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April 19, 2024
March 5, 2024
XX min read

What Is a CMS Intranet?

In today’s workplace, it’s common to spend up to a few hours every week looking for documents, files, and information. With so many apps now at our fingertips, there are countless digital locations where important documents could be stored.

That’s why many companies decide to purchase a CMS intranet. The best CMS intranets give companies an easy way to centralize documentation, give their teams a single source of truth for information, and improve internal communications.

In this article, we’ll explain what a CMS intranet is, its advantages, and its key features.

Definition of CMS intranet 

Let’s start by defining the terms ‘intranet’ and ‘content management system’ separately.

An intranet is an internal company website that only employees of that company can access. It’s used to store helpful information, share updates, and to provide workers with access to resources like org charts, standard operating procedures, and vacation policies. Intranets have been around for decades and have recently seen a surge in popularity thanks to more modern, AI-powered solutions entering the market.

So that’s what an intranet is. But what about those three letters, ‘CMS’?

Well, a CMS–or content management system–is a type of software that allows its users to create, edit, and manage content on a website. CMSs have a reputation for being easy to use and maintain. Today, most websites that have a blog section use a CMS to host their articles (like this one).

So, with this in mind, what’s the definition of ‘CMS intranet’?

A CMS intranet is an internal company website with a content management system built in, allowing administrators and users to easily upload, modify, and maintain content. Companies use a CMS intranet to give their employees a single source of truth for information, increase the quality of internal communications, and improve collaboration between teams.

Benefits of a CMS intranet

CMS intranets offer a range of benefits to companies. They’re particularly appealing to businesses that are seeking to improve employee engagement, retention, and productivity. Here are some of the key advantages that modern employee intranets promise.

Increase knowledge sharing

Given the number of different apps that teams today have to manage, it’s harder than ever to prevent knowledge from getting siloed. And when that happens, it leads to a decrease in collaboration and a rise in repeat questions–two trends that can cause a company’s growth to stagnate.

A CMS intranet gives all employees one place to store, share, and find knowledge. As a result, it can break down silos and facilitate a seamless spread of knowledge across teams.

Better internal communications

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that change is constant–and inevitable. Leading a company through turbulent times like these is impossible without strong internal communications. Changes to strategies, policies, and products need to be communicated to all employees quickly and clearly.

A corporate intranet offers an effective way to do that. It gives leadership teams the ability to post an update to all employees and see real-time engagement rates. That way, they know that the news they shared has been received, seen, and is likely to be acted on.

Improve employee engagement

Employee engagement has been declining in recent years, and improving it is a top priority for many HR leaders. There are a lot of tools that promise an immediate boost to engagement rates, but few are as effective as a widely-adopted, well-managed CMS intranet.

When employees can easily find the information they need to do their jobs, get regular updates from leaders, and interact meaningfully with their colleagues–even those in different locations and time zones–they’re likely to feel significantly more engaged.

Greater efficiency 

When companies don’t provide an easy way to access important information, that's a recipe for inefficiency. Employees can lose hours every week looking for what they need, and will often resort to shoulder-tapping a teammate, which in turn slows down the teammate. Patterns like this compound over time and cause efficiency to plummet.

With a well-maintained employee intranet though, employees know exactly where to go to find the information they need. And they don’t interrupt colleagues with questions. The result is improved efficiency company-wide.  

Higher retention rates

Research from Forrester has shown that a lack of access to valuable information is a top contributor to burnout. And when employees are burnt out, they’re at high risk of resigning.

By giving employees a single source of truth for information, as well as opportunities to engage with their colleagues, a company intranet can help to prevent burnout and keep retention rates high.

How to implement a CMS intranet

By now you might be getting excited at the thought of enjoying the many benefits a CMS intranet has to offer. So you should! But it’s important to remember that any software product is only effective if it’s adopted by its intended users.

The path to adoption starts with successful implementation. Here are the key steps to follow when implementing a new intranet.

Define success

Before getting started with a corporate intranet, it’s essential to clearly define the challenge you’re trying to solve and what success looks like.

If the problem is poor internal communications, it’s important that the CMS intranet you choose has the features that can address that issue. Similarly, if the problem your company has is a lack of knowledge sharing, it’s possible that a different product–like an enterprise AI search tool or wiki–is a better option.

Clearly defining a vision for success is the first step to ensuring that your purchase will be a positive investment.

Train and onboard users

It’s not enough to simply ‘set and forget’ a CMS intranet. It’s vital to outline a clear onboarding process that gives all employees the level of access they need, shows them how to use the new product, and ideally requires them to complete certain tasks like publishing content or updating their profile. On-demand training videos, live workshops, and office hours with administrators are all effective ways to help employees familiarize themselves with a new intranet.

A well-executed onboarding process for existing employees and new hires alike will ensure your CMS intranet offers as much value as possible.

Establish guidelines and assign responsibilities

Good guardrails and governance are needed for your company intranet to be successful long term. Certain employees, like senior members of the HR team for example, should be given advanced permissions that give them oversight of how the CMS intranet is organized.

There should also be content guidelines in place to give teams direction on what type of information should be added and how it should be shared. It’s good practice to give teams ready-made templates for various types of content. These not only make the task of adding content easier, they give all employees a consistent experience when consuming information stored in the intranet.

Measure performance

A CMS intranet isn’t a short-term solution. It’s a long-term investment that should continually deliver value. So it’s important to have clear success metrics in place and to report on performance regularly.

Metrics like daily usage by employees and read-rates on important content can be effective measures of success. Employee surveys are another way of getting feedback on the effectiveness of an intranet. As learnings emerge it’s then important to act on them quickly to address any issues that are identified.

The future: AI-powered CMS intranets 

The intranet category has undergone a rebirth in recent years with the emergence of a new wave of modern CMS intranets. If you’re comparing options, read our article about the 9 best intranet software platforms and tools in 2024. Features that were once seen as cutting edge have become table stakes. 

Now, the leading CMS intranets are powered by the latest in generative AI technology. This is making it possible for employees to do things like search across all the content in their intranet and get instant answers to their questions and see personalized content in their intranet based on their role, location, and recent activity. 

Capabilities like these are making CMS intranets all the more effective at helping companies improve knowledge sharing, internal communications, and productivity. Guru’s employee intranet is a modern solution that’s powered by AI and equipped with enterprise AI search and knowledge base capabilities. If you’d like to learn more, watch our on-demand demo video.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

What are the benefits of using a CMS intranet?

Implementing a CMS intranet offers numerous benefits to organizations. It improves communication and collaboration by providing a centralized platform for employees to share ideas, documents, and updates. CMS intranets also enhance efficiency by streamlining access to important information and tools, reducing the time spent searching for resources.

What features are typically included in a CMS intranet?

CMS intranets often include a wide range of features designed to support various aspects of an organization's operations. Common features include document management, enabling users to store, organize, and share files; collaboration tools like forums, wikis, and project management applications; employee directories and profiles to facilitate communication; and news and announcement sections to keep employees informed about company updates. Some CMS intranets also integrate with other business tools, such as HR systems and customer relationship management (CRM) software.

What's the difference between a CMS intranet and a regular intranet?

While traditional intranets and CMS intranets serve similar purposes, there are some key differences between the two. Traditional intranets are often static, with content that is difficult to update and manage. In contrast, CMS intranets provide a more dynamic and user-friendly experience, allowing non-technical users to easily create, edit, and publish content. CMS intranets also tend to offer more advanced features and customization options, enabling organizations to tailor the platform to their specific needs.

Written by
Christine Richardson
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.

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