How to Choose the Best Business Intranet CMS

Use this template to identify critical intranet CMS requirements and jumpstart your team processes and documentation.

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Your company intranet is the central hub for internal communication and onboarding. The intranet you choose has an impact on productivity and collaboration across the organization. It also influences the overall employee experience, from motivation to engagement.

It explains why 57% of internal communications and HR personnel are under pressure to develop a more unified approach to employee engagement. 

Sadly, not many have been successful. According to Gallup, 74% of employees feel left out of company communications. HBR also reports that 23% of employees leave before their first work anniversary. There’s a direct link between poor onboarding process and employee dissatisfaction.

The right intranet CMS streamlines both the onboarding process and internal communications which could save up to 17 hours a week and $420,000 per year

With the article and templates below, you’ll learn how to choose a business intranet CMS that streamlines communication, makes collaboration easier, and boosts employee engagement. Jumpstart your intranet CMS processes and documentation with the free business templates below.

57% of internal communications and HR personnel are under pressure to develop a more unified approach to employee engagement. Sadly, not many have been successful. According to Gallup, 74% of employees feel left out of company communications. The right intranet CMS streamlines both the onboarding process and internal communications which could save up to 17 hours a week and $420,000 per year. 

57% of internal communications and HR personnel are under pressure to develop a more unified approach to employee engagement. Sadly, not many have been successful. According to Gallup, 74% of employees feel left out of company communications. The right intranet CMS streamlines both the onboarding process and internal communications which could save up to 17 hours a week and $420,000 per year. 

Your company intranet is the central hub for internal communication and onboarding. The intranet you choose has an impact on productivity and collaboration across the organization. It also influences the overall employee experience, from motivation to engagement.

It explains why 57% of internal communications and HR personnel are under pressure to develop a more unified approach to employee engagement. 

Sadly, not many have been successful. According to Gallup, 74% of employees feel left out of company communications. HBR also reports that 23% of employees leave before their first work anniversary. There’s a direct link between poor onboarding process and employee dissatisfaction.

The right intranet CMS streamlines both the onboarding process and internal communications which could save up to 17 hours a week and $420,000 per year

With the article and templates below, you’ll learn how to choose a business intranet CMS that streamlines communication, makes collaboration easier, and boosts employee engagement. Jumpstart your intranet CMS processes and documentation with the free business templates below.

How to use this Card template

Your company intranet is the central hub for internal communication and onboarding. The intranet you choose has an impact on productivity and collaboration across the organization. It also influences the overall employee experience, from motivation to engagement.

It explains why 57% of internal communications and HR personnel are under pressure to develop a more unified approach to employee engagement. 

Sadly, not many have been successful. According to Gallup, 74% of employees feel left out of company communications. HBR also reports that 23% of employees leave before their first work anniversary. There’s a direct link between poor onboarding process and employee dissatisfaction.

The right intranet CMS streamlines both the onboarding process and internal communications which could save up to 17 hours a week and $420,000 per year

With the article and templates below, you’ll learn how to choose a business intranet CMS that streamlines communication, makes collaboration easier, and boosts employee engagement. Jumpstart your intranet CMS processes and documentation with the free business templates below.

How to Choose the Best Business Intranet CMS

Use this template to identify critical intranet CMS requirements and jumpstart your team processes and documentation.

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What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private network within an organization designed for communication, information sharing, and socialization. Employees use the intranet to find information, manage workflow and communicate internally.

Intranet software helps organizations to share information on a need-to-know basis. This way, employees only receive notifications for news or tasks that are relevant to them instead of being distracted by emails. 

Rather than maintaining physical documents such as procedure manuals and process documentation, your company saves money on printing, duplicating documents, and overhead costs by storing everything on the intranet.

What is an intranet CMS?

An intranet CMS is a content management system that integrates with your company intranet to make it easier to create and manage digital content. It determines how information is indexed, searched, or published within your company.

With an intranet CMS, you don’t need multiple custom tools to share documents or track project progress. Instead, all your apps and communication are unified under a central platform and efficiently managed in your intranet ecosystem.

Use cases for an intranet CMS

Employee portal

The employee portal is one of the most common use cases of intranet CMS. It provides a platform for employees to stay updated and connected within an organization.

The portal holds information such as:

  • Salary
  • Staff benefits
  • Calendars
  • Contact information for key organization personnel and more

The employee portal also houses your internal knowledge base and serves as a database for company documents. Depending on the business, the employee portal may also act as a hub for social networking and interaction.

You might like our Employee Handbook Template to jumpstart yours.

Knowledge sharing 

Employees waste one working day per week looking for information to do their job effectively. However, you can save between $2 million to $200 million with an internal knowledge-sharing system. 

The primary reason for knowledge gaps is that employees hoard knowledge, and loss of productivity from knowledge gaps hinders overall efficiency. 

Intranet CMSes facilitate knowledge sharing by becoming a repository for process documentation, industry updates, and innovations. Managers don’t have to panic when they hire new employees because the knowledge they need to become productive already exists.

Modern intranet CMS solutions like Guru also include features for employees to either comment on an existing process document or ask questions about a task they don’t understand. Experts within your department will receive a notification to provide answers.

Our Internal Process and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Template can help get your documentation started.

Internal communications

Internal communication is the backbone of any organization. It’s the only way to keep employees informed with the knowledge they need to do their jobs well. Internal communication also creates an open channel of communication between management and employees. 

Why does this matter? Well, when your team members are encouraged to submit ideas and opinions, they are actively engaged and motivated to show up as their best selves every day.

Setting up this type of conversation is easy with an intranet. It enables you to replace long, winded meetings with a platform where employees can share ideas and collaborate faster, even when working remotely. 

Here is how Noom shares internal updates.

Employee onboarding

One in five new hires won’t recommend a company because of a poor onboarding process. In contrast, Glassdoor research found that employees who had a highly effective onboarding experience were 18 times more likely to commit to their organization.

Employee onboarding is the process where new hires acquire the skills and knowledge they need to become productive members of an organization. Done right, it reduces churn, builds loyalty in employees, and encourages new hires to stick around for at least three years.

With an intranet CMS, everything a new hire needs is already online, from HR documents to payroll forms, onboarding checklists, and training manuals. When you ditch manual onboarding that feels overwhelming and create an autonomous onboarding experience, you allow your new hires to onboard at their own pace. 

Using intranet analytics, you can also track new employee progress to see what content they keep coming back to, how far they’ve gone in the onboarding process, and searches they make that come up empty so you can quickly close knowledge gaps.

Our 10+ free Employee Onboarding Checklists can help you get started.

See all free employee onboarding templates and checklists.

Management portal

An intranet CMS offers managers and executives a 360 degree view of tasks and processes that are happening across the organization in real-time. Modern intranets also consolidate multiple workflows and personalized feeds that prevent managers from having to use separate systems to manage workflows.

Collaboration

Collaboration and communication go hand in hand. Deloitte research shows that companies that prioritize collaboration are more likely to outgrow their competition and be more profitable.

An intranet platform facilitates collaboration between employees and departments by integrating social tools and workspaces. With integrated platforms like Slack, teams can communicate instantly, receive feedback faster and reduce internal emails.

As you explore how to improve connection, productivity, and employee engagement in 2021 and beyond, this Remote Work Resources Template can help you get started.

What is the difference between intranet and extranet?

Intranet

Extranet

A private network that is only available to employees within an organization Also a private network, but used to share information with customers, partners, and suppliers outside the company
The intranet is regulated by a specific organization only Could be regulated by multiple organizations and bound by contractual agreement with all parties on the extranet
One company owns an intranet Several organizations could own an extranet network
A firewall is used to secure the intranet network and ensure information stays confidential. The intranet is usually more secured than the extranet. Risk of unauthorized access since multiple organizations have access


However, intranets and extranets share some similarities. Both are central repositories that allow organizations to store and share information in a single location. They also encourage collaboration between distributed workforces, partners, and customers with a goal to increase productivity.

What are the business benefits of using an intranet?

Help employees find information faster 

Emails are distracting. The average employee checks their email every 37 minutes. The distraction leads to a loss of productivity that takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track.

You can eliminate distractions by sharing information where your employees already work. Less wasted time means more productivity and time spent on revenue-generating tasks.

Reinforce brand values

Here are a few ways you can use a business intranet to reinforce brand values:

  • Publicly recognize employees who live out your company values 
  • Share content around brand values with your employees
  • Organize virtual social gatherings to foster an inclusive and caring environment
  • Collect feedback from employees to know whether your company is living by its values
  • Send encouraging messages to employees in your intranet that align with your company culture
  • Encourage team members to share success stories and wins

Improve employee engagement

63% of employers say that it’s harder to retain existing employees than to hire new ones. One of the major reasons why employees leave is because they are not motivated to work and are unhappy with their workplace.

In contrast, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable. Keeping your employees engaged ensures they are more productive and happier in their roles. 

A few ways to use intranets to drive engagement include:

  • Tighten up your onboarding process to get employees started on the right foot
  • Use pre-made templates and feature-rich editors that make it easy to create engaging content
  • Train employees to understand your core values and what’s expected of each individual
  • Create a two-way feedback sharing process between managers and team members and vice versa 
  • More feedback means that employees can improve in areas of weakness and managers can adjust processes for higher engagement
  • Introduce an incentive program
  • Conduct regular employee engagement surveys
  • Evaluate processes to find unnecessary tasks that slow down workflow and cost your business revenue
  • Offer flexible work schedules and autonomy to complete tasks on their preferred timeline

How do I choose an intranet CMS software?

Security

With a hacking attempt occurring every 39 seconds the security of your company’s intranet is critical. 

Guru is built from the ground up with security as a priority. Security features in Guru include:

  • SOC 2 Type 2
  • PCI-compliant
  • SAML-based SSO
  • IP whitelisting
  • Data encryption in transit and at rest
  • GDPR-ready

To make sure that you’re getting the best security, Guru hires an independent firm annually to conduct a security audit that covers the confidentiality and privacy trust services criteria in addition to the common criteria.

Ease of use

Adoption rate is a metric of success for an intranet CMS. Does it offer a seamless user experience that requires minimal training? Is it easy for employees to create content and engage with the platform?

Employees are likely to sidestep the portal if they find it hard to use, which defeats the purpose of setting it up. 

The intranet must be intuitive to allow anyone from new hires to managers to navigate the system easily.

When your internal applications are easy to use, it shifts some of the burden of responsibility from IT and saves time teaching employees how to use your intranet.

Compatibility with your devices

In today’s age of remote work, employees are not bound to their PCs anymore. In fact, 60% of employees use mobile apps for work-related tasks. Intranets should be device compatible with tablets, phones, and desktops.

Guru offers mobile apps that are available for iOS and Android devices. You can even log in with a username and password or SSO if your team uses it. 

Communication and social engagement

It’s easier for employees to feel engaged when your intranet includes features to like, share, rate, and comment on content.

Where traditional intranets went extinct because they became dumping grounds for outdated information, modern intranets engage with social tools that include instant messaging, video conferencing, surveys, discussions, and more.

It should be easy for employees to create content, connect with colleagues outside of their department, collaborate on intra-departmental projects and join interest groups within the organization.

For example, Guru’s Slackbot allows you to capture knowledge created within your team’s Slack conversations every day. Learn more about Guru’s Slack integration.

With Guru’s Microsoft Teams integration, your team can access and share verified information while chatting and collaborating with other teammates. Learn more about Guru’s Microsoft Teams integration.

Employees can also comment on Guru Cards if they have more questions and Card authors can reply to start a threaded conversation in the comment section to make it easy to see what conversations are happening

Robust search option

An intuitive search feature makes it easy and faster to find information. The best CMS saves time, reduces frustration, boosts productivity, and helps employees find the right results. Your preferred CMS should also be searchable across results indexed on multiple file-formats and apps within your organization. Learn how to use Guru to search for information across integrated apps.

Integration with remote working apps

According to findstack, 16% of all global companies are 100% remote and 77% of remote workers are more productive when working from home.

While remote work has been on the rise for years, the pandemic forced most companies to join the trend. If employees are to remain productive, it’s important that your intranet is remote-friendly and integrates with other apps.

Guru integrates with the tools you already use in your workflow. Some of the remote apps that Guru integrates with include:

  • Gmail
  • Intercom
  • Salesforce
  • Zendesk
  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Zapier
  • Workato
  • Okta

Version control, read acknowledgment, and permission

Nothing is worse than finding out you’ve deleted an important business document. When your CMS hosts sensitive documents such as process documentation, compliance documents, or legal documents, there are even bigger repercussions.

Controlling who can edit or approve content reduces the risk of unauthorized editing and ensures the content you publish is the single source of truth.

Guru’s verification engine ensures that experts within your organization always provide your teams with trustworthy content that is current, accurate, and consistent.

While anyone can create Cards in Guru, they need to select a Verifier to verify the Card’s accuracy and choose the frequency to confirm the Card’s accuracy.

When a Card is verified, you’ll see the trust indicator in the top left of every Card.

Analytics to improve decision making

Analytics gives you insight into how your team is using the intranet, what’s working and what needs to be improved. Data from your analytics dashboard may include the following:

  • Content that generates the most engagement
  • Outdated content 
  • Unsatisfied search intent (content gaps to close)
  • The most active users on the intranet
  • The least active uses on the intranet (they may need support or training)

These insights can improve your decision-making and help your intranet return more personalized suggestions. The data also comes in handy when it’s time to justify the investment in the intranet CMS.

If your team uses Guru’s AI Suggest, you can view and access usage metrics on the Performance Analytics dashboard

Performance Analytics shows how your team uses AI-suggested Cards. Analytics also reveals which apps employees are using suggested Cards and which content is most helpful. Other metrics include:

  • The total volume of interactions across all tools where AI Suggest is activated
  • Guru usage by channel to understand which tools your team uses the most
  • Guru usage over support conversations
  • Most impactful content across each tool

Multi-content format

We live in a visuals-heavy world. Text-only content isn’t enough anymore. According to Venngage, visuals increase interest in a piece of content by up to 80%.

Your intranet should be able to embed video, audio, polls, infographics, social media posts, and other content formats, and employees should be able to create content without coding experience. 

Feedback survey feature

Employees who feel heard in their role are nearly 5 times more likely to perform to the best of their abilities. Interestingly, HR professionals who have implemented a feedback feature recorded a 24% performance improvement across the workforce.

Almost all employees at every level prefer to receive feedback on a regular basis because it helps them build confidence, feel valued, and less stressed out.

As best practices for performing job roles evolve, continuous feedback ensures that information flows from the top-down and employees are always using best-in-industry techniques to perform job functions.

A few benefits of choosing an intranet CMS that includes feedback and survey integrations include the ability to:

  • Collect data to understand employee motivation
  • Uncover issues that should be dealt with immediately
  • Give employees a voice to be heard and to feel like their opinions are important to management
  • Encourage open-work culture, knowledge sharing, and collaboration between team members

Targeting

Your employees are overloaded with information. From news notifications to social media feeds, and tons of emails waiting in their inbox when they wake up, it gets overwhelming quickly.

It’s important to choose an intranet CMS that allows you to send targeted content to your team. Employees should have personalized activity feeds that only shows information that’s relevant to them. Content should be targeted based on the department and current projects the employee is working on.

Targeting also improves engagement since employees are only seeing content they find interesting. Targeting options to look for include

  • Location
  • Job roles
  • Personal interest

For example, if you publish content for your marketing team, the rest of your employees don’t need to get notified. This feature creates a clutter-free experience for users.

Improve employee performance with the right communication tools

An intranet CMS should work as an extension of your company’s workflow. It should increase employee engagement, make it easy to find resources, encourage communication, feedback and collaboration.

When choosing an intranet CMS look for solutions that prioritize security, offer AI-powered search, is easily updated, and simple to trust. Make sure it’s scalable with your organization’s growth and ask for a demo or start a free team before committing to a paid plan.

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