies specific to their operations. Whether streamlining workflows or integrating third-party tools, customization unlocked maximum value from their intranets.

In conclusion

The 'Intranet and Digital Workplace Award 2023' winners demonstrated that intranets have evolved vastly over the past couple of years and that personalization, enhanced accessibility, knowledge management, continuous improvement, and customization form the core of modern intranet success. We believe that these key principles should be used by organizations when forming strategies and planning for upcoming intranet initiatives.

Finally, the Omnia Team wishes to congratulate the winners of this prestigious award and most of all the two Gold winners global appliance leader Electrolux and forward-thinking Swedish municipality, City of Malmö, both of whom have harnessed the power of SharePoint and Omnia for their intranet solutions.

Read more about all winners of the Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards using this link. Also, please check the articles on two of the winners, global appliance leader Electrolux and forward-thinking Swedish municipality the City of Malmö.