Everything we do is literally a form of building a relationship. In the office, we build professional relationships, and at home, we strengthen our emotional relationships with loved ones. We also have relationships with our computers; they keep us connected to the world, our work, and family and engage us with stunning visuals and enticing information.

An intranet is a doorway into the mission statement, culture and goals of your organization. It’s a tool that can show how much you care about your employees, depending how much effort you put into it. A good intranet retains employees by offering beneficial information that is organic for your organization. Intranets that have the most impact, embrace employees from the moment they click on the page. An engaging intranet excites users by providing enticing content and is well organized.

Think about your site from a new employee’s point of view. It’s their first day at a brand new company, they just met quite a few new people, they are excited and overwhelmed and now they are asked to navigate around their intranet to learn more about the organization. This is the point at which a new employee will understand the organizational structure and policies or become confused by them.  Attractive design, simple layout and bold headlines impact the users experience and provide them with a starting point for the site.  An intranet can have a seamless flow of transitions from the home page, to departments to applications or it can use menus and drop down’s to organize the content in a lateral way. Like a story, an intranet has a starting point that sets the stage for the user’s experience, so why not make it a good one?

Digital workplaces are the wave of the future. More and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home to reduce costs and this means that employees can become less connected with one another. A site with social tools like blogging and employee chat and applications about new employees and customers will be the most appealing for a company focused on maintaining a strong corporate culture, even while people work from home.

Tell your organization the story of how it came to be, and what the plans are for the future. Employees love to know that they are working for the greater good of an organization and that there is an action plan to do so. All of the things that we are in association with are a form of personal, individual or community relationships and an intranet can support those relationships.

Check out my Social Intranet Design Strategies presentation on Slideshare.

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