faces of the intranet
The two faces of the intranet
Written by Cristian SALANTI

Intranets have been around for quite some time, yet I’ve found that how the intranet team and especially management perceives an intranet dictates how it is developed and the magnitude of its impact on an organization.

The Intranet as a Website for the Employees

Intranets are most commonly perceived in this light, as a means to share items of interest with employees.


The objective in this case is to facilitate access to helpful news, articles, documents and tools for employees.

Design Method

The intranet is built by asking employees what they want or need. Most times, such intranets would include company news and available apps, In some cases, they provide support for the employee’s top tasks.

Intranet Management

The management of the intranet is mostly done by internal comms, HR, IT or marketing, all of which are support departments. Contribution to the intranet can be centralized to a small team of editors or decentralized to representatives from all departments.


People managing such an intranet will often speak about content. The value of the content is based on the traffic it generates and the likes and comments it receives. Regular content reviews make sure a piece of content that for example has not been updated for a year could automatically be deleted as it is considered to be no longer relevant.

Success Indicators

If employees are using such an intranet, it means it is a good intranet, it is fulfilling its role. In such a case managers would look at the traffic volume, daily visits and comments, and survey the satisfaction of the employees with the intranet.

Business Impact

While most of the employees and management agree that good communication is important for a company, the impact is rather difficult to assess, and it is mostly an indirect one.

This is one of the key reasons why most intranets are underdeveloped and underfunded.


The Intranet as a Support System for All Tasks Within a Company

Whatever task an employee must perform, certain resources will be managed by the intranet: related procedures, product descriptions, training resources, links to the app that is supporting the task, operational announcements, support contacts and so on.

As a result, you can look at the intranet as a critical business support system that helps employees perform any relevant task within the company.


In this case, the intranet is basically a way for the company to structure all the resources required for the company processes to work. The intranet is a platform for each process owner to run their process with their internal customers.

The objective of the intranet here is to help employees meet and exceed operational standards, to help with change management or with integration of new employees — on top of the objectives of a more traditional intranet.

Design Method

Instead of asking what employees want or need, a task-centric intranet is built around all the internal processes that make the company work. These are the topics of your intranet.

There is no need to run countless workshops and employee interviews, as these processes should be well-known in most organizations. If you don’t have a list of processes, then building up this list would be the first step towards improving the organization in your company.

For every such process, you can structure the resources the employees need with the help of why (motivate the employee), how (describe the process with the help of procedures, training materials, FAQs, support contacts, app links) and what (help your employee by managing their tasks) model.

So, for any relevant topic within the company, the employee can easily find all the topic related resources in one place.

Such a system isn’t built around top employee tasks. Think for a moment how a watch is built. The watch maker does not focus on the top cogs to work properly, but rather all the components must work well in tandem to deliver a good output. The same approach must be applied to an intranet.


The word “content” is used almost exclusively by the communicators and IT while businesspeople seldom use it. Instead, they speak about processes, procedures, operational changes, training resources, support requests, compliance, quality, change management and so on.


Article of our colleague Cristian SALANTI was published on Reworked


Last Edited Date:Thu Jul 28